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Davis, California

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Column: Fantasy fantasy sports

If there was a fantasy sport where you got points for being loyal, I think I’d be a key player. I’m not sure what makes me buy into the whole “‘till death do us part” with everything in my life.

That being said, you already know Derek Jeter is staying as my starting shortstop on my fantasy team. Yes, he was my first-round draft pick. Yes, he may not come back until June. And yes, to answer the question you already know the answer to, I am in last place in my league.

Either way, the new generation of baseball players is coming up and I am hopelessly behind in the baseball world. The realm of sports is changing so fast and so often that the only player whose stats I can reel off right now are Derek Jeter’s. Partly because he’s my favorite player, but mostly because he has stepped into the batters box this season as many times as Mulan’s father talked about his son Ping.

I think I need to add a fantasy category, one that won’t change as the old replaces the new.

If there was a fantasy category for players that have the best names, I’d really have to give it to sophomore John Williams. Not only is it an incredibly uncommon name, but it is also the name of the greatest movie composer of all time.

This is the father of Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Superman and Jaws, to name a few. That sort of prestige puts Williams at the top of any stat category as a dependable top performer.

A safe second-round draft pick would be sophomore Beverly Vatananugulkit from women’s golf. She definitely packs a lot of punch and is a good power player to have on the team.

As I continue here, I realize why I’m not the one who makes the statistical categories for fantasy sports. I’ll stop there before things get too foolish.

I’m aware that it’s all my fault, my refusal to adapt to the times, to change my strategy as the game changes. As my favorite players start getting older, so do I. In terms of fantasy baseball, I keep drafting them and, for some reason, my team seems to get worse every single year. The big issue with sports is that when your players end their careers, you have to replace them. Because you continue to love the sport, but they cease to play it.

It makes me wonder whether, when I graduate, I will still feel the need to live vicariously through college athletes, or whether I will just feel like Simba once his father dies. One second he can’t wait to be king, but when he is removed from that environment, it’s the last thing on his mind.

But that’s beside the point. Being loyal can be one of the hardest things about being a fan. But it’s also most rewarding.

Even if the fantasy stat categories remain the same, I’ll still be choosing Derek Jeter. Even when he’s on the disabled list. Even when he’s retired. Even when I don’t even play fantasy anymore.

I can’t be saying goodbye to him because Jeter’s a trooper and I’m sure he’ll play until he’s using his bat as a cane more than to hit balls. But the fact that he’s sitting out the first half of the season is a bit of a wake-up call that I’m going to have to find someone else to root for; his career may end eventually, but I know I can’t just stop loving baseball.

The game is changing, as are the players, which is probably why I’m currently dead last in my fantasy league. But I could never live with myself if I started with someone instead of Derek Jeter in my shortstop slot.

And what an applicable time to be talking about this. As my fourth year ends … This is what happens when you listen to Jurassic Park music while writing. Darn you John Williams. I’ll stop now. There’s still a long season ahead of us. Interpret that as you may.

MATTHEW YUEN got sunburnt for the very first time in his life this weekend in Arizona. He’ll be staying inside for the rest of the year, so reach him at sports@theaggie.org.


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