Wednesday, April 21, 2010

30 for 30, "Silly Little Game": Turning fantasy into reality

What's Alan Watching?: 30 for 30, "Silly Little Game": Turning fantasy into reality

A missed opportunity.

They spent so much time fooling around with those useless "re-creations" they didn't give us any real story or context for fantasy sports in general.

Nothing about the statistical revolution in sports and especially baseball partly as a result of fantasy sports. I mean Bill James was self publishing his abstract in the 70s. It wasn't a coincidence (nor was it entirely a result of the widespread adaptation of computers) that statistical analysis of baseball became far more advanced than any other sport.

Partially, it's a result of baseball's nature but a lot of it was young people playing the game then using their developing skills to devise how to better predict baseball players performance.

We get just a hint of that with Okrent's invention of WHIP and the study he did to come up with the 8 categories. But it ends there. Nothing about all the projections systems that were developed afterwards. All these developments led to the smarter baseball fans of today AND to much smarter decisions being made by GMs of real baseball teams.

They spent more time talking about how they didn't make any money off their invention. Boo freaking hoo. I guess you'll have to settle for being editors and writers of major national publications. So sorry.

They also didn't really capture the feel of playing the game itself. Aside from Lee Eisenberg, I know nothing about the other 9 players except they were Phillies fans and they were obsessive about baseball. The original Rotisserie League could have stood as an example of almost every league ever created. Different personality types, different playing styles and of course all the gamesmanship.

Gamesmanship like the massive flaw Okrent's original design contained . . . one discovered a few years later by (I may be wrong but I think it was Alex Patton) who devised the punting wins gambit. Now, almost no one plays 4x4 or if they do they have an IP minimum. Nothing about the difference between keeper leagues and non keeper leagues. They never explained HOW these guys kept talking about baseball over the winter. It ratchets up the dork factor 100% when you go into long term contracts and minor league keeper rules.

Then nothing about different variations that have evolved H2H: daily leagues, dynasty etc.

The most interesting thing for me was finding out Mike Schmidt for $26 was the first player ever drafted. They should put THAT on his HoF plaque.

No comments:

Post a Comment