Saturday, March 29, 2008

What’s the Point of Playing?

This is my fourth year playing fantasy baseball, but I'm not sure why I keep playing. I don't like baseball. I don't like playing, and I don't like watching, with the exception of the occasional minor league game at a small stadium in a small city. I actually hold basketball in higher regard as a sport. I dislike watching basketball almost as much as I dislike watching baseball, but at least I enjoy myself when I play basketball. Despite that, I only played fantasy basketball once. I feel no obligation or desire to take up fantasy basketball in the future either.

I'm nearly religious with my fantasy football, but this makes more sense. I love football with a passion that I can match for no other sport. I loved playing it and I love watching it just as much. I usually try to clear my schedule on fall Saturdays to spend the day watching the college games, although I usually compromise by only watching Falcons' games (and the occasional Monday Night Football) for the NFL. Plus, I'm good at fantasy football (and college pick'em). In four seasons, I've taken home two virtual championship trophies, landed a second place finish, and gotten screwed by Brett Favre, who led me from finishing this last fantasy season at first to ending up fourth after the fantasy playoffs. Stupid jerk. Despite Favre related frustrations, I rarely finish out of championship contention in any football related prediction game.

Unlike Fantasy football, I don't keep playing fantasy baseball because I'm good. My only two top three finishes were a first place in a four-team league and a third place in a six-team league. (Most of my football successes came in 12- to 14-team leagues.) I usually finish within two spots of last place or in the middle of the pack. Obviously success is not what keeps me signing up for fantasy baseball.

I do know what draws me to fantasy sports. I like stats. I'm a natural-born dork. I like competing in contests where thinking can help decide the winner (even though luck makes up a fair chunk of the result in fantasy sports). I follow sports anyway, so why not put that reading and watching to good use? That still doesn't explain my continuing play in fantasy baseball. Sure, it's the most stat-driven sport in existence, but I could get my fill with fantasy football and hockey, sports I actually enjoy watching. Why would baseball stats, for a sport I generally loathe, fill my summer thoughts when basketball stats, for a sport I respect but don't watch, provide no temptation during the winter season?

1 comment:

Mickey said...

I'll watch competitive potato peeling as long as the contestants are passionate about it. Sports are good.