Blowing the lid off fantasy sports

“Life is just a fantasy.  Can you live this fantasy life?”

–          Aldo Nova

I don’t play fantasy football.  I don’t play fantasy baseball.  I don’t play fantasy golf.  Between work, sleep and some semblance of a social life, I just don’t have the time.

Every so often, a friend will ask me to join his fantasy league for either this sport or that, knowing full well that I’m not interested, but telling me it will help promote the website, so I’ll appease.  For me, committing to a full season of fantasy sports simply requires too much time, effort and definitely, too much luck.

But today, I am here to blow the lid off fantasy sports, proving once and for all, that any monkey can win a fantasy league.

At the beginning of this NASCAR season (that’s right, I said NASCAR), some friends invited me to join their fantasy racing league.  After some deliberation, I figured, why not.  I had already dominated our football pick ‘em league two years in a row, so why not try my hand at a little NASCAR.  It couldn’t hurt, right?  Besides, NASCAR’s not like baseball, where I need to scour the internet for last-minute transactions, or ensure I start my utility infielder on a Tuesday night because he hits better in a dome against lefties.  NASCAR races are held once a week.  Pick a name out of a hat and wish for the best.  That’s less commitment than a one-night stand.

Well, let me just tell you, out of the 13 people in Yahoo’s Jim Beam Racing League, I am currently in first place.

I literally know nothing about NASCAR, nor do I drink Jim Beam.  Off the top of my head, I can, at best, name fifteen drivers on the circuit, and that’s because I live in the South.  I don’t know who drives what car, who represents which sponsors, which driver performs better on what track or what the hell a restrictor plate is.  Yet there I sit, atop the leader board, in all my glory, spewing trash talk from my NASCAR mountaintop.  All luck, no skill.  No research, only randomness.  So what, I ask you, is the point?

Come autumn, American males will spend weeks dissecting NFL rosters.  We’ll spend way too much time reading Street & Smith magazines, along with countless hours planning a chicken wing and beer-soaked draft party, only to complain when some random geek a few cubicles down, who knows nothing about football, wins our fantasy league.

This year, I am that random geek.

I am auto racing.

NASCAR fans, bow to me.

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34 Replies to “Blowing the lid off fantasy sports”

  1. Pingback: I don’t play fantasy footbal … - BallHyped, Fantasy | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  2. Chris… I got back to watching NASCAR after at least a 25 year hiatus just 3 years ago primarily because of the Lug Nuts crew… Now those folks are gear heads. They even know who does the race drivers’ hair! And I’m along for the ride… It’s not the destination its how you get there right?

    So last season I’m doin’ the fantasy deal (My first full season run at it) and we’re doin’ this trifecta that I’m sure you’ve seen. We attempt to pick the winners in three NASCAR venues (so it’s not enough to simply know the top drivers in Sprint Cup. You’ve gotta know the next two NASCAR series below Sprint Cup) plus we follow Formula 1 and IndyCar racing as well, and those drivers have foreign (literally and figuratively) names! It’s a real head scratcher! So I suddenly turn into el prognosticator extraordinaire! I suddenly had the Speed Beagle (who runs the show on Lug Nuts Trifecta days) figuring at what point in the season it was hopeless for my competitors and I think there were around 7 races left when I was called the winner! Well DUHHH… What’s so tough about that? Fast forward to this season… How many weeks have I won out of what 7-8 trifectas so far? 0, zilch, nada, goose droppings! LOL!

    So, like they say, every dog has his or her day!

  3. I deal in realities not fantasies . Hence the reason I’ve never really participated in fantasy leagues when it comes to sports . Something tangible please .

    tophatal ………

  4. You got me at NASCAR. Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine myself doing car racing fantasy.

    But you’re right, fantasy sports are a waste of time, and usually something that only gets you more involved and agitated during games.

    So…you wanna start a fantasy football league this year?

  5. IRL’s showcase event is this weekend with the Indy 500 . Personally I’ll be taking in the UFC heavyweight title fight between Frank Mir and Junior dos Santos . And then seeing how my countryman Carl Froch takes on Lucien Bute for the IBF super middleweight title this weekend . It beats watching either an IRL or NASCAR event by any stretch of the imagination !

    I’m betting that Goodell if he had the chance he’d have chosen to remain Tagliabue’s assistant . Because since he’s assumed the position as the NFL commissioner he’s become a damn failure . C’mon even you have to admit that given the present premise . 8 separate lawsuits where they’re now the defendants and it’s not about to stop anytime soon .

    tophatal ……….

  6. A.) What Dwindy said.

    B.) Come on over to the Lug Nuts Facebook page and try your hand at the Trifecta. Then we’ll see how good you are :o)

  7. And Dwindy is being modest. He currently has a stranglehold on this season’s most pathetic score competition.

  8. I love writing about NASCAR if only because of what it brings out of the woodwork.

    I must say, Dwin, it’s because of the ‘Nuts that I know what I do about auto racing. I’m their problem child. Their black sheep. The best I can do is offer up some NBA knowledge in return. I consider it a fair trade, he he, hopefully they do as well.

