“So it was with me as I peacefully died of my cure.”
This weekend finally sealed it. At season’s end, I am officially retiring from fantasy football.
I have made this threat before. In fact, it’s been kind of a mid-aughts Favrian period from me along these lines, where I consider retirement without ever making the leap (thus the distinction between mid-aughts Favre and late-aughts Favre).
I have long deplored the aesthetics of fantasy sports. In fact, I’ve already explained this earlier in the season. To wit:
“Now, I despise the idea behind fantasy football. To me, it’s a compensatory hobby designed to manufacture allegiances when you don’t otherwise have one. I don’t care who wins this game, so I will root for Aaron Rodgers to throw a touchdown pass to Donald Driver for Green Bay, and for LeSean McCoy to have a nice performance for the Eagles. This will make me happy. Fantasy football, then, is something I patently don’t need. I love the Giants, and therefore I have a strong rooting interest in almost any game that includes an NFC team. Over time, I have developed a hierarchy of affection in the AFC, and so I have mild rooting interests in its games as well. I cannot think of a single time I have watched an NFL game completely indifferent to its outcome. Continue reading »
“‘Self control!’ repeated Tom incredulousy. ‘I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr. Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wife. Well, if that’s the idea you can count me out…. Nowadays people begin by sneering at family life and family institutions and next they’ll throw everything overboard and have intermarriage between black and white.’
“Flushed with his impassioned gibberish he saw himself standing alone on the last barrier of civilization.
“‘We’re all white here,’ murmured Jordan.”
–F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Running for 100 yards in back-to-back games is not much of an accomplishment in the NFL, even in these passing times. As such, running for 100 yards twice in a season is pretty commonplace. Since 2002, there have been 244 different individual seasons in which a running back has had at least two 100-yard games. Until last week, though, there was something uniform about that list.
None of those running backs were white.
That’s right. With his second consecutive 100-yard game on Sunday, Cleveland’s Peyton Hillis became the first white running back to eclipse the 100-yard mark twice in the same season since Mike Alstott in 2001. The issue, though, goes back further. Alstott was the first to do it since at least 1990, which is when I started getting tired going back through Pro-Football-Reference’s Play Index. That’s 20+ years and 500+ seasons of at least two 100-yard games. A full two are now by white guys.*
*Note: People often cite Nick Goings as a white running back who had five 100-yard running games in 2004. Goings, though, is mixed race — just like Barack Obama.
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