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Thursday, August 30, 2001
Updated: September 2, 2:09 AM ET
Tale of Tape: NFL owners vs. fantasy owners

By Nick Bakay
Page 2 columnist

If, like me, you suffer from a casual grip on reality, then your fantasy football drafts are either looming or finished. You probably pulled a few all-nighters re-racking your tight ends list and still ended up with Dave Casper, but the thrill of fantasy football endowed your life with the illusion of actually owning and operating a football team.

Oh, sure, if you were a real NFL owner, you'd be lighting illegal cigars with the hair of your mistress and making some GM do the hard work for you while you hunt boar accompanied by topless amazons. But which owner actually has it better? We all assume that a billionaire NFL magnate has it hands down over an unemployed shut-in living over his parent's garage, but is it really that easy?

Real NFL owners, Fantasy football owners, let's see how they stack up at the Tale of the Tape.

REAL OWNERS VS. FANTASY OWNERS
Category   NFL owners   Fantasy owners   Advantage
League names   The NFL   The Justice League of America   Fantasy owners, and freedom!
Typical team names   The Cincinnati Bengals   The Testosteroons   Fantasy owners -- to those who know them, The Testosteroons are actually synonymous with winning. At last count, Cinci was a decent CFL team.
Outbursts at owners' meetings   "Mr. Davis, you can't move again!"   "OK, who farted?"   Push -- there are no winners here.
Salary cap   $64 million a year   Whatever's left from the $50 your parents loaned you for a tooth filling   NFL owners
Prerequisites   More cash than an entire generation of strippers   More free time than Eric Gregg   Fantasy owners
How they made their money   Investments   Huh?   NFL owners
Team mascots   An unemployed, bipolar loner in a Viking costume   A bobblehead football doll blessed by Deepak Chopra   Fantasy owners
The price of victory   Rivals raid your free agents   Rivals raid your fridge   Fantasy owners
Draft locations   Manhattan   The house of the owner with the most tolerant wife   NFL owners. Like fantasy guys actually have wives!
You are responsible for   The hopes and dreams of your city   The hopes and dreams of you, and your imaginary friend "Kevin"   Fantasy owners. Kevin will never hang you in effigy.
War rooms   The grand ballroom of a fancy hotel.   A folding chair and TV tray near the bathroom.   Fantasy owners -- did you see that episode of "20-20" with the infrared hotel camera?!
Draft-day nightmares   You used your first-round pick on a kid who chooses the ministry.   You used your first-round pick on Jamal Lewis.   Push
Owner's retreats   Takin' the Lear jet to The Phoenician   Taking your mom's Pinto to Hooters   NFL owners
War chests   You can always sell a Picasso to sweeten a signing bonus.   You can always sell a kidney on eBay to keep your electricity on.   NFL owners
The commissioner's office   An upscale office in Manhattan   A pay phone in a doughnut shop   Push -- fines are levied either way.
Game-day uniforms   Vestamente and Ferragamo   Underpants and black socks   NFL owners
Cutting a player   Face to face, as his 380 pounds sweats up your leather couch   One click of the old mouse   Fantasy owners
Mementos of a winning season   Super Bowl ring   Polyurethane beer cozy -- hopefully with "Testosteroons" spelled correctly this time!   Push. There are no losers in winning.

So there you have it, it's all so simple when you break things down scientifically. In an upset that rivals the 1969 Jets and may lead to a merger, the advantage goes to fantasy owners!

I don't care how rich you are, it's hard to compete with the power of delusion. But hang in there, all you honest-to-god NFL owners: Somewhere there's a corporation willing to make you even richer and relieve you of this burden.

Until next time, I'm Nick Bakay reminding you the numbers never lie.

Humorist Nick Bakay, currently a writer for the CBS sitcom "King of Queens," is a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine and Page 2. He has a website at http://nickbakay.com.