I've been playing fantasy football since 1989 and fantasy baseball since 1995, and I've been writing online since 2000. I've been to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association Conferences in both the winter and the summer, and I've been in dozens of experts leagues for both sports. There's no doubt, these two groups are quite different from each other.
They share the same planet in spite of their many differences. Outsiders will often refer to them as the same species, yet those who deal with them on an individual basis can see the things that make them so distinct.
What's so different about fantasy baseball and fantasy football owners?
While both groups are still looking at player news, live scoring and standings on the same league services, they're as different as night and day.
There's definitely a group of hybrid players that play both fantasy sports, but really, it's just a matter of most fantasy baseball players also playing fantasy football. Fantasy football players are thinking about fantasy football for 12 months out of the year, and many of them consider fantasy baseball something their grandpa would play if he was a nerd ... and alive.
So out of respect - or disrespect, I can't keep track - I will now share with you the nine major differences between fantasy baseball and fantasy football owners.
Stats vs. scouts
Most fantasy baseball owners are citing peripheral stats, like BABIP and K/BB ratios, whereas most fantasy football owners are making mostly subjective remarks. Here are my five favorite BS football scout terms you'll hear fantasy football owners say:
Fantasy Baseball owners don't usually mess with subjective talk like that.
Attention span of gnats or chess players
Fantasy baseball owners are happy to sit and listen to a game on the radio while at work, or discuss bullpens and pinch hitters for hours. They can even go to a game and feel their blood pressure drop, even in the game's most exciting points, as there's always time to read the dictionary between each pitch (moment of action).
Fantasy football owners have the NFL RedZone Channel on, while they're watching their local broadcast on another TV wheeled out into the living room. "What's happening, now!?! ... What happened while I was saying, 'What's happening, now!?!'"
Fantasy baseball owners are a little more cerebral, whereas you sometimes have to shake your keys at a fantasy football player just to get his attention.
Movies vs. TV shows
Fantasy baseball makes cameos in movies, like the Oscar-nominated "Moneyball," and the Judd Apatow comedy, "Knocked Up." Baseball in general has been a featured topic in Hollywood dating all the way back to black and white movies.
Fantasy football is the background for the TV show, "The League," and it gets referenced quite often by other TV shows - but not movies. You can't expect fantasy football players to sit still for 90 mins!
It's the fast food of cinema.
Debates vs. arguments
A disagreement about a player or stat in fantasy baseball is usually peppered with words/phrases like, "with all due respect," and "you make an excellent point, however. ..."
A discussion in fantasy football usually starts with someone calling you a complete idiot for taking a player, and ends with them saying you are the worst fantasy football player ever.
I even recall, back in 1995, Owner A picked Brett Favre in the third round of a TD-only league. Owner B laughed out loud, "BRETT FAVRE IN THE THIRD ROUND!?! THAT'S THE WORST PICK IN THE HISTORY OF THE LEAGUE!" Favre went on to lead the league in touchdown passes (38) that season, and then finish his career as the all-time passing touchdowns leader.
Interestingly, Owner B doesn't remember that discussion taking place at the draft. Fantasy football owners have very short memories.
Fantasy baseball owners, on the other hand, are always comparing current players with former players. "That kid reminds me of a young Gorman Thomas!"