Five questions with: Washington Wizards guard John Wall
Back in the day when I first starting playing fantasy football (like before the internet), let's just say the masses did not grasp the appeal. That's certainly not the case anymore, which is a good thing for those of us involved with fantasy football sites. That's true even if the discussion of one's team with others not in your league is the modern day equivalent of vacation slides to Colonial Williamsburg.
It turns out Washington Wizards' star John Wall is a fantasy football newbie. While covering the Wizards' training camp this week (freelancer's life), I had a brief walk-and-talk with the point guard. Wall was gracious enough to discuss his league (he's clearly playing with some Redskins fans), a specific dilemma every football fan comes across and if fantasy basketball offers any interest (at some point a deferential Kobe Bryant reference popped up).
For someone who has been playing this game almost as long as Wall's 20-year-old teammate Bradley Beal has been alive, this Q & A served as a small reminder of the actual all-smiles fun this game offers. You know, before it crushes your soul with torturous decisions. Decisions that end with your starting QB getting knocked out in the first half of a Thursday night game while your opponent's "injured" running back scoots for a 54-yard touchdown.
Anyway...not sure if Wall had anyone in the Bills-Browns game, but here's what I discovered about his 2013 fantasy season...
FFToolbox: "So, how is your team doing so far?
John Wall: "I'm 2-2 so far. Last week was tough because of byes. I had Randall Cobb out, but the Chiefs D ending up doing pretty good for me. But, I'm waiting for Russell Wilson*. A.J. (Green) hasn't been that good for me the last two weeks."
(*) Aren't we all
FFT: Best player so far?
Wall: "Chiefs D, really [laughs]. Oh, and Randall Cobb. A.J. played good but the last two weeks against Pittsburgh and then Cleveland shut him down last week to like 5.5 points. It was tough for me."
FFT: You know guys in the NFL. Did you draft anybody - or not draft anybody - because you know them?
Wall: "I have Fred Davis as my tight end. Alfred Morris was gone (in the first round) before I picked. RGIII* was the first pick gone in my draft. Alfred Morris was the third . Pierre Garcon went 10th. I didn't pick until 12. I took A.J. Green, had to take A.J. Green."
(*) I'm guessing the person that made pick also came up with the "All in for Week 1" marketing line.
FFT: How long have you played fantasy football?
Wall: "This is my first year. My homeboys have been doing it for two years. I finally just said I'd try and it see how it goes."
FFT: Would you ever consider fantasy basketball?
Wall: "No, no sir [head shake for effect]
FFT: Do a lot of people talk to you about having you on their team?
Wall: "Yeah, they tweet me a lot, saying they picked me over Kobe (Bryant)* or someone like that. I'm like, 'no you didn't. Only reason you would have done that is if you probably didn't have a choice [laughs].'
"(Fantasy football) is fun every Sunday. The bad part is sometimes you're cheering against your own team so somebody can do good in fantasy. It's pretty exciting."
(*) With Kobe's Achilles injury, maybe Wall actually should go ahead of the Lakers guard this year. Great, now I have fantasy basketball homework.
FFT: Who is your favorite NFL team?
Wall: "Cowboys [his mother's favorite team]. I'm a mama's boy."
FFT: "Wait, do we know that around here?
Wall: [Big laugh] "Yes, everybody knows that and they hate me for that. But I'm a mama's boy and that's my mom's favorite team. I had no choice. But my dad was a Redskins fan, he was from D.C. So when the Cowboys aren't playing them, I like the Redskins.
"But that's not good to have them as your favorite teams."
No, no it is not.
Anyway, glad Wall is on board with the fantasy football thing. Next time I'll have to ask him if he knows about FFToolbox - or if he's got a good running back sleeper for me.
I really just hope for his sake that by the next time we discuss fantasy football he still has a smile on his face*. Yeah, I remember when I did. Those were the days.
(*) No matter what Russell Wilson does this season, I suspect he will. Fantasy football can bring you down only so much. Well, unless you've been waiting for the return of CJ2K.