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Friday, January 27, 2006


Rubbing Is Racing

Fantasy baseball magazines keep popping up on bookstore shelves. They taunt me and fill me with a sensation of eagerness that approached insanity. At any moment I could start scratching and clawing at my face and body, shaking like a junky who hasn't has a fix for four months. So what did I do today? Run out and buy six cartons of Sudafed to cook up some Country Crack? No, I signed up for a NASCAR fantasy team on Yahoo! It was free, and might hold my attention for a few hours in the days leading up to Daytona and before fantasy baseball drafts start. I know next to nothing about NASCAR, but how can anything that draws more than 100,000 people, half of them shirtless, listening to Alabama and guzzling Busch beer by the bucket for every event be uninteresting? ed. note: Before you send me an angry missive about being some kind of elitist, know this: I'm not trying to belittle NASCAR in any way. I actually find it to be very interesting, eventhough I know so little about it. And, personally, though I kid about the shirtless fans guzzling Busch and listening to Alabama, I place myself within the same demographic. In fact, I personally feel that the best way to enjoy a Cardinals game, besides in person, is loafing about on your porch in the summer sun, beer in hand, listening to Mike Shannon call it. The experience is that much better when your porch has a weathered sofa on it so you can lay down, shirtless is fine given the Missouri heat, and catch the game. A close second to this experience would be listening to the game while driving, arm out the window, and enjoying a beverage and smoking a...well, taking in the whole experience. There is just something so wonderfully primal about it. Back to fantasy racing. In the Yahoo! format, you pick three levels of drivers. Level A (pick 2) consists of the big names that win a lot: Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, etc. These are the guys you know from the sports report on the 11 p.m. news. Level B (pick 4) guys seem to perform pretty well, and steal the occasional win. Level C (pick 2) racers don't win much. Picking the drivers was tough because I don't know enough about the sport to make even a quick assessment as to which racers will perform well. I stayed away from Jeff Gordon, since he seems to be somewhat reviled, based on the number of "Calvin pissing on #24" stickers I have seen (or used to see before moving to the city of dullards). In Level A, I took Tony Stewart and Greg Biffle. I didn't know Biffle, but he seemed to perform well. Level B and C were different. Here, my strategy was to take guys whose average finish was better than their average start. I did know that you get a few more points when a guy finishes in a better position than when he starts, so I figured these guys were good enough race car drivers that they had a decent chance of achieving this and even the potential to win a race or two. My Level B guys are: Kevin Harvick, Dale Jr., Dale Jarrett, and Kyle Busch. For Level C I went with Rusty Wallace and Kyle Petty. Daytona (the race not the racy biker magazine) is February 19. I'll know more afterward. If anyone out there has any feedback on NASCAR drivers that might be better picks, I welcome it. For the baseball fans who read this site strictly out of baseball interest, I'll be back later tonight or tomorrow morning with a baseball post. Fellow fantasy enthusiasts, remember, it's good to have an open mind to new games, and new ways to get a fix. Give racing a try; it's free, which is a damn good argument for getting a team. Just remember, if you a team called "East Coast Liberal Elite" pushes you out of way heading into the turn, you were warned. Oh, by the way, earlier this month I had a post about a Cardinals Diaspora/blogosphere fantasy baseball league, and I got comments and emails from a few readers with interest. There was enough interest that I am going to set up a league (or two) when the time comes. Sign up for leagues on Yahoo! and CBS start within the next few weeks, so stay tuned for details.
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