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Fantasy sports: 'Worst trend of the last three decades'

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Dick Whitman, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    So writes a letter-writer in this week's Sports Illustrated.

    I vehemently disagree.

    The letter-writer, addressing an ESPN 30 for 30 on the topic, says that fantasy sports represent the "commodification of sports."

    I personally absolutely love to play. I think it's a fantastic, harmless hobby. I love preparing for my drafts. I love checking in every morning to see how my NBA team is doing in the winter and my baseball teams are doing all summer long. I love poring through the Baseball America prospect guide when it comes out to get a jump on my keeper league. And since I don't do the social networking thing, this is how I keep in touch with old friends and colleagues. Plus, I just love to compete, and this is a nice way to channel it.

    Also, I find it a great way to keep up with sports. Last year, when Tampa Bay called up Jeremy Hellickson, that was really meaningful to me, because I had him stashed away for so long and had been following his career. When Nick Adenhart was killed in a car accident, I was really crushed because that was a prospect I had followed for a long time. Why? Because he was on my fantasy team. (I'm not saying that his death was upsetting because he was on my fantasy team. I'm saying that I knew of him through that mechanism, and probably would not have otherwise.

    "Worst trend of the last three decades"?

    Seems like an odd statement to me.
     
  2. Crash

    Crash Active Member

    It's fine if people want to do it. But don't fucking talk about it like it's the real game. When I'm sitting at the bar watching a real, live football, baseball or basketball game, I don't want to hear about your endless line of fantasy teams. I don't care that you're "only cheering for the Vikings because you need Adrian Peterson in your fantasy league championship."

    Fantasy sports are Dungeons and Dragons for jocks. It's cool if you want to do it. Just keep it between yourselves.
     
  3. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    Watching my fantasy team is more exciting than watching my home team, or every other team in the NFL not named the Vikings, Patriots or Colts. Seriously. We all know when money is on the line it is more exciting. Plus the competitive nature of outsmarting your friends is great too.

    I'd much rather discuss fantasy football with people (friends or strangers) than talk about the Seahawks or Bears. BTW, I watch every game during fantasy season. Two TVs going at once and one on Red Zone, I don't miss a play and never schedule anything for Sundays.

    I could care less once the playoffs hit. I'll watch the Patriots and I made sure to check a few minutes of the Saturday games last week, but that's it. Without fantasy football, I'd probably only watch games on Saturdays. And I can't be the only one.
     
  4. kingcreole

    kingcreole Active Member

    I used to love fantasy sports. Used to play football, baseball, golf and soccer. But over time, I noticed two trends that made fantasy sports unbearable.

    1. The people who stop playing midseason when their team is mired in the basement.

    2. The people who took it too damn serious. This is pretty much why I have stopped playing. I just didn't have fun any more. In a family fantasy football league, I had a sister in law who would talk so much shit when she won. I'm talking posts on the league message boards, facebook messages and email. But when you would beat her, she would pout and you wouldn't see her all week. If you saw her during the holidays and your team beat hers, she wouldn't even look at you and she would act like she couldn't care less about fantasy football.

    I've been a part of leagues where people would get personal and other leagues where people's well being was based on fantasy sports. One of my former editors would be grouchy after a week where he didn't win.

    I also didn't like the fact that nobody ever wanted to be commissioner. I would, of course, volunteer. Then all people would do is bitch about this or that. Some people never paid the entry fee, and when you asked them about it, they would try to act like they already did.

    I haven't played any fantasy sport in more than a year. I don't miss it at all and I don't plan ever to play again. I might give baseball a try with some people I work with, but I think baseball is only fantasy sport I could stand to play again.
     
  5. Crash

    Crash Active Member

    And likewise, I played fantasy football for two years and hated it. Part of the problem is that, generally, I don't like the NFL. So I don't know or care who half of the players are, I don't read about it during the week, I don't know who's hurt.

    Like I said, I don't care if people play fantasy sports. But when it's all people talk about, it gets old really quick. It's like talking about how good your Madden 2011 dynasty is going.
     
  6. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    This is way worse.

    Both are bad, but at least fantasy sports talk is peripherally about real players and events.

    I have an old high school friend I see a lot, and he is constantly updating me on his Madden and other video game dynasty leagues.

    I don't even own a console!
     
  7. Mystery Meat II

    Mystery Meat II Well-Known Member

    What is fantasy sports but an offshoot of betting? It's not the 12-team keeper league you have with your buddies that's commodifying athletics, it's Las Vegas.
     
  8. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    If you need money on it, bet the spreads. Outsmarting a bookie is 10 times better than outsmarting your friends, since it's 10 times harder to do.

    Count me in the fantasy dislike camp. One silver lining is that a handful of people have made full-time jobs out of it at some of the mainstream outlets; I tip my cap to 'em. I daresay there's job security in fantasy sports writing. But I never read it, and when that stuff comes on the air I dive for the remote like it's about to fall in the toilet.
     
  9. Layman

    Layman Active Member

    Love playing fantasy sports, have played for the better part of 25 years. Guess I've just "embraced my geekdom." Having said that:

    1. I've certainly changed the way I play / who I complete with. I don't take it nearly as seriously as I used to (I've outgrown that, thankfully) & I limit my leagues to friends and family. Our fantasy football league (old college friends) just finished it's 19th season.

    2. I don't talk about it, outside of my league mates. I enjoy it, but I can also understand how it irritates the p*ss out of folks who don't play.

    Most of all, it's just fun. "Real life" is plenty stressful, I consider fantasy sports a healthy piece of escapism.
     
  10. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    It's just plain old healthy sports gambling. I would argue that fantasy sports are a logical fan reaction to the commoditization of sports within sports themselves -- free agency, franchise shifts, seat licenses, etc. If the obvious goal of everyone in sports is to make money, why shouldn't fans figure a way to try and get some?
    PS: I don't play. I dislike the way fantasy sports, especially football, distort the reality of the games.
     
  11. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I take it super-seriously, in terms of preparation, daily transactions, and so forth and so on.

    But that doesn't mean I'm a jerk about it. I don't get mad when my team does poorly. I don't yell at the commissioner. I don't cause fights. I don't let it affect my mood in real life.

    To me, it's almost just like an intellectual/critical thinking exercise.
     
  12. JakeandElwood

    JakeandElwood Well-Known Member

    Just curious, but was the author of that letter's age mentioned?
     
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