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Fantasy Sports: A Dream Come True or a Social Nightmare?

In case you have never heard of Fantasy Sports before (and there are people who fall into that category) let's start off with a definition of the game. In Fantasy Sports, the players select athletes from professional sports teams to make up their "dream team." Then, as a sports season progresses, those athletes earn points for the players who chose them based on their performance. Whether the name Fantasy Sports comes from the make-believe teams or the ability to pick and choose your favorite players without signing million-dollar contracts, millions of people participate in fantasy sports betting across the country every year. The "hobby" has become so popular that it has spilled over into other areas of entertainment aside from sports.

The rewards for playing Fantasy Sports can be anything from socializing opportunities, bragging rights and increased enthusiasm to monetary gains. In fact, Fantasy Sports is estimated to have a $3 to $4 Billion annual economic impact across the sports industry.

Although Fantasy Sports betting can be a fun way for families, students, co-workers and strangers to interact, some people are worried about its addictive nature. Under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, Fantasy Sports betting is not considered gambling since it depends on the player's knowledge of athletes and sports rather than chance, but it there are considerable drawbacks to the game if it promotes gambling.

In addition to individual personal costs, gambling can wreak a lot of damage on society. According to Sylvia Porter in the "Economic Costs of Compulsive Gambling in the U.S." the average compulsive gambler has debts in excess of $80,000. That debt then contributes to social problems like bankruptcy, embezzlement, family neglect, divorce, theft and other forms of organized crime. Another resource drained by compulsive gambling is time. In spite of all the negative effects created by gambling, most states have legalized the activity. This change in policy is a recent development though so it will be interesting to see what the consequences are.

Fantasy Sports is not an inherently bad past time but, as with many other activities, the consequences of participating depend largely on the individuals involved. If you want to enjoy the game and have fun without loosing too much of your time or money, play smart by setting limits for yourself. With a little self discipline, you can definitely avoid becoming addicted. That said, let the games begin.


5 Tips on Buying Authentic Autographed Sports Memorabilia Online

It is amazing how many people are fascinated by professional athletes. Sports fans love all kinds of activities. Some enjoy basketball, baseball and football, while others cannot wait to watch ice hockey, boxing or professional golf. They keep track of scores, memorize historical events, and will go out of their way to see a live game. These enthusiasts would also be thrilled to receive authentic autographed sports memorabilia for their birthday.

There are a few things to consider when buying a loved one or close friend an authentic, autographed Gail Goodrich NBA Spalding basketball online. By being careful, you can probably save a few dollars, and prevent purchasing a fake.

1. Always verify the seller. Find out how long the company has been in business, what kind of reviews other consumers wrote, if the company is connected to other selling sites, such as E-Bay, etc. The more you know, the easier it will be to accept them as honest memorabilia dealers.
2. Use different online sources to track down a specific item. Maybe your brother mentioned that he would not mind owning a Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus autographed, numbered and framed "Golf's Greatest" canvas. Having these details makes it a lot easier to track down a copy. Do not buy right away, but investigate first. Compare how much each merchant charges for the picture, as well as the freight. While some shops will reduce the price of their collectables, they charge an arm and a leg for shipping.
3. If you want to purchase an authentic autographed sports memorabilia for someone you do not know quite well, like a business associate or a soon-to-be-father-in-law, do a little research first. Contact people that know these individuals better than you. Explain why you need the information. What would be more appropriate; a signed Magic Johnson jersey or an official MLB ball signed by the Dodger's renowned manager Tommy Lasorda?
4. Be careful when shopping for keen collectors. Either thoroughly investigate so you know with certainty what they already own, or ask them for a wish list. You should mention your spending limit, as some memorabilia may be out of your financial league.
5. Always check the vendor's store policies before finalizing your online order. Can the item be exchanged or returned? How long will it take to arrive? Will it be accompanied by a certificate of authenticity? How will the item be packaged? Verify that payments are secure, and your personal information will not be forwarded to third parties. One cannot be careful enough!


Team Jersey

The team jersey is one of the best sports team apparel options that you can wear in order to show that you are a true fan of the team. The team jersey boldly proclaims to the world that you are a follower and supporter of a specific team, and even to a specific player. Despite the many arguments the jersey could land you in with fans of an opposing team, you will find that wearing your own sports team apparel is the best way to prove that you are dedicated to one team and one team only.

When it comes to buying sports team apparel, it is always best to buy the authentic gear. It may be hard to tell which gear is authentic and which is knockoff sports team apparel, so here are a few things to look for when shopping for your authentic team jersey:

* The main difference between authentic sports team apparel and the imitation gear is that the cost of the authentic gear will be much higher than the knockoffs. The authentic team jersey may be twice as expensive as the imitation one, but the cost of the jersey is well worth it in order to have an authentic team jersey. The materials used for the real jerseys will last much longer than the materials for the knockoff jerseys, which is why the cost of the authentic jersey is so much higher when it is made with the higher quality material.

* Another thing to look for when shopping for your team jersey is the official mark of the organization. Usually when you purchase your sports team apparel from the organization itself, there will be a mark of authenticity that the imitation jerseys will not have. All of the details of the jersey will be clearly marked, and you will be able to read the ad copy to find out whether your jersey is an authentic one, a replica, or an authentic jersey with an authentic autograph.

* You should always buy the jerseys with the brand name of the manufacturer that produces it. Reebok is the official manufacturer of jerseys for both the NHL and NFL, while Adidas makes all of the NBA jerseys. Majestic Athletic is the manufacturer responsible for all of the MLB jerseys. Always check to make sure that your jersey is made by these manufacturers, as that is an indication that the jersey is authentic.

Remember that buying from your sports team apparel store is the best way to be certain that you are getting a team jersey that truly is authentic. Clothing forgers have gotten so good that they are able to imitate all of the tags and logos that show that the jersey is authentic. It has gotten to the point that many experts cannot tell a replica apart from the authentic jerseys, and buying a jersey on the street or online can often be risky. If you want to be sure that you get the real deal, always buy either from the online store of your favorite team or from the physical sports team apparel store at the stadium.


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