A Social Darwinist’s Look At Fantasy Football
In determining the success of your participation in fantasy football
leagues, a lot of emphasis has been put — and this should not come
as a shock to any of you — on picking the right fantasy players
for your team. The draft, weekly pickups, trades — all of that nonsense
that your girlfriend wife or life partner just doesn’t understand
— these things are all secondary to the first order of business:
Who you are playing against.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been reading occasional updates on
preseason rosters, depth charts and the like but only now have experienced
an epiphany as to the first measure of success in fantasy football
— seeking out weak, easily influenced playing partners to compete
against in your league. I mean, if there’s no competition, how hard
should it be to win you league and a few hundred (maybe even a thousand)
bucks to boot?
In “The Origin of Species,” Charles Darwin theorizes that
natural selection has been the main, but not exclusive, means of
modification of species. Very astute, Charles.
Soon after, Social Darwinism became a popular belief in the late
Victorian era in England, America, and elsewhere. Social Darwinism
states that the strongest or fittest should survive and flourish
in society, while the weak and unfit should be allowed to die. The
theory was chiefly expounded by Herbert Spencer, an elitist philosopher
whose questionable ethical ideas received a boost from the application
of Darwinian ideas such as adaptation and natural selection.
Fortunately, these same theories are applicable to fantasy football,
and I have taken some key elements of Darwin’s philosophy and transmuted
them to be applied before you and the rest of the animals begin
the selection. Darwin’s first four chapters will suffice to make
my point and aid in finding the four main types of creatures to
seek out in your quest for dominance.
Variation Under Domestication
There are plenty of people out there with whom to play fantasy football.
There are gurus and seasoned veterans who have been playing in leagues
since the days of the enormous cellphone in the mid-to-late 1980s,
there are the stalwarts who took up “FFing” in the early 90s, and
there are the moderately successful bloodhounds who sniffed out
the game by the turn of the millennium.
You want none — I repeat, NONE — of those sanguinary fiends in your
league. A lot of them are unmarried and have committed a large portion
of their existence to strength of schedule analysis and other techniques
that, in the long run, will make your head spin. Look for married,
domesticated men who might think they have enough free time to play
fantasy football but are, in fact, just fooling themselves and heading
straight to Home Depot after work.
Also, seek out guys in new relationships that spend most of their
free time canoodling with their chick. In other words, if one of
your buddies tells you he is in love, ask him to play fantasy football
in your league and drive him to the draft yourself.
Variation Under Nature
Like I said before, stay away from bachelors if you can. One great
way to do that is to start by looking for women who have something
to prove and may want to become the doormat of your fantasy league.
There are essential elements to successful fantasy football that
women just will not understand. Chicks are definitely fierce enough,
they just don’t understand football in its larger, metaphysical
sense. They also suck with stats.
You can find girls to play fantasy football anywhere, but look for
them at sports bars. They are there to get drunk and pick up guys,
and your offer to play fantasy anything will most likely be incorrectly
perceived as an advance. If it doesn’t turn your stomach to do so,
tell them how important it is for you to meet women who you respect
on a level playing field. You might even get some nookie if you
play you cards right.
Struggle For Existence
In Darwin’s third chapter, he states that “Owing to this struggle
for life, any variation, however slight and from whatever cause
proceeding, if it be in any degree profitable to an individual of
any species, in its infinitely complex relations to other organic
beings and to external nature, will tend to the preservation of
Start by looking for defective minds — even in fantasy football
circles. You’ll know who they are because they’ll come out with
ridiculous remarks that baffle the mind and inspire the Alpha-male
inside you to attack. Here are a couple sample comments that are
What they say: “I’m drafting Ricky Williams in the first round.
I’m sure he’ll be with somebody by the end of the year.”
What you should think: This is the same retard that took Barry Sanders
for three straight years based on rumors of a comeback. Get him
there on draft day and sit beside him. Pass him a few Tostitos scoops
with salsa to keep him happy and discuss how much you want them
to put that commercial with Bill Walton, Kareem and Dominique back
on the air.
What they say: “I’m drafting my tight end early this year. There
are so many good ones out there, I’m thinking about taking two of
What you should think: Does he have any siblings that may have inherited
the same genes?
Darwin says “Let it be borne in mind in what an endless number of
strange peculiarities our domestic productions, and, in a lesser
degree, those under nature, vary; and how strong the hereditary
Humans are, indeed, filled with strange social peculiarities. There
are also guys who possess some of these social peculiarities that
can seriously conflict their preparation for the draft and the first
few weeks of the season. Golfers are among these individuals. Before
you e-mail me with remarks about how wonderful golf is and how I
shouldn’t talk smack about the game, realize this: I’m a 9-handicap
who has struggled with some of the very same issues I am discussing.
There’s just no way to play 18 holes before noon on a Sunday morning
and have the proper frame of mind for successful fantasy football.
My skills are advanced enough that I have developed some techniques
for balancing the two, but most mortals are incapable of multitasking
in such a way. Many golfers also play fantasy golf, success at which
is in no way commensurate with success in fantasy football. These
guys tend to be a little fanatical, and as soon as the weather turns
sour, all bets are off as to what they are capable of doing. You’ve
In closing, there are number of last minute characteristics of the
feeble fantasy football opponent you should look for in determining
the right league makeup for your inevitable dominance. These will
be short, to the point, and without explanation. Other than chicks,
married guys, dumb people and golfers, look for opponents with any
or all of the following: more than three children, pedicures, large
lawns, three jobs, head injuries, basic cable TV, overactive bladder
and/or irritable bowel syndrome, priapism, New York Jets season
tickets, and lots of overalls.
Stay away from opponents with no children, manicures, townhouses,
no job, head injury settlement money, satellite dish, large liver,
Viagra prescription, New York Giants season tickets and goatees.
I hope this has been a help to all of you fantasy football inhabitants
on the verge of extinction.
Keeping it real at the top of the food chain...