Fantasy Sports: Love Em Or Leave Em?

Jon HendricksonContributor IJuly 24, 2010

Many moons ago, I remember rooting for my beloved Angels and only caring whether they won or lost. I was a HUGE fan and my mood that night would revolve around their wins and losses. If they won, I was on cloud 9, eager to read the LA Times Sports page the next morning....if they lost, I'd go right to bed and I'd still read the Sports page but stayed far away from the recap on the loss. It was all Angels all the time. I was concerned about the name on the front of the jersey and had no personal feelings either way about the names on the back. As long as they helped the team win, I was their most ardent fan.

However, since that time (many moons ago), something has changed. Sure, I still root for the Angels to win but my allegiance has now gone from the front of the jersey to the back. No longer do I root for the team to win (per se) but instead root for the team to win AND for my "fantasy players" to do well. If the Angels lose but Hunter hits 2 bombs, then I am stoked. It is this change of feeling that leads me to believe that.....

The creation of "fantasy" has ruined sports forever.

Don't get me wrong, I am a big participant in fantasy sports. When I was 12 years old, my brother and I created our own fantasy baseball league and it is still going strong 23 years later. I have also played fantasy football, fantasy basketball, and even fantasy golf. I guess you could say I enjoy the competition and the camaraderie that comes with being part of a league but through that participation, I have sacrificed what "rooting for the home team" used to be all about. Now it's, "Root, root, root for the homerun" instead.....because a solo homerun earns me 6 points on the fantasy scale.

What stinks is that in order to get back to rooting for just the Angels themselves, I would have to give up my enjoyment of fantasy sports. It's all or nothing. How many times have the Angels been winning by 2 runs in the 9th, Fuentes on the mound, and WHACK.....he gives up a 3 run shot to one of my fantasy players? What do I do? How do I react? If anyone is around, I act pissed and yell at Fuentes for sucking and then when I'm all alone, I jump up and down because I just got an extra 8 points for the night.

I hate that feeling and yet love it at the same time. I am a "fantasy geek" and know the stats of almost every player and yet, I want that feeling back that I had as a 12 year old where my good nights were dependent on Angel wins instead of fantasy points.

How can I have my cake and eat it too? Answer: I can't.

It's either drop fantasy all together or accept the fact that life's pleasures now revolve around: homeruns, three point baskets, touchdowns, and top 5 finishes instead of just pure wins and losses.

It stinks! I hate fantasy sports!

ps I'm thinking of creating a Fantasy Curling league? Anyone want in?