At this point in my life, I have read as many books about fantasy sports as fantasy teams I’ve owned (2). I might not be super into fantasy sports, but I am absolutely fascinated by the culture that surrounds them. I first heard Matthew Berry on this episode of Rob Has A Podcast last summer where he discussed his new book and the current season of Big Brother. Berry is the Senior Fantasy Analyst over at ESPN after a long career of screen-writing mixed in with some casual blog-writing and website building. I thought his book, ‘Fantasy Life‘, sounded incredibly intriguing, but I didn’t rush out to buy it, hoping I would remember to pick it up sometime in the future.
Fast forward to August 2014. I had just completed the final driving test until I’m 80 and I decided to pop into a book warehouse that I used to visit a lot when I was young. After about 30 minutes I had a stack of books in my hands ready to take home. Matthew Berry’s ‘Fantasy Life’ was in that pile. It was the real steal of the day, I got it for just $3. Those $3 were well spent.
Berry takes us through the story of his deep relationship with fantasy sports while weaving in the stories of his readers/listeners/viewers over at ESPN. Each section of the book goes into the various aspects of playing fantasy sports. He fills us in on some of the craziest things to happen in the world fantasy sports from across the globe. The book opens with the introduction to the Tattoo league, where the loser must get a tattoo that has been decided on by the winner of the league. There’s a lot at stake.
The book shares how fantasy sports have had an impact on the lives of millions of people all over the world, and how it got Berry to where he is today. The book made me laugh and cry, and left me feeling wholly inspired. Matthew Berry is a seriously cool guy who has worked very hard to get where he is today.
I honestly never thought that a book about fantasy sports would leave such a lasting impact, but ‘Fantasy Life’ definitely did. You don’t even have to be a fantasy sports fan to enjoy this one. If you can find this one for the same price I did, you need to pick it up. If you don’t, you should buy it anyway.