Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

September 4, 2013

Football season's greetings from the Flyer Sports Desk

Hendricks County Flyer

---- — For many of us, the calendar is split into two seasons, not four – there’s football season, and the rest of the year.

With high school and college football underway, and the NFL set to kick off on Thursday, (Modern) America’s Game will soon be in full swing.

Football season’s arrival does have its drawbacks for some. There is no doubt that general productivity in the workplace suffers during the five-month period.

Studies on the workplace impact of fantasy football vary considerably. One in 2011 found that nearly 1 in 5 U.S. workers plays it, and that 70 percent of those said their level of distraction was 4 or less on a 10-point scale. I don’t need to poll any of them to know half of them are liars, or at least guilty of overestimating their productivity.

Since viewing online pornography became a traceable and fireable offense, fantasy football is the American male’s biggest time-wasting activity during the workday. The prevalence of smartphones has grown each season, and thus, so has the ability to tinker with lineups and engage in smack-talk anywhere at any time. I have seen coworkers accomplish nothing on a professional level in an eight-hour shift while sweating over how they’re going to replace their injured No. 2 running back.

Fantasy football isn’t the only drain on output. With NFL and college games running a combined five of seven days a week, alcohol consumption spikes considerably during the season. This is especially true in regions such as ours, which have an NFL team and multiple major colleges. Hangovers from Saturday or Sunday games drag many down on Mondays, and a primetime start can cause focus difficulties that last until midweek.

Football season’s challenges aren’t limited to the workplace. DirectTV’s Sunday Ticket could be the greatest threat to marriages in this country. Not only do you get every game on Sunday and the ability to watch up to eight of them on one screen, but you can also program your fantasy lineup and an opponent’s into its tracker system, and receive on-screen updates throughout the day. The satellite company’s offering can reduce even the best husbands and fathers to monosyllabic zombies only willing to move for beer, food or bladder relief. It isn’t their fault, as the Ticket’s mind-control effect is only rivaled in our history by that witnessed during the invention of fire.

The growth of football in the U.S. is no more evident than right here in Indiana. Basketball might’ve owned this state for the better part of a century, but I’d put it and football on the same level right now. It isn’t just the Colts and Notre Dame, either. Max Preps ranked Indianapolis as the third-best metro for high school football in the country, and if you attend high school games, you know the enthusiasm that’s there on Friday night, in towns big and small.

I love Butler basketball and watching Tiger Woods, so I have a cushion to absorb the hard fall that comes with the conclusion of the Super Bowl each year. Still, as someone who played and coached football, and has seen the sport in nearly a third of the states in the U.S., I do feel that crash when it happens.

But, that’s five months away. Until then, may your fantasy football wishes and Super Bowl dreams come true … unless they conflict with mine.

—-Brent Glasgow writes for the Hendricks County Flyer and Westside Flyer. He can be reached by emailing to brent.glasgow@flyergroup.com or by calling (317) 272-5800, ext. 190.