April 17, 2006
Fake Diamonds: How fantasy baseball is ruining the real game. (Amy Sullivan, May 2006, Washington Monthly)
Just one week after we started dating, my boyfriend sat me down and told me he had a confession to make. It's safe to say these are not normally words one wants to hear early in a relationship. In my past, they have been followed by bombshells like, "I have another girlfriend—do you mind?" or "I'm married," or "I'm a Republican." With ghosts of boyfriends past whirling through my brain, I braced myself for the worst. "I'm in a fantasy baseball league," he told me.
If you are a fantasy baseball neophyte, as I was then, you'll understand that I was relieved to learn that this—fantasy baseball?—was his deep dark secret of shame. It seemed endearingly geeky, making my whip-smart boyfriend a little more human. I was charmed. And although he seemed to believe that the news should upset me—a fact to which I should have paid more attention—I thought of fantasy baseball as simply an extended version of the NCAA tournament brackets I filled out every spring. You pick a few players, you root for them to do well, what's the harm?
Oh, foolish young love. If you are one of the roughly eight million men who play fantasy baseball each year (or are one of the women married to them), you may already be shaking your head at my naiveté. And you won't be one bit surprised to hear that as I was assuring my boyfriend that our relationship would survive this revelation, he interrupted me to ask if he could use my computer to check his scores.
The Wife didn't even bat an alluring eyelash when I told her I'd only go to Disney for our Honeymoon if we could hit a few Sprin[g] Training games. Posted by Orrin Judd at April 17, 2006 5:59 PM