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The Pigskin Diaries Vol. 1: Are You Ready For Some Football?

The Pigskin Diaries Vol. 1: Are You Ready For Some Football? 0001

If you're anything like me, your autumn Sundays are devoid of nearly everything apart from football and poker. Add eating chili to that short list come winter, obviously. Those three things comprise the Holy Trinity of a man's weekend. I have my spot, a perfectly worn corner of my couch, where you can find me nestled comfortably with my laptop in front of my TV on football Sundays. All day. It takes a lot of effort to be so sedentary.

I've been waiting for football season since the last of the beer cups and confetti were swept from the bleachers of Super Bowl XLIV and the bus pulled out of the parking lot of Sun Life Stadium in Miami in February. It's right around the first of August every year when my blood pressure starts to rise once again and my appetite begins to diminish. I get moody and edgy, my hands tremble uncontrollably, and I occasionally wake up in a cold sweat. Time loses its meaning. I need football.

For 2010, my fix is finally here with the arrival of NFL training camps and the first few preseason games. It's not much, but it's quite the amuse-bouche (complementary appetizer) for the forthcoming six-month football feast.

Ah, but there's more than just football in this computerized age of statistical wonderment. If you're a football fan with a little bit of gamble in you, fantasy football could be the perfect outlet. About 30 million Americans played fantasy sports last year. It's not as much of a guy thing as I'm making it out to be either; nearly 7 million of those 2009 players were women.

At its heart, fantasy football is a game of wagering on information. It is a contest in which fans pit their knowledge and prognostication abilities against those of their opponents. Rather than cards, the game uses football statistics as its playing media. It's that familiar marriage of strategy and wagering that makes fantasy football a natural pick-up for poker players.

While relatively new to most of us, the game has actually been around since the 1960s. It is Wilfred "Bill" Winkenbach who can be credited with generating the original idea. He created the premise and the point system. His intentions, as he stated, were to "bring together some of Oakland's finest Saturday morning gridiron forecasters to pit their respective brains (and cash) against each other." Winkenbach was a bit of a gambler, you see. The Greater Oakland Professional Pigskin Prognostication League he formed consisted mostly of AFL administrative affiliates and football journalists from the Bay Area. It was the forefather of today's game, but it wasn't until computerized stat tracking and league management came into the picture around the turn of the millennium that the "sport" really kicked off.

We figured now was a good time to start incorporating a little bit of fantasy football miscellany into our content. Over the coming weeks, we'll have a bit more about the history of the game and some guidelines on setting up your own team if you're new to the process, as well as a draft guide to get you pointed in the right direction. From there on out, we're going to do a little prognosticating of our own and give you some weekly tips and picks for your roster. Our plan is to provide you with some solid advice right alongside your poker content, and to ultimately help you boost your bankroll with a fantasy victory on Super Bowl Sunday.

Poker and football all in one place. Easy game.

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