Talking Sports In The War Zone: Following My Fantasy Teams

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Talking Sports In The War Zone: Following My Fantasy Teams
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

By Ryan of The Sportmeisters

Ryan of The Sportmeisters is currently deployed in Afghanistan supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. While he is over there, Ryan is chronicling some of his journeys as a sports fan, and how he continues to monitor his favorite teams. Today’s topic is on fantasy sports.

I’ve been playing fantasy sports for a long time, but only when I got into college did I really take off with it. Recently, I partner up with Sportmeister Derek on most of my fantasy endeavors (baseball and football). Being deployed, I have to monitor both seasons while over here.

The baseball one is in full swing, so we’ll start with that. Back home, I get to spend my nights watching my players perform and tracking their progress as the night goes on. Here, by the time I get to a computer in the morning, I’m stuck seeing what already happened, except for the occasional West Coast game that runs late. It’s even more difficult because when I go to bed at night, the games haven’t even started yet!

Luckily, Derek runs a schedule at work that allows him and I to talk while it's late on the east coast and early on my side of the world. This allows us to discuss our team and any moves we need to make. However, when it comes to football, that’s a whole other story.

You see, when Derek and I prepare for fantasy football we go all out. Call us what you will, but the weekend that Derek visits me, when we hunker down for 48 hours of pure fantasy football rankings, is downright important. Our league requires we spend the time fully prepared, because lets face it, what good is playing if you’re not winning? This year requires a different touch.

We’re so far apart, so Derek and I are resorting to e-mail for our rankings. At the same time, being slightly separated from the news pace, I see things a little after Derek does. I am forced to play catch up. Luckily, Derek is the fantasy guru.

His rankings show he knows what he’s talking about. Our strategy this year is to e-mail each other with our arguments and decide our draft plan. Its tough to give 110 percent focus this year, but I’m making as strong of an effort when it comes to my big studs and sleepers.

While draft preparation is part, being there for the draft holds another significant importance. Being eight and half hours away, I will most likely be awake extremely early while our draft is going on. Call me crazy again, but if you want to win, you have to put in the work.

Following a fantasy team can be difficult when you are getting the news at a different pace than what you are used to. Draft times have to be set to accommodate you, but when you can find a group of like-minded people, it makes it just as fun.

My office here is starting a league. We’re all on the same page when it comes to our level of information and how we can follow the sport. Luckily, being in the same time zone allows us to set a draft time that isn’t so unreasonable.

I like fantasy sports because it lets me feel like I am the GM, and it gives me an extra reason to watch a Detroit Lions vs. Chicago Bears, or follow Justin Verlander’s latest gem performance. Despite the time difference, I am happy I can keep fantasy sports as much a part of my life as anything else.

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