It's time for football! Well, fictional football, at least. Somewhat counterintuitively, fantasy football eschews the simple appeals of cheering for your favorite team in favor of things that nerds like, such as performance forecasting and paperwork.
ESPN's fantasy football interface streamlines the process for ignorant people by assigning specific ranks to each player that is eligible for drafting. As an ignorant person, this was immensely helpful, as it allowed me to round out my roster with people that are probably at least decent at their roles. Other than making a mad dash to grab Adrian Peterson* before anyone else in my league was able to, I essentially shrugged my way through my selections, trusting in the predetermined ranks.
Most of the fun that I had with setting up this team came from messing around with things on the periphery and joking around with my friends. For no particular reason, I opted for a breakfast-themed team ("The Cleveland Hashbrowns") with an immaculately designed logo. As I channeled most of my energy into cropping and rotating images in Microsoft Word, my friends were immensely patient, taking the time to walk me through the process and tell me what the hell a "Flex" pick entailed.
Even though I'm entirely out of my element so far, it's easy to see how this could make watching games more enjoyable. Layering on this sort of competitive element gives people a way to actually win something while acting as a spectator. Anyone that's familiar with this year's roster of players can probably make their own predictions instead of relying on the predetermined player rankings, too.
*Note: I'm rooting for the Minnesota Vikings this year because that was the team that appeared when I used a random number generator to select a team to root for. Yes, I know I'm weird, you don't need to remind me.