From the Sidelines: Points for Jeremy

Published 9:40 pm Friday, August 14, 2009

I am a sports nerd in just about every way imaginable. I am a hub of useless sports trivia.

For example, I was recently having a conversation with a few friends about NFL tight ends. Someone referenced Chicago Bears tight end Greg Olsen. Someone else asked whether there was a baseball player by that same name.

I was the guy who, with virtually no hesitation, could say with authority that Greg Olson was a catcher for the Atlanta Braves and Gregg Olson was a pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles.

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I am so completely enveloped in sports geekdom that conversations with my friends who are fellow sports fans frequently feature references to names such as Tim Biakabatuka, “Oil Can” Boyd, Mark Wohlers, Robert Gallery, Dell Curry and World B. Free.

I am a sports addict. I can’t help it. But, now that mid-August has arrived and football season looms ever closer, I am once again thrown face-to-face with my sports geek dark side.

I am a fantasy football addict. I’m not sure if there is a support group for such people, nor am I certain I would have any interest were I to find such a program.

Fantasy football is simple in its nature. Participants arbitrarily select NFL players to be part of their team. The amount of points accumulated by each player is a direct reflection of his statistical performance. At the end of the day, the whole point is basically to be able to look at the other guy and say, “I know more about football than you do.”

More than anything, fantasy football is a pride issue for the men – and sometimes, women – who play it.

But what fantasy football has spawned in my life is an obscure mindset of measuring things by some form of insignificant statistical output. Well, it has spawned that and the catch phrase, “Points for Jeremy!”

That particular saying can be heard most often during New Orleans Saints games when Drew Brees throws a touchdown pass. As a Saints fan, I always try to draft Drew Brees onto my team, thereby insuring I will have no divided allegiances as I watch my beloved team march up and down the NFL turf.

So, Drew Brees hits Marques Colston in the end zone? Points for Jeremy! Drew Brees finds Lance Moore over the middle for a 56-yard gain? Points for Jeremy! Drew Brees hands the ball off to Reggie Bush, who then runs in for a touchdown? No points for Jeremy. Make sense?

The phrase was uttered so frequently around the office during Drew Brees’ 5,000-yard passing season last year, the David B. Snow wisely began to apply to other features of my life.

I finish my section ahead of deadline? Points for Jeremy! I go to my favorite restaurant for lunch? Points for Jeremy! I get a much needed vacation? Points for Jeremy! Pay day? Big points for Jeremy!

Is it sad and borderline pathetic? Perhaps. But we can’t work all the time and it is important for everybody to have something that allows them to be a little bit childlike. For me, it is useless sports information, Drew Brees’ continued success and the use of the phrase, “Points for Jeremy!”