The oldest track & field blog on the internet

Friday, June 16, 2006

Fantasy League

Fantasy leagues are flat-out the greatest thing that ever happened to professional sports. They make contests that you'd otherwise care nothing about suddenly become important, if for no other reason than to try to beat your old college roommate. I mean, the Packers might be behind by three touchdowns in the fourth quarter but you end up screaming at Bubba Franks to catch the damn ball so you can show that bastard who never picked up his socks who's boss!

Yahoo! has fantasy leagues on all kinds of sports, but track is notable in its absence. Track & Field News sometimes runs online prediction contests for an individual meet, but there's a complete lack of full season-long fantasy leagues out there.

The structure of the sport makes it kind of hard. Thousands of meets spread out over the globe with widely varying levels of competitiveness even within those meets, not to mention between them, makes it difficult to come up with a realistic points system.

I've come up with something, based mostly on the IAAF's World Rankings and World Athletics Tour standings. With the real track season just getting underway, here are the early leaders among the men (I haven't calculated women yet):

Bershawn JACKSONUSA400mH197.2
Asafa POWELL JAM100m196.2
Justin GATLIN USA100m,200m194.8
Virgilijus ALEKNA LTUDT191.5
Suleiman Kipses SIMOTWOKEN1500m168.1
Gary KIKAYA COD400m165.8

Powell and Gatlin being near the top is no surprise. They've gotten the early press with their world records. But Bershawn Jackson? He's been very active, with five races in May and June already, but what's more impressive is he's gone to the best races he can find and won them all. And what about this Irving Saladino guy? Same deal, four wins in four tries on the tour, one of them in the Olso Golden League meet over the top US jumpers. That's the other thing about fantasy leagues--rising stars are recognized quickly.


jen said...

Hey, I am guessing that you WERE the college roommate who never picked up his socks....

What's this about ranking the men first, are you some kind of sexist something-or-other?

jen said...

P.S. Maybe you should post your system for ranking people so everyone can share the love.