On "Fantasy" sports...
You know what I don’t get?
Growing up in the 80’s, nerd kids did nerd things that sometimes required the extraneous use of math and statistics, along with a deluge of confusing shit that I never allowed myself to get close enough to them to allow myself to get sucked in. One could draw the parallel to the fact that I never got into hard drugs like some of my peers as well.
The corollary to said “nerd kids,” who played dungeons and dragons and whatever the hell else they did before World of Warcraft was invented would be the “jocks,” for lack of a better term. During the same lunch period at my high school, these guys were on the FRONT lawn throwing a football on the end opposite the hippie kids who had Frisbees and hackey sacks.
I witnessed this from the vantage point of the ones throwing the football, though I was nowhere NEAR enough to being one of the ‘cool kids’ to have gone up to full-on ‘jock’ status, but that was more than fine with me.
[Phlip note – my high school was just like an 80’s movie except for the presence of black people, I shit you not... I guess we had black people because it was the mid-90s by the time I got there]
My life in high school is not the topic of this post though…
The point of it all is how oddly and quickly, ironically even, things change.
The nerds moved on to jobs where all the practice in statistics, mathematics and prognostication was surely not for nothing, and are making good money doing it, while the ‘jocks’ are, well… not.
What are they doing?
They, instead of enjoying their sport du jour, add the allure of extraneous use of math and statistics, along with a deluge of confusing shit that I never allowed myself to get close enough to them to allow myself to get sucked in.
[Phlip note – see what I did there?]
At/near the beginning of the real-life, as-depicted-on-television season, there are these ‘fantasy drafts’ in which players on real teams are selected by the players of these games to be on their fantasy teams, on which their individual statistics in the games that actually take place are assigned points values, thus upping the rank of the person who has them on their team.
BECAUSE IT IS!!!
Now, instead of watching and enjoying that game that was on television last night, you waited for the box score to see how many fantasy points you scored. You totally missed that it was a damn fucking good game, which ruined the experience of even watching sport in the first place. Now all you can think about is how much a bum [player] is because he only scored 7 points, never minding the fact that the last of those points was the shot that won the game.
Further complicating the situation is that not all fantasy leagues – even those for the same damned sport/league – play by the same rules (at least as I understand this).
So now we have it where someone comes into the office on Monday morning pissed at the universe because of the outcome of last night’s game, even though his team won the game. Grown-ass men behaving like 13 year-old girls bitching back and forth on Twitter and whatever other forms of douchebaggery that I cannot think of to beef up this sentence any further, and for what?
Exactly, I won’t hold you up waiting on an answer to that one.
Where I come from, companies such as Sega, EA and formerly 989 Studios release ‘fantasy’ sports to be played on gaming consoles, computers and handheld devices. We used these moments of ‘fantasy’ to create ourselves as players in the game in question at the position we always wanted to occupy and there was the fantasy. As it related to the games on television, the only value placed into them was their entertainment value. Never was it necessary to live 100% [sport of choice] all the time unless there was some real money to be made from it, and I am no gambler.
[Phlip note – sheeit, I got enough problems with an addictive personality as it were… see ‘hard drugs’ comment from paragraph #1]
So here we are, in a world turned on its ear… The nerds did the seemingly useless shit in school and were ridiculed, bullied and beaten up for it, but are better off for it in the end.
The (now former – if they still were, they might still be playing or reaping the benefits of playing) jocks, who did the ridiculing/bullying, are deciphering confusing fucking math equations instead of enjoying the very thing that SHOULD bring them some joy to their lives.
It is as if fantasy sports is the Dungeons and Dragons for the jocks who picked on the nerds who played Dungeons and Dragons.
What is fucked up, though is that NOW – since video games no longer count as fantasy – I will have to return to a life that includes…
- Driving 6-figure cars on surface streets at speeds nearing 200 miles per hour.
- Stealing cars, sometimes even from police/rescue.
- Beating up and robbing hookers.
- Civil warfare in the streets of a non-war zone just because I was bored
- Possession of surface-to-air missiles
- Hiring and/or becoming a mercenary for hire
- A large number of things that might have me otherwise classified as a ‘terrorist’ under the US PATRIOT Act.
Funny how these things work out sometimes, no?