Because following my own college gymnastics team and obsessing over every balance check and imperfect landing was not quite enough to feed my addiction, this year I participated in a fantasy gymnastics competition called SimGym. There weren't many of us in our little group, which is probably the best way for a newbie like me to be introduced to the concept.
At the beginning of the season, we all logged on to an instant messaging service and participated in a "draft" of actual college gymnasts from all over the country. We went through 16 rounds, and the only limitation was that you couldn't choose a gymnast if someone else already had her. I chose mostly gymnasts from the SEC, because those are the teams I'm most familiar with. I chose a couple of gems from other teams based on their reputations or how much hype was associated with their choice of college.
Each week we chose line-ups from our rosters of gymnasts, just like a real coach would. Unlike a real coach, however, we had no prior knowledge of who might have tweaked an ankle or just SUCKED in practice that week. We chose six gymnasts and three alternates. Nothing made my stomach churn more than realizing one of my alternates scored higher than some of the ones I put in the line-up, and I couldn't count those scores unless one of my regulars didn't compete. Just like in true competition, we dropped the lowest score, counting five, and submitted our scores to each other at the end of each weekend.
What this meant was that in addition to following my usual team, I had 11 other teams to follow each weekend, just to see how "my" gymnasts did in actual competition. It wasn't unusual for me to have two or three video streams going on with an additional four windows devoted to live scoring. I am comfortable enough in my own skin to reveal these sure signs of insanity to my closest blog readers.
I chose 4 UGA girls for my team, mainly because I knew I would be seeing a lot of them this year and because...how could I NOT? What I didn't realize was that the week UGA was not competing, I would have to scramble to put a complete line-up together. I thought I was going to have to pull virtual fans out of virtual stands to fill in for my virtual gymnasts.
I said all that to say that I may have taken second place. Or maybe third. (One girl hasn't turned in her scores yet. Butthead.) That's not bad for my first year playing the game. Those girls better watch out for next year's draft. I will revert back to my natural cut-throat self.