At least the NFL has the decency to call it “fantasy”

There’s an NFL-related activity called Fantasy Football. People put together teams consisting of actual NFL players and depending on those players’ game time (i.e. real life) performance, teams accrue points. To give an impression how players are scored, I quote Wikipedia:

A typical scoring format follows. Again, there are many variations used:

  • 1 point for 25 passing yards
  • 1 point for 10 rushing yards
  • 1 point for 10 receiving yards
  • 1 point for a reception
  • 6 points for a touchdown
  • 4 points for a passing touchdown
  • -2 points for every interception thrown or fumble lost
  • 1 point for each extra point made
  • 3 points for each 0-39 yard field goal, 4 points for each 40-49 yard field goal, and 5 points for each 50+ yard field goal
  • 2 points per turnover gained by defense
  • 1 points per sack by the defense
  • 2 points for a safety by defense
  • 6 points for each touchdown scored by defense
  • 2 points for each blocked kick

Do you notice something missing? There’s no reference to win or loss of the team a player (or defense) plays on. One could of course expect the scored statistics to correlate with wins and losses but that’s no given. Imagine two teams, one of which always has bad field position, throws or runs for large gains and doesn’t manage more than field goals while their opponent has great field position, the QB has little to do and they score touchdowns consistently. The second team would win but (especially if different players score) none of its players would look good according to fantasy football statistics, especially not as good as for instance the quarterback of the losing team.

This is remarkably close to the behavior of stock markets: the US is growing barely, the Eurozone is in recession yet the Dow Jones has reached record levels again. No relation to the real world anymore yet somehow it’s supposed to be taken seriously.

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