Thursday, September 9, 2010

Initiation into Fantasy Football

It is official, I have been initiated into the infamous"Fantasy Football." My husband established a league, invited our co-workers, and with a few clicks I was part of an official league. Lacking in the knowledge and experience department, I blindly drafted my team. I pulled up one outside source to assist with my drafting. The entire process was stressful. Lights flashing at me, timers counting down. Finally, once I drafted I had no clue which players to play or even how to find my team's page. With a few simple directions from my husband, I was on my way. In fact I even completed my first trade.

Despite all of this, the first week of play started today. Much to my chagrin, I am playing my husband first. I ask him for advice, but rarely know if he is giving me "real" advice or just trying to give me poor advice so that he has the advantage. At this moment I am beating my husband. I am not confident that this state will continue, but I will work to figure this whole thing out. I have a new found respect for coaches. Decision-making is tough. I have not worked out a strategy, but I am confident by the end I will have one. Hopefully this new adventure will warrant fun and more office coffee talk!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fantasy Football

I am mentally preparing myself for football season. Honestly, I do not enjoy football at all. I just don't get the fascination and never have, even during my high school days in Texas. I'm the obnoxious person who always makes jokes mocking the sport. I purposely confuse Brett Farve and Tony Romo. Afterall, they are the same. They both bring their own drama to the game.

But, my time is up. If I am going to wholeheartedly embrace fantasy sports as a woman, I have to play fantasy football. I was invited into a league and I will begrudgingly oblige. My days are numbered until I will be sleeping in front of the TV on a Sunday afternoon absorbing the game through osmosis. My Monday nights will change drastically as well. I think I will have an even larger "Case of the Mondays." Say a prayer for my peace of mind!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The State of Sports

Sports has changed over the years. Now there are reality shows featuring athletes or just their wives/ex-girlfriends. More high profile romances between celebs and athletes. More money involved. Less performance-enhancing drugs. And of course, crazier fans. My husband has forced me to listen to sports talk radio for years! Or what seems like an eternity. To be honest, I enjoy it now. Recently a question was posed on the local sports radio in regards to the state of baseball. Is it too slow for our fast-paced society? This question got me thinking.

Here are a few of my pending questions:
1. Will the number of innings in baseball games decrease to maintain watchers? I know attention spans in classrooms seem to be getting shorter and shorter. As well as the ability to patiently wait in line or in traffic.
2. Will more players in the NBA form an alliance? Is Survivor really that awe-inspiring?
3. Will the alarming research on head injuries outweigh the desires of Americans? Is money, fame, and TV ratings worth more than coherent thoughts? NFL, huh?
4. Beckham couldn't make soccer popular in the US, but did the 2010 World Cup?
5. Will we ever stop talking about Tiger Woods and just let the guy play golf? I thought about saying "poor guy," but endorsements made him a rich, rich man.

Again, just a few thoughts. Very important thoughts at that.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sports Fans - Courage Stealers

Sports fans. They are a league of their own. There are die hard fans, fair weather fans, and then there are those that I do not have a label to describe. With that said, I am going to describe the final group and hopefully arrive at an appropriate nomenclature.

A week ago I went to the Diamondbacks game with some friends from work. We all received free tickets as part of a program for educators. We sat in the nosebleed section among other teachers in the state of Arizona. The Dbacks were playing the Marlins and I believe my husband told me it was the lowest attended game in Dbacks' history. I found this pretty sad because most of the upper sections were filled with people who received free tickets. I definitely would not have gone if it weren't for the gift. On the bright side, the Diamondbacks actually won that night.

On to the most annoying fan on the planet. I come from a world that embraces the following philosophy, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Or "Live by the golden rule." I don't think this guy had ever heard those phrases. He yelled the most offensive and discouraging words at the players, as if they could hear him. For goodness sake, we were in the nosebleed section. Nothing irritates me more than obnoxiousness and treating people as if they aren't humans. He literally yelled at every player and as the Dbacks actually played well, scored runs, and held the other team to only a couple runs, he never once said one nice thing.

The worst part to me was the fact that he was surrounded by his family. I will go ahead and judge the man. What a terrible example for his school age children, let alone the fact that either he or his wife must work in education, where we need examples of encouragement and dignity. I regularly attend sporting events, listen to sports radio, and watch ESPN. Over the years there has been a steady decline in the amount of positive words coming out of the mouths of commentators, athletes, owners, and fans. Take for example the entire Lebron James situation. Was a letter from Dan Gilbert to the fans really necessary? Sure, a statement stating that the team would move forward and be a championship team would be great. A letter of optimism. Sometimes you don't get what you want.

Fans are just as bad. This guy at the Dbacks game was truly affecting those around him. Fans burning Lebron jerseys were affecting those around them. Tirades of slander and negativity affect those around them. What ever happened to the days when sports were to be enjoyed? The days when you congratulated the other team when they beat you. The days when you acknowledged that someone was a better athlete than you. The days when parents didn't get into fights in the stands. Why is it natural to attack someones character instead of just acknowledging their gifts, skills, and abilities?

If I were to stereotype these people and label them, which I definitely believe in doing, I would call them the courage stealers. Here is the poster child for the courage stealers, just to give you a visual.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

NBA Free Agency

There has been much fodder over this year's free agency class. I have followed all of the hoopla because it will impact my fantasy selections in the coming months. This past year my steadfast players included Derrick Rose, Mo Williams, and Dwight Howard. If Lebron leaves Cleveland, then Mo could get potentially score more points. If Lebron goes to Chicago, well then Rose may get less points, but more assists. Dwight should still just be Dwight.....hilarious and fierce! Oh, and hopefully less fouls. I think King James is just toying with us. He started a Twitter account and scheduled a press conference to make his announcement. Durant just used Twitter to announce his deal. Come on King James. Use modern social media if you really want to be on the cutting edge, but an old fashioned press conference. Players are announcing where they are going. Bosh and Wade in Miami. Amare with the Knicks. Durant in Oklahoma. Nowitski in Dallas. Decisions will be made and then, I will have to make mine.


My first experience with fantasy sports was in college. I played fantasy basketball with a group of guy friends. This was back in the day when our ring leader kept up with all of the stats and assigned points by using an old school pencil and piece of paper. The Internet did exist, but I'm not sure if you could sign up on Yahoo!Sports or through ESPN. Either way, it was a great experience. I actually did pretty well. I had always followed basketball and knew enough names to draft some good players. At that time I especially enjoyed college basketball and looked forward to March Madness each year. I would diligently fill out my bracket, although I always lose. Ever since my husband and I married, we fill out a bracket each year. I have yet to win, although I have come close a few times. Each year I employ a new strategy to select my teams to no avail.

This year I decided to join a Fantasy Basketball League with my husband. We were a part of a league with strangers. Because we have the same last name, people kept making skeptical comments through the instant messaging board. EDGray and LLGray were not in fact the same person, but a married couple. It took three times as long to start the draft because people kept leaving the league because LLGray was a woman. I did not come in first place, but fourth. Because I was learning the rules and scoring system of the league, I thought that was pretty good. It actually became a rivalry with my husband. I think a healthy rivalry. My new goal - win.