Can We Please Have a New Name for Fantasy Football, Please?

by bisonmessink

It happened again last night. The woman I’m dating saw a pad of paper on my desk that contained a list of about 40 or so names.

“What’s this?” she asked.

“My fantasy football draft board,” I answered.

“What, are you gonna make them kiss?” she said.

I’ve been playing “fantasy football” for about 15 years now, and hardly a year of those fifteen has passed where I haven’t had some version of the above conversation.

So: can we please, please start calling fantasy football something else?

It’s not the blatant (homo)sexuality implied in the word fantasy that bothers me. It’s the inaccuracy. No one sits around and fantasizes about their fantasy football players lining up on the same team together. Fantasy football is about making cold statistical valuations; it is a confluence of analysis and numerical forecasting that has more in common with stock trading than sports dream worlds.

So here’s a few ideas for new names that more realistically reflect what fantasy football is all about:

Football Futures

Has echos of the stock world, and implies the hard data crunching and the nuanced situational analysis required make predictive models of future uncertainties. If your fantasy football methods include Excel spreadsheets, this is probably the name alternative for you. You could call yourself a Football Futures Analyst.

Armchair Football

Ok, perhaps I’m overselling the intellect in fantasy football analysis. Most fantasy football players are driven to the game by a desire to feel like they are just as capable of running a sports franchise as any of the dolts that line NFL front offices. So, yeah, it probably is a fantasy.

Physically Inept Football

Too fat/lazy/weak to participate in sport and physical activity? Play Physically Inept Football from the comfort of your couch/desk/bar stool!

Pretend The Old College Gang Is Still 20 Years Old Football

Keeping long-standing leagues and traditions together is a great way to pretend you and your buddies are still young, and an even better way to feel a sense of superiority over old friends who have gone on to have far more successful lives than you. If you’re 30, unemployed and single, there’s nothing better than beating the dude from your frat who married the pretty girl, put two babies inside of her, and started his own business, then reminding him of all the times he passed out and threw up on himself.

If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them Football

In response to Pretend The Old College Gang Is Still 20 Years Old Football leagues, many woman have been starting Wives & Girlfriend leagues as a way to avoid completely losing touch with their husbands/boyfriends on Sundays and Monday nights. Probably more than any other kind of league, the word “fantasy” here is a misnomer.

Pretend Like You Are Sitting At Your Desk Doing Actual Work Football

Have a 40 hour/week desk job that requires about 20 hours/week of actual work? Fantasy football is the perfect task for pretend work in the office—you’ll have no trouble spending 20+ hours a week staring at your computer screen with intense concentration—even enthusiasm!—clicking your mouse a lot, and occasionally typing something on the keyboard. Your boss probably wins this league most years, because if you have a full time job that requires 20 hours/week of actual work, your boss is most likely putting in only 10 hours/week of actual work.

Rotisserie Football

One of the very first fantasy leagues ever assembled, a baseball league founded by writer Daniel Okrent, was called the Rotisserie League. Many baseball fantasy games are still referred to as “rotisserie” leagues, and the shortened term “roto” has been imported to other sports. This should become more prevalent. I have no idea where the name came from, and as far as I can tell it doesn’t make much sense; but I like it. Brings to mind chickens roasting on a spit, dripping juices from of their tender thighs, instead of Adrian Petersen taking a hand off and ramming it up the middle, churning his legs and dripping sweat off of his tender thighs.

Super Gay Bowl

OK, maybe fantasy football is all about latent homosexuality rechanneling itself. Let’s just call it what it is. Arian Foster, you may now kiss Tony Romo.