The League

Jim McCormick
Blitz Magazine Publisher

Jim McCormick

The editor and publisher of Blitz Magazine

Fantasy Rules

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To be honest, I'm not the best candidate for crafting a compelling argument here.

My first memory of my father and sports was him leaping around our living room as those Wildcats from 'Nova shocked the basketball landscape some 24 years ago. The guy went to both Villanova and Temple and my mom taught at LaSalle. I literally root for 60 percent of the Big Five. Lionel "L-Train" Simmons, Mark Macon and Kerry Kittles are definitive characters from my youth.

I attended Pitt and many of my fondest (and blurriest) moments from college stem from a seemingly endless series of awesome Big East games in the humid and tiny Fitzgerald Fieldhouse.

And yet none of this matters, because by definition, I am a full-fledged fantasy football nerd.

In 1993, in the bowels of Rich Krekstein's somewhat legendary romper room, I ashamedly (as a Birds fan) drafted Emmitt Smith with the second overall pick (behind Barry Sanders) in what was the first of many drafts to come. As it was well before Al Gore's advent married the hobby, every week Rich would get the league results via both phone and mail. Even in middle school fantasy football competed with Sega Genesis in cafeteria conversations. It was a gateway drug of sorts, which lead to what is now a 15-year fantasy football bender.

March Madness is an undoubtedly cherished event. It captures the American consciousness for three weeks in ways that the World Baseball Classic and the Olympics (when there's no Aquaman) could only dream of. But filling out brackets and office pools simply can't match the intensity, fervor and build-up that fantasy draft day offers.

Name the top incoming freshmen next year in college. Or just tell me one or two top preps that will be joining your favorite college hoops squad next fall. Did you think of many? If you did, you are officially a college hoops junkie and will likely side with the bracket as the more enticing event.

Now tell me the most fantasy relevant incoming NFL rooks. Do the names Crabtree, Wells, Maclin and Moreno come to mind? Of course they do, you fantasy nerd.

The idea being that fantasy and football in general have become a year-round passion for most of America. Not merely a month or so of "madness" but a 12 month obsession. The masses don't spend the months leading up to tourney filling out mock brackets, but you will find them waxing philosophical in mock fantasy football drafts at nearly anytime of the year.

There's no doubt that college basketball remains an elemental thread in the fabric of American sports. The UConn vs. Syracuse epic from this past week confirms its unique value. The obvious reality is that these two events, thankfully separated by several months, don't compete for our attention.

By Jim McCormick  |  March 15, 2009; 4:36 PM ET  | Category:  Fantasy Football Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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