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Opinion

Fantasy sports bring joy, heartbreak to owners

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April 23, 2009

So there is a few of us on the Student Voice staff along with a certain individual from WRFW, that are in a fantasy baseball league this season. It is not the first year that I have been in a league, but the first in quite some time.

What I have found out this year in the marathon that is called the Major League Baseball season, is that I already know more players, more stats and more needless information about the sport than I ever have in my life.

This is exactly what fantasy sports do for you. If you are in school, you might be in great danger as fantasy sports will find a way to take up your life more so than what Facebook does now.

For instance, my wife and I played fantasy football this year. There have been countless times when she has told me how worthless sports are or that all I do is watch sports.

She has told me several times, shaking her head, that she simply hates sports and dreads going over to my parents’ house because she knows that it will consist of a Minnesota Golden Gopher hockey game, a Minnesota Twins game or maybe even a game that does not involve a Minnesota team at all.

This all changed for her when she drafted Terrell Owens and Tony Romo for fantasy football. She is kind of a numbers person, so looking through statistics and predictions seemed to catch her eye. In a matter of weeks she was like John Clayton from ESPN.

Her whole attitude changed about football and she was the one looking at updates, scores and highlights to see how she was doing. The bad part about this came in Week 2 of the NFL season. We were scheduled to play against each other and looking at our rosters, I knew I was not even going to come close to beating her. She took it to me like Chris Brown did to Rihanna. Relentless with no pity whatsoever and literally kicked me to the curb. Public humiliation at its finest that week.

Her connection of Romo to Owens literally left me with no air as the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles decided to have an old fashion Western shootout on Monday Night Football for the whole world to see. What they saw was a man get whooped by his wife, who had to figure out a way to walk into his father’s office the next day for work and tell him the horrifying news.

A year prior, also on a Monday Night Football game, I suffered an even more humiliating loss.

The Green Bay Packers, a team I hate more than anything in the world, played the Denver Broncos in a game I did not want to watch in the first place, but I was going up against wide receiver Greg Jennings of the Packers in what was a tight battle with one of my closest friends.

I had a slim lead going into the overtime period and all I needed was a field goal from either team and I would have won. The only way I would lose was if Jennings caught a touchdown pass from that piece of crap Brett Favre.

Sure enough, first play from scrimmage in overtime, Favre goes deep to Jennings and the game was over along with my cell phone, which was “accidently,” thown against the wall after my friend called.

Regardless of what happens, fantasy sports makes every game exciting. In baseball, who would ever want to watch the Cincinnati Reds play the Pittsburgh Pirates? Probably because someone has first baseman Adam LaRoche of the Pirates on their team.

The best is while watching your favorite team play, obviously wanting them to win, but rooting against certain players, maybe even your favorites. For me, it could be going up against Jason Kubel, who would have killed my team last week. If I was playing a team that had him on his squad, the grand slam he hit along with his near perfect series at the plate would have sent me into a state of chaos.

That is what makes it great. People in fantasy leagues end up following the small market teams, which will end up at or near the bottom of their respective division standings, or have to root against their favorite players or else they might not get the points to lock down a playoff spot. In fantasy sports, every pitch, every point, every play counts and that is the why everybody who plays it, loves it.

Justin Magill is a student at UW-River Falls.