The Commish Online                                                                                
Avoiding Lameness:  A True Fantasy
April 26, 2007

Like many sports fans whose passion for the games we love has now surpassed our athletic careers, I have crossed over to the couch potato side of competition and thrown myself headlong into fantasy sports over the past decade.  Trying not to be too much of a “diehard,” I have avoided such fare as Fantasy Golf, Fantasy NASCAR, and Fantasy Jacks, instead sticking with the big guns, Fantasy Football and Fantasy Baseball.

For some reason, the pecking order of the playground holds true for fantasy games.  Role-playing “Dungeons & Dragons” type players are still the nerds.  Basically, anything that involves rolling dice (Strat-O-Matic Baseball excluded) or dressing up in a costume qualifies are certifiable nerdy.  Next up are the video game addicts.  They, simply, are the geeks and they will happily admit it.  I don’t care if it’s Doom or Madden or Super Mario’s Quest for Respect, if you need to buy motion sensing controllers and backup hard drives and a headset so you can mock other players online, you are a geek.

Then there’s us: the guys who plop themselves down on the couch, suck down a beer, and watch a real athlete score a touchdown or hit a home run, all the while earning us “points” so we can win a few bucks in our league, spending it on more beer and next year’s fantasy league dues.  And maybe a new couch.  In this fantasy world of nerds and geeks, we are the cool ones.  Or so I thought, until I tried to explain it all to my six-year old daughter.

You see, when a complimentary bobblehead doll arrives at your house because you are the commissioner (seven years running) and you must hang on to this trophy in order to properly present it to the winner in October AND you are in your thirties, there is simply no way to explain or even defend the cool factor involved to a little girl.  Legitimate questions from a child born after the inception of our league are answered with the realization that you, me, every fantasy sports “player,” is lame.

“What exactly do you DO?” she asks.  “Nothing,” I reply truthfully.  “Do you play baseball?  Who plays?  I don’t get it.  What do you mean you just WATCH?  So how do you play against someone?  It doesn’t make sense.”  On and on with the questions but just one answer:  I am part of the “get a life” group!  I guess in the fantasy sports world, there are no cool kids.

It’s a revelation I just wasn’t ready for yet.  All these years, those geeks and nerds were huddled around, mocking us between rolls of their 20-sided dice:  “Look at those guys just SITTING there.  They really need to get a life!”  “Hey, this idiot thinks he OWNS Brett Favre!”  Chuckles echo from the corner.  “Now he’s talking about TRADING for Arod.  Hey loser, why don’t you take him out for dinner and discuss it?!”  The taunts get louder, but I am too focused on my trade analysis of giving up a power hitting outfielder for a starting pitcher to notice.  I would defend myself, but my pitcher throws in less than an hour and the couch is calling!