The Sportmeisters Cheap Shot: Has Fantasy Sports Gone Too Far?

The SportmeistersAnalyst IJuly 14, 2009

TURNBERRY, SCOTLAND - JULY 14:  Tiger Woods of USA tees off during a practice round prior to the 138th Open Championship on July 14, 2009 on the Ailsa Course, Turnberry Golf Club, Turnberry, Scotland.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

By Derek of The Sportmeisters

As the fantasy guru of the Sportmeisters, it’s my job to do research on fantasy sports and the players that participate in them. However, Ryan and I came across something while watching the Andy Roddick vs. Roger Federer Wimbledon final. We got in the discussion of how far fantasy sports have come and Ryan told me something that I couldn’t believe. He told me he saw a television promotion for Fantasy Cycling, highlighting the Tour de France.

Now, I couldn’t believe it, but he assured me it was true so I went and researched and, lo and behold, I found some fantasy sports that I couldn’t believe. I understand mainstream sports having a fantasy alter ego, like Football, Baseball, Basketball, and Hockey.

But Fantasy Cycling, Golf, Tennis, Soccer, Fishing, and Auto Racing? Have we fantasy experts taken the art of fantasy sports too far? I mean, Fantasy Fishing? Come On!

I don’t even understand how you would score something like that. Having to pick players or competitors in sports where the top ones are most widely known in makes no sense to have in fantasy. I mean, if everyone chooses Tiger Woods for their Fantasy Golf team, where’s the competition? Or, if everyone takes Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, or Venus or Serena Williams, how do you tell who wins?

Besides, who else in fantasy Golf or Tennis would be worth drafting and/or using? Those players win just about every time. Picking out sleepers and creating teams based on randomly placed brackets and foursomes is impossible!

I’ve heard rumors of Fantasy Movies and Fantasy Television shows, led by the famous Talented Mister Romo, Matthew Berry. ESPN’s Bill Simmons once created a US Weekly fantasy league.

Outside of sports, fantasy is becoming way too mainstream. In what was once a sport designed to give the armchair GM’s around the world their “shot,” has quickly multiplied into a multi-million dollar industry that takes away from the game, and now, sullies strong international competition for the top individual prizes in cycling, golf, and tennis. Seriously, how long until the Fantasy Olympics start?

I understand that with sports like Football and Baseball there are enough players that no two teams have the same players and, thanks to ESPN and Yahoo, we all know who they are, as well as have actual competition where the same people don’t win every time. There is a percentage of luck drawn in. Look, as much as I love fantasy sports, and as important as it has made my Sportmeisters career, there are just some sports that aren’t designed for fantasy.

I mean, even the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) had a fantasy game at one point. If that’s not taking things too far, I don’t know what is. Well…I guess fantasy cycling and fishing would be taking things too far also, but isn’t that my point? So please, ESPN, Yahoo, and all other fantasy sites out there, rethink your fantasy game ideas before you launch them and answer me this…have we taken fantasy sports too far?