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Steinberg: Fantasy football pumps game

Steinberg Says

September 03, 2011|By Leigh Steinberg, Daily Pilot

This weekend begins my favorite time of year. It marks the return of high school, college and NFL football.

Combined with the pennant races in Major League Baseball and many other sports, it is a cornucopia of sports participation and television viewing that lifts every fan's spirit. There are certain circles where this phenomenon is not as welcome. I once represented a hard-core sports fan in a spoof on the Roseanne Barr show whose wife was suing him for alienation of affections on the grounds that his couch obsession was ruining their marriage.

Gloria Allred represented the wife and the debate was lively. I'm happy to say we prevailed.

I used to say that the health of my profession rests on the irrationality of middle-aged men. If they used the same business judgment that they used in spending time and money in their primary work that they do in relation to sports, our country would be in even worse economic shape.

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I was reminded of that upon receiving an urgent message from my COO Scott Bogdan, a former Corona del Mar High football player who is a technological genius. Fearing the worst I checked in last week to be told that my presence was required at the draft night for the fantasy football league with Scott and his friends. It seems one of the participants could not be present to pick his team and Western civilization might fall if I could not fill in for him. The draft was held on Wednesday night and I was warned that every millisecond I was late would insure dire consequences.

I arrived at the secret location on the Peninsula only to discover a group of men sitting around computers with War Room intensity. They were picking teams of current NFL players which would allow them to compete with each other based on the performance of the players they drafted on the field.

The formula for calculating points was complex, as one participant explained, "I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you." These were talented young professionals using their educations and considerable skills to outwit each other. Their collective knowledge of the running backs, quarterbacks and wide receivers throughout the league would put many NFL directors of player personnel to shame.

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