Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Is This Real Life or Is This Just Fantasy (Baseball)...

The Facts

Grown men. Real players. Made up teams. Fantasy Baseball.

Nolan's baseball obsession started young

His Side

I grew up following major league baseball pretty closely. My dad played baseball. My brother and I played baseball and my dad coached us. We all watched baseball together. Baseball was a big part of my childhood. As I got older, though, I grew away from following my favorite teams and players. When my buddies in college suggested we do a fantasy baseball league, I figured I would jump in and see what it’s all about. I had never done fantasy sports before but why not give it a go?

That first season, I discovered two things. First, it’s a decent amount of work and time to stay competitive in a fantasy baseball league (each team plays 162 games in around 180 days which means 2430 games are played total in almost 26 weeks... it’s a long season). Not only are there a lot of games, but players get injured, taken out of the starting lineup, and some players that are supposed to be good end up sucking.

The other thing I discovered is that I love it. I know it may sound silly to some people but that’s their problem. Part of the fun is having your team pitted against your friend’s team for a week and exchanging trash talk via text and Facebook. Then when your team edges them out by a couple home runs, you win the ultimate prize:  bragging rights. Fantasy baseball also forces me to keep up with my favorite teams and players as I used to when I was a kid. It’s like an excuse to relive my childhood which is nice because being a grownup isn’t always the most fun.

The draft is the most exciting part. Yes, it takes a little longer than I want it to, but it’s fun to have everyone in the chat room dishing about each other’s picks. As guys tend to do, there is a lot of making fun of the other guys but that’s how we interact. I sometimes feel dumb, though, because I never do as much research as some of the other guys, so they tend to know more about upcoming players and such than I do. Some people go into the draft with a plan; I just wing it. It’s more fun that way.

Some people would argue that fantasy baseball is all about luck. You could pick the best team in the world and lose because they don’t perform up to expectations. Similarly, you could pick a bunch of no-name guys that put up huge numbers. But, if it were all luck, the same people wouldn’t be at the top of the league every year. There is definitely some strategy to it and I have never ended a season below the top four (if my memory serves me). If it’s all luck, I must be really lucky.

Ultimately, I know that me having certain players on my fantasy team doesn’t make them play better or worse in real life. And I know that competing with friends over how professional athletes perform day-to-day in their sport doesn’t seem to make any sense, but I love it. I can’t even explain why it’s so much fun to me, but things don’t always have to make sense. And women should understand that... you know... because they don’t always make sense.

Apparently fantasy sports is a "thing"

Her Side

Fantasy baseball. It’s not even real, so what’s the big deal? Ask my husband and he can spout off a long list of reasons. Our opinions on this topic couldn’t be more contrasting. He loves it, I hate it. Hate might be a bit strong, but sometimes it’s necessary to get a point across.

The other day, Nolan approached me and said he needed to talk to me about something. I got the dreaded pit in my stomach and wondered what I had done wrong or what was I supposed to do that I didn’t. Nolan calmed my nerves a few short seconds later by saying he wanted to talk about fantasy baseball. Those are words that I was hoping I would never hear again. I put them out of my mind after last year and thought (more like wished) Nolan had done the same. Such was not the case.

Upon the words coming out of his mouth, they were promptly met with “no way, you’re not doing that, it’s crazy!” Hear me out on this one. I’m not trying to take something away from him that he loves. I’m not trying to change him into a different person. I know that pre-marriage Nolan loved participating in fantasy baseball. I just wanted him to be aware of my feelings on the subject at hand.

Last year, we didn’t have an extremely pleasant experience with the “draft.” I was assured it would be done in a timely manner and before I was to see him that particular evening. You can imagine my surprise when I show up to see him and he is in the throws of the draft and wasn’t going to budge for anything, especially not me. Nolan is notorious for not accurately predicting how long a task will take. This clearly tends to be a sore spot for me. So, when he approached me the other day about the topic and asked “what day would be best for us to have the draft, it’s scheduled for Sunday right now,” I didn’t know quite how to respond.

I reminded Nolan that we don’t have tons of time together as it is, since our jobs require us to work slightly different hours. “How much time will it take to do the draft?” is all I want to know, but no answer has been given. I suppose I will lie on the couch and watch reality shows while he taps away at the computer attempting to get his favorite players on his… made up team.

We already have an agreement of sorts. I dislike when he is on his phone constantly, especially when we are spending quality time together. He promised that he wouldn’t constantly be checking his fantasy team and switching up who is in the lineup while we are together. I guess only time will tell how that works out, but I’m skeptical to say the least.

Relationships are all about give and take, doing or allowing something that you aren’t crazy about for someone you are crazy in love with.

No comments:

Post a Comment