Recently I was reading Wired Magazine and came upon an article written by Samuel Arbesman entitled “Who Needs Players? Simulated Games Are the Future of Sports.” What caught my attention about this article was the basic question of “Do people get excited by the game itself … or the outcomes of the game?”
The article draws considerable attention to increasing presence of technology and analytical tools in sports. ESPN uses Madden video games to highlight plays and players during their broadcasts. Samuel Arbesman also brings attention to the statistical analysis that has transformed the industry. Websites and statisticians pump millions of dollars and equally long hours into statically analysis of every sport and player. Fantasy football is a staple for many of my friends, whom are in not one, but multiple leagues. In fact all-major sports channels or websites have shows dedicated to Fantasy football.
With the lockouts and frustration mounting at owners and players, Samuel Arbesman suggested that cities and people could create their own franchises, draft players and run simulations based up on current data. He even went so far to suggest that cities that want professional sports teams could create their own, market the teams and even sell merchandise. After reading the article I ask myself the simple question, “Is this really the future of sports?
For me the answer is…NO!!! I am a purist and love the traditional sports because of the game and their athleticism. While discussing sports with Dr. O’Rourke between halftime at a Griff’s basketball game, he made an observation about sports that really resonated with me. He said that people watch sports because they want to see athletes do things that they can not do. I want to see a Chapman of the Reds throw 99 mph or Lebron James jump over John Lucas. Click Here for the YouTube video.
What do you think? We have Madden Football that allows us to develop players, control franchises, create uniforms and even control every major facet of the sport. You can play games, simulate games, and play in owner mode. ESPN had a show where players played against each other and it was broadcasted. As a sports fan I would never see myself buying into this…if it came true. It’s one thing to play these athletes on a video game, but it’s a whole different world when you see the raw, confrontation of player vs. player in many sports. Then again I never thought that fantasy football would have its own show anyways!
Until Next Time,
Brent Gray, MSA GA