Bromancing In Fantasy Land

I am the least athletically inclined athletic person I know. Now...I use the term "athletic" loosely. This means, basically, that I'm not in a wheelchair and could probably run a couple miles if it was forced upon me. Well maybe a mile, and i'd probably complain afterwards. And I can shoot a basketball with horrible form and no spin whatsoever, but it often has a very good chance of going in inexplicably. But anyways. The irony of this statement is that all I ever want to do is watch or talk about sports. Ask me to play football on Sunday? Absolutely not, I’m busy/my foot hurts/my dog died/I have glaucoma. Ask me to watch football on Sunday? Done and done. As long as I don't PERSONALLY have to play? Of course! I'd love to critique people who are incredibly active and athletic and talk about what they could be doing better! I'll rattle off ungodly amounts of useless stats about that guy who just came in as the third down back. I'll even tell you his backup's backup. I bring this up because of what fantasy sports have done not only in my life, but in the general male population at large. While it has made a bunch of guys who USED to play sports lazy asses, It has also oddly created a level of bromance in the world that is unprecedented. Fantasy football has made softies out of men all across the land. Especially the lazy ones. Like myself. I'm sick for fantasy sports. And before you start, YES, I am aware of how "lame" they are and how ridiculous it is (and by lame I mean how stupid you are for thinking they are lame. Yes, you). Yes, I select 12 guys to play sports for me so that I don't have to. I follow them, I get upset when they get hurt because I wouldn't have rolled MY fucking ankle if I was out there running for us...and I CERTAINLY wouldn't have shot up that nightclub with my friends, as I would have known the suspension that would have loomed over my head (jax, jax, jax...). I relentlessly follow these guys, so I can make fun of the guy I'm playing that week because he didn't have MY guys who are playing MY sports for me, and that his played sports worse for him. I know all of these facts. And oddly, I’m okay with them.

So a few years back though, I felt lonely with my team. I don't know...maybe because they weren't real people I could talk to and I was yelling aimlessly at a computer screen (which is healthy). Only a shot in the dark there. But on a random whim, my brother and I decided that we would start drafting a team together about three years ago. This way, we could not actually play sports with other people...together. And here's the best part: it's been a strange glue that holds us together. Sure, there was plenty of brotherly love before fantasy Dualhorst Hoolhorst was born (not the name of our team, but as of this moment it SHOULD be in contention starting next year). I mean, my brother has always been my best friend. Even when he threw the Joe Montana Sports Talk Football genesis cartridge at my head when we were younger. Which, ironically, was the mode of fake sports I played back then. Wow. But I genuinely look forward to our fantasy sports dorkus drafts. We make huge evenings of them. We bring over notes (no i'm serious, we may as well have a whiteboard we can write on during the draft, we are THAT in denial that this is not a real draft), we have honest discussions about gameplans and how we'd like to focus our strategy this year. Honestly, i'm not quite sure how Adam's girlfriend takes it so well while not being seriously worried about her long-term boyfriend when him and his brother are chestbumping and high fiving because they "drafted" a "sleeper" in the 9th round of their fantasy draft. Yes, that really happens. But yes...I look forward to these nights every year. And after I leave his place? I'll probably call him in a few hours to talk about waiver wire pickups we should look into, trades we might want to make...and just generally how awesome we are for how we well we fake drafted our fake team. The funny thing is though...that we genuinely bond over this.

We'll hang out more often and watch sports together. We'll end up talking all the time and laughing at how outrageous our psyche's have gotten, because we are ridiculous and truly hurt when our team loses. We often lament about not playing that tight end last weekend (that's what she said...had to, sorry), we wonder if the Housh trade was the right move or if we were just trading for a name. We'll get angry with each other over opinions of who should be starting on our squad that week...I mean, these are all serious issues in my life now. Honestly. But the best part is? Fantasy sports took something ridiculous (which would be, uh, fantasy sports) and found a way to make bromance cool AND totally okay again. You know how in real sports when a guy makes a good play, and his teammate runs up and smacks him on the ass, as if to say, "hey buddy, good job out there"? Fantasy sports has given me the dork equivalent of being able to do this without actually being athletic...or just look like I'm hitting another dude's ass randomly. Instead, if Adam makes a good pickup? I can gush about it to him. About how smart he is, how proud I am to be a co-owner with him, because he had the foresight that it just wasn't LT's week and we should play Julius Jones no matter how ridiculous that looks on paper. I mean, I can honestly bromance it up, and it is in no way gay at all. All because we fake play sports together. Brilliant.

So if something ridiculous can bring my brother and I closer and make us spend more time together? I mean, no matter how loser-ish it is, what's so wrong with that? On that note, I have to go study up, as we have a fantasy basketball draft tonight. And after that? We're watching Starship Troopers 3, so we can then pretend that we are fake future soldiers that shoot laser beams at things. Because that's what brothers should do together: stupid shit they've been doing since they were kids. And I think fantasy sports got us back there. And I couldn't be more excited about it. Unless Anne Hathaway randomly wanted to do me tonight. Then I'd probably tell him fantasy sports are for losers and never call him again.

Drew Hoolhorst

San Francisco, CA 94110, USA

I have a black belt in feelings.