Fantasy Games Ruin Everything

At least I picked Jari-Matti Latvala last time. Photo credit: Jaanus Ree/Red Bull Content Pool
At least I picked Jari-Matti Latvala last time. Photo credit: Jaanus Ree/Red Bull Content Pool

I love surprises. Underdog stories. The unexpected. It’s part of why sports are good. That is, unless I picked guy-who-wins-too-much Sébastien Ogier in The Rally Takeover’s Fantasy World Rally Championship game. Then don’t surprise me, or I’ll get mad when lesser-known drivers actually make things interesting.


There’s good reason why half my picks in our running Kinja-based fantasy game are usually entries like “Rally Chicken,” “a Jettamino full of currywurst,” or “ETERNAL VENGEANCE FOR THE MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION” (which must be typed in all caps). I can’t for the life of me take fantasy games seriously and still live with myself.

I think I’m too competitive, and want to win too much. Winning is good! Then I start to take how my picks are doing in the race too seriously, and I ultimately end up rooting for the most boring and predictable outcome.

As a fan, I hate that! Yes, Ogier is highly likely to win—even without the mighty wind of Volkswagen domination lifting him up this year. But I’d rather see someone who hasn’t won very often yet like Ott Tänak or Kris Meeke get it, or better yet, a complete surprise. A 2016-spec car! Someone running in the lower WRC2 class! Lorenzo Bertelli!

I’m just entering a game that costs nothing besides five minutes of trolling another Kinja blog, with the sole goal of beating Raphael Orlove. I can’t imagine putting real money down on these things.

I’ve lucked out sometimes by picking drivers I like—Jari-Matti Latvala, for example, who won Rally Sweden. But I don’t want to watch a race, a game, or much of anything where everything goes according to plan. The races and games we talk about the most aren’t the predictable ones. They’re the ones that give OU’s football team the name “Chokelahoma.”

Some fans just want to watch the world burn, and for us, fantasy games make it impossible. Give me chaos, mayhem, and, well, a Juho Hänninen win would be pretty sweet.

Moderator, OppositeLock. Former Staff Writer, Jalopnik. 1984 "Porschelump" 944 race car, 1971 Volkswagen 411 race car, 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS.



Counterpoint: Fantasy Racing games suck. Fantasy Football is awesome.

Let me explain, In my experience most fantasy racing involves all drivers in one series that all race together in one event. If I’m interested in watching that event I’m gonna watch it anyways and enjoy it. Also the talent pool can be extremely limited, often requiring the entire field to be in play with enough players so points tend to get awarded for weird and boring stats.

Fantasy Football however involves 16 or so different games happening every weekend and throughout the week. It allows you to engage in a fun way with players and teams that you wouldn’t otherwise enjoy. There are TONS of players to choose from and there are often rookies or lesser known guys to sniff out based on injuries or scouting reports. In my opinion it makes it more exciting and fun and gets me to watch more, which is exactly what it’s designed to do of course but I get entertainment out of it so it’s fine in my opinion.

Anyways, just my opinion. I’ve always enjoyed watching the racing I like but I’ve found fantasy to improve my football watching experience in general.