Fantasy Golf: Heroin for the Golfer's Mind
I swore I wouldn’t do it again. Told myself that, by God, I can stop any time. Promised myself last year, when I looked at myself in the mirror at 3 a.m., shivering, unshaven, panic-stricken, that no way in hell would I succumb again to the heroin that is Fantasy Golf.
That’s right: 3 a.m. I’d fall asleep, peacefully, gratefully, only to jolt awake in the wee hours, realizing I’d forgotten to change my picks for the weekend, and the deadline for replacing players who’d missed the cut was 5 a.m. Eastern time. Because I was living in Massachusetts at the time, that meant 5 a.m., not 6 a.m., as it did for the rest of the slackers in my league who lived in Illinois.
I’d been invited by my brother-in-law t join his league. He knew he’d win–the man is a police officer, so he used the extensive computing facilities of his county to crunch numbers and research stats. Hell, I’m convinced he got Daly’s wife arrested just so Big John would get stressed Master’s weekend, when I had him as a pick.
Despite being a golf writer–or maybe because of it–I came in solidly in the middle of the pack. You see, we golf writers actually read everything written about the players. So I’d read that Ben Crane switched putters, and by God, he’d be on my team. Vijay’s got a bruised rib? Then he’s off! (Great moves, both of those, by the way.)
Fantasy Golf is one of those things in life where less information is quite possibly better. Sort of like investing in the stock market. Gerd Gigerenzer, Director of the Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, once ran a study where he sent out assistants with a massive list of company names to ask people on the street in Munich which companies they’d heard of. Then Gigerenzer put his own money into those stocks. He outperformed ever single investing house over the course of the study and made a killing.
Gigerenzer holds that less information is better. Too much, and we get distracted.
I should take that advice this year…and give my rattled brain and shaking hands a rest.
But I just heard that Chris Smith changed his grip in the off season….
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