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Living in a fantasy (sports) world

Posted Tuesday, November 30, 2010, at 6:12 PM

There are two different types of sports fans these days: the old school diehards and the fantasy sports fan. Yes, sometimes the two are combined for some people, but usually one wins out over the other.

I'm kind of a crossover because I've loved sports since I was a kid and yet I've been bitten by the fantasy sports bug as well.

Even in high school I had fantasy teams. I thought fantasy teams were so cool, I had fantasy basketball, fantasy golf, fantasy NASCAR and yes even fantasy bass fishing. I think I tried fantasy football back then but was not very good at it and I wasn't a big baseball fan.

I've dropped some of the more outlandish stuff but did pick up fantasy baseball. Kind of. I missed my draft and didn't think I had a team until I received a call from the commissioner, a sports editor I got to know at my first two newspaper jobs. The conversation went something like this:

Commissioner: "Did you get the trade offer I sent you?"

Me: "What trade offer? I didn't think I was in the league since I missed the draft."

Commissioner: "Umm yeah, you are. It's called auto-draft. So how about that trade?"

I made the trade and a trade with his son, started rotating pitchers at the advice of our sports editor Jeff Hasselmann and eventually beat the commissioner at his own game. Jeff claims I would have won the league had I taken his advice from the get go. Perhaps I'll find out if that's true next year.

Before football season even started, I had five different drafts -- including a college football draft -- for fantasy leagues. Out of the five, I have been removed from the playoff race in three of them, am second in another league and the other league never got programed (A real bummer since I was looking forward to dominating it).

In every league, I tried to pick and trade for only players I liked, especially players on my favorite reality teams.

Just this past weekend I was still alive in two of my leagues. I actually cheered against a player on my beloved Kansas City Chiefs because I had traded him to my opponent for the week. That was when I realized I'm becoming more of a fantasy fan.

Basketball has started as well and I am off to a fairly good start in two different leagues: one with friends and one with strangers. I haven't caught myself cheering against my Bulls yet, but it may happen if I know we're going to win the game anyway (like I knew the crimson and gold would win Sunday).

I do know some people who have stayed away from fantasy sports because they believe it changes them as a fan. I also talked to a young woman who found herself cheering while at a gym because a player from her husband's fantasy team made a good play.

So, it's evident to me that living in a fantasy (sports) world does change people. What do you think.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Frankly, I must be missing the point between sports and fantasy sports. It is one thing to like sports- but when you have fake sports with fake teams isn't that starting to push the envelope? You can be obsessed about your teams' and how they are playing, well I should say passionate in hopes that they play well enough to win. But I certainly believe that fantasy games are no more better or worse than virtual reality games and you will be lost in your game(s) forever if you are disconnected from it in the wrong way. In short, only sports, no extras.

-- Posted by _Samantha_ on Tue, Nov 30, 2010, at 11:18 PM

Aww it's just something for the guys to do. I think the movie "Knocked Up" in 2007 talked about the very same issue, as well.

Pete's (Paul Rudd) wife, Debbie (Leslie Mann)suspected that Pete was cheating on her, but later found out that he was over at a friends house, doing a fantasy baseball draft. Then Debbie of course got ticked off about that.

The moral of the story is, I'd rather have my significant other be talking sports and doing fantasy sports things, than cheat on me.

-- Posted by SystemofaDown on Wed, Dec 1, 2010, at 4:12 AM

Well, Sam, the point is it's a lot of fun. If you're in a fantasy league with your friends - which is what I would suggest - it builds camaraderie. Or, if you do it with people you don't know, you get to meet people sometimes. There is also a potential money issue that I did not mention because I am not sure of the actual legality of it from state to state.

I don't think I would call them fake teams because you have real players on your team and in football the defense/special teams category actually relies on an actual team's stats in that area, so you can potentially cheer for your real team and your fantasy team at the same time.

I do agree that it is not much different than a highly strategic reality game. The biggest difference I see is that you can put in as little or as much time as you want. Most of the people that I know that play other virtual games spend at least a half hour if not much more during each sitting. Fantasy sports, on the other hand, is something you can do on a coffee break or other spare moment you happen to have.

