On Fantasy Sports

While killing time in a mall bookstore on a weekend visit to Ft. Wayne, Indiana one winter day in the mid-to-late 1980s, I stumbled across and bought the 2nd edition of Rotisserie League Baseball by Glen Waggoner. Within a month, our league formed.

Although “fantasy sports” is the commonly used term instead of rotisserie, let me simply say I was playing this game without Internet resources and without software. It was magazines and newspapers, thus we calculated stats from newspapers with pencils, paper, and calculators.

I’ve played in keeper leagues, NL-only leagues, open-leagues, draft and trade, leagues involving minor leagues, leagues involving money and no money, those with a playoff system, salary auctions and simple draft pick ‘em, cumulative-stat leagues vs. period-stat leagues, short-seasons and full-season leagues, and so on. Since then, I’ve also played online versions of baseball, NFL. college football, NASCAR, and minimal tries at golf, hockey, and basketball.

Every fantasy sports participant (owner) has their preference and since my history goes back further than most, here’s what I’ve learned about my preferences.

  • I prefer playing for fun instead of money because money changes behaviors.
  • I prefer playing without drafts because drafts take too much time.
  • I prefer playing games without dealing with other owners because they can be a pain.
  • I prefer playing games without trading with other owners because of owner behaviors.

These are why I prefer playing games at The Sporting News (TSN). Many TSN games are free, all players are available to all owners, and owners don’t deal with one another. In other words, I play for fun because I enjoy it. Those early days clearly taught me want I don’t like.

Baseball season is approaching, so my scouting has begun. If there’s anyone out there who want to try it for fun – thus no pressure, let me know.