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My epiphany: Fantasy football is dumb

I needed Bilal Powell of the New York Jets to amass 74 fantasy points Monday night against the Tennessee Titans to win my Fantasy Football league semifinal. That would roughly be 380 yards rushing/receiving and six touchdowns. He fell 352 yards and six touchdowns short.

I knew that wasn’t going to happen, and my season has come to an end. Merril Hoge’s Tie Knot (my team) will fail to win a championship and I will retire from Fantasy Football without winning that “elusive” league title.

That’s right, I’m announcing my Fantasy career is over. Please refrain from sadness. It’s time.

But it wasn’t my lack of championships over the course of a decade-plus that brought me to this decision. It wasn’t the hundreds of dollars invested in league registration costs that went unrecovered or the fact that Adrian Peterson’s Monday Night Football fumble in overtime of a Week 16 loss to Chicago in 2009 cost me that elusive title by a fraction of a point that pushed me into this decision.

Want to know what did? I realized Fantasy Football is dumb.

“But Vince, why did you do something you thought was dumb for ten years,” you may ask.

Well, I didn’t fully realize it was dumb until this season. Sometimes you learn as you go. Hell, I was married for seven years, too.

I played Fantasy Football for the camaraderie, the fun of getting together and drafting a team while tipping back a few and playfully trash-talking others in the league. Competition was very low on the list of reasons I played. For the most part it was fun; a little frustrating at times (especially when one guy in your league dedicated his entire existence to roster moves — every league has that guy), but fun.

So maybe calling it dumb isn’t entirely accurate. The way most people react Fantasy Football shoots right past dumb and lands somewhere in the ridiculously stupid category.

Something I read Monday really pushed me over the edge though.

Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens struggled Sunday in a loss to the Denver Broncos, carrying 12 times for 38 yards and catching three passes for three yards. For owners with Rice on their rosters, that wasn’t good enough and many let the running back know it.

After the loss, Rice tweeted the following, which is a sentiment that I’m sure other NFL players and countless other Americans felt Sunday:

What followed was appalling. One twitter user suggested that Rice used the Newtown massacre as an excuse for his poor fantasy performance. To which Rice replied:

Another user replied to Rice, “irrelevant, do your job.” Rice blocked that follower and responded one more time.

This isn’t an isolated example, it’s just one that is more visible because Rice mentioned the unspeakable horror that unfolded last Friday in Connecticut and expressed genuine human emotion about it. Every week, morons with Twitter muscles feel like they have the right to admonish athletes who “failed them” on Sunday.

It makes me wonder why any athlete is on Twitter. And it’s the final factor in me giving up Fantasy Football forever.

I won’t miss it.