Day 48 – Fantasy baseball dreams come true

I am currently the commissioner of two fantasy sports leagues.

That’s one of those sentences that I never thought I would ever say.

I honestly never paid much attention to professional sports growing up. It’s not surprising, I guess, being from Nebraska. I always watched Husker sports, but that was about the extent of it. My Grandpa Wayne was a diehard Cubs fan, so I guess I probably watched more Cubs baseball than anything. And Dad was an on-again off-again Broncos fan, so I remember him often commandeering the TV after church on Sundays to watch the Broncos or PGA golf.

It wasn’t until I became friends with Foerth and Stevie that I was baptized into the world of professional sports fandom. Anyone who has ever been around Foerth and Stevie together knows that you can learn all sorts of random sports trivia, history, rules, strategy, and little known facts during the course of just about any conversation–since every conversation (no matter the original topic) will eventually turn to sports.

In 2008, I got suckered into joining the boys’ fantasy baseball league. Basically, they needed another team to round out the league and they knew I wouldn’t turn them down. They probably also counted on the fact that I wouldn’t really know what I was doing. Two years later, I won the league (with a repeat championship in 2014).

A few years after that, I somehow became commissioner of both the baseball and football leagues–which honestly resulted from both Stevie and Foerth both just getting tired of running the leagues and putting up with the constant harassment from our buddies whenever they didn’t like one of the rules or ended up losing. By that point, I was enjoying the leagues so much that I didn’t want to see them go away, so I took it on and it has honestly been fun.

There’s no real strategy behind my league settings or scoring, other than the fact that I like to experiment and shake things up every now and then. For instance, I think it’s ridiculous that most football leagues don’t include individual defensive players, so I created a system where it is more than possible (and quite likely) that your team could lose each week if you pay no attention to the rock stars on defense (why thank you Lavonte David for earning me an average of 20+ points each week!).

The past couple years, though, we’ve been noticing a ridiculous trend in our baseball league after a few of our managers took advantage of the switch to unlimited moves and inflated points in pitching categories by simply adding the best available players who were pitching that day and then dropping them immediately after the game to pick up the best available pitchers starting the next day. And they did this EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

I mean, come on people, that’s not even baseball anymore. How is fantasy sports even fun when there’s no real strategy involved?

And now we’re officially counting down the days to the new season. Foerth has been emailing and texting me for weeks now to please, please, please, please, pretty please renew the league so he can start plotting his strategy for another new season, which usually involves trying to draft the one player that he thinks Stevie will be obsessed with just so he can use him as trade bait. For a few years, that player was Barry Zito (who Stevie and his Uncle Paul claim is a distant cousin). More recently that player was Jacob DeGrom (who is now on my roster as a Keeper after I traded Foerth for Paul Goldschmidt).

This year, Foerth is threatening to draft Tim Tebow. Keep your fingers crossed for that one, folks, because I’d honestly like to see how that would play out.

And just because the one real rule in this league has always been that all is fair as long as we beat Foerth, I found the perfect photo to use as our fantasy profile pic this year…

Play ball!

365 Project – Day 235 – Filling Up My Trophy Case

Anyone who knows me knows that I am definitely not a girlie girl. I don’t wear a lot of make up. I don’t carry a purse. I rarely wear dresses. And I loooooooove me some sports.

College football is my biggest weakness. That’s probably not a complete shock, considering I was born and raised in Nebraska. (Go Big Red!!!) It wasn’t until I started dating my husband, though, that I really started to get interested in other sports.

Steven is a die hard Mets, Jets and Islanders fan, but he’s also the type of guy who will watch pretty much any sport. You name it, he’ll stop channel surfing to watch it–baseball, football, basketball, soccer, golf, even curling. He’s obsessed with curling. Hell, he even got me watching it during the last winter Olympics when I was recovering from my c-section and taking care of our newborn daughter.

Steven is also the guy responsible for my Fantasy Sports habit.

I fell into Fantasy Sports by accident. Steven and his buddies needed another person to fill up one of their leagues a few years back, and I’ve been a junkie ever since. We’ve played fantasy basketball, baseball, football, and have even done a pick ’em football league. I’ve led the pack and been left behind by the herd, and I’ve developed a greater understanding of professional sports in the process.

I’m still definitely learning and honing my strategies, but overall I think I’ve turned into a formidable opponent. Hell, I’ve even started amassing a rather impressive collection in my trophy case–a 3rd place basketball in 2008, 3rd place basketball in 2009, 1st place baseball in 2010 and 1st place pick ’em football in 2010. Just last week, I clinched the 2011 baseball playoffs. I think it might be time to clear a new spot in my trophy case.

But, hands down, the best thing about playing fantasy sports… seeing the guys squirm when they get beat by a girl.

Tonight’s 365 Project entry is dedicated to my husband and our friends for being such good sports (well, most of them at least), and to the fine folks over at Yahoo for the free leagues we play in.

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