What are some of the best reasons to play fantasy hockey? What keeps people coming back for more? Read on for some more thoughts on the topic.
Why play fantasy hockey? Why build teams of players whose profession doesn't even really impact the real world? What attracts people of all ages, from 16 to 61 and beyond, to sit in front of a computer or TV in hopes of getting an edge? The "why" isn't often considered by the hard core players that make up the base of this website, but is a question asked by those who have never been a part of fantasy sports.
There are a bunch of reasons for playing, and they are all compelling to us personally. We each have our own story; our own loves of the game. I am going to try and give people who don't play fantasy sports a peak into our world. Who knows, they might like what they see. it is helpful to get a variety of viewpoints from people once in that same situation as an outsider and who decided to really get into the game of SHPs and H2H. Where better to go for this than the top? I have talked to three of the best fantasy hockey writers on Dobberhockey and, in my opinion, the internet in general: Michael Amato, Jeff Angus, and the founder himself, Darryl Dobbs.
To get some feedback from the other end of the spectrum, I have also talked to someone new to the scene. This is Scott's second year playing fantasy hockey and he is jumping in headfirst with a dynasty league (a league where you keep all of the players on your team year after year; it is generally considered more competitive).
Regardless of how fun it is when you are playing, or what you get out of the experience, there still has to be a reason to join that first league. The most crucial question here is… why start?
Many people, I was somewhat surprised to find, had the same reason for starting. Their parents. Often, their parents would be fantasy hockey players, and as teenagers they would be invited to join a league. For example, Dobber started at fifteen by inviting himself and a friend to his parent's keeper league draft (which is different than a dynasty league in that only a certain number of players is kept from year to year). He said "[He] knew right then it was for [him]. The guesswork, the thrill of being right and the disappointment of being wrong." He hasn't looked back since.
If you have a family pool going on, don't worry about being in over your head… Just jump in, you might not look back either!
Another common occurrence is when your buddy invites you to his hockey pool. This is the case with Scott, who started playing fantasy sports. He started with fantasy basketball in 2010 when his friends in law school decided to make a league, and despite not following pro sports he joined. After moving, he decided to actually follow a sport and thus came to his senses, choosing hockey. If you have some interest in seeing what fantasy hockey is all about, talk with some of your friends and see if they play and maybe have a spot in their league.
Everyone from physicists and lawyers to personal trainers (such as senior writer Jeff Angus) and current professional athletes play fantasy hockey. As Michael Amato puts it, fantasy hockey is "simply a fun thing to do with friends".
It makes sense right? If you love hockey, as Jeff Angus did and still does, "fantasy hockey is a natural extension of that". Short of becoming involved with an NHL team, fantasy hockey is one of the best ways to get more involved with hockey and the NHL. For those of you that love hockey, what is stopping you? Try out fantasy hockey. Even if you lose terribly for your first few years, or you decide to only draft players from the Toronto Maple Leafs (which is really the same thing), it is still fun cheering on your fantasy players as you are w