I like to pull for teams. Fantasy sports teams just don’t get my blood going.
Mostly, I enjoy college athletics —basketball and football in particular. My favorites teams being the Temple Owls and the Florida State Seminoles (if you’re a long time reader of my blogs, you probably knew that already).
I grew to love John Chaney, the Hall of Fame Basketball coach for the Temple Owls; and how Bobby Bowden’s would recruit “speed”for the Seminoles football team. Even though both coaches have retired, I’m still a die-hard fan of each school. You could say my team pride runs in my blood.
As a team enthusiast, I grow to love the players on the field and court. I build an attachment to them, get to like their personalities, and moreover, how they grow through the course of the year.
That’s why I have mixed feelings about Fantasy sports (Fantasy Football, Baseball, Basketball, etc.). As a guy who has never played, but who has children and friends that do, I see the slow decline of a team appreciation, to a singular awareness of individual statistics.
Last year, the running back Chris Johnson had something to say about this:
“Public service announcement: I can care less about fantasy football. Key word fantasy. As long as we win I’m happy. I rush for 200 n lose y’all happy,” Johnson wrote. “U r the head coach n the owner of ur fantasy team so u should be mad at urself I didn’t ask any of u to draft me so if I’m so sorry y start me.”
I tend to think Chris Johnson is right. The brand of professional sports is changing due to Fantasy Sports. Owners of teams pull for players, who can at times be on rival teams, hoping they, as Johnson said, “rush for 200 yards,” so they can win in their league that week.
Is Fantasy a bad thing? I don’t think so, but it’s hard to deny that it is changing the complexion of how we view sports. For a traditionalist like me, that makes me a bit sad.