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The Lowdown – Week 11

Kissing your sister, futility confusion, NFL immortality, questioning patriotism, and the Interesting Players of the Week, in this edition of The Lowdown.

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Fantasy Football - Jared Goff

Welcome to this edition of the Lowdown. This is my little corner of the fantasy football universe — feel free to pull up a chair and stay a while!

Kissing Your Sister
I hate ties in sports. It’s nothing more than a waste of time; further, I maintain that if a sport allows for a tie then you’re really not dealing with a sport, you’re dealing with a game. Think of soccer, which seems to revel in teams drawing: it’s not a sport, it’s just a way of indoctrinating children to accept socialism. The NFL seems to understand that games ending in a tie blows– and makes sure that it’s playoff system does not incorporate ties. It’s therefore mind-boggling to me that the league allows it’s regular season to be marred by the ugliness of games ending in ties.

Last week’s Steelers-Lions game ending in a draw was just another example of why the NFL needs to do away with ties; the potential for ruining my sensibilities is just too great. For example, say the Lions end up 0-16-1; do they get to be the lone holders of the Futility record? Right now, the 2008 Detroit Lions (0–16) and the 2017 Cleveland Browns (0–16) are the considered the biggest losers– would 0-16-1 be the new record? Winning percentage is no help here, as it would be 0.000 in all three cases. Who’d be considered the worst team in history? Who knows… this damn tie game has ruined the Lions’ chance at an 0-17 record and NFL immortality.

From the Steelers’ perspective, consider this: if the season ended today, they’d make it into the playoffs ahead of all the AFC teams that are sitting at 5-4. That may not sound too goofy at first, but when you consider that the Steelers would be ahead of 5-4 teams like the Raiders, Chargers and Bengals (and technically the 5-5 teams like the Colts, Browns and Bengals) it’s just nuts. You see, despite having the same number of wins, that tie alters the Steelers winning percentage just enough to be ahead of any other five-win team. That’s right, tieing a team they should have easily beaten works out in their favor in a tight race. You might think that getting into the playoffs by not losing (as opposed to winning) is cool, but then I’d have to question whether you’re a real American.

Football is supposed to be a sport for warriors and gladiators; it’s bad enough it’s continually being watered down in the name of “safety”, but the existence of ties is just too much. I mean, even a perpetually soft sport like baseball gets it right: they play until there’s a winner, even if they have to break it up over two days.

Sad part is that the NFL already has the perfect solution: their process for ensuring that there’s no ties in the post-season. Simply make that process the norm for the regular season. Easy peasy!

Teams on bye this week: Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Rams.

Next: the Interesting Players of the Week

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Nerd John is a 25+year veteran of fantasy sports journalism. John’s Fantasy Forecast series has won the prestigious Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) award for Best Series, and he’s been nominated as an FSWA Award finalist on nine occasions.

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