I love football. There's nothing better than sitting down at the bar on a Sunday afternoon and watching all 10 one o'clock games while screaming at the top of your lungs about how the refs blew that last call or that last call was blown by the refs or that incompletion two plays ago was the fault of the refs.

Even though the Eagles are 0-2 so far this year, that hasn't lessened my love for the real national pastime. Football brings people of all different ages, races and cultures together to achieve a common goal: laughing at the Cincinnati Bengals.

And although football is great, it wouldn't be the best sport in the world without fantasy football. In fact, football without fantasy football is like cake without icing or Marlon Brando without cake.

For the uninitiated, fantasy football has a simple premise: before the season, you draft players. Depending on how they do each week of the season, you get points. For example, if Emmitt Smith runs for two touchdowns and 100 yards, you get 22 points in my league.

I'm proud to say I'm a bit of a fantasy football guru. In 1999, I picked up an unknown quarterback named Kurt Warner after a Week 1 loss. He ended up throwing 41 touchdowns and leading my team to a 16-1 record. Last year I won my league by 53-hundredths of a point and netted a cool $60.

Not bad for a $4.95 issue of Fantasy Football Yearly before the season and a little research during the year. Hell, I like watching fotball -- why not make some cash, too?

In my hall freshman year, I was -- of course -- out to an undefeated start in our fantasy league. My hallmates, naturally, wanted me to lose -- much like penis envy, fantasy football envy turns friend into foe -- and so were rooting for a huge game from the only guy my opponent had left in the Monday night game, marginal Jets wide receiver Wayne Chrebet.

He had done nothing at halftime and the Jets trailed by 23. I felt safe. But as Chrebet began to rack up yards and scores and the Jets began to creep back, my hallmates' screams of "WAYNE!" became louder and louder. By the time the game headed into overtime I was screaming for Chrebet to knock me down a peg, too.

Chrebet needed 25 more receiving yards to tie the game for my opponent, and 35 more to win it. He caught a long slant across the middle but was tackled... after a 24 yard gain. The Jets kicked a game-winning field goal a few plays later, and I remained undefeated.

I don't think I'll ever become a full-time fantasy football player. I always squander the money I win in fantasy football on football-related items: replica jerseys, copies of Football Digest and footballs.

As for a point, I guess you should just stay away from me in fantasy football unless you want a beating.

Oh, and don't play me in Madden 2004, either. I'll kick your ass in that, too.


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