by Jonathan Weinblatt
I love fantasy sports. I regularly play fantasy football, fantasy basketball and fantasy baseball. I have even been known to dabble in fantasy hockey and fantasy table tennis. Just kidding, nobody follows hockey. But I’m not the only one who likes fantasy sports. I now see that some football broadcasts release fantasy football statistics before releasing the actual statistics. Is it more arbitrary for a man to care about a team of players he’s picked himself rather than about a team with which he has nothing in common other than geographical proximity? I mean, who doesn’t want to pick his own team to manage? Besides, it’s probably the greatest possible way to procrastinate. Well, maybe not. But at least it’s more respected than picking my nose. I think.
Still, there’s something missing in fantasy sports. I believe it’s the human element that is lacking. It’s one thing to build a pretend team of juiced up millionaire athletes, but how cool would it be to follow the lives of ordinary people. That’s right, real people who don’t even know you’re following them. Kind of like on facebook, only more intimate. I’d call this game “Fantasy Life.” I think it would require a hell of a lot more skill to field a good team of real people than it would to pick athletes whose behavior is fairly predictable. I have a pretty good idea that Alex Rodriquez is a player who will put up really good statistics for the season, but will choke in every clutch situation. Where’s the fun in predicting the obvious? The real challenge would be in forecasting how many pounds Amy Gutmann will lose this semester or how many times Professor Ward will try to jump the fence into the juvie section of the state penitentiary.
So, anyway, how would Fantasy Life work with real people? Well, let’s say the pool of “players” to draft from is the Penn student body. I decide to select one of the Punchbowl editors-in-chief, Alex “Burger” King, to my fantasy team – College of Martial Arts & Sciences. My roommate opts for my other editor-in-chief, Mike “and Ike” Weingarth, for his team – Wharton Dynamos (what a lame team name!). Over the course of the semester, we each collect points based upon how our players perform. Hooray – Alex got an A on his history paper this week! I get 12 points! But wait, he had to sexually service his professor in order to pass. I lose 20 points. Too bad for my roommate – Mike got wasted and hooked up with a fugly chick yesterday. He loses 9 points. Well, he did win 6 straight games of beirut beforehand. He picks up 3 points to soften the blow.
Let’s be honest, we all know which friend will become a highly successful crack dealer in the alley behind Boston Market and which will live out the remainder of his days in the soulless husk of a Goldman-Sachs worker bee. Why not at least make it competitive for those watching the show? If the future crack dealer on my fantasy team is racking up major points for scoring a threesome, I might try and trade him to the Wharton Dynamos for the quiet Asian kid with no friends outside of his management group. The College of Martial Arts & Sciences may be struggling right now, but wait 10 years and that crack dealer will get carted off by the DEA when my quiet Asian issues a presidential directive to clean up the mean streets of West Philly. Sure, I guess it’s good for the community, but I get 54 fantasy points! Booyah!