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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Fantasy Bishball

The baseball season is into its third week now - I guess you could say it's in full swing! Hah!

Anyway...

Some diehard fans like to play Fantasy Baseball - it was originally called Rotisserie Baseball. It's been around for a long time, and its popularity increased once AlGore invented the Internet. Sites like ESPN and Yahoo!Sports and MLB.com run free leagues - Google 'fantasy baseball leagues' and a whole slew of sites pop up.

For those who are unfamiliar, it basically works like this - participants manage a roster of actual Major League ball players, having drafted them for their team at the beginning of the real season. Teams compete against each other by using the actual stats from each player in order to score points - and the team who gets the most points that day wins. Now, it's very time-consuming (more than blogging, so I've heard!) because the baseball season is 162 games, and there are injuries, trades and so on to contend with throughout the season.

But it got me thinking...could there be a way to Catholicize the game?

Introducing Fantasy Bishball! I'm still working out the ins and outs of the game - I want to make it simple yet interesting - but here's the basic framework:

1. Players draft their team by selecting bishops (I'm leaning towards limiting it to North American bishops + cardinals). The number of bishops per team would depend on how many people want to participate. And running the draft would take a bit of coordination.
2. Teams score points based on any published articles/homilies/statements/etc. for a given week. Bishop-run blogs wouldn't necessarily count.
3. Scoring would be based on the content and context of the statement. Let me be clear: far be it from me to judge the orthodoxy of a given statement. But I think we can all agree, for instance, that Archbishop Sheehan's pastoral letter on cohabitation was a good statement. There wouldn't be any negative scoring - but I think it makes sense that some statements/actions would be worth more points than others. For instance - if a bishop ex-communicated Call-to-Action from his diocese, that might be worth more than a bishop who publishes his homily. And besides - I doubt anyone would draft someone like Bishop Gumbleton anyway, IYKWIM. Anywho, the finer details still need to be worked out.
4. There wouldn't be any direct head-to-head competition between teams - just that the one who amasses the most points by the end of the season would be declared the winner.

So that's where I'm at on Fantasy Bishball. Still kinda nebulous - any input from interested parties would be gladly accepted and considered.

Which leads me to this: before any more time and effort is sunk into this, I need to know if anyone's interested in participating. If no one cares, then forget about it. But I dunno - it might be kinda fun. At the very least, we'd be paying closer attention to what the bishops on our teams are saying. And in the process, become encouraged, uplifted and more engaged in our faith and in the Church.

And you can name your team, too! I like The Crushing Croziers. I've got my eyes set on Chaput, Tobin and Bruskewicz.

So -anyone interested in playing some Bishball?