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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Losing my virginity in fantasy sports play

    All Madden

    I feel like a high school student before prom.

    I’ve been pacing back and forth, tugging at my shirt collar and chewing my nails like Beethoven the St. Bernard chewed on George Newton’s shoes in the 1992 film. My palms are sweaty. My stomach is churning. I’m constantly looking in the mirror to make sure I don’t have a nasty piece of broccoli stuck in my teeth.

    Things must be perfect. This weekend I will lose my virginity.

    My fantasy sports virginity, that is.

    It’s a sacred time in a young person’s life, I hear. There is a special bond between a person and a computer. The mood must be just right, and more times than not, your success is based on the performance of someone else.

    And the most demoralizing part? The people you’re relying on can do just fine without you. Brutal.

    When you’re finished for the day, you can be romantic and cuddle with your stats, or you can immediately call your buddy and say, “”Not only did I get to second base, but I just scored! You owe me $10.””

    Truly sacred.

    The roots of fantasy sports began in the 1960s, but the popularity of these “”sports”” as we know them today – those on the Internet – have boomed within recent years. It’s now a multimillion-dollar industry that feeds off of statistics and make-believe teams. I’ve never been interested before, but like Tampa Bay Rays fans and William Hung followers, I’m jumping on the bandwagon.

    The world of fantasy sports is like Willy Wonka’s Candy Factory to me. It involves rotisseries, owners and commissioners. It’s a foreign world that I’ve heard is a magical place, and crazy stuff can happen in the blessed realm.

    But crazy can be fun. So when I was asked to join an NBA fantasy league, I jumped at the opportunity quicker than Hugh Hefner jumped at the chance to have a pair of 19-year-old twin girlfriends.

    The word on the street, however, is that there are some drawbacks to joining a fantasy league. The first one, of course, is that my team won’t come with a pair of 19-year-old twins.

    My first task will be drafting a team Friday afternoon. The drafting process itself should be interesting, but I get the gist of it. Obviously, you want to go after the big guns like LeBron James and Kobe Bryantÿ- I know that much about fantasy sports – but what if there are injuries? New England quarterback Tom Brady went down for the season and screwed tons of NFL fantasy teams.

    And what if I can draft a sleeper who does overwhelmingly well this upcoming season? Should I even try to do that?

    ChaCha texting service suggested I draft former Wildcat and current Atlanta Hawk Mike Bibby No. 1 overall. ESPN.com ranks him No. 64 overall, a spot higher than Greg Oden. I guess ChaCha was looking for sleepers.

    Drafting fantasy players, I would think, is a lot like looking for someone to go on a date with: you can go off of looks and popularity, but you might be disappointed in the long run. Or you can choose someone by certain characteristics and pray they aren’t more of a disappointment than Carrot Top’s acting career.

    I’m sure joining a fantasy league will increase my interest in the players and the game – not to mention make me a fan of “”my”” players – but I certainly don’t want it to take up the little free time that I do have. It’s supposed to be fun and competitive, but I don’t want it to be the ball-and-chain that sinks me under the river of reality.

    A group named Women Against Fantasy Sports has already been formed to protest against men who give more attention to their make-believe teams than to their women. I’m not into cyber love, and if this experience is going to trade my interest in women for a love of sweaty men whom I “”own,”” then count me out.

    Then again, you never have to ask fantasy players how their day went.

    – Lance Madden is a journalism junior. He can be reached at sports@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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