I’m currently playing Fantasy Football in a league with some friends. Probably not the most popular past-time in Singapore and Australia, where hardly anybody even understands the NFL, but it’s something to do.
Yesterday had a particularly intense game between two teams, that and it was a 0.02 point difference going into the start of the final quarter of Monday Night Football, the last game of the week and the game that would decide the winner of these two fantasy teams.
So a friend of mine and I were watching the game via numbers and a graph on the NFL.com Fantasy Football Game Center interface. No video highlights, no text-based descriptions of the plays… just pure numbers, and a couple of lines that go up and down a graph.
It doesn’t sound interesting, but somehow we were enthralled. These numbers suddenly became just as nail-bitingly exciting as watching an actual game… and it wasn’t even our teams competing!
When we saw an INT, we saw how it reduced one team’s QB’s score, while raising the D’s score in the other team. We would cheer for that INT, and groan when it was overturned by a referee. We didn’t see a video replay or anything, but the stat disappeared so we can deduce what happened.
Anyway, it was a close game all the way down to the final minute, and we followed this big match through numbers.
Perhaps it’s geeky, but I’m at work so I can’t exactly mosey over to a sports bar and cheer at a TV screen while splashing beer on myself.
It reminded me of a movie that makes numbers interesting – Darren Aranofsky’s debut film Pi. The movie is about a mathematician who is trying to uncover the true numerical value of Pi so that he can use it to understand the patterns that exist in the universe.
Check out this scene from it:
You know, I bet if I managed to figure out the value of Pi, I could use it to accurately predict the patterns of scoring in Fantasy Football. I would be able to predict how well a player would do each week through numbers, and I would win all my Fantasy Football games.
Why stop there? I could make a ton of cash betting actual cash on sports games, using the power of Pi to predict the winners. With this money, I could bring peace and tranquility to the world, by buying an army of loyal robots with flamethrowers to enslave humanity and forcing people of different nations to either like each other, or face fiery death at the hands of my robots.
I will purge the world of terror and douchiness using the cleansing flames of my robots, and all because of numbers!