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Ray Rice: Death wishes took the fun out of fantasy football

Ray Rice wonders why someone would want him to die due to fantasy football.

Ray Rice doesn't understand the hate he's received from fantasy football owners this year.
Ray Rice doesn't understand the hate he's received from fantasy football owners this year.
Mike Ehrmann

Ray Rice has been a fantasy football enthusiast in the past.

He's previously been on record saying he enjoys what the game means for football fans as a whole.

But since 2009, Rice has been a focal point in Baltimore's offense. Sure, he's had down game here and there, but the majority of the time he's been a must-play in the fake game. This has been the first year where his stats (until last week) were not up to the standards he set in the past.

So how did some of the more — how do you say this — idiotic fantasy football owners respond to this?

By telling Rice he should die.

Rice was a guest on ESPN's SVP & Russillo show earlier this week, where he talked about this. After all the on-field success, Rice has now experienced what some of his colleagues in the game have seen — angry fans that believe their fantasy football game is more important than a particular player's team's game, and therefore they should project their hatred after a poor performance onto the player.

Scott Van Pelt asked Rice for his thoughts on how fantasy football enthusiasts have affected him this year.

"I was a huge fan of it and this is one of the first times in many years that I've had to deal with a legit injury," Rice said. "Some of the hurtful stuff that you say — you realize it is something people get enthused about, roused about. [But] you just don't say the kind of things — wish death upon people, go kill yourself. That kind of stuff just caught me by surprise. I'm so against [bullying], and I'm like, 'Wow, these people are really trying to get to me.' I can imagine a young kid going through that kind of stuff, where maybe they're not the nicest kid in school or whatever. It threw me off guard because of what I stand for."

You can listen to the audio here, though it requires an ESPN Insider subscription.

Fantasy football can be a great game. But it's not something to wish death upon someone over (and there's your understatement of the week). It's not something to even get angry about. If you have a lot of money riding on fantasy football, that's your fault. Not the player's. The player owes you nothing. If you lose, again, it's your fault. Not the player's. Get over it and move on.

I like winning as much as the next guy or girl. But in reality, winning a fantasy football league is like winning a bridge tournament at an old folks' home. Outside of the 12 people in your league, who cares?

Rice had one more message for those who enjoy getting riled up over fantasy football.

"You have to ask yourself, are you really living life for the right reasons?" he said.