By Kelsey Farrell

As the old saying goes, “Those who can’t do, teach.” Is that the same as, “Those who can’t play, play fantasy football?”

My recent follies into the world of fantasy football have been brief and fast-paced, but ever so enlightening. Prompted by my locker neighbor’s fascination with weekly rankings, trades, waivers and free agents, I dove headfirst into fantasy football to educate my sports-allergic self and to maybe, just maybe, find out what makes a create-your-own football league so darn fascinating.

As any good journalist knows, it’s important to know your subject. After consulting multiple websites and having two lengthy lessons and a smattering of text messages with my personal football expert, I feel as if I’m qualified to enlighten those less clear on the rules of the game. You begin by joining a league and doing a fair amount of research on players you want to add to your draft, or personal team.

On “draft day” each person in the group takes turns picking NFL players one by one until their roster is finalized. Every week during the NFL games, players’ statistics are converted into points, and at the end of the week the person with the most points wins. This continues until playoff season, which is a whole other ballgame with details I am not yet privy to.

After taking in all the information, the question still remains: Why is fantasy football so interesting? Prize money is enticing, but why put in so much effort for a faint hope of a payday?

The focus required for all-consuming statistical research on players could be something to do, and the ensuing standings could just be something to talk about. However, I have an idea of my own.

Maybe the unspoken joy of fantasy football is exactly that: the fantasy. Most guys would be to admit that they’re so focused on gaining points and making the perfect trades because they know they’ll never be making the game-winning touchdown at Solider Field.

If that’s they case, then those who can’t do? Well, they sit around and annoy others with constant discussions of trades, waivers and free agents. And if I’ve learned anything this past week, that couldn’t make them happier.

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The Mash is the Chicago Tribune's newspaper and website written for teens, by teens. The paper is distributed for free every other Thursday at Chicago-area high schools and is written largely by high school students.

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