Fantasy sports are for real

Redmond Zmudzien

Fantasy sports have really exploded across the country in the last decade. It used to be only hardcore stat geeks that played, but now it seems almost everyone does. The Fantasy Sports Trade Association estimates that 19.4 million people age 12 and up in the United States and Canada play fantasy sports.

Fantasy sports are an imitation of real organizations; they allow you to “draft” a team of players from the league and have complete control over it, including making trades, picking players up and cutting them. It is like being the owner of a professional franchise-you have total control over every aspect of your team.

There are entire television shows based on fantasy sports; hours of time spent talking about teams and drafts that aren’t even real. It is amazing that something unreal has taken over the sporting landscape. Go to any office building or college dorm and you’ll find pools of people competing against one another. Many people, myself included, actually have live drafts where everyone gets together to select their teams as if it were real.

The dark little secret about fantasy sports is the huge amounts of money that can be made off of it (approximately three to four billion dollars a year). So many products are made for this fantasy world: draft kits, magazines with a player’s up-to-date stats and the leagues themselves. And then there are the people that put money in a pot that is awarded to the winner at the end of the season.only where gambling is legal though.

One thing associated with fantasy sports is the problem of the fair-weather fan whose fantasy team takes priority over his real team, which can’t be comprehended by a die-hard fan. If someone on your fantasy team is playing against your real team, you are not allowed to root against your real team. No excuses; it’s sacrilegious in the sporting world.

Fantasy sports are just a fun way to get people together and talk about something they love. For money or not, fantasy sports keep people interested in every team because they may have a player that they never cared about before. It will expand your knowledge of sports and its smallest details.

I’m a fantasy sports junkie. Are you?