Monday, September 10, 2007

My fantasy: No fantasy

I am clearly in the minority here, but I am thoroughly sick of fantasy sports.

To me, fantasy takes away the appeal of sports – especially team sports.

How could I – a Philadelphia Eagles fan by birth and a Baltimore Ravens fan by choice, ever pick a fantasy team that included a member of the Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals or Cleveland Browns? Why would I want to see any of those players do well? And why would I want to participate in a venture where I could lose money if I won’t pick any player from nearly 20 percent of the teams in the NFL?

Team sports are about the team – not about the individual.

Of course, I don’t bet on the outcome of individual games, either. I want to be happy when my team wins the game – not angry that they won but didn’t cover the spread.

As I said, I know that I’m in the minority. Former Ravens owner Art Modell told me for a story I wrote for The Sun in January 2005:

“There’s no question in my mind, and I hate to say it in public, but I have to be honest about it, the element of wagering by the average fan in office pools, man-to-man betting, even with bookmakers, has added a tremendous dimension to our game. It’s brought millions of people to the TV set if they have a buck or two on a team.”

Do you play fantasy football? What is the appeal to you?

-ED WALDMAN, Managing Editor, Business

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