My Fantasyland: The Beginning
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. 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.