Published January 2, 2012http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
I went to a friend's house Sunday to watch the Steelers v. Browns game.
I had to admit that I knew about a combined 10 players on the teams. I was really there for one last round of holiday socializing (and food).
I further admitted that any knowledge I have of the NFL is due only to my part in a fantasy league with my college buddies. And that league only exists to keep friends in contact.
Seven guys in that league generally stink up the standings every year, and I am one. Three other guys always rotate 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Those are the guys who follow football better than they do their kids' school grades.
It wasn't always that way. In our 20s — all of us could recite starters and backups on all our favorite teams and their division foes. And we knew the starters on all other teams.
The league guys all love sports. And to a man, if a pickup football game was set for 5 p.m. today, we'd all squeeze into our cleats. On our league message board, I remind our league's three annual finalists at least once per year that in a real game with all of us, they'd be in last place.
But there's just no passion amongst most of us, and there I was Sunday watching my first NFL game of the season on TV and trying to keep the competing Wallaces straight.
I read this story Monday. It probably says it best why the NFL lost 7 sportos who once knew every starter.