Fantasy Sports Go Political

The Fantasy Sports Trade Association has hired its first federal lobbyist as part of a political campaign to protect its financial interests and to expand into states that ban betting (even on fictional team). Now fantasy sports have officially joined politics in the real world.

Fantasy sport leagues exist in a variety of sports including football, baseball, basketball, hockey and more. In these leagues, fans are allowed to created mock teams of real-life players who will compete in pretend franchises. They are a big part of American sports and growing more in popularity and size with each year and season.

Travis McCoy registered to lobby on the Fantasy Sports Trade Association’s behalf in May and says, “We are trying to allow people to play their games and have a good time.”

McCoy is a former aide to House Speaker John Boehner and treasurer of the association’s newly formed PAC. He is also an avid fantasy football, baseball, basketball and hockey player so he understands what these type of sports really mean to the fan.

The Best Fantasy Sports Resource Sites on the Web

Fantasy sports are growing in popularity year by year. They are great for any sports fan who dreams of building their own team and competing with other fantasy team builders. There are now plenty of resources for the fantasy sport fan online that can offer the them plenty of information that they may need to build a successful team. There are online web sites that offer useful information such as player rankings, stats, and even cheat sheets.

Yahoo Fantasy Sports is a popular online web site for fantasy sports enthusiast to visit and compile information from. The Yahoo main fantasy page offers a hosting on baseball, football, basketball, NASCAR, and even hockey pools. Most of these leagues are free of charge. Another great site is that of the Bio Soft Sports site. This web site is the ultimate in fantasy sport player selection service. It also includes sports handicapping and poker software. Another site is that of Dr. Fantasy Football. This site offers plenty of news, player rankings, many cheat sheets, depth charts, statistics, transactions, injury reports, and a whole lot more. Next in line is the web site of Fantasy Baseball Hub. This site offers a free up to date compendium of baseball resources for its users. There are categories that are tailored to the users’ needs. This site makes it simple to acquire the information and statistics you need in virtually no time at all. And don’t forget popular sports site RootZoo, which is almost like a MySpace, social networking site for sports fans. On this site users earn points for their participation, which give it a competitive and addicting quality.

There are fantasy sports resource sites for any occasion one might need them for. There are sites that are dedicated to one particular sport, as mentioned earlier, or sites that are dedicated to fantasy sports in general as were also mentioned before. Fantasy Football Bookmarks is a great site to visit that is dedicated to the latest stats and info. Another great site is the Fantasy Football Café. This site offers enthusiasts a place on the internet to tap into news resources about fantasy football, cheat sheets, sleepers, NFL player rankings, strategies and other tips, advice, forums, and even predictions. Another strictly fantasy football site is the Fantasy Football Draft Cheat Sheets web site. The site is actually named Fantasy Draft Edge and it offers personalized cheat sheets for the enthusiast.

These cheat sheets can keep you ahead of the curve from draft day to beyond. Cheat sheets are great resources for anyone caught up in the world of fantasy sports. The Fantasy Football Hub is a great site to link you with information and other well respected and liked fantasy sports sites. This site makes it very simple for the user to navigate through its extensive list of sites and other resources. The site Fantasy Sports Drafts has been offering its users comprehensive and in depth information since 1993. On this site you will find baseball, basketball, football, golf, and even playoffs and other special events. There are five annual championships to which you are automatically entered in when entering the appropriate online fantasy drafts. No matter what type of fantasy sports resources you are after, this site will surely be of use.

Fantasy Sports – Social Networking Or Time-Wasting?

Most of you likely looked at the title of this article and wondered, “Tommy, what the heck are you talking about? Fantasy Sports is not social networking.”

On the surface, it’s easy to see why the game could be viewed that way. But I’m here to tell you that fantasy sports are as much a vehicle for social networking as Facebook, Flickr, and even foursquare / gowalla.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the game, let me elaborate. In its most simple format, 10-12 participants join a league before the season starts. Pretty much every major sport has a fantasy game associated with it. Prior to the first day of the season, the team owners get together in person or online to draft teams of real players from real teams, assembling a lineup in accordance with the league rules. Then, when the season starts, they start or sit players depending on a variety of factors (healthy vs. injured, good vs. bad matchups, etc.). Teams then receive credit for the actual statistics each player tallies. The overall goal is to end the season as the best team in the standings or to win the playoffs, depending on how the league is set up.

To many of you, this may sound rather pointless. In fact, there’s even a rebellion by “Fantasy Widows” as some have called them (you can learn more about on the Women Against Fantasy Sports website [http://womenagainstfantasysports.com/], complete with a line of related apparel). But these games play a role much more important than killing time and maybe blowing a little cash.

Believe it or not, fantasy sports are every bit a vehicle for social networking that many of the leading services are. Let’s take a quick moment to look at some attributes of the game that lead me to this conclusion.

1. Tribe-based – All activities happen in pre-determined leagues where all the participants agree to play within the same scoring system, by the same rules, using the same tools and features. This sounds a whole lot like my friends on official social media sites.

2. Online – Although the first fantasy game, Fantasy Baseball, was originally administered by avid fans using box scores from their local newspaper, the game has migrated completely online. So what if it started as a truly social activity and not a cool new web toy. It was social before it was online, so it most certainly qualifies.

3. Interactive – Fantasy sports are all about the ongoing activities you must undertake to win a league. All of the team managers must take part in a live draft, with full chat functionality in the online draft room. Then, the season is a mix of lineup decisions, trade negotiations, and adding and dropping players from the free agent list (a.k.a. the list of players who are not already on a team).

4. Real-time – If anything is real-time, fantasy sports fit the bill. Games happen every day or every week, and real-time scoring is a must for the hardcore fantasy sports players. Team rosters can be adjusted in many ways on a daily basis. Team owners can work out trades at will, post messages in a threaded format (like blog comments), talk smack right on their team pages, and email back and forth between participants. Sure, the bulk of the action happens during live games, but whom among you spends 24 hours a day on social media sites anyway?

5. Content-heavy – An entire industry has been built around fantasy sports blogging, analysis, advice, products, and games. Breaking news is a huge piece of this puzzle, and tools like Twitter and Facebook now play major roles in the dissemination of real-time player-related information. If you don’t believe me, you should have been paying attention to the chatter on Twitter leading up to the NBA trade deadline on February 18.

I know there are as many perspectives on this topic as there are fantasy games to choose from. What is your opinion? Do you play fantasy sports? Do you see it as a social networking activity? Is it just gambling, or old fashion bonding and honest fun? I think it’s due time that fantasy sports gets the positive press it deserves.