Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fantasy Politics

For a while I've been thinking of politics (and my interest in it) as a parallel to sports: There's ongoing competition in on/off-season timing. At the beginning of the season there are lots of potential winners who, through a series of events (scrimmages, debates, media attacks, whatever) eventually get narrowed down to very few in the climax event of the season. But most importantly, both politics and sports are primarily for spectators. Yes, we participate in voting, but it's hard to believe that simply voting has more of an effect than watching a Red Sox game. In fact, watching and rooting for a team probably has more influence on them (in terms of earnings, confidence, and so forth) than canvassing for some political candidates.

Now sports and politics have one more thing in common: a fantasy arena. I've never played fantasy sports, but I just joined a fantasy congress league. (I was actually looking for a March Madness-like diagram to help me figure out which positions will be filled during the Obama transition, something like this, and a fantasy league setup from which I could learn more, but alas...) In Fantasy Congress, you pick a "team" of senators and representatives who get points based on how much legislation they get passed, when they get media attention, and attendance, among other things.

Since I've never done fantasy anything before, I'm not exactly sure how it works. But the league I've joined says, "Even if you don't know anything, this is just for fun." It's activated tomorrow, which I guess means that's when they start keeping score. But shouldn't they start with the new legislative session? Oh well, I'll learn as I go along.

Now I'm off to pick my team.

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