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Paralysis by Analysis: Can we still enjoy Football games?

Can't we just watch football anymore?

Do you remember watching a football game as a child?  Do you remember watching a football game before we had the internet?  What about what it was like watching a football game before you were concerned about how many yards your Cleveland Brown receiver got for your fantasy team? (we’ll ignore the odd fact about having a Cleveland Browns receiver on your fantasy team)  I want to ask you a question – can you still enjoy watching a game, particularly the Bears, as a fan and enjoy it?

With the mass influx of data, talk radio, tweets, status updates, newspaper articles, blogs (and yes, for those of you wondering, I understand the irony of questions I’m asking on a blog), fantasy football, etc., I’ve been wondering if we can still be “fans.”  Let’s focus on the Bears.  When Jay Cutler has a bad game, we blame his relationship with his girlfriend.  Matt Forte doesn’t play a lot in pre-season, and we look to his contract.  The O-Line allows a truck to drive through to the backfield and we analyze the GMs trades and draft picks for the past 3 years.  Roy Williams is slow to get starting, and we ask ourselves why him and Jay don’t go out to a park and play catch with one another on Saturdays.  We delve into players family lives, play armchair doctor,  and evaluate every off-season move.  Can we ever watch a game to see if our team wins anymore and just be happy or upset by the win or the loss?  Are we too inundated with information to watch the Bears and football games like we did as fans twenty years ago; or are those times gone for good?

What do you think?  There’s a lot here, people, let’s hear what you have to say…

 

 

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  • venomlash

    This is exactly why I don’t play fantasy sports.

    Now, I’m in Generation Y, so I don’t have too much experience from before the Age of Computers, but let me say this: it’ll only ruin the game if we let it.

    I don’t spend my time looking up player stats or puzzling over players’ personal lives. When The Beloved walk onto the field, they leave all that behind and just play the game. We can still be fans if we’re willing to leave it all behind too. We can still enjoy looking at ALL DEM NUMBERS during the week, but gameday is for players and fans, not statisticians and oddsmakers. Just my 2 cents.

  • venomlash

    This is exactly why I don’t play fantasy sports.

    Now, I’m in Generation Y, so I don’t have too much experience from before the Age of Computers, but let me say this: it’ll only ruin the game if we let it.

    I don’t spend my time looking up player stats or puzzling over players’ personal lives. When The Beloved walk onto the field, they leave all that behind and just play the game. We can still be fans if we’re willing to leave it all behind too. We can still enjoy looking at ALL DEM NUMBERS during the week, but gameday is for players and fans, not statisticians and oddsmakers. Just my 2 cents.

  • RobSchwarzJr

    When I watch the Bears, my computer is no where near me. I enjoy watching the game. Now do I pay attention to the stats that scroll across the screen when my fantasy guys name pops up? Of course! However, I do not believe that ruins my enjoyment of watching the football game. I pay close attention to the stats leading up to the game and directly after the game. It is not like you can make changes to your fantasy roster while watching the current game and you can not change the outcome of their stats by obsessing how your Cleveland WR is doing, so just relax and enjoy the game you are currently watching.

    That being said, I do not believe this is ruining the game. Here is my main reason why. I am 27 years-old and have always been a fan of football. Growing up I watched only the Bears and the Dolphins (Big Marino Fan!). Now, I will watch the Bears and whoever else is on TV when the Bears are not playing. Fantasy football has educated me on many more players and I know much more about the game of football and the players who play the game. Fantasy in my opinion has made me a better fan, and not just one of those meatballs who say we are Superbowl bound every year!

    I say, turn off your computers while you watch your team, but playing Fantasy Football does not do anything to ruin the sport or fun of watching the game!

  • RobSchwarzJr

    When I watch the Bears, my computer is no where near me. I enjoy watching the game. Now do I pay attention to the stats that scroll across the screen when my fantasy guys name pops up? Of course! However, I do not believe that ruins my enjoyment of watching the football game. I pay close attention to the stats leading up to the game and directly after the game. It is not like you can make changes to your fantasy roster while watching the current game and you can not change the outcome of their stats by obsessing how your Cleveland WR is doing, so just relax and enjoy the game you are currently watching.

    That being said, I do not believe this is ruining the game. Here is my main reason why. I am 27 years-old and have always been a fan of football. Growing up I watched only the Bears and the Dolphins (Big Marino Fan!). Now, I will watch the Bears and whoever else is on TV when the Bears are not playing. Fantasy football has educated me on many more players and I know much more about the game of football and the players who play the game. Fantasy in my opinion has made me a better fan, and not just one of those meatballs who say we are Superbowl bound every year!

    I say, turn off your computers while you watch your team, but playing Fantasy Football does not do anything to ruin the sport or fun of watching the game!

  • TomSchwarz

    Football teams, unlike other sports teams, only have a single game a week. And those games are all smashed into 2-3 days of that week. What are fans who eat, sleep, and drink football to do? We go on our computers and we read even more into it.

    The internet (and video games) has given us the ability to indulge in football whenever we want.

    And, as my cousin up above has stated, fantasy football has opened me up to many more teams and players. I’m no longer a homer who only follows the bears and thinks every year that we are “Super Bowl Bound!” because I now have the ability to judge other teams and realize “holy crap, we have a ton of holes”.

    Now, I will admit that I’ve been to football “parties” that was less watchy and more fantasy. But it rarely happens and most of the time they are only doing it during one of footballs MANY MANY MANY commercial breaks.

    It’s kind of hard not to be on your computer when the usual football game goes..*Announcers talking about game before kick off*

    *Commercial*

    *Team A wins the coin toss, elects to receive*

    *Commercial*

    *Team B kicks off*

    *Commercial*

    *Team A goes 3 and out*

    *Commercial*

    You get the point.

    I mean hell, it’s a 60 minute play time game that lasts upwards to 3 hours total viewing. It’s only natural that in todays age of mass communication that we fill that time with useless stats and ideas on whats going on.

  • TomSchwarz

    Football teams, unlike other sports teams, only have a single game a week. And those games are all smashed into 2-3 days of that week. What are fans who eat, sleep, and drink football to do? We go on our computers and we read even more into it.

    The internet (and video games) has given us the ability to indulge in football whenever we want.

    And, as my cousin up above has stated, fantasy football has opened me up to many more teams and players. I’m no longer a homer who only follows the bears and thinks every year that we are “Super Bowl Bound!” because I now have the ability to judge other teams and realize “holy crap, we have a ton of holes”.

    Now, I will admit that I’ve been to football “parties” that was less watchy and more fantasy. But it rarely happens and most of the time they are only doing it during one of footballs MANY MANY MANY commercial breaks.

    It’s kind of hard not to be on your computer when the usual football game goes..*Announcers talking about game before kick off*

    *Commercial*

    *Team A wins the coin toss, elects to receive*

    *Commercial*

    *Team B kicks off*

    *Commercial*

    *Team A goes 3 and out*

    *Commercial*

    You get the point.

    I mean hell, it’s a 60 minute play time game that lasts upwards to 3 hours total viewing. It’s only natural that in todays age of mass communication that we fill that time with useless stats and ideas on whats going on.