Fantasy Sports Going Beyond the Stats

For or a long while now I have ranted against fantasy sports, mostly because it consumes a person’s life, requiring countless hours of your day to research, assuming that you want to do decently and win some money. But more than anything it makes sports into a mere numbers-crunching excise.

While I don’t judge if you play a fantasy sport, I think it’s important for people to understand that sports can often be a lot richer when you go beyond the numbers.

James Carter

 Many sports fans all over the Globe get involved in a fantasy sports leagues. Instead of simply enjoying the game, we start to abjectly the players, thinking things like “How many yards did Matt Ryan get for this week? I really need some fantasy points for my fantasy team.” Really people. whatever happened to seeing athletes as human beings?

Not everyone has forgotten the human element of professional sports or sports in general. A while back, I scanned a Sunday edition of a New York Times and saw an article about how Los Angeles Dodgers Pitcher Clayton Kershaw went on a mission trip to Africa in January 2011. Stories like this interest me because they display the personal side of athletes.

Don’t get me wrong, I use to love the raw sports statics. When I was in middle school I spent many

Fantasy sports are played by millions of people around the world./Photo Courtesy of

a Saturday on baseball reviewing old players’ stats inside and out. This was not a great idea for my social development at the time, but I managed to compensate for it later on.

Once I even joined a fantasy baseball league, although I never kept up with it. In order for me to win the league (weather for a cash reward or something else), I would have I would have needed to sit in front of the computer screen on a daily basis, tracking the likelihood that a given hitter or pitcher was going to get on a hot streak. Even as a middle school student that just seemed like too much time.

But fantasy sports leagues are not completely bad. One benefit I see is the camaraderie they inspire in groups of people. Families and friends gather around the television on Sunday, eagerly anticipating how the players and teams on their fantasy squads will do. It becomes a fun and intense personal competition. But whatever happened to the days of cheering for athletes for more than just their raw stoical performance?

I once wrote a feature on a high school classmate of mine that failed an art class during our sophomore year and could not play soccer that spring. Devastated this soccer player became the laughingstock of the school. It is pretty puzzling how someone could fail an art class, but it happened. However, he and his teammates won a state championship the year after that (once his grades improvised), and he earned a Division I soccer scholarship.

The last time I checked the athletic site for his college’s soccer team, he was a stoical ghost because he hadn’t played much and hadn’t scored many goals and such. Still, I find his story interesting because it’s a testament to the hard work that goes far beyond simple sports statistics.

While I don’t judge if you play a fantasy sport, I think it’s important for people to understand that sports can often be a lot richer when you go beyond the numbers.


James Carter

James Carter has a real passion for online "stuff", is an avid WordPress fan and user, and gets great satisfaction out of helping others. -- so in his spare time, he's busy doing community service with his church, spending time with family and friends while creating post for this blog.


  1. Very great post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I have really loved browsing your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I’m hoping you write once more soon!

  2. Interesting article. Perhaps also biased a little in it’s defense of people who play fantasy sports Hate is far to strong a word for me, but I wish it didn’t exist because it has shifted the focus of the most beautiful team sport into a data driven obsession with individuals. I don’t want to see the beauty of the team sport watered down, overlooked and confused by rooting for player stats on the crawl not team scores.

    • Let me go on record by saying I don’t dislike or hate people who play fantasy sports. My point here is that when one looks beyond the numbers there are more interesting things too me. I tried fantasy sports and it just took up too much of my time. For the record, I do not select my friends on whether they play fantasy sports or not.

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