Week 16: Real life or fantasy? 

December, 26, 2006
Between 5 and 8 p.m. on Christmas night, fantasy football didn't exist to me. Didn't think about it at all. While stuffing my face with fine cuisine and enjoying the company of family members who, like me were focused on the TV, I too watched a football game. I still can't believe how it went, but I'm not complaining: Eagles 23, Cowboys 7.

I run into someone every week who tells me they can't understand how I separate real football from fantasy, but hey, I do. And Monday night I couldn't have cared less that I was watching Jeff Garcia eliminate one of my fantasy teams from the playoffs. Because all that mattered was Garcia leading my favorite real team to the real playoffs.

Obviously I play fantasy football and cover it for a living, so this is hardly meant to denigrate what I do. You can't do this job, bring energy, passion and knowledge to each day of work without enjoying the game and its intricacies. But I was a Philadelphia Eagles fan long before I knew what fantasy football was. And to me, while pride and potential monetary reward are a beautiful thing and often the result of a fantasy championship, I get more enjoyment when my favorite team wins a big game. And boy, did that happen!