This morning, star running back and top fantasy pick Arian Foster used his Twitter account to send the following message:
4 those sincerely concerned, I'm doing ok & plan 2 B back by opening day. 4 those worried abt your fantasy team, u ppl are sick
Which is a pretty fair sentiment all things considered. While some athletes have embraced their status as a top fantasy football pick (Maurice Jones-Drew comes to mind), it really must put you in an awkward spot to have millions of people following your hamstring injury solely because of a silly game.
Or, on the other hand, it could be a sign that you are everything that is wrong with the NFL. Yahoo!'s Chris Chase has decided that this is the case, pontificating on a non-story in a desperate attempt to (I assume) get to a word count.
Arian, you're a professional athlete. Nobody sincerely cares about you, they care about your performance.
Great angle. Perhaps if the media made an attempt to get to know Mr. Foster, they would understand that he's one of the most interesting players in the NFL. I know that and all I do is follow him on Twitter.
Or, I guess, we could just fall back on the lines that divide us and keep thinking that athletes aren't human beings but extensions of laundry, then get mad when they say something that paints them as human beings.
It's great that you're planning to be back for week 1. Most people would agree. (Indianapolis Colts fans may not.) They do so because you're a great running back who gives a team, whether it be the Texans or a not-so-cleverly-named fantasy squad, a better chance to win, not because you seem like a nice guy in real life.
You know, this is probably true. Other things that are true: the desires of the masses should have no impact on the mental thoughts of one individual person. Particularly when said desire is for a person with an injury to "do his job" and get the team a win.
Why do athletes differentiate between people who care because they're fans of the Texans and people who care because they're fans of their fantasy team?
Sincere concern is not about being a Texans fan. Texans fans, as a whole, probably care as little about Arian Foster's well-being as fantasy football players do. They might be more concerned about his long-term health because it impacts him playing future games for the team, but once he retires, Texans fans aren't going to say, "Well thank goodness you got out of there with your knees intact!" They'll forget him all the same. I won't even get into the poor grammar that insinuates that every athlete differentiates between Texans fans and fantasy football owners.
But no, go on with your radical jump in flawed logic!
They don't make distinctions between fans and, say, gamblers. For that matter, what's the point of alienating any fans at all?
Well, for one thing, it's a tweet. For all the grandstanding about how whatever an athlete puts out in public is like a written statement, it's hard to qualify a statement completely in 140 characters. Maybe there was irony, maybe there was sarcasm, maybe he would've added a smile if he had five more characters. Or maybe he just doesn't care about alienating a bunch of people that see him as a piece of meat?
People in Hollywood don't do this. "Hey everybody," Christian Bale makes a point of not saying, "'The Dark Knight Rises' comes out in July but if you only care because you want to see how it compares to the comic books, you're a loser." All fans are good fans, Arian.
Christian Bale also assaulted his mother and sister, presumably fans of his, because he has an anger problem. All family is good family, Christian.
Also: who gives a shit? If someone created "Fantasy Sports Writers" and started hounding Chris Chase on Twitter because this post was pointlessly drawn out and had no real idea about where it was going, would he get self-conscious about it? Maybe Chris Chase was hungover, or maybe he's angry that he can't see his significant other because he's stuck in the middle of a hurricane.
Which isn't to humanize Chris Chase, because he's just a soulless laundry piece for Team Yahoo! Really dragging down my Fantasy Sports Writers team. Maybe I'll drop him for someone from Sports Grid.
It's not like cheering for a fantasy team is much different than cheering for a real team. They're both fairly irrational things adults do as diversions from real life.
You mean like criticizing an athlete for having a real human emotion about people thinking of his hamstring solely because of his use to their fantasy team? That kind of diversion?
The only thing a Texans fan has to do is throw down $49.99 for a jersey, cheer when the team does something good and have absolutely zero expectations of ever making the playoffs.
You see what he did there? it's funny because the Texans have been a mediocre football team and this somehow furthers his point!