California governor race is just a fantasy |

California governor race is just a fantasy

Have you decided?

Actors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gary Coleman have name recognition and we’re familiar with their work — I mean movies. Larry Flynt is a “Hustler.” Peter Ueberroth kept the hits coming in Major League Baseball.

And let’s not forget the 100-year-old and the porn star — they both have, well, experience.

California voters will have 135 candidates to choose from in the Oct. 7 special election to recall Gov. Gray Davis. That’s really nothing when you compare it to the number of candidates some football researchers are analyzing this month.

How can Sen. Diane Feinstein say the election is becoming “more and more like a carnival every day.” What she meant to say is that the election is becoming more and more like a fantasy football draft.

That’s right.

Imagine starting a fantasy governor team with “The Terminator” as your top pick. Although Coleman was ‘The Kid from Left Field” and no more than a special teams player, he could go as high as No. 2.

People from other states should stop complaining about what we’re doing in our wacky state and join in on some of the festivities.

But I’ve got to admit, deciding on a governor — even in California — is easier than figuring out who to select with the No. 1 pick, let alone the 168th selection in a fantasy football draft.

I’ve pored over statistics, background checks and hospital records for 500 NFL players this month. And Californians have to make one lousy selection. I’ll need to make 14 choices in my fantasy league and I won’t have a chance to correct my faux pas.

Hey, that’s not a bad idea? I should have asked last year’s football commissioner for a recall after my top pick Kurt Warner broke not only his pinkie but my heart.

How can you go wrong this season by taking either Ricky Williams or Clinton Portis with your top pick? Certainly these franchise players can play with a broken little finger.

Remember when fantasy football was something you whispered about in the break room? Now a day doesn’t go by from August through December when a co-worker or friend isn’t going off about some player’s development or injury.

Internet has launched these games into another world. With hundreds of affordable games at your fingertips, there aren’t many football fans who can resist joining some kind of league.

Of course, let the buyer beware. Some leagues try to nickel and dime you to death by charging for player pickups while others charge too large a fee to enter.

The growth of this hobby, which is a cross between gambling and learning how to become a general manager, seems to have no limits.

There’s even a World Championship of Fantasy Football, where for a $1,6720 entry fee, players have a shot at the $200,000 grand prize. The league has room for 600 players who draft their teams at a kickoff party at the ESPN Sports Zone at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

There are other leagues that are “free,” but be careful because some of them will give you 15-20 free trades to start the season and then charge $1 to $2.50 for additional transactions.

More and more people are living in a fantasy world. Just ask the 1,350 candidates we have for running for California governor for verification.

— Tribune Sports Editor Steve Yingling can be reached at (530) 542-8010 or

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