Game Day: Rise of the Atomsmashers

When I use the #gameday hashtag for my Sunday tweets, it’s usually about gaming groups weekly board or RPG sessions. When the rest of the world tweets #gameday, it’s usually about football.

I’ve finally joined their ranks. A few guys at work got together and formed a fantasy football league of eight teams led by web developers, editors, writers, and web designers. We’re using ESPN’s Fantasy Football tool to manage everything.

It’s an educational experience. I’ve watched a fair number of New York Giants games over the years, but I’m a casual fan. I don’t rabidly watch football, and when my gaming group moved #gameday from Friday to Sunday, it was football that suffered.

The fantasy league has brought me back to the gridiron, and not just the my Giants (which is just as well, given their abysmal 0-6 record this year). The fantasy league kicked off with a player draft, into which most people went with a plan. Not me — my non-existent knowledge of who’s who in football meant that I was picking people at random based purely on a quick look at the numbers. The result was the Nuketown Atomsmashers, who are currently 2-3-1.

What I find fascinating about fantasy football is how many people play it. I’ve heard it joked that fantasy football is Dungeons & Dragons for jocks, but truth be told far more people than jocks play it. Go to any bar and you’re likely to find people of all walks of life watching whatever game is on and offering commentary on how it impacts their league. Men, women, jocks, nerds — they’re all playing it.

I’m not about to turn into a diehard football fan, but it has been fun to talk smack about our fantasy match ups and I’ll admit to frequently checking the real-time game results provided by the ESPN fantasy football app. And I’ve come to understand that Arian Foster was a very lucky pick, and that choosing team loyalty (Eli Manning) over productivity (Peyton Manning) is not a good idea.

I look forward to playing again next year, when our league is expanded, the Giants have recovered from their dismal 2013 season, and I actually have some idea of what I’m doing.

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