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Jeff MacGregor on fantasy sports

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Dick Whitman, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    The ESPN columnist is so mad you don't enjoy sports the same way he does!


    I've never understood the appeal of fantasy sports.

    They're not really sports fantasies, after all; they're business fantasies. Management fantasies. And a fantasy of office work, even front office work, never made much sense to me.

    Some people love MacGregor's stuff, and he certainly seems like a good dude who has his way with a turn of phrase. And he's creative.

    But he's really into the majesty of aesthetics in sports, which I'm not. At least not to his level. More to the point, he seems to frequently think aesthetics and the cold hard business of sports are mutually exclusive. Which I don't.
  2. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    If you admit that you don't understand something you're about to criticize, perhaps you shouldn't criticize it.
  3. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    I don't know. At this point do guys like Beane and Epstein love the algebra of the stats more than they enjoy the aesthetics?

    Those are examples of elite management types.

    I love the aesthetics of sports -- in fact the poetry of sport has supplanted pretty much all fanboi'dom I had built up over 30 years -- and yet trying to build a fantasy baseball team with NL-only players brings me joy, too; although after 13 years we're allowed 2 AL hitters and an AL pitcher, but that's neither here nor there.

    You can love the visuals and the VORPs.
  4. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    Fantasy sports are just sports gambling in a low (usually) bet range where the thrill of outdoing one's friends or acquaintances is the big rush, not the sum of the bet. I'm sure MacGregor doesn't like betting on games, either. What a spoilsport!
  5. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    It's mildly amusing, though in the same way as one of those scenes in a Seth MacFarlane show or movie during which he plays the joke out to the point where it is no longer funny, then just keeps going for a while just because it amuses him to do so.

    But he does a good job of supporting his premise. No, he doesn't understand the appeal of fantasy sports. But that is his problem, not ours.
  6. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Dick, you seem to think he is insulting you, but I didn't read it as anything more than one man's opinion.
  7. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Again, though -- his opinion.

    He might even be right. I've often wondered if I'd even like watching the NFL regular season if I didn't have my fantasy team playing. I probably wouldn't be all that interested.
  8. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    I think you would be. Might take time, though.

    The Rams leaving L.A. crushed me and I thought I wouldn't give a shit again about the NFL. Hasn't been the case. Still watch.

    That being said, watching a game with money on line, as opposed to watching it for fun, are completely different pursuits.
  9. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    Doesn't that show that he's wrong? You wouldn't be as interested if not for your fantasy investment. You therefore are appreciating the majesty of sport more because of fantasy than you would have otherwise.

    I don't play fantasy sports for all the reasons MacGregor mentions. But he's taking his personal view and trying to apply it to a society that runs staunchly counter to it. Without fantasy sports (or gambling, or advanced statistics, or whatever else is up someone's craw at the moment), the interest in sports would be less.

    Also, I'm really sick of sports writers arguing against sports. Why do we constantly try to chase away fans by hectoring them about how they should appreciate the sports we make livings off? Without passionate sports fans of all types, we're fucked.
  10. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Again, you're attaching way too much to what he's saying, which is: I don't like this.

    People are allowed to not like certain things. They're even allowed to say that.
  11. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    I like Macgregor's work. Always a different spin with a touch of cynical mixed in.
    Personally I find that fantasy sports increases my enjoyment and adds to my overall
    knowledge of a league and it's players as opposed to just focusing on my favorite teams.

    In baseball I find that I know more about pitchers than I ever did before. As example I have Lance Lynn a pitcher for The Cardinals on my team. In the last month he has tanked which tells me that The Cards are in trouble with one of their starters. Would not have known this otherwise.

    Best example was Dave Roberts. Had him in 2004. Started out in San Diego and we grabbed him for stolen base stats. He got traded to The Red Sox late in season. They did not use him much but clear they wanted his ability to steal bases. When he came in to
    pin run against The Yankees I knew they were in trouble and the rest is history.

    Would not have had same insight without fantasy baseball.
  12. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    One thing I've always noticed with MacGregor's work is that he does not seem
    to be a big fan of the monolithic corporate or league structures or in fact
    "the company man". This same tone comes out in this column. Kind of funny
    given the company that he writes for.
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