Mr. Fantasy

Fantasy Sports Report: My first season playing fantasy hockey and basketball…

My hockey team won its division – was in first place all season – and was ranked second overall in the league and is now involved in the playoffs. My two basketball teams are ranked 5th and 6th right now. One bounced between 3rd and 6th all season, the other was consistently 6th or 7th. I don’t even know if we have playoffs or how the season ends in basketball because I’m new. If there are playoffs, my teams won’t be in them anyway.

Verdict: I won’t be playing fantasy hockey or basketball next year. just not interesting enough for me. It did not enhance my enjoyment of the real life seasons of these sports. The most interesting part was putting the teams together. After the first few weeks, I rarely checked my teams.

In fact, I had almost forgotten about them until last night when we were watching a spring training report and Diane said, you’ll be getting your fantasy baseball team together soon. Have you thought about what players you want in the draft?

“No,” I said, in surprise, “I forgot all about it. I should see how my teams are doing, I haven’t looked at them since a week before Krejci got injured. I need to replace him.”

An hour later… “Hey, my hockey team won its division!”

I entered fantasy sports last fall to play football only because a friend talked me into it, twisted my arm. Fantasy football was fun and I will definitely play next fall. But hockey and basketball went one and done. If baseball wasn’t my favorite sport and if I hadn’t already tried the other three, I would not bother with fantasy baseball at all. People don’t believe me when I say that…which is kind of dumb on their part because I never bothered with fantasy baseball in my previous 59 years, so I think there’s a lot more evidence on my side of the argument.

I’m not looking forward to it but I feel like I have to get it over with. It’s now or never.

“…our annual Pigskin Preview…”

The football season is upon us. I have been accepted into a small group that picks the NFL winners each week for bragging rights only. This was my first correspondence with the Commissioner…

Thanks for letting me into the secret football society. “M” has sent me the passwords and a series of drawings depicting the secret handshake. And I got the Buffalo sauce, the matches, the shredded wheat, the pom poms and the Valvoline. I’m not sure I understand these instructions he gave me. This isn’t some kind of weird initiation, some hazing thing like I see on the news, I hope.

I guess it’s been awhile since you’ve had an expansion team in the league. It might set your mind at ease to know that I grew up a Giants fan. YA Tittle, Gifford, Morrison, Shofner, Huff, Barnes, etc. I remember Earl Morrall and Gary Wood at QB. My earliest football memory is a game that Gifford had to start at QB with Tittle hurt – a late season game. When they traded Tarkenton away, I quit in protest. It took a couple years before I started following the Patriots. But I still hate the teams I grew up hating as a Giants fan – the Packers and the Cowboys. The only favorite football player I’ve had since my days as a Giants fan was Doug Flutie. He was no Fran Tarkenton but he had a few moments.

I’m the “casual football fan.” Don’t know squat about the college game, but I’ll watch BC in the years they’re good enough to be on TV. And I’ll watch a couple other odd college games during the season – Harvard-Yale, UMaine-UNH…but I never watch the bowl games unless there’s a New England team involved. I think Flutie was playing the last time that happened.

Usually I start watching the Patriots after the World Series is over. However, when your baseball team is in last place, you get to start watching football from the beginning of the season. So this will only be the third time in my life that I’ve watched the NFL from Week 1. But it’s the second time in three years. However, things are certainly looking up for next year. But that’s off-topic, this is about foo’ball… I’ll watch a neutral NFL game if there are no baseball playoffs on. I definitely watch neutral games when we get to Week 12 or so and I watch a bunch of playoff games. But I am no kind of expert. I can name all the top QBs but otherwise I can only name the top Patriots and a small handful of other guys around the league.

I never played fantasy sports but this year my neighbor coaxed me into a fantasy football league on NFL.com. Another neighbor let the AI make her picks. Both of her QBs were better than mine. So I decided I should learn a little more about this and I went over to ESPN to see their system. After a few days, I had ten more teams.

I mean, if you’re going to be doing the research anyway…

…you might as well pick the winners each week too.

Or try.

Good luck to us all!

– S