Monday, May 16, 2005

Game Over

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Another English Premier League season has come to an end.

Without participating in the fantasy football league, I can't say that I would pay a whole lot of attention to the games. By taking part it adds a whole new edge to watching and following the league. It's like having a small wager on each week's slate of games. Through being involved in the fantasy league I have become much more knowledgeable about the game, the teams and the players involved.

I improved considerably this time around, finishing 5, 245 out of 472, 148 as compared to last season when I was in the 13, 000 range out of about 300, 000 players. However, the overall number of team managers deserves a huge qualifier. If I remember correctly, only about 250 to 280, 000 managers were signed on from week 1 this season. Of those it's impossible to say how many joined for a lark and then never paid any more attention throughout the season, essentially voiding their team as a serious contender.

I'm guessing that probably a solid 100, 000 participants in the fantasy league were serious about playing and religiously made changes and tried to attain the highest scores possible.

Despite my fairly good finish this season I only managed to take second in the main league in which I took part (all players are ranked against all other players but you form separate smaller private leagues to keep things manageable with friends, co-workers etc.)

I had been leading in the private league for the past few weeks. However, a series of transfers I made for week 37, (which featured numerous teams with double fixtures) though paying modest gains, ended up costing me in the end. 2 players I had on my squad because of that important week 37, Reyes of Arsenal and Scholes of Manchester United, didn't play in this last week and lost me the top spot by 3 points.

A very enjoyable and free bit of strategizing that adds some excitement to every weekend's schedule of games. It will be kicking off again in a few months and as the time draws near I will set up another league and put out the call for participants. I still stand by the advice that I provided in this article that I wrote at the conclusion of last season's schedule, if anyone is interested.

Unfortunately the discussion forum after which I named the private league and from which I drew other managers has since turfed me so I will simply ask for anyone reading here to sign up as the time approaches.