"An utterly hilarious romp through a wacky, yet occasionally poignant universe that runs parallel to reality – as told by someone who's struggled to find his way in both...If you're already one of the 36 million who do play, the book will make you laugh out loud, pump your fist in agreement and shake your head in sympathy. If you don't play, this book is a great way to find out what all the fuss is about." - USA Today
"As a longtime fan of Matthew Berry, I'm happy he's finally collected the most inane and hilarious things people will do in pursuit of fantasy glory. If I was in a fantasy league where you drafted people who write about fantasy leagues I would draft Matthew first. Also, I would need to make some major changes in my life." - Seth Meyers, Saturday Night Live Head Writer and three-time fantasy champion in a league you don't care about
“You don’t have to play fantasy sports to enjoy Matthew Berry’s Fantasy Life. You don’t even need to be a sports fan. If you like great writing, if you appreciate irreverent humor, if stories about friendship, family, backstabbing, and regrettable Justin Bieber tattoos warm your heart, you’ll love this book.”—Harlan Coben, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“I am a bad fantasy football player and worse fantasy baseballer. I am heartened after reading Fantasy Life that this apparently does not matter. Matthew Berry’s book proves that there are lots of people out there like us: people who don't use fantasy sports to escape from life, but rather to live it with more fun.”— Peter King, Senior Writer, Sports Illustrated, and owner, “Montclair Pedroias,” New Jersey Suburban League
"I don't care about fantasy sports, and unless it involves a player shooting another player on the field like in The Last Boy Scout, I don't want to hear any stupid fantasy stories. But Matthew Berry did the impossible: He wrote a book about fantasy football that was hilarious and interesting to people who don't even like fantasy football. I loved this book." - Tucker Max, #1 New York Times bestselling author of I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell
“Football can be broken down into X’s and O’s, but at the end of the day, we’re all after drama, human interest, and a great story. Matthew Berry’s Fantasy Life is a great story. I know sports can make a difference in people’s lives; Matthew Berry has shown that fantasy sports can, too.” – Ron “Jaws” Jaworski, ESPN NFL Analyst, and proud owner of multiple fantasy championships under the name "Jawbreaker"
"If I had to choose between playing real football and fantasy football, I honestly don’t know what I’d choose. (Just kidding.) For players like me, fantasy sports are an obsession, an escape, and a great opportunity to trash talk each other. Matthew Berry is THE guy (other than me) everyone listens to and texts for advice during drafts. Fantasy Life is a must-read for fantasy sports fans, athletes, and anyone who loves ridiculous stories" Maurice Jones-Drew, All Pro NFL running back, host of "Running with MJD" on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio
“For those of us who compete in fantasy sports, it's a fraternity. And this book IS fantasy sports. It covers the highs and lows, the good and bad, in victory and in defeat. And it's told by the only man who could tell it: Matthew Berry, the Talented Mr. Roto himself.”- Dale Earnhardt, Jr., NASCAR driver and 12-team "Dirty Mo Posse" league champion.
“I was excited to see that Matthew was writing a book about fantasy sports. As a pro athlete I’ve seen fantasy sports blow up in the last 10 years, and he’s been in the middle of all of it. Thank you, Matthew Berry, for writing such a funny book – and for being my personal consultant for the Cardinals’ fantasy football league.” -Matt Holliday, All-Star Outfielder, St. Louis Cardinals
“Matthew Berry has gleefully documented everything that is so great about fantasy sports - the celebrations and the punishments, the conniving and backstabbing, the agony and the ecstasy. He’s got an amazing story for any situation you find yourself in. It’s the Kama Sutra of fantasy. If you've ever watched The League, you will love this book. Matthew shows in hilarious fashion that fantasy is like life - just better.” - Jackie and Jeff Schaffer, Creators of The League
“One of the people who makes it so much easier for you to enjoy success in fantasy sports now explains why we all enjoy playing fantasy sports. Draft this book early in your first round.” – Keith Olbermann, four-time New York Times bestselling author, nine-time fantasy baseball pennant winner
"Matthew Berry's personal journey in fantasy football is a lesson in a reality of life. Now, you can separate fantasy from reality in a fascinating read." - Chris Mortensen, ESPN Senior NFL Insider and "always in the money!"
"Matthew Berry's Fantasy Life is touching, gripping, addicting. There's nothing like it."—Adam Schefter, ESPN NFL Insider
“Is there anyone that still thinks fantasy-baseball players are some sort of niche, Trekkie sect? Countless