Nice reference, SoaD. I almost forgot about that. While I see both the husband's and the wife's side in that situation, I do not condone lying to your spouse to do a fantasy baseball draft. Actually, I do not condone lying to spouses, period. I do think most wives are understanding enough to allow their husbands some sort of male bonding, whether it be real sports, fantasy sports, virtual reality games, etc. But, then again, maybe I don't know what I'm talking about and that's why I'm single.

Thanks for the input!

-- Posted by Gabe Licht on Wed, Dec 1, 2010, at 9:15 AM

Rule #1 of fantasy sports....nobody cares about your fantasy teams!

-- Posted by exspencerman on Wed, Dec 1, 2010, at 9:20 AM

As a Cubs fan and a Redskins fan - I LOVE FANTASY SPORTS.

If I didn't I'd miss all the drama that June, July, August & September offer in baseball and - I don't know - November, DEcember & January offer in the NFL.

-- Posted by genius25 on Wed, Dec 1, 2010, at 12:13 PM

Yeah, for Redskins and Cubs fans (and also Vikings fans around here) fantasy sports could just as easily refer to the beginning of the season when they believe their teams may actually be in the playoffs or win the Super Bowl.

-- Posted by Gabe Licht on Wed, Dec 1, 2010, at 12:23 PM

It sounds like only exspencerman is the only one that gets my point.

In my opinion, you can have more fun if you are watching or playing a heated rivalry game or even a conference game. Instead of all of the pretend games.

Then again, who am I to judge the difference between real and fantasy? What would you consider real and fantasy? So it is more like Real Sports vs. Fantasy vs. Platform Games (aka. Sega, NES, Playstation, Xbox, Wii, Computer, Gameboy.

Gabe -

You say it is a lot of fun? What makes it so fun? Being with friends or even meeting new ones? Well, So what! You can do the same thing in a few different ways between Xbox, Playstation, Wii, and DS consoles.

As far as being fictious about the teams, You base your teams' stats and players off of the stats and players of that of same week. You may be right in saying, I'm wrong! I was only thinking how fun it must be playing a non-real game based on real teams and players.

Realistically, what fantasy sports reminds me of is the Season Showdown Competition from NCAA Football 2010. You play only one game per week, based on realistic games for that week. Stats will depend on how you play the game.

However, it never fails how realistic you can get your fantasy sport to be with real life. It will not be. Each play is different. There will be times where you can use a coaches challenge and other times where players will mad rush the field to break up a fight. Examples like these are the things that make real sports worth watching. You can see them in a stadium or on the television. This is not something you can get from fantasy.

-- Posted by _Samantha_ on Wed, Dec 1, 2010, at 4:27 PM


Do you have any clue what you're talking about? Do you know what fantasy sports are? Your straying off into a tangent about Playstation and the like makes me think you don't.

I'll give you the rundown -- a few guys create a league, usually in the neighborhood of 12 teams. They get together (usually at a bar or someone's house) and draft real life players from real life teams to construct their "fantasy football" teams.

During the season, you will be paired up against another owner (me vs. Gabe, for instance). It will be my players against his in a battle to see who can score the most points based off of the real life stats your players put up. Each owner has to set his lineup, which is generally 9 players (QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, RB/WR, TE, K, DEF)

In football, players get points for such things as rushing yards, catches, receiving yards, passing yards, touchdowns, etc. Example: in my league, if I have Peyton Manning on my team and he throws for 310 yards and 3 TDs, he would get 35 points -- 1 point per 25 yards passing with a 5 point bonus at 300 yards and 6 points per touchdown.

Each year, a given team will have players from all different teams around the NFL. Fantasy sports ARE a reason to watch real games. The Kansas City Chiefs are on a lot here in Spencer. I could care less about the Chiefs. But, since I have Dwayne Bowe on my fantasy team, I will watch them. Same thing regarding Tom Brady when the Patriots are playing. When your favorite team isn't on basic cable, fantasy sports give you a reason to watch a real life football game that you normally wouldn't care about.

"Originally posted by Samantha - you can have more fun if you are watching or playing a heated rivalry game or even a conference game. Instead of all of the pretend games."

