Giving fantasy football thanks

Tom Brady has continued to dominate despite his age.Tom Brady has continued to dominate despite his age. Photo by Keith Allison.

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Thanksgiving weekend is upon us. A time of family and friends. A time of turkey and ham, or alternative vegan delights for those so inclined. Perhaps it is a time of cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and your aunt’s famous mystery casserole dish, which everyone says they “like.”

But Thanksgiving is also a time of fantasy football. We cannot forget that. After all, if your family dinner runs on a Sunday, that is right during prime football time.

Let’s raise a glass, shall we? Let’s raise a glass and give thanks for those who deserve some accolades so far in the first few weeks of this fantasy season.

To Tom Brady. Age is just a number. You’re still slinging the rock, and a very handsome man to boot. If this is what 40 is like, it gives hope to us all. But I’m past 40, so there’s no hope left for me. 

To Kareem Hunt. Thank you for being the steal of the draft. Some thanks should go out to Spencer Ware, but it’s not nice to thank someone for getting injured. But Hunt’s owners, in private, secretly can thank Ware for getting hurt.

To Aaron Rodgers. Thank you for continuing to be the human video game QB that you are.

To the Cleveland Browns defence. Thank you for continuing to be a sieve for any offensive player that faces you. This is why I picked up Andy Dalton again and started him. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

To Todd Gurley. You left us in a fantasy black hole for a year, but now you’re back. It’s okay to be Gurley-man again. Thank you.

To Chris Thompson. Thank you for being that waiver waive wonder that everybody wanted. And if he was drafted by you, he made you look like a genius.

To Julio Jones. Thank you for playing injury-free football every year, so that owners never have to worry about you. And that, dear students, is called sarcasm.

To David Johnson. Thank you for making us realize that having the best player in fantasy football on your team, and then losing him, puts everything in perspective.

There are many more we could thank in the column, but we just don’t have the print space. There are also many players who we wish not to thank. Our fantasy turkeys, if you will. I’m staring right at you Isaiah Crowell. On my bench. 

My final thanks goes out to the significant others, friends, and family members who put up with this silly little game we play. I remember one Thanksgiving Sunday, my large family was sitting at the table. I knew one of my players was a game-time decision. I had to check my phone and make a swap. Perhaps I was derelict in my food passing duties: a few people were wondering why I wasn’t passing the food and looking at my phone. “What’s so important?” they ask. Then a family member clued in and said, “It’s football.” I could only look up in doe-eyed embarrassment. My face could not hide the truth. Yes, it is football. Yes, it is. And for many of us, that is the reality of this fantasy life. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all. May all your teams be winners this weekend, and hopefully be topped with a heaping spoonful of fantasy gravy.