FANTASY SPORTS: Fake Sports Based on Real Sports for Real People Based on Fake Lives


FANTASY SPORTS: The World of Warcraft of Sports



I know I’m making enemies of almost every contributor to State Lines with this article (I’m counting on the 2 female contributors to have my back), but I just don’t care.

It has to be written. It’s way over due.

Fantasy Sports is ridiculous.

And sad. Just sad.

I still remember the first time I heard about Fantasy Football.

It was 2000. I had just moved to Tampa, met some guys through church and was invited over to watch Monday Night Football with them.

This particular Monday night was like most others. Food, beer, football, yelling at the TV. All the typical shenanigans.

Then, it took a turn for the weird.

While eating some amazing homemade nachos (remarkably made by the hosts wife….I say remarkably because I’m just as amazed that he had a wife as you are) one guy jumps over to the computer to check his Fantasy Football stats. All his friends join in and a mind-numbing conversation begins.

I was totally lost. Fantasy Football? I had to ask.

They gave me the crash course on this newfangled online fantasy world of sports.

Naturally, after listening, I laughed heartily and said, “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of.”

That was the last time I was invited over.

Here’s the thing. Fantasy Sports is the World of Warcraft of the sports world. The difference is nobody admits they play WOW.

It’s the virtual version of the “back in high school I was amazing at (insert sport/position/game/etc)” statement.

In fact, every time I hear someone talk about how great their fantasy sports team is they immediately remind me of Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite showing his football throwing videos to the family (see below).

Think about this. “Fantasy” & “Sport” don’t even go together. It’s a contradiction in terms.

Fantasy – “imagination, especially when extravagant and unrestrained; the forming of mental images, especially wondrous or strange fancies; imaginative conceptualizing; a mental image, especially when unreal or fantastic.”

Sport – “an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc.; a particular form of this, especially in the out of doors.”

These two definitions just don’t co-exist. But somehow, in our world, they do. They’re forced together in some strange anomaly.

Now, if you’re as confused as I was about Fantasy Sports the first time I ever hear of it, let me give you the rundown.

It’s a group of people spending their time online as fake owners drafting fake players based on real players for their fake teams based on real teams, trading their fake players to other fake teams and vice versa, to beat their real friends’ fake teams at a fake game based on a real game.

I’ll wait while you process that…..and wait for your obvious response of “Really?! Really?!”

Unfortunately, yes, really.

It actually exists…as a fantasy game.

The contradiction never ends.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love sports and I love fantasy.

I’ve played sports my entire life – basketball, football, baseball (albeit, not that great at any of them) – and I have favorite sports teams I avidly watch.

I’m also a fantasy junkie. I love comic books, sci-fi movies & shows, and I dream of being Han Solo and/or Batman.

But Fantasy Sports? I just can’t do it.

Because I don’t have to fantasize about sports. I can actually play sports and be on a real team of real people.

And so can you, Fantasy Sports-ers.

Ok. I’ve written it.

Just like I was never invited back for Monday Night Football all those years ago, I probably won’t be invited back to this State Lines party either.

It’s ok though. I have a real life that I can play some real sports with instead.




About The Author

Jason Sowell

Jason is a man (really), non-profit entrepreneur, missionary/pastor, musician, part-time barista, and a pro surfer in another life.

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