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March 2012

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My Fantasyland: The Beginning

Written by , Posted in General

There are two things that I love more than anything, aside from the Cubs, Bills and my wife (although not in that order of course). Those two things are fantasy sports and yard sale Saturdays. In a twist of fate, those two came together one crisp autumn morning.

I wake up Saturday mornings with a sense of refreshment, but also excitement about the adventures that await me on my neighborhood tours. While the coffee pot boots up, I turn on my computer and map out my destination(s) coordinates carefully to ensure no gas is wasted. Occasionally my wife wakes up and shares the experience with me. Although on this lucky day, my traveling circus was a solo mission.

The morning started out great with the purchase of a new Callaway golf bag, which was likely someone’s unopened gift from the previous Christmas. There was still  bit of wrapping paper attached to the bottom rim of the bag and did smell a bit like a balsam fir.

The next house was loaded with books and magazines for all ages. You would have thought that these people had been running an illegal black market library in the tool shed behind their house for years. (Author’s note – I’m not entirely sure if running a library out of your shed is illegal or not, so you might need to check that) I’ve had good experiences with yard sale books before so I looked through them the most efficient way I know how, pulling each one out of it’s stacked lineup.

There were books about jungles and computers. Scuba diving and teaching. Children’s books and “Adult” books. Until finally I came across exactly what I was looking for: Fantasyland by Sam Walker.

Walker’s book recounts his quest to become the champion of the “Tout Wars” rotisserie baseball league, a league which is reserved for some of the best baseball brains in the world. Jason Grey, Ron Shandler, Bill James and Matthew Berry are just a handful of names of guys that participate in this league. Big bucks and pride is involved in this league that started in the early 80’s during the birth of fantasy sports.

Fantasyland gives America's obsession of fantasy sports an accurate memoir and is a must read if you are into a quirky take on sports statistics.

Fantasyland gives America’s obsession of fantasy sports  an accurate memoir and is a must read if you are into a quirky take on sports statistics. It is also the book that sparked my interest in both fantasy sports and writing about them.

I have to admit that fantasy baseball isn’t my strength in the world of imaginary sports, but I do enjoy the strategy behind it. Roto leagues or salary cap leagues create an even tougher experience for fans who want to go beyond their standard “set lineups once-a-week” league.

Over the next few months I’m going to tell my own story of my own “Fantasyland.” Musings of my own  rules and thoughts about drafting, managing multiple teams and fantasy smack talk no-no’s. Feel free to tune me out during the season if news of the imaginary doesn’t tickle your fancy, but my thoughts will still be here if you want to come back when no one is looking.

In an effort to build some rapport with our lovely VFTB readers, I’d like to leave you with my number one rule when building a fantasy team. Most of you that participate will be drafting in the coming two weeks, so some expert advice could do you well.

Josh’s Fantasy Rule #1  Don’t draft players from your favorite team.

The reason for this is although fantasy sports are fun, you should never want to cross your Cubs winning mojo with your fantasy winning mojo. Those two mojos just don’t mix. I used to break this rule often and would find myself pulling my hair out on Sundays as Soriano accomplished a Golden Sombrero. The only Cubs player that I put on my draft list this year is Starlin, but for fear of ruining his season, I passed on the 21-year-old when the time came to draft him.

When the choice between Matt Garza and Mat Latos is staring you the face, choose the later. For only bad things can come of drafting your favorite players.

With the VFTB Brackets in full swing (I absent mindedly missed that sign up otherwise I’d give an update) I’d also like to put the feelers out there for a baseball league. Feel free to contact me at my email or social media outlets so I can gauge interest.

  • Tommy

    Josh, I wish I had missed the deadline, my brackets suck so much, Bissell is thinking of putting me in their next commercial. 

    My best fantasy experience is actually pick ’em football (3rd out of 17 this past season) and I even came up with a weekly blog honoring my fellow players (we’re all tied together in tv.com). I’m in a private league for baseball but I would make time for another. 

    The most fun I ever had in a fantasy baseball league was back in Kansas when a group of us from the same town got a league together. We all showed up and did our draft in person. I ordered a pizza. It was great fun because we all knew one another.

  • Tommy

    Josh, I wish I had missed the deadline, my brackets suck so much, Bissell is thinking of putting me in their next commercial. 

    My best fantasy experience is actually pick ’em football (3rd out of 17 this past season) and I even came up with a weekly blog honoring my fellow players (we’re all tied together in tv.com). I’m in a private league for baseball but I would make time for another. 

    The most fun I ever had in a fantasy baseball league was back in Kansas when a group of us from the same town got a league together. We all showed up and did our draft in person. I ordered a pizza. It was great fun because we all knew one another.

  • I would like to extend an apology to all those who like Fantasy Auto racing or dislike Grandpa Joe’s antiques. This post is not for you.

    • Buddy

      What is auto racing?

    • Buddy

      What is auto racing?

      • Josh Cornwall

        I am not sure. I saw an ad for it on Yahoo!

  • With all due respect, rooting through other peoples’ garbage is about the only hobby I find more puzzling than fantasy *ball.

    • Ahh my dear swanson,

      Often people’s garbage isn’t really garbage at all. 

  • With all due respect, rooting through other peoples’ garbage is about the only hobby I find more puzzling than fantasy *ball.

    • Josh Cornwall

      Ahh my dear swanson,

      Often people’s garbage isn’t really garbage at all. 

  • Lizzie

    Funny stuff, Josh! So true about picking your favorites. Just ends up in
    heartache!

    • BLPCB

      Off-topic, but are you going to make a 2nd chance group for the tournament, as Yahoo does every year?

      • Lizzie

        Joe answered you the other day. No.

  • Funny stuff, Josh! So true about picking your favorites. Just ends up in
    heartache!

    • AC0000000

      Off-topic, but are you going to make a 2nd chance group for the tournament, as Yahoo does every year?

      • Joe answered you the other day. No.

  • Tom_C

    I am so with you on yard sale Saturdays! OTHER PEOPLE’S JUNK CAN BE MY TREASURE!

  • flyslinger2

    Yard sale? Has to be a new recession era form of passing off depressed properties to unsuspecting buyers as good properties.

  • flyslinger2

    Yard sale? Has to be a new recession era form of passing off depressed properties to unsuspecting buyers as good properties.