Mike Francesa Makes Terrible Argument About Why He Dislikes Fantasy Football, We Fight Back

  • Jake O'Donnell

It’s gambling.
But he doesn’t have a problem with that.

It makes the league money.
So he doesn’t have a problem with that, either.

It’s accounting within the game.
That’s his big gripe.

Mike Francesa — who clearly is just angry that fantasy football doesn’t fit neatly into the sports world that he is king of — doesn’t want to hear about the goal line back who punched in a touchdown. All he cares about is watching every single football game on Sunday for the sheer, virgin, untainted love of the game. Newsflash: Nobody likes football that much, Mike, no matter how much you call it a “national game.”

Fantasy football gives value to NFL games that would be otherwise meaningless and uninteresting. Sure, on one end of the spectrum, it dilutes the spectacle of a classic NFL rivalry; that is to say, if the Packers are playing the Bears on Monday night, the focus will be somewhat diverted to the performances of individual players, and not the greater implications of the game itself. Playoff-wise, from a historical perspective, and otherwise.

But, come on, let’s be real. Very few people are that interested in division battles that don’t involve their favorite team — though these games seem to make Mr. Francesa pop out of bed every morning. Fantasy football introduces thousands of people to a sport they’ve never played, watched, or cared about before. It’s kind of silly for the world’s biggest horse racing fan to take issue with a game predicated on picking rooting interests based on monetary incentives. We don’t see Mike out there enjoying horses for their intrinsic value, in nature, running wild and free into the sunset. I’m certain he doesn’t watch random horses race alongside one another for no reason at all. It’s about the game within the game. Just like fantasy football.

So why should he expect people to have any interest in the intrinsic value of a game played between two relatively random, crappy teams?

He shouldn’t. He should appreciate that fantasy football has made that game matter, and take a sip of his Diet Coke.

Bottom line: Sometimes you need a side game to make things interesting. Mike’s point should have been that he’s a sports dork, and fantasy is a good way to augment a lack of interest in football’s more mundane details. Not that there’s something wrong with people who partake in fantasy sports.

H/T Bob’s Blitz