I have no idea whether French post-structuralist Jean Baudrillard plays fantasy football. I'm guessing he does not (although -- if he does -- I bet he got burned by drafting Lawrence Phillips in 1997). His theories, however, seem central to the totality of its existence: Baudrillard likes to forward the concept of the simulacrum, which is (basically) a copy of something that never existed to begin with (the rudimentary example is a 1950s diner, a symbolic simulation of restaurants that were not actually around during the '50s). Fantasy football is a collection of simulacra; it's a symbolic, inexact interpretation of what makes a football player valuable. In my league, I get one point every time Daunte Culpepper passes for 25 yards. This is intended to reward the value of real-world passing, although it's an imperfect simulation; it does not differentiate between meaningful plays from the first quarter and garbage yards at the end of a 42-14 blowout. As such, at least one fantasy league game every week is decided for wholly unrealistic reasons (such as a completely innocuous interception during a Hail Mary at the end of the first half). This circumstance inevitably drives me crazy because it makes the whole fantasy venture seem like a fraud. But the more I think about the nature of the game I'm playing, the more I think I actually should love this problem. It should make me like fantasy football more. My mistake is trying to make a fantasy match reality; instead, I should be embracing the things about fantasy football that make it an autonomous, disconnected entity. I should be embracing the things that make it fake.
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