Did any of you watch the preseason opener for the Houston Texans on Saturday night?
Did any of you watch all of it?
For those who didn’t, or haven’t heard, the hometown team took a Texas-style beating from the Arizona Cardinals in new head coach Bill O’Brien’s first game manning the sidelines for the Texans.
But that’s not the focus of today’s column.
No, I’ll let others critique the play and predict what record the team will finish with (although I did tell Assistant News Editor Jim Levesque that I would take the over after learning the betting line had the Texans’ season win total at 71/2 Friday before watching the Saturday evening debacle.)
In this column, I’ll try and explain why me and others like me would watch the entirety of a meaningless preseason blowout, and I can do it in two words: Fantasy football.
I’ve been playing fantasy football almost every season for the past 24 years.
For the last 15 years, I’ve been playing with the same group of friends I made while living in Uvalde.
For those who’ve never heard of fantasy football, it involves regular fans forming leagues, then drafting real players to fill fantasy team rosters, then hoping those players play well each Sunday as fantasy teams face off against each other each weekend.
The season ends with playoffs and an eventual champion and offers many chances throughout the season to earn bragging rights against your competitors.
Generally, the star players from the previous year are the first players selected in a fantasy draft.
But one way to earn bragging rights is to find the diamond in the rough — a player who isn’t on anybody’s radar who you draft on your fantasy team who then becomes a surprise star.
So that’s why you’ll see football nerds like myself watch every last minute of a preseason blowout — we’re trying to see that one player who our fantasy opponents might be unaware of, who we can select in the later rounds of our draft.
All so we can brag to the others in our league about how great we are at judging talent.
Unfortunately, I’m not sure I saw that player on the Texans’ roster Saturday night.