If this is fantasy then put me out of my misery
When we were kids, the geeks played their pathetic little fantasy games in the corner of the playground, while the sporty dudes ran around, dated hot girls and sneered at the geeks. And lo, all was good and right in the universe.
Today, the geeks earn three times what anyone else earns, while the cool people have become the spotty recluses who play so-called “fantasy” football games. Many people think these games are cool and interesting. They’re wrong.
For the uninitiated, fantasy sports games are a season-long undertaking where you pick your own “team” comprised of players sourced from numerous clubs. You then swap your players around weekly, aiming to reap more points from the ridiculously complicated scoring system than everyone else. Pass the Nodoz, I say.
Let me offer some perspective here. There is a trend in online opinion pieces to blow deliberately against the wind. Australia loves MasterChef, attention-seeking hack says they hate it. Angry Birds goes viral, smartarse writer says it’s a pale shadow of Plants vs Zombies (which by the way, it is).
This is not that kind of piece. This is no argument for argument’s sake. This is an article that cuts to the heart of everything that’s wrong with modern life and modern sport and pretty much modern everything. Let’s break it down:
1. Fantasy sports games are dull
Building your fantasy team is like doing the weekly footy tipping, only infinitely more complicated. It is like buying an expensive yoghurt machine so you can sit around all day and watch the culture grow, when you could go to the supermarket and achieve the same result in a quarter of the time for a fraction of the cost. What’s wrong with good old footy tipping, anyway?
2. Fantasy games suck the life out of the way we enjoy sport
Nobody likes corporate jargon. But fantasy games have introduced a whole dictionary of meaningless gobbledygook into sports speak. Look at this clip, which is one of 100 I could have linked. Apparently some NRL dude is a good buy because he’s averaging 70. Seventy what? I don’t care. When I assess the worth of a football player, I want to know if they tackle hard and run into gaps. We might as well replace the whole English language with ones and zeroes.
3. Um, life, people
See, I have this thing called a job. And I have this person in my life called my wife. And these other vaguely humanoid creatures called kids. And friends. And they demand, nay, deserve my time. As does the lawn, and the washing up. I also engage in leisure activities occasionally. Unsurprisingly, all of the above leaves no time to contemplate whether Nick or Jack Riewoldt is likely to accrue more “hard ball gets”. (OK, so it’s probably Jack)
Anyway, that’s it. Clearly, if you enjoy playing fantasy sports games you care nothing for those around you. You are a tailgating driver on the road of life. You are the Chokito that’s left dangling in the vending machine after the machine has gulped your last two dollars.
How to end this piece? Well, the traditional method would be to flip the argument on its head at the end. “Oh, but you know what? I kind of just happened to catch MasterChef on telly last night and I actually sympathised with the surfer dude who couldn’t cook a sabayon to save his life…”
There will be no such back flip in this piece. That means I need an ending. So let me opt for the following angle:
The angle is to plead for my job on hands and knees. See, fantasy sports games drive all kinds of crazy traffic to the very mastheads that employ me and many other online journalists in Australia. The suits look very, very kindly upon people who play and promote these games. People who knock them, not so much.
Indeed, the suits themselves play fantasy games with enormous relish, presumably because reducing everything to numbers and jargon is precisely what they’re really good at.
Now, excuse me while I pop off to get some serious carpet burn…
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