I am booked for an appearance on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports (XM-147, Sirius-211) on Monday night, 9:30 ET/6:30 PT. The station is celebrating pitchers and catchers reporting with 18 hours of nothing but fantasy baseball talk using Valentine's Day as a theme. The producer sent me some questions to prepare for the interview.
The first note to the host is "Start with some fun fluff questions about fantasy baseball starting back up again, and what makes him so passionate and love fantasy baseball so much."
While I invite you to tune in and hear my answer, I thought I would share some thoughts with you on the topic.
It really irks me when some people contend that fantasy baseball enthusiasts should get out from behind their spreadsheets and actually watch some games. They say we don't appreciate the beauty of the game and are instead wrapped up in stuff like VORP, BABIP, WAR, xFIP, etc. To you, I quote my sister after I needle her as big brothers are supposed to do, "BITE ME!!!"
Most of us would wake up and read the box scores from the previous day's games regardless if we played fantasy baseball. Most of us would watch a game even if we did not have any rooting interest for our players. Most of us love baseball first and use fantasy baseball to embellish our love for the real game.
But you know what my favorite part of this hobby is? It is a fantastic means of meeting and befriending a bunch of people with a mutual interest, baseball, but then fostering those relationships into something more than just dudes in the same league. I bet almost everyone reading this has made some real good friends through fantasy baseball, and your relationship extends well past trade talks.
There is no doubt the most wonderful aspect of the industry is that, while we are in the same business, the relationships amongst us are unlike any other. The help we give to one another is somewhat remarkable considering it’s a competitive arena, yet we do not approach things in a typical cut-throat manner. Granted, I am not on the real inner circle of this, since fantasy baseball not my main vocation, it is a labor of love, but I am plugged in enough to know there is a more symbiotic nature to the industry than any business I have personally seen.
I think my favorite part about being involved is that even though we all have the common thread of baseball in general, and fantasy baseball in particular, if you were to sit behind us at an AFL ballgame and eavesdrop in on the conversations, you could probably count the number of times we talk baseball on one hand. Instead, you will hear us catching up on each other's families and "real jobs", for those of us that have one. You will hear us talking about music or movies. And depending on who you are sitting behind, you may catch some political banter.
Yeah, baseball brought us together and is always there in the background, but the friendships have grown into much more than that. And I bet many of you can cite similar stories of getting together with buddies you met playing fantasy baseball.
That's why I am so passionate and love this game so much.