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Neither John Brown nor Arizona Cardinals owe an apology

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver John Brown (12) celebrates his touchdown against the San Diego Chargers with fans during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Anyone who says fantasy football is stupid or dumb does not understand.

billion dollar industry, over time it has become almost as popular — and for some people, probably even more so — than the game of football itself.

There’s little doubt that without fantasy football, the NFL is not nearly as popular as it is.

So, it’s understandable for someone who partakes in the game to be miffed or upset when something does not go their way, especially if they leave feeling like they were misled or wronged in some way. Like, for instance, Sunday’s game between the Arizona Cardinals and Cleveland Browns, one in which a previously declared “questionable” John Brown was active for the game only to not see a single snap.

Fantasy owners who had Brown in their lineups got a big fat zero from one of the game’s more productive receivers, and may have lost a crucial game because of it.

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians has a message for anyone who fits that category.

“Tough s***.”

Agreed.

For the record, allow me to state that yours truly had Brown in one of his lineups (and before you start wondering about inside information trust me, my job does not help on the fantasy football gridiron) and while I did not lose that game because of his goose egg, it certainly did not help things.

But Brown not playing does help the Cardinals, as he’ll have extra time to rest up and heal before a crucial Week 10 showdown in Seattle.

And that’s really all Arians should care about. It’s also worth noting that Arians did not make Brown active just to mess with people. If necessary, the coach said the second-year pro could have played.

“In case of injury, he could have given us more — as Jerraud Powers could have — than anybody else who was inactive,” he said. “And they were both, they’re smart enough to get through that game and play whatever they had to play without injuring themselves worse.”

In terms of trying to do what’s best for the actual football team, Arians and the Cardinals did nothing wrong. They did not sit a healthy receiver so Brown could be active, so no harm there. They left Cleveland with a 34-20 win, rookie J.J. Nelson caught three passes for 70 yards, and Brown did not have to risk making a nagging injury even worse.

Any reasonable football fan would understand that. Unfortunately, there are many fans who do not fit into that category, and they made it known the best way they know how: through the wonderful world of Twitter.

There’s plenty more, and some of it’s worse. All of it’s dumb.

To anyone who tweeted Brown, my question would be what are you actually hoping to accomplish? Are you expecting an apology? Maybe a signed football?

You will be getting neither.

The fact of the matter is, as Deadspin so eloquently wrote, John Brown and the Cardinals despise your fantasy team. OK, maybe they don’t actually despise it. But they certainly do not care about your team, and nor should they.

That’s your job; theirs is to win football games.

And if the Cardinals doing their job made it so you couldn’t do yours, then, well, I think Arians said it best.

Tough s***.

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