“Hi there. My Name is Tyler. “
Crowd: Hi Tyler.
“And I have an addiction.”
“It all started when I got my first table top baseball game when I was 11 years old. I’ve been addicted to fantasy sports ever since. Like a mouse to cheese, like a cat to nip, like a deer to headlights. “
::more crowd murmurs::
That, my fine friends, would be the scene had there been some sort of AA like support group for fantasy sports players. I know what you will say;
“But Tyler, there are support groups for…”
Yeah? Whatever, I don’t care. I am going to choose to ignore that you just started your sentence there and will allow you to live just long enough to finish reading this post.
Yes. I am a hardened fantasy sports player. I got my start with the aforementioned table top baseball game called LongBall when I was indeed eleven years old. You know, fantasy sports has been around much longer than you would think. Just not in the form you are most common to see in this Internet age. It started way back a long time ago when the first kid put a spinner on a piece of cardboard with 1B, 2B, 3B, HR, Fly Out, Pop Out and Grounder marked up in a pie chart. Imaginations took over and kids could find themselves shagging balls with “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, hitting the game winning dinger off of Tom Seaver or serving some heat to Babe Ruth.
Eventually, games came along like LongBall or Sports Illustrated Football (eventually becoming known as PayDirt) where that spinner and felt tip marker were replaced by charts, boards, dice and pads of score sheets. However, the imagination remained. Now you were the coach or even player coach of these stars of the diamond or gridiron (or court or ice rink for your lesser know sport aficionados) that you could control. The thrill of trading Ted Williams to a team other than the Redsox was in your hands.
Eventually, those childhood games gave way to watching the real ballplayers and keeping their stats on your own, only now, instead of Jeff Bagwell hitting clean up for the Houston Astros, he was knocking longballs in the four spot for a team know as Dangerous Intentions, a perennial 5th placer in the North Country Fantasy Baseball League. I’m still in that league too, by the way. Nearly 20 years now.
Now? Now we have the Internet. Gone are the days of scouring Sport Weekly for the stats at the back of the paper and the hours going through box scores. Now we have the Internet keeping track of all the players we have amassed for our fantasy teams. Gone are all those things that made the game fun and exciting to some or cumbersome and monotonous to others. What remains though? Imagination. Only imagination can put together a team of Peyton Manning, Jamaal Charles, Jason Witten, Ochocinco and a few others to form the Black River Pirates. A team that would go on to win the Sorry Honey It’s That Season Fantasy Football League in 2010.
::takes a bow and pats his own back::
That’s right, I won the 2010 Championship of the S.H.I.T.S. FFL. I was also 1-2 in the USSCF NASCAR Racing League of 2010. I was third in the NCFBL (the real and only money league) as well as winning the March Madness Tourney 3 our of the last 5. Yeah, I am hopelessly addicted. This didn’t even mention the leagues I was in where I was unsuccessful;
Congratulations on that win, Stevo.
So, you may ask what this was all about. What is the point other than to pat myself on the back and gloat in the faces of my vanquished foes? Well, that’s it really? We fantasy sports players do that. Those who are good at fantasy sports are good because they know sports, because they play to win, and because they are champions. They don’t run down the entire 90 seconds during their picks. They don’t get rattled when someone scoops their guy. They talk sh*t and drink during the draft because they are better than you. Then they rub it in when they win.
However, if you must have another point to this post, other than my shit eating grin I am flashing because I WON at a fantasy sports league, I’ll give you this. My Fantasy Addiction gone overboard. Come join me, won’t you? If you don’t like that, then check out my fantasy opponents in next years Fantasy Football Fantasy League and forget I am going to beat the crap out of you.