The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Is there a bigger waste of time than fantasy sports? I should know, as, after years of regarding fantasy sports participants with pure contempt, I myself fell into the yawning maw that is Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey. Played it for three years. Finally came to my senses at the start of this season and ditched it for good. I'm no longer the very thing I despise--at least, not when it comes to this.

It used to be that non-sports fans couldn't experience this form of competition. But now, Universal Music & Video Distribution has devised a fantasy league based on the music industry, with music store employees competing for iPods and other prizes. It's called "Scoring Music and Selecting Hits," or "SMASH", and the object is to create virtual record labels and compete for the latest hot acts and market share. Word is it's been such a hit that Universal is considering opening it up to the general public.

It occurs to me this has possibilities for cross-germination with "American Idol" or other televised reality/talent shows. The fan voting component of those shows certainly feeds into the same impulse: Putting the kingmaker role into the hands of the average fan. Why not link the two?