Fantasy sports get a U of R infusion
Fantasy sports have seen a huge uptick in popularity lately. We have gotten to the point where our airwaves have become inundated with commercials for not only the usual culprits (Yahoo Fantasy, and the like), but also the quick-cash gambling of DraftKings, among other such sites.
But most of these sites have one glaring weakness: namely, that they only focus on professional sports. Sure, the basketball, football, and baseball fanatics will flock to these leagues, but what about university sports? Shouldn’t they get some love too?
And so I present to you, dear reader, the CFL – the Cougar Fantasy League. I have selected a squad that I think can compete with any CIS school – albeit in this format that I made up just a few short days ago. Before I unveil my fearsome fivesome, let’s set some ground rules for this self-indulgent competition.
Each competitor in the Cougar Fantasy League must select four athletes and a team. Only one player may be selected per squad, but you can have a maximum of two per sport.
Confused? Here’s an example: If someone were to challenge me for supremacy in my own league, they could select two basketball players (for there are two teams competing for the U of R), but they couldn’t both play for the men’s team, nor could they both compete for the women.
In terms of the team dynamic, each CFL team must select an entire squad in order to round out their selections. This team can be from any of the sports that are represented under the Cougar banner and, for those die-hard football fans, the Rams will be included too.
Each sport will be scored based upon their professional counterparts. In a sport such as swimming, where a league (as far as I know) does not exist, a scoring system based upon podium finishes, much like Formula One tabulates their standings, will be used. In these instances, then, the scoring system would be as follows: 20 points for a win, 15 points for second, 10 for third, and 5 for fourth
In terms of team scoring, each squad will be credited for each win and any championship accolades they may accrue. Making the playoffs earns a team 25 points, winning a game will earn them three points, while losing a game will garner a one-point deduction. Any advancement in the playoffs earns a team an extra ten points and a championship result would mean an extra fifty points for the cause, making team selection a definite x-factor.
With all that said, let me introduce my ferocious five that will comprise the squad that I have aptly named “As the Bell Tulls.”
With the first overall pick, John Loeppky, commissioner and sole team owner of the Cougar Fantasy League selects, from Ajax, Ontario, Jonathan Tull.
Now, let me explain myself. Sure, the older of the Tull brothers topped the team in scoring, but it was his defensive prowess that really warranted this selection. His 35 steals last season were second only to his brother Brandon, and he added 13 blocks for good measure. While his near twenty points per game is bound to get the headlines, it is his maturity and experience that I’m banking on in order to win this competition. Plenty of playing time + consistent statistical production = a fantasy stud.
Now, As the Bell Tulls is back on the clock, fresh off of selecting a basketball player, will they go back to the hardwood or gravitate towards a different playing surface? Oh, the pick is in, and…. It’s not another baller; it’s Toni Ross of the Cougars women’s hockey team.
In the CFL, we are not dealing with an 82-game season, and with a shortened schedule come some unconventional decisions. There are no 100-point scorers in the CIS, so I believe it’s better to go with someone who is going to consistently be on the ice. Heading into the season as a seasoned veteran and presumed starter, Ross brings with her a wealth of experience, and her .922 save percentage was the best of the Cougars net-minders last season, a campaign that had its ups and downs compared to previous years.
And the third pick is… Kehlsie Crone!
Okay, the fact that I am a hoops addict betrays me here, but this choice was not nearly as clear-cut as my two previous selections. Crone didn’t lead in any of the major statistical categories, save for assists, where she blew everyone else out of the water. She was fourth on the team in scoring, but added a solid four rebounds per game, to go along with her ten points per contest. She was also second on the team in minutes played, and those who are on the court when it matters always contribute heavily to any fantasy sports team – for obvious reasons: you can’t score if you don’t play.
We heard in pre-draft coverage that the GM for this team doesn’t often pick goal-scoring hockey players, but he seems to have gone against his track record and rounded out his individual selections with hockey forward Cody Fowlie.
I know, I know, this makes me a hypocrite, but if anyone is poised to contribute to the Cougs’ cause, it’s Fowlie. The former Kelowna Rockets forward was second on the team in scoring this past season, and was also second in shots on goal, with 68. A few more bounces and he could have led the team in goals.
And now, to round out the first-ever Cougar Fantasy League, As the Bell Tulls has selected Cougars Softball with their team pick.
And no, production manager and Cougars outfielder Destiny Kaus was not standing over my head with a bat when I wrote that. The Cougars are bound to make it far into the playoffs and, what with wins being at a premium in the team category, are sure to lead me to victory against, well, myself.
That’s where I need your help. Think you can select a better squad than me? Go ahead. Let’s see who can take home the championship. Just email me at Sports@carillonregina.com, and may the best team win!