Let’s say you’ve signed up for a fantasy baseball league – either with your buddies, or a public league with people you’ve never met before. Let’s say that you’re in a league with prizes – a league in which you probably had to pay some sort of entry fee. You plan on spending a lot of time fine-tuning your team throughout the season. Obviously, your goal is to win this league.
If you want to win, don’t get caught up in being a fan.
I don’t care if you passionately hate the Yankees – if Alex Rodriguez is available in the second round, you had better take him. I don’t care if you bleed Cubbie blue – don’t draft Kosuke Fukudome in the 8th round. If you really want to win, you have to remove your own fandom from your fantasy team.
This is often more easily said than done. Some people just can’t stand the sight of players they hate manning a roster spot on their beloved fantasy team. Others can’t stand seeing their favorite guys wasting away on an opponent’s roster. But if you’re going to pay money and dedicate all of this time you building a winning fantasy team, don’t undermine your own efforts. Just because you have Arod on your team doesn’t mean you have to become a Yankees fan, and just because you don’t have your own guys on your team doesn’t mean you can’t root for them. Separate fantasy from reality.
You just have to get over it, or make the decision that rooting against Arod is more important than winning the league. There’s nothing wrong with deciding that, either – to each his or her own. But you had better understand the consequences of such a decision, and be okay with it. You can’t decide against drafting Arod and then complain if you don’t win your league – you had the chance, and you decided you that your hatred of Arod was more important than winning. So don’t be surprised if you lose.
You can be a fan and be a fantasy player at the same time. Just make sure to keep them separate.