I decided to take a stab at playing some fantasy football this season. I haven’t played fantasy ball since about the ’99 season while a member of my hometown newspaper’s sports staff.
Out of the ten or so guys that competed that year, I finished a respectable fourth. So armed with what I learned from that season 100 years ago I am ready to enter the online version of the fantasy game. Fantasy game – always makes me giggle a little when I say it.
As a veteran player of Dungeons and Dragons, I am no stranger to games played in a fantasy realm, but the fantasy sports games we play today is much different from the game that gathered mostly young men in their parent’s basements with funny shaped dice to battle trolls, dragons and escape on an adventure lasting only as long as you were allowed to stay up past your bed time.
We have gone form the basement’s to a multi-million dollar network of leagues, players and teams. The influence of fantasy sports is so penetrating that actual professional athletes compete in fantasy football. Fantasy sports have elevated the water cooler conversations on Monday mornings and people from all walks of life and from casual fans to the most die-hard participate in fantasy NFL leagues.
The fantasy games I grew up playing kept us confined to our own circle and the game was seldom discussed in public outside of eighth-grade study hall for fear a girl might hear us discussing all manner of geekdom. Now the most dapper gad-about-towns sit and chat freely at sports bars about their fantasy teams and how much ass they are kicking. Try having a conversation about how many experience points you earned by slaying that five-headed dragon in last night’s game over beers at you local Hooters. See how much action that gets you.
But the fact remains that participating in fantasy sports is based in reality, as a means of making the season more enjoyable to watch and follow. It is much more fun to pit your strategy as a fantasy owner/GM against the other teams in your league and let the actual gains a player makes on the field effect your performance in the standings. No rolling the 20-sided die here. Your guys scores, you score.
If that last statement was true about D&D, it would have made the years I spent as a 14-19-year-old a helluva lot more interesting. Play on!
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