My friends, I’m not in the business of telling people what to talk about. I say: speak — and speak freely.
Except when it comes to the topic of fantasy football. Then I don’t want to hear about it. And I know I’m not alone.
Now let me be clear: I have no problem with what Americans do in the privacy of their own homes.
And if that includes the infernal habit of fantasy football — i.e. selecting a scattershot team of NFL players to whom you’ll attach your emotions for the next five months — well, then good for you.
Fantasy football is huge today. Huge! It's America’s second most popular hobby, just behind screaming at strangers on the internet.
"Fantasy football is huge today. Huge! It's America’s second most popular hobby, just behind screaming at strangers on the internet."Jason Gay
But have you ever listened to someone talk about his or her fantasy football team? It’s like listening to someone talk about their cat, but worse.
Fantasy football matters greatly to the person playing fantasy football. But not to anyone else.
I don’t care that your running back is underperforming. I don’t care that your quarterback was a steal. I don’t care that you have great optimism in yielding points from the Houston Texans defense.
Again, it’s nothing personal. I’d just rather hear you talk about your cat.
Honestly, I’d rather argue about politics with random people on an airplane than listen to someone talk about their fantasy football team. I would rather hear about a kayak vacation you took five years ago. I wouldn’t even mind hearing about the kayak vacation you took 20 years ago, where you lost that new hat.
What I’m trying to say is that fantasy football talk is dull. Duller than a wet cardboard box. It’s a fictitious event with low stakes which apply only to participants. It’s basically a hermit crab race, but with humans.
The good news is you have some options. If you live with someone who plays fantasy football, I don’t want you to consider divorce or separation or buying a plane ticket to the South of France and never coming back.
I just need you to go to the hardware store and buy as much scrap lumber as you can find.
Now take that lumber and a bunch of nails and pound away in the yard for a few hours until you have constructed a handsome single-room structure with room for a hot plate and a lawn chair.
We will call this the “Fantasy Shed.”
The Fantasy Shed is there for any moments where family or friends begin to talk about their fantasy football team.
"...fantasy football is a modern phenomenon. I just think it belongs outside, in a small wooden shed."Jason Gay
All you’ll have to do is raise your arm in the air and bellow: “TO THE SHED!”
And off they will go to the Fantasy Shed, where they can sit in this remote one-person cabin and talk to themselves about their fantasy team as much as they want.
They can talk about potential trades and playoff moves and offer very strong opinions about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ kicker.
You win. They win. We all win. It’s a perfect solution.
Again, I’m not denying that fantasy football is a modern phenomenon.
I just think it belongs outside, in a small wooden shed.
This segment aired on September 7, 2019.