As a 27-year veteran of fantasy sports, I’ve seen the shift of the game from niche to mainstream. The same sportswriters annoyed in the early 1990s by readers asking for tips on which real players to start in fake games are now writing for organizations that openly facilitate fantasy play for millions of fans. I have also witnessed first-hand how fantasy play strengthens connections with others through a shared engagement with sports.
At the start of April, a call went out to sports-minded GeekDads asking them to join in a new community project. It was an attempt to draw fellow sports geeks out from our crowd of makers and coders to help pass on our love for the game to the next generation. Just a few weeks later, we have twenty families of GeekDad parents and their children ready to sign and trade their way to glory.
Our fantasy baseball league begins its first season today with a slate of ten games. For each team, the hitting and pitching statistics produced by a dozen professional players will accumulate to determine weekly winners in head-to-head play. Every franchise is led by a geeky parent and his geeky kid(s), who are expected to play a central role in managing the week-to-week player decisions.
After some discussion about using the league to honor famous geeks in history, we settled on fictional geeks instead. Our league alignment features two conferences — Star Wars and Star Trek — with divisions named for great companions from the two canons (Chewbacca, R2D2, Spock and McCoy). You can track the progress of the league with occasional updates on the GeekDad blog, or by following the project in the new GeekDad community site
Throughout the season, we will also be using the GeekDad Sports fantasy league as a catalyst for other geeky projects, such as collecting trading cards or creating a jersey for our teams. The first assignment was to brainstorm a name and logo for the franchises. The kids in the ownership partnership were responsible for driving name selection and logo design, although some did need some help polishing the graphics or getting things into digital format. Team names in the GDS fantasy baseball league pay tribute to our favorite video games, Internet memes, and movies, as well as our respective home towns.
Our inaugural 2012 GeekDad Sports fantasy baseball season is sponsored by FanStar Sports, helping to give a voice to the sports geeks in our community. Since 1991, FanStar Sports (http://www.fanstar.com) has provided services to thousands of fantasy leagues. The Arizona company provides fantasy league hosting for baseball, football, basketball, hockey and NASCAR. The administration and presentation of each league are highly customizable, able to accommodate a wide range of unique needs.