    Dwin, killing it on the fantasy NASCAR circuit. I like it. Good for the resume.

    But I guess that’s my whole point about fantasy sports. So many people are so into them.

    Personally, I’d rather just pick games against the spread. Forget about choosing quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers. What does that prove, really?

    Oh, and remind me to get in the trifecta for next season to try my hand against the experts.

  9. Al…

    You and me both. You have no idea how much time it actually takes.

    I’ve played fantasy baseball before but haven’t done so in years.

  10. Alex…

    What I will do is, set up a pick ’em league, against the spread, and we’ll get everybody with a website to join in.

    Yahoo runs a pretty easy league and I would imagine most everybody has an account, unless you know of another.

    We’ll get the band back together and have extreme trash-talking rights for the eventual winner.

    Whaddaya say?

  11. Al…

    I’m not sure if you had a chance to check out Dub’s piece on Goodell but, like you, he doesn’t paint a very, pretty light about his tenure, the job itself, or the state of the league.

    Here’s my take. Every NFL player sells his soul to be in the league. They get paid millions of dollars to risk their lives but they also know that going in. It’s the price of fame, fortune and playing a game (we think) they love.

    Now, how much responsibility does the league have to them after they retire? That’s obviously up for debate. But if the league does everything in its power to protect players while playing, why should they have any responsibility to them when they retire?

    Other than the military, and perhaps police and fire departments, who else does that sort of thing?

    Just playing devil’s advocate here.

  12. Chris

    Here”s much responsibility they have the league insures the players , they also make sure that premiums paid in terms of medical insurance is presided over by a reputable company . However , for the old timers who’ve been refused assistance having paid into those for years how should that looked upon by the fans ? Goodell has been a __king joke and it didn’t me long to realize that ! From kissing Tagliabue’s rear end to succeeding him how in hell does that make him qualified ? It’s not as if Tagliabue was any better to begin with ! All four commissioners retrospect have been one god damn joke in their respective positions . Anyone who believes otherwise simply hasn’t a clue ?

    Do you think that it was dignified that Hall of Famer Mike Webster should die like a vegetable drooling and defecating on himself when three months prior to his death he was turned down for assistance not only by the league but also his own union NFLPA ) .

    Consider also the plight of Dave Duerson who also met the same fate from the league but that’s rarely reported . So for Goodell and the rest of those a_s wipes to carry on as if they care is one big joke . All they’ve simply cared about has simply been the billions that they rake in each season . As far as showing compassion is concerned the NFL wouldn’t know how to spell the word much less comprehend its meaning .

    The only people currying favor with the NFL are those a_sholes with the broadcast outlets as they’re essentially the league’s paymaster .

  13. Chris while the players (NFL) are in the employee of the teams they also pay into 401k and are afforded certain benefits are they not ? Imagine finding out upon retirement you’re being told there’s nothing there for you ? It’s no different that some of these veterans are now facing in certain cases . I see the player’s plight as being no different from that of US military vets now being shat upon by the government ……… namely the VA and at the state level as well . The city of Tampa has homeless vets living on the streets who even they seek assistance more often than not are being turned away by the municipal and state agencies .

    I’ve seen it first hand and having worked in conjunction with ( colleagues ) doing work amongst these guys it’s extremely disturbing to see this happening within section of our society !

    tophatal ………..

  14. I figured that would get you riled up, Al.

    The NFL is still a ways away from taking any sort of care of its veterans. And how many attorneys do you think the league currently employs?

    Furthermore, do you think Goodell is regretting his decision to become commissioner or does he have twenty million reasons not to?

  15. Chris,

    there’s still plenty of time for you to compete this season. We still have 23 Trifectas on the schedule- and unlike the Yahoo leagues, we don’t play for points- WINS are everything.

    (Deadline to get your initial picks in for this weekend’s races is 2:30pm ET tomorrow, 5/26. Give it a shot, and if you have any questions just ask)

  16. I am a self-professed nascar know-it-all. How many weekly wins do I have this year in the Trifecta or my 2 yahoo leagues, you ask?

    Zero, zilch, nada, squat, nothing, none, etc.

    It is fun (when you’re winning) and it doesn’t take a lot of time each week… and apparently being a racing genius only hinders your chances.

  17. As the 13th guy in your 13 team league, I feel compelled to weigh in. Props to you for admitting your first place position is mostly luck. Now I will admit to grinding like crazy all season and yet having my worst one ever. I heart fantasy sports, but sometimes they don’t heart me back. It’s still fun. Last time I drank Jim Beam, I hurled, but hanging with Captain Morgan and his grrls at the Braves/Rays game was a hoot. I may hafta switch brands. Hope yer still on top when the checkers waves for the last time in November. Peace.

  18. Han…

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for the camaraderie it involves but picking players, or more specifically rosters, instead of wins, just doesn’t do it for me.

  19. Well, Yaz, at least you’re in the SportsChump Hall of Fame for winning one of my contests, but bnow it looks like you’re bucking for the Beam Hall of Shame.

    Now that I’m in first place, I suppose I’m going to have to pay attention to the league for the rest of the season.

