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Fantasy Sports Fix: Buy the ticket, take the ride

Chris Gingrich/For the Daily Press

There was no way to know that fantasy sports would get as big as it has. Even when the internet went mainstream, not many people were into this idea of “fantasy” sports. There were some hardcore fantasy heads out there, though. I counted myself among them.

Even from my start in virtual sports in 1995, I remember staying up way past midnight looking at NBA box scores and listening to the Smashing Pumpkins. The accounting class I was taking took a backseat as I spent most of the 90-minute class choosing players in one of the first virtual fantasy games called NBA Virtual GM. I was supposed to be filling out Excel spreadsheets and paying attention, but at 16, with a newfound love of fantasy sports and internet access, I turned the spreadsheets into fantasy basketball projections, sleeper picks and notes.

After some time of playing basketball games, I ventured into baseball and football, naturally. Later, I discovered coffee went well with late night fantasy sports analysis, but it always made my girlfriend at the time mad that I would never come to bed before 3 a.m.

To say she was not a fan of fantasy sports is an understatement. I sarcastically told her it was hard work doing all this “analysis” and I needed the quiet of the night to work best and make the best picks for all my teams. She was never convinced though, because as I did my so-called “analysis” I would also be listening to late night talk show host Art Bell talk to all kinds of weird guests with crazy stories of the supernatural.

Determined to make the best lineups possible, I studied stats and read articles all night while listening to creepy tales. It helped with the picks, somehow.

When fantasy sports was getting more popular, I started to see people actually making money doing so-called “analysis” for popular sports sites. I always liked writing, so, I thought it would be easy to combine with my love of fantasy sports.

I also enjoyed reading Hunter S. Thompson’s writings for inspiration, especially the sports ones. He was so descriptive and just had an insight that most didn’t. I just kept his stuff in mind while writing my own takes on players in the fantasy world, but never really explored his kind of writing like I wanted to.

Even though I kept blogging, the views were never huge, but it was fun expressing myself and a good outlet. I somehow managed to find my way into the sports section of the local newspaper, not once, but twice. I just tried to be honest with my writing and try to pick the not-so-popular fantasy picks of the day, and sometimes it paid off when a little-known player had a big day in the fantasy sports world.

Maybe next summer, I’ll travel to Las Vegas for one of the big fantasy sports conventions and under the heavy and intense desert heat, I can show a different side of the fantasy sports world. Excel spreadsheets, various coffees, and stat projections for players you’ve never heard of.


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