I start every morning at work with a cup of coffee and a quick perusal of my fantasy sports teams. I play fantasy leagues for all three major sports. Right now I am in the finals of a baseball league hoping to reap the rewards of my hard work by hoisting the virtual trophy and having a champagne bath. That will probably be a "fantasy" celebration to keep with the imaginary theme of these games. I also am in a football league with some friends over at Dad Blogs. In that league I am playing a pretend game with friends that I have never met. You have to love the Internet.
I know that the fantasy sport nerd stereotype is out there. I reject that characterization of myself. To me the real games are immensely more important than the pretend ones. Fantasy is just another way for me to stay in touch with my favorite sports. It helps me follow the sports as a whole rather than just my favorite teams. Also it gives me something to do at work while I try to wake up. For others though it is much more. The fantasy industry is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. It is all quite surreal.
What will Braden think of fantasy sports when he gets older? They are such a way of life now for a sports fan that he will probably join in without a second thought. He will have no idea what it was like to become a true sports fan based solely on the merits of the game played on the field. Now with the Internet gambling and fantasy aspects are as big as anything else.
I hope he likes to play. I would love to talk a little trash and show him how fantasy sports are played by us old veterans. Surely this will be another way that dad and son can connect and share even as he gets older. I only hope all these side attractions don't take away from Braden's or any other kid's love for the games themselves. The last thing we need to encourage is further travel down the path towards virtual existences.
We need to always remember real sports, real exercise, real friends, and a connection to the real world.