Much to the chagrin of my boss and many of my co-workers, I have been bitten by the fantasy sports bug.
I find myself checking on games throughout the day. I visit MLB.com more times a day than all other sites combined. If there is a daytime baseball game, you can forget about work.
Fantasy sports leagues are something I enjoy, and something all sports fans should join.
For those who don't know, fantasy sports revolve around professional sports. Participants select players and receive points based on how the players perform statistically.
The craze began in the 1980s with rotisserie leagues - named after a New York restaurant where the first league is believed to have started.
The Internet has opened the trend to fantasy basketball, soccer and other sports. On the Yahoo! Sports Web site, you can play fantasy baseball, basketball, football, golf, soccer in 10 international leagues, NASCAR, Formula One racing, college football, hockey and four versions of fantasy pro football.
Many newspapers, including The Augusta Chronicle, have fantasy sports columns that run during baseball and football seasons.
Fantasy sports have become a multimillion-dollar industry, with ESPN the Magazine and Sports Illustrated doing fantasy issues, and Fox Sports holding a fantasy football show Sunday mornings. You can pay up to $100 to play in some online leagues, or play in free leagues.
I got into fantasy sports in 1995, playing for bragging rights against my high school friends.
My first competitive football league came in 1999 with a team that I co-owned with my father. We took Randall Cunningham, of the Philadelphia Eagles, with our first pick (it was the year after his Pro Bowl season in Minnesota).
I have been in a football league every year since, and joined my first NBA and baseball leagues this year.
Most of the people I know are so involved that they join leagues for each sport.
This year, I'll play in two NFL leagues and a college football league.
You should go out and choose a league to participate in. You'll thank me later.
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