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Article:Fantasy Sports: A Love Hate relationship

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      Fantasy sports have soared in popularity over the years. This has not always been the case however. When I first started playing ( circa 1 995) I had trouble getting 9 other people together who would actively participate for an entire season. Now when I start a league I have to beat people off like lions with my chair and whip. Everyone and there mom’s cousin knows at all times what the status of Chauncey Billups groin is (at least during the regular season) and everyone is ready to sell high or buy low. We all value FG% and we have all adapted the money ball philosophy. Most loyal fantasy sports (FS) patrons know who Bill James is and I can honestly confess that his philosophy of getting guys who don’t strike out and have a high OBP has improved the quality of my life. (I take my leagues personally and am happier when I win) Am I an extreme case? ABSOLUTLY, I’m proud of that, but am I alone? Not by a long shot.

 

Unfortunately the current fantasy sports product is not perfect. Yahoo and ESPN dominate the industry and while there are both other large websites to choose from (cbs.sportsline.com, sportingnews.com, SI.com) and numerous smaller websites, no one has managed to hit the nail on the head.

 

How is it possible for FS interest to be growing at higher rate then FS innovations? While no one can deny that the fantasy sports programs have shown some improvement, they still do not offer players the type of customization and adaptability that hard core fantasy players desire. That being said, I know that eventually someone will blow me out of the water with a revolutionary concept that will change the way that fantasy sports are played. BUT I for one am tired of waiting. I am frustrated. There are basic changes, obvious to the advanced (obsessed) players that NEED to occur, and if they do not then I for one quit.

 

FS hosts (e.g., ESPN, Yahoo) have become static. What was the last good improvement to fantasy sports? Why haven’t certain obvious features been added? For example how come draft order isn’t announced until half an hour before the draft starts? Better yet, how come players are not allowed to trade draft picks? If draft order were announced ahead of time it would allow players to better plan their 1 st, 2 nd, and 3 rd round picks. It would also give players time to do pre-draft trades. I would love to try to package my 1st round and 9th round picks to someone less experienced for their 2nd and 3rd round selections (Have I mentioned that I love fantasy sports?) This however does not exist in the mainstream leagues at this time. I have offered my fellow fantasy competitor’s trades like this in the past via the chat, but to this point have yet to complete a pre-draft transaction. This particular improvement however has always seemed obvious to me. It is a basic change to the system that would add realism and interest to what is starting to become an otherwise uneventful season. It can not be the only change however.

 

 Alterations such as the one I proposed are necessary for the “fantasy sports boom” to continue. In my short time on armchairgm.com I have noticed that the users of this particular website have extremely strong opinions and are not afraid to voice them. That is why this is the perfect forum to ask: What have you always wanted to change about FS? What would you add? What would you remove? What cool features have ESPN and Yahoo not yet thought of?

 

 I have always been curious as to what other innovative things people have thought of over the years that have never occurred. I hope that this is my chance to find out.  


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