Staying Away From Fantasy Sports

I am a self-proclaimed sports nut. However, there is something that I don’t do that would make any person these days question my claim. Can you guess what I am talking about?

I don’t play fantasy sports.

Fantasy sports are king. People don’t just have fantasy seasons they have fantasy drafts, fantasy parties, and fantasy debates. ESPN has fantasy programs, fantasy analysts, and fantasy competitions. You can’t get through a commercial break during a sporting event without one or two spots advertising different fantasy leagues. Fantasy sports have captivated the interest of millions of new fans, driven up the business of sports themed restaurants across the country, sold countless television packages, and generated billions and billions of dollars.

Despite all this, I sit out when it comes to fantasy. When it all comes down to it, I am just not interested. I can say that I have had one non-memorable experience with the phenomenon. Several years ago, some friends roped me in to joining their NFL league. I haphazardly drafted players and then did nothing with my roster the whole season. Injured players competed for me every week. It completely bored me and I just didn’t pay it any attention.

Working in an athletic department also kept me away from fantasy sports for over four years. The NCAA stipulates that intercollegiate athletics employees may not bet or wager on any aspect of a game. Although this relates primarily to college athletics, I still stayed away to be on the safe side (and really just because I had no interest).

What do you guys think, are you surprised at my apathy? Am I a bad sports fan?

I admit, I am a little jealous of my friends and family who are hardcore fantasy players. They have an enthusiasm and investment in sports that I don’t have. Don’t get me wrong, I have an enthusiasm for sports as well, it is just different from my friends. Their fantasy leagues give them so much passion for NFL Sundays that you would almost think they started drinking at 6 a.m. They are engaged and ready to rage!

What I am probably most envious of is the knowledge that my fantasy playing buddies have. I used to pride myself on knowing all the players in all the leagues. These days I can’t keep up. However, if you know someone who plays fantasy you are aware that they know the professional leagues from top to the bottom. The degree to which they prepare for fantasy and then go full throttle with it for the entire season almost make them encyclopedias of the NFL or MLB.

I am debating giving fantasy sports another try. I think I want to experience the craze and actually manage my roster with an intent to actually win. What do my readers think? Is it worthwhile? I understand I might have to wait for the 2016 MLB season to really give it a go but I could use some friendly advice now. Don’t Blink.

2 thoughts on “Staying Away From Fantasy Sports

  1. Brent, I could not agree more with you. I played my first and only fantasy football last year at the urging of my boss. Why not, right? How about this…. Fantasy football is to men what Pinterest and some other “social” networking (I know that’s your career so this is not a knock on you) are to our much more beautiful spouses, fiancé’s and girlfriends. Fantasy football might not be a classic addiction, but for six months a year it dominates millions of people’s focus and disrupts productivity and connections at work and at home, respectively and perhaps both. Case in point: My boss was so in to Fantasy football that it was much of what he did while at work and talked about with his managers. That he “won” this week, or made this or that trade, or that he made a great substitution at the last minute of the week. We would often see him at his desk on his iPad knowing he was checking stats and making trades instead of focusing on the truly important work that needed to be done. He openly talked about this at meetings where the subject matter was supposed to be more relevant to our business. I believe his focus was so dedicated to fantasy football that he literally took his eye off the “ball” of what is real life and business, that it ultimately cost him his job and possibly his career. My team? I think it came in near the bottom. Why? Because I had about 100 better things to do.

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