August 27th, 2010

Friday’s Four Cents: Is This Just Fan-tasy?

One of my favorite commercials these days shows a pair of prototypical jocks sitting around the lunch table in a high school cafeteria discussing Tim Lincecum’s WHIP when a group “losers” dogs them for being nerds. “It’s Not Crazy. It’s Sports.” is the tag line. While it might not be politically correct, it’s absolutely right on. Self-proclaimed manly men spend hours researching and analyzing statistical trends just to decide which players they should select for their fantasy team. These same guys crack on people for playing World of Warcraft. I tend to see that as hypocritical, so I prefer to make fun of both fantasy sports nerds and WoW geeks.

Fantasy Sports have become big business these days. ESPN devotes precious air time to Fantasy football draft guides, newspapers provide top fantasy performer lists and sports bars offer fantasy draft packages in order to get your league to host its draft at their venue. Some leagues even operate with money, allowing you to buy players. I’m not ready for that type of commitment, so I’ve relegated myself to the free leagues that are out there, only to realize that I just can’t get behind the fantasy sports craze.

I’ve joined both football and baseball leagues and have finished anywhere from first to a merciful DNF. The amount of time that you need to spend in order to keep up with your team from week to week is ridiculous. Baseball was the worst, as the season went on so long and I didn’t have the stamina to research who was hot every other day. Football was a little easier, but I would still find myself waiting till the last minute every week to update my roster. Invariably, I’d have a running back on my bench blow up for a 200 yard game with three touchdowns while my starter had a bye.

I spend over 40 hours a week staring at a computer screen for work. I happily turn of the screen after that and try not to go near it if I can help it. Fantasy sports hinder that. I find myself racing to a computer after catching a tidbit about one of my players on SportsCenter or sneaking off on Sunday night to check how everyone played to see what my team’s score is looking like.

For me, sports are a passion. I love the excitement I feel as my team kicks off to start a game. I love to watch the amazing and spectacular feats that these athletes can accomplish and I love the to root them on. I just don’t like to spend time analyzing who I should draft for a “fantasy” team and spending time running said team. I’ll leave that to the general managers of the real teams to worry about.

— Marc

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