Where can a guy like Gabe, who's 23 years old, actually play a heated rivalry game or even a conference game? There aren't many real life pick-up football games going on around here. Are you saying he'd have more fun playing a video game? Talk about fantasy. Maybe Gabe doesn't own or video game system or (gasp) even like video games. Maybe Gabe doesn't want to commit the 2-3 hours it takes to play the video game.

Do you realize fantasy sports are not video games? The leagues are hosted on a website, but that's the extent of it.

"Originally posted by Samantha - Well, So what! You can do the same thing in a few different ways between Xbox, Playstation, Wii, and DS consoles."

Again, why are Playstation, XBox, Wii and the like being brought into a fantasy sports related blog?

"Originally posted by Samantha - Frankly, I must be missing the point between sports and fantasy sports"

I would say that's a safe assumption.

-- Posted by Jeff Hasselmann on Wed, Dec 1, 2010, at 5:16 PM

Samantha, I'll bet my life savings that you have at least 10 reality TV shows that you obsessively watch throughout the week.

-- Posted by RazzTheKid on Wed, Dec 1, 2010, at 6:16 PM

like what? Survivor, Big Brother, Minute to Win it, Lost.... Just to name a few.... do you have a point to this topic or what?

Wow Jeff take it easy! It's like I am being bombed! I admit I don't play fantasy sports. I just don't like them. I'd rather drink oil. I'd like to sit in a stadium and watch a good game. So I probably don't know as much as someone in your position would. Don't get me wrong, by me cheering for sports than fantasy doesn't mean that I'm not going stop liking certain teams. Even though I am one of the top people that would suggest go and be productive... get out and relax... away from work, spouses, anything... If that means start a fantasy. So girls can be girls, and boys go be boys have a night out.... go play a fantasy game if that is what its coming down to.

-- Posted by _Samantha_ on Wed, Dec 1, 2010, at 6:32 PM

Haha, yes. Thank you. You see, Samantha, reality TV is nothing but fantasy TV. There's nothing real about them. They're all scripted and fake.

And no, you wouldn't drink oil. That's just silly. You would poison yourself.

-- Posted by RazzTheKid on Wed, Dec 1, 2010, at 7:43 PM

Now, wait I never said I watched them, I only listed some, but I still get what point your trying to make though.

-- Posted by _Samantha_ on Wed, Dec 1, 2010, at 8:50 PM

Let the boys/men have their fantasy and us women can go into the kitchen and cluck like chickens in a hen house LOL

-- Posted by SystemofaDown on Wed, Dec 1, 2010, at 9:57 PM

Don't lock me into your comments Samantha...I love fantasy football....but they always say nobody else cares about your team as much as you do

-- Posted by exspencerman on Thu, Dec 2, 2010, at 9:29 AM

I used to love fantasy NASCAR! Bad thing is I always forgot to log in and choose my picks. Maybe I will have to try it again for the next exciting season of NASCAR! Go Harvick!

-- Posted by heathermarie on Thu, Dec 2, 2010, at 12:50 PM

I would love to be in a fantasy curling league. Where can I go to join one? I am currently tied for 11th place in my fantasy rock paper scissors league and 3rd place regionally in my indoor unicycle hockey league.

-- Posted by guitarman on Thu, Dec 2, 2010, at 5:15 PM

I'd rather watch real sports and have a 'fantasy job' but that doesn't pay the bills...LOL!

-- Posted by Dennis the Menace on Thu, Dec 2, 2010, at 5:49 PM

$500 for "Sports" please Alex!

-- Posted by _Samantha_ on Thu, Dec 2, 2010, at 5:53 PM

Men, I think she just gave you a Clue to what she watches! Start placing bets on Jeopardy! LOL

-- Posted by SystemofaDown on Tue, Dec 7, 2010, at 4:06 AM

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As the junior staff writer here at The Daily Reporter, I enjoy interacting with my readers. This blog will allow me to do that. Whether voicing my opinion and looking for response or asking readers to weigh in on a specific topic I am writing about, I look forward to getting to know my readers and what they think.
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