Archived Story

It’s all just a fantasy

Published 4:08pm Saturday, April 12, 2014

I remember one football season, a long time ago, I sat in front of my family’s computer for hours tinkering with a fantasy football lineup. It was a public league, meaning I was playing with strangers over the internet, and the last time I ever played fantasy sport. My friends never thought to invite me to their leagues through high school and college and I was satisfied enough with just following the games anyway.

But this spring the bug finally bit me. I might be years behind the already millions playing fantasy sports, from football to soccer and even golf, but I’m finally in their ranks.

A newsroom friend heard of my interest in joining a league and extended an invitation. Not for the fall season, mind you, but a few weeks before Major League Baseball kicked off with Opening Day this spring.

For those of you who don’t know, fantasy baseball is probably the most hardcore of the fantasy worlds. The season is a marathon and demands constant attention each week. While fantasy football is the most popular, fantasy baseball is for the few, the proud and the dedicated.

We’re currently in the second week of our season and I’m already starting to pick up on a few of the different tricks. But I have to say, I’ve been hooked and finally understand the draw of fantasy sports.

So how do you enjoy a new fantasy season, especially if you’re a newbie like me? It’s pretty simple. Here are a few tips.

You’re league is going to want to suck you in, especially if you have a smartphone that keeps you updated on your players stats and playing statuses. I know the trend in society these days is to try and disconnect from the electronic world and toss aside the smartphones and computers, but I’m here to tell you — don’t do it.

That’s right, let it take you in and enjoy it. Why? Having a list of players to follow makes the season that much more fun. Looking over stats online and in the newspapers makes you feel like, well, a real Einstein.

Before you know it, you’ll have passed three hours poking around on your phone or computer. Especially with such a long baseball season, each game your players play will actually mean something. Suddenly, baseball isn’t just a long season filled with games that mean nothing for the majority of the teams that won’t see the light of postseason.

While they’re dejected, at least their stars are bringing you glory.

It can be like a drug, sure. Spending so much time consumed by something might not be what most people consider healthy. But in a world where the chance to win at something is scarce, being at the top of your league is worth it. Social life? Who needs it. Any friend worthwhile will be in your league anyway.

Which leads me to my second tip to help make your newbie fantasy experience worthwhile: Join a league with your friends or at least a league where smack talk is encouraged.

It’s one way you can make sure you hang on to some sort of social life. What better activity to get hooked on than something all your friends are doing? While most of your conversations might be about trades or that one guy you actually hate in your league, at least you’ll actually be talking to another human being, even if it’s just on the league board online.

Most people probably already know all of this. Like I said, I’m way behind in the fantasy times. But if any of you are thinking about joining a league, just like I was only a few weeks ago, do it. You won’t regret it — unless you lose a lot. Just don’t let that happen.

I know this is a short list, but Torii Hunter is still listed as day-to-day and out of the lineup again, so I need to find another outfielder. Since it’s Sunday, I only have today to make up on a few of the statistical categories I’m behind on in my matchup.

I hate losing, even if it isn’t real.


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