Blog Entry

In Defense of the Fantasy

Posted on: September 23, 2008 12:39 pm
A lot of sports radio and writing personalities have been very critical of fantasy sports and the people that play fantasy sports.  Guys like Scott Van Pelt and Colin Cowherd in particular, but not limited to them have gone on record and made @ss fun of f people that play fantasy football.  Here's the problem, they are making fun of people that enjoy playing a game.  It's the equivalent of making fun of someone because they enjoy playing softball or basketball on the weekends or making fun of someone who puts a lot of time and effort into his car or his yard.  One of the major points that these talking heads frequently bring up when they want to bash fantasy players is the following: "if you could run or GM a team, you'd already be doing it, not playing fantasy football"  This statement is patently false.  Many fantasy players are very intelligent, successful people who have chosen different life paths than going into sports management, this has no bearing on whether or not they could actually do it successfully.  Honestly could the average fantasy football player do any worse than Matt Millen, Al Davis, Scot McCloughan or Jay Zygmunt?  Also bear in mind just how smart fantasy sports players can be and the impact they can have on the sport.  I'm thinking specifically of Bill James and the effect he's had on baseball, and he was a guy that started out doing stats analysis for his roto baseball team.  I also thinking that many in the sports media world feel some threat from so called "fantasy geeks".  These fantasy players that take the game seriously tend to be quite bright and very, very well informed and many times seem to know more about the current situation in football better than the average sports radio host.  Besides, how valuable are these "personalities" when really all they do is spend a 3 hour radio show talking about how Brett Favre is still adjusting to the Jets offense or that Tom Brady's injury will affect the Patriots season.  Here's a news flash for these guys, we know all that crap already.  While Tirico and Van Pelt are droning on about what color tie Tony Kornheiser was wearing most fantasy players are looking at the effect that Samari Rolle's sore shoulder could have next week against the Steelers.  I'm getting the impression that more valuable and insightful sports analysis is happening on blogs and fantasy sites by fans and fantasy players than on ESPN, fox sports, CBS or the NFL network.  Hopefully these sports providers will wake up and figure out who's buttering their bread and give credit where credit is due.
Category: NFL

Since: Aug 31, 2008
Posted on: September 25, 2008 4:33 pm

In Defense of the Fantasy

Very interesting reading this today after having a similar conversation with my foster son about how thought actually goes into deciding whom to draft and then start each week.  This past week has good examples:  we all heard LT talking post game about he would done whatever it took to play in order to help get his team a win vs. NYJ, almost verbatim what the two of us agreed would happen the Friday before; imagining myself as Mike Shanahan and game planning for NOS, I thought that the Broncs would try to run the ball more in order to keep the high powered Brees-led offense off the field.  Even though I was wrong on the 2nd example, I'm sure any reader can understand how that decision came about and the decisions after that that eventually cost me a W this week.

Although I think the idea of members of the sports media feeling threatened is prevalent, I don't believe it abounds.  Our objectives are clearly different.  Ours are to win fantasy games, theirs are to fill air-time.  Both require a similar knowledge, but the means to our ends are sometimes worlds apart.

Having said that, it is clear, to me at least, that the best sports media reps are (on average, there are exceptions) former players or coaches.  Think about guys like Ron Jaworski, Steve Young and Mark Schlereth who review the game footage and then translate for the average viewer what it all means going forward.  On the other side, guys like Al Micheals are greats reps of the business b/c of their command of the language and understanding of the game.  But us fantasy players need that analysis b/c we can't do it all ourselves.  Did you see how many other things take up our time (wife, kids, job, home, etc)?  :)

Since: Aug 12, 2008
Posted on: September 23, 2008 7:52 pm

In Defense of the Fantasy

Fantasy Football, like other fantasy sports are played for several key reasons. It is a way to bring friends together whom cannot see each other all the time. It is a way to grow your knowledge of the sport. Recently Thrashard sent a great site about Fantasy Sports - here are a few stats this site came up with:

What is the size of the fantasy sports industry?

  • 29.9 million aged 12 and above in the U.S. and Canada played fantasy sports in 2007.
  • 22% of U.S. adult males 18 to 49 years old, with Internet access, play fantasy sports.

Who plays fantasy sports?

The average fantasy player has these characteristics:

  • in approximately 2 Sport leagues
  • has played for nine Years
  • an average of 6 leagues from various sports per year
  • spends an average of $493.60 per year playing fantasy sports
  • are educated, professionals living in suburban USA
  • majority (55%) started playing offline
  • 3 out 4 play fantasy sports with people they know.
  • spend about 3 hours per week managing their teams
  • 92% Male
  • 77% Married
  • Average Age: 36
  • 91% White/Caucasian
  • Household size: 43% 3-4
  • 86% Own Their Home
  • 71% Have a Bachelor's Degree or Higher
  • 92% Attended Some College
  • 59% make $50,000 or more annually
  • $76,871 Average Household Income

Not too bad for Fantasy Geeks, eh? Fantasy sports in fun, straight up. Not only did I play sports in high school, college and now recreationally, I am proud to be the Fantasy Geek these clowns call us! Hey, I am only one of about 26 million people - so who cares what these guys are saying anyways? I mean - Scott Van Pelt and Colin Cowherd! HA - those guys are total geeks!

Since: Nov 16, 2006
Posted on: September 23, 2008 6:57 pm

In Defense of the Fantasy

Great blog. For most of us, fantasy football is a hobby. It is something that we can enjoy in our spare time in addition to elevating our appreciation for sports. What's my impact on fantasy sports? Very little for fantasy football as I was already deeply entrenched in pro football for at least 5-6 years before I played fantasy football for the 1st time. But if it wasn't for fantasy basketball, then there would be 1 less fan for the NBA. I have so much more appreciation for basketball than I did in the past. I always thought basketball players were primadonnas who overacted on the court every time they were bumped, or fouled, by another player. Fantasy basketball changed my view on this. I hardly did any preliminary research on the sport but during the season, I started watching more games. I started reading about players. I wanted to understand the rules more. I went out of my way to understand the game of basketball and the players that played them. Not only that, but I started going to games and buying merchandise. These are things I would've never done had I not been exposed to fantasy basketball. So there's an economic impact.

When I play fantasy sports, it's not because I want to be a GM in real life. Heck, I know I'm not qualified. I play fantasy sports because it's fun. You're able to get together with a group of people who have the same interests you do. These "critics" want to say that fantasy sports should only be for the GM, but how many of these GM's actually play fantasy sports? And if they did, how well would THEY do? These writers are lucky to be in the postion that they are in. 29.9 million people above the age of 12 played fantasy sports last year. These writers should be a little more sympathetic to there fanbase since there are millions of us fantasy idiots out there.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or