    Hey, so do you bus it down to the Rays games like you do the casino? Next you drive down with some people, you all need to swing by the club.

    And has anyone heard from Puckett since he got hitched?

  20. I think your missing the BEST part about fantasy leagues. Talking sh** to friends especially for a league you’ve been playing in for a long time. Laughing at friends when they take a chance on one of their favorite teams players way to early in the draft. Sending them the obligatory text when the player you traded for from them is tearing it up. It’s not always about winning the league (which is nice), but talking trash on the message boards is always entertaing stuff. It’s also another way of staying in touch with some of my high school and college buddies that I might not otherwise have.

  21. Oh, we can talk trash here, Chap, and we have already in a number of my contests.

    But I just can’t see myself pouring over NFL rosters and picking some tight end, who I know is the best pick, only to have him get 3 catches for 18 yards, while some other schmo who another quarterback happens to throw to has a career day.

    Nor do I have the time to set a baseball roster daily. I’m not Joe Maddon.

    Like I said, NFL Pick ‘Em next year for all the marbles.

  22. Fantasy leagues are like Poker. One needs to have skill and pure luck. Anyone can win a fantasy league, which makes it so much more exciting because it doesn’t only cater to knowledgeable fans. Plus, most often than not, it will probably suck that person in just like the rest of us.. Started to play NFL fantasy a few years back and now… it’s pure addiction! Good luck with NASCAR.

  23. I completely understand where you are coming from on fantasy sports with one notable exception…the NFL. Admittedly, this is soon to change with games likely eventually being played on every single freakin’ night of the week…but back when the games were either Sunday or Monday (at least until the final couple of weeks when Saturdays snuck in there for the Holidays)…well, it just didn’t get any better than playing NFL fantasy football. You had time to digest the prior week’s action, go over injury reports, plan for pickups off the waiver wire, etc. The perfect fantasy sport. One game per team per week in a condensed period of time. This will be my fourteenth year of pro fantasy football coming up, most of which I have served as a Commish. I’ll admit the stretching out of the NFL schedule to include Thursdays has made it less fun…and God knows I’ve been complaining on my site for months about how I expect real football itself to be much less fun to watch in the months to come…but I will always enjoy seeing all my buddies at our Draft and talking smack…continuing that dialogue throughout the year as our fortunes rise and fall…right up until the last weekend when the real fortunes ($$$) gets distributed. Indeed, you can’t control injuries or a hail-mary at the end of a meaningless game that costs you a game…but if you don’t take it too seriously and are able to laugh about it all…it can be a blast. My wife enjoys fantasy football as well and has been involved for almost as many years as I. She knows her stuff which makes watching the NFL each week…along with playing fantasy football…even more fun.

  24. So, SA, if you’re the commissioner of the league and one of my players gets knocked out with concussion-like symptoms… can I sue you?

    ‘Cause THAT’D be like the real NFL.

  25. Two things really pi@s me of at present and it relates to treatment of the NFL veterans and military vets . Memorial Day and all of the “pomp and ceremony” comes out about how we remember the vets of the US military . But here’s a story that’s been kept under wraps by each of the successive administrations over the past four decades concerning Camp Lejeune , in NC . And it’s the ongoing saga of chemicals seeping into the drinking water at that facility . Now over the years you have Marines as well as civilians suffering from various forms of cancer , leukemia , and their children being born with deforrmities The VA have been denying benefits to 75% of the claimants stating that their issues were from preexisting conditions . What that governmental agency has been so insidious and premeditated , not unlike the bull_hit now being perpetrated by the NFL hierarchy at the behest of the owners and union jointly . There’s been a clear case of a cover up but all the fans want to discuss is the very fact of what we ought to expect out of the upcoming season . Like I’ve always maintained it’s the hypocrisy of the society we live in , nothing more , nothing less ! And you can believe that ! I mean they’re still in denial about injecting veterans at the Miami Veterans facility having used tainted syringes thereby inflicting over 4500 veteran with Hepatitis B. Are the denials coming from the NFL any different from the crap we’ve evidenced from the VA and their alleged care of military veterans . Ask yourself that and that of your devoted patrons ?

    I’m not going to learn anything new bout Goodell that I don’t already know or haven’t said about each of the four commissioners of the four major professional sports . Each of them have no real redeeming qualities whatsoever . Anyone who believes to the contrary just happens to be anally retentive !

    tophatal …….

  26. See, that’s the thing Chris. You have to go into it knowing it is FANTASY football. You also have to go into it knowing the Commish has gotten your entry fee up front and it’s not nice to mess with the Commish when he has the power of the dollars…and THAT’S like the real NFL!

  27. Al…

    They’re just diverting our attention.

    In fact, they know us better than we do.

    They know that if they can just make it to season, everything’ll be fine and forgotten.

  28. SA…

    I think another reason fantasy sports have become so popular in this country, is not only that they’re escapist, but also that there’s not a sports fan around who doesn’t think he can’t do a better job than the Jerry Jones, the Theo Epsteins and the Mitch Kupchak’s of the world when it comes to recruiting talent and compiling a winning team.

    I mean, I know I could.

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