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Philosophy of Phantasy Phootball

imageFootball is America’s national sport while Fantasy Football has become its concomitant national obsession.  It is thus fitting to unveil an appropriate philosophy, or way of thinking, about Fantasy Football.  This year was my third season playing in a fantasy football league (out of ten total members).  This is my first season where I was not the sole owner of my team but a co-owner along with somebody else. As an ardent Seattle Seahawks fanatic, I originally thought it a difficult decision to join forces with an actual arch rival (Philadelphia Eagles supporter), but the move ultimately propeled us both  into the playoffs (top 4/10 participants) for the first time! We were truly Birds of Different Feathers caught in a Bird’s Nest (our team name) . These are the things I learned this year (informed by philosophical reflections) regarding phantasy phootball:

From Immanuel Kant – German Medieval philosophy – Never use people nor treat them merely as a means to your own ends, but respect them as ends to themselves. In fantasy football, there is a mechanized system in place for proposing and making trades that makes the process quite impersonal. I have found that an email acknowledging relational nuances and each other’s desires and needs to be ultimately much more satisfying and effective in player transference.

From Aristotle – Ancient Greek philosophy – The best course of action (or Golden Mean) is the Position between Two Extremes. Whom do I start and whom do I bench are the primary Golden Questions each week in the Game,  and there are no lack of pundits nor amateur wise sages sharing their Internet advice. I have found it best to go first with conservative choices, with the warriors who got me to my vantage point in the first place, and then make tiny modifcations from there.

From Ayn Rand – Objectivism – The best ethic is one that celebrates the power and potential of the individual.  There are some fantasy studs in the Game that ought to be started each and every week, period, regardless of matchup (i.e., Tom Brady, Antonio Brown, Rob Gronkowski, etc.)

From Pete Carroll and John Schneider – Current Head Coach / General Manager of the Sesttle Seahawks – Leave No Stone Unturned; Always Compete; and Take the season one game, one quarter, if not one play at a time! They have had the largest number of player transactions in the league during their short tenure together, which has resulted in two Super Bowl Appearances in three years. Don’t be afraid to make constant moves to make the team better!

Beat down OBJ, and Woodfire Grill were our Fantasy Mantras!

General Business Ethics Wisdom:

Scour the Waiver  before proposing any trades – Better to get a player for free than give up valuable assets.

Do constant SWOT analyses on the team. What are my team’s internal strengths and weaknesses, and what are my team’s external opportunities and threats?

Never presume victory no matter the size of my lead nor give up until the final whistle of Monday Night Football. I recall penning a Sunday afternoon Richard Shermanesque smak line “You Mad Bro?” during a 30 point lead a tad too soon (Sunday afternoon @ 1:30) over a Tom Brady-led Patriots fan / fantasy nemesis before losing to him by the same margin the next day. I also remember many a result hinging on the performance of just one sole player in the final game

From David Hume – Be alert to any passions affecting my logic/reason – I cannot help in reality rooting for my favorite hometown team, and must be wary of this tendency during fantasy trade proposals and when actually watching the games. I must separate my emotional ties from wise decision making (i.e., not trade Julio Jones for Julio Iglesias), and be content with conflicting interests.

Enjoy the Game!


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