sports leagues: Another Internet playground
By Matthew L. Glade
May 2, 2006 | With the the seventh pick in the first
round, Steve Smith is on the board, but do I want to
take a receiver this earlier? Peyton Manning is a stat
machine, but will the loss of Edgerrin James in the
off season hurt his numbers? Can Deuce McCallister stay
healthy for the entire season or would I be better off
drafting someone more durable like Shaun Alexander?
Randy Moss or Chad Johnson? Tony Gonzalez or Antonio
Do these questions look familiar to you? If they do
you are probably addicted to one of the fastest rising
phenomenon in the country, taking over offices, campuses,
and home computers alike, fantasy sports. If you have
no idea what I'm talking about keep reading and you'll
gain a little more insight into this strange new world.
Fantasy sports are games on the Internet that give
participants the chance to own and manage their own
team. You can join leagues on websites such as espn.com,
si.com, or even websites like yahoo.com. You pick a
sport, have a draft to get your players, and then manage
your team for the duration of the season of the sport
you are participating in.
Marques Chavez, a junior hear at Utah State says it's
a great way to become involved with the sports. "Most
sports fans will scream at the TV or say 'If I were
in charge, I would do a better job with that team,'
so this is a small taste of what it's like to be in
charge of a team."
Your team scores points based on the statistical performance
of the players on your team during their real game.
For example, if I had Tom Brady quarterbacking my fantasy
football team and he threw for 312 yards and two touchdowns
in his real life game, he would score me points for
number of yards and touchdowns he threw for. Here is
an example of a basic scoring system, but every league
has different standards:
-- One point for 20 passing yards
-- One point for 10 rushing yards
-- One point for 10 receiving yards
-- Six points for a rushing or receiving touchdown
-- Three points for a passing touchdown
-- Minus one point for every interception thrown
-- Minus two points for every fumble
-- One point for an extra point kicked
-- Three points for a made field goal (with varying
bonuses for long distance kicks)
In most fantasy football leagues you will go head
to head with other players, but some leagues are known
as rotisserie or "roto" leagues, where you are ranked
according to the number of points you have.
There is a fantasy genre for every sport out there;
football, basketball, baseball, even professional wrestling
has a fantasy game where you draft wrestlers and score
points based on if they win their match, interfere with
someone else's, or hit someone with a chair.
If you want to start playing fantasy sports you should
first see what real sports are in season and then according
to Huu Tran, another student at Utah State, "whichever
sport you enjoy best would be the easiest to start because
you would understand it better."
Even students who aren't involved with fantasy sports
can see the benefits. Jared Sagers, another student
at Utah State, has never joined a league but can see
why fans do it. "I think it offers an avid sports nut
a chance to get more involved in the league, because
it's like you own a team and you root for players to
score big and you hope other players your buddy has
on his team don't do well. So it adds another level
of sports enjoyment."
Users must beware because fantasy sports can eat up
a lot of time and become very addictive. As a student
it can it can be very tempting to put off homework to
devise the perfect trade for the player you are lacking.
But, as with all things, it's about time management
Huu said. "So as long as students balance correctly,
it's relaxing and fun and a good way to relieve stress."
So if you seem intrigued by this new time consumer,
I'll see you out in the fantasy world; but don't think
for one minute my team, the "Angus Vancmans," is going
to take it easy on you.