True Fan or Just a Fantasy?

Which category do you find yourself falling into? Are you the loyal fan reaching into the closet, searching for your lucky jersey for the big game, or are you the person that is hunkered into your favourite booth at the local watering hole with your laptop? It is getting closer to the 1:00 p.m. kickoff for the weekly slate of National Football League games, you find yourself beginning to get anxious, as you are scrambling for information to make sure your starting Wide Receiver is active for the upcoming game.

The sports landscape keeps changing with the popularity of Fantasy Sports to both sports fans and number crunchers alike. The industry has grown over the decades from a competitive diversion amongst a group of friends, to a multi-million dollar enterprise with daily leagues and wagering.

At times, sports can blur the lines of allegiances. The ticker across the television shows your favourite baseball team has dropped another one, the moment where some fans begin to utter some of those “not to be printed adjectives” and you stop dead in your tracks.

Your current emotion of anger changes to; ‘I have the opposing team’s starting pitcher,’ I guess I’ll deal with it tonight. Another thought runs across your mind, how many fantasy points did I get?

When I self-assess my own habits, I do my best to “walk a fine line” as my loyalty to my teams still comes first. As I have gotten older I don’t have the time to keep an eye on all of the teams in a sports league, as I once did as a teenager. I find my interest in fantasy sports has kept me up to speed with some of the over-achieving players, and of course at times you can’t help become new fans for some players that have come through for you in clutch moments in the fantasy sports playoffs.

I’m guilty to an extent, when I think of certain players that hold a special place with me. They fall into multiple categories, varying from those special moments in your childhood, to interviewing them for an article and of course the obscure player that comes through for you on the last day of a scoring period in the fantasy playoffs. A special thank you to former Florida Marlins pitcher, Chris Volstad wherever you are today!

For myself growing up and pre-fantasy baseball there was the Detroit Tigers dynamic duo of Lou Whitaker and Alan Trammell, watching the all-time base stolen base leader Rickey Henderson terrorize opposing teams on the base paths, and of course switching sports the “Jerry and Jimmy” Dallas Cowboys of the 90’s.

Over the last few years, I personally know people that will just watch football for the ‘fantasy’ fix of the weekend and then the other segment that have no interest in playing, as they just want to focus on their team of preference.

I feel sorry at times for the casual NFL fan that is glued to a television for the sole purpose of watching individual players on their fantasy team “Forte Shades of Grey.” Keep in mind the “world of fantasy” can go up in smoke with an ACL injury or a performance enhancing drug suspension to one of their star players on their fantasy roster. If one of these scenarios occurs, there is no Plan B for this “stats guru” as there just “all in” for fantasy world, with no official team to call their own.

Meanwhile, I’ll leave this for you to ponder, which category you fall into, while I reach into my drawer for my lucky t-shirt. It is almost time for the opening pitch and I need to get myself ready!