Thursday, November 24, 2011

Fantasy sports are still a mystery

Do you remember last season's Office episode where Erin finally meets Holly Flax, Michael's soulmate, and just does not understand why Michael loves her?

"I don't get it!"
That's how I feel about a lot of things. And, a few months after I was convinced to try it, I'm pretty sure it's how I feel about fantasy sports. (I haven't checked the scores of today's big NFL games or how my fantasy football team, When In Romo, is doing.)

Sure, I get to come up with lists and lists of pun-tastic team names until I finally pick one. And I get to pretend to hate people for a minute if they draft the goalie or the tight end I want, which I guess is fun?
And I get to decide on a draft strategy. For instance, almost every football player I chose had an awesome name (Jacquizz Rodgers is awesome on its own, and Kendall Hunter makes me think of Buffy). And I get to pretend I'm in charge of players... even though it would be much cooler to literally be in charge of Jonathan Toews. But I feel like the fun ends once the team's name and logo are chosen.

All I've really done so far in fantasy football is learn a few more players' names, and find out who's a good fantasy player. I haven't adopted any new players or teams as a result of fantasy football or hockey.  I'm worried that eventually I'll turn into that person who doesn't get upset when their favourite team gets scored on and says something like, "It's okay because I have Van Riemsdyk in my pool." Or that person who doesn't care how gorgeous that Jordan Eberle goal was if it wasn't assisted by Taylor Hall. People let their fantasy teams compromise their love of the game sometimes, and I just can't let myself do that. I don't get mad at my players when they get injured; instead I just think it sucks for them, because I picked them up expecting them to have a great season, and an injury is going to keep them from doing a job they love.

I'm also not really sure why it's fun. I decided to try fantasy football and hockey because so many people told me that it was fun. (Their exact words.) And I turned down a few offers to join even more leagues, so clearly lots of people enjoy this. Although no one but my brother has taken more than a minute to explain to me how it works... so, how fun is it, really?
So far, all I enjoy is winning. It's fun to win, especially during those weeks where I don't really "win" at anything else, but victories come as a result of pure luck. You can try and trade for the right players or set the right lineups, but ultimately everything comes down to chance. You put the same amount of effort into a win as you do a loss. No one likes losing at anything, but it's not like I really had any part in the loss.

I can only assume that most people are like me: They want to win at something, and that's why they keep joining fantasy leagues. But if there's anything I'm missing, please explain it to me, because I don't get it.


  1. It's partially an ingenious marketing tool. If it weren't for fantasy football, I wouldn't pay attention to the NFL at all. True all I do is cheer for my players and not any teams, but it makes me tune into a game to see how they are doing. This has created many a miserable Sunday if things aren't going well, but it gets me to watch. Plus, since I delve into many stats for players I'd never even think of (for both hockey and football), I feel I tend to bring those facts into conversation and it makes me sound much more knowledgeable than I really am. Example, I don't follow football at all aside from fantasy sports, but I usually tend to know more in regards to stats and productivity in a football convo than most big fans I know. I guess the big thing is having a group of friends that you enjoy having some trash talk with each week. That's where the fun comes in after the draft, if it's a bunch of strangers it doesn't matter.

  2. That explains it, sort of. Maybe my fantasy football league just doesn't have enough trash talk and stuff? There was more involvement right after the draft, but since then, not much has been said, and even my efforts to try and spice things up haven't really gone far. Also I'm terrible at trash talk.

    Also, Jason, forgive me because you gave me fantasy hockey player advice and I built a team I'm proud of, but I still have no idea what anything in fantasy hockey is or if my players are playing. And stuff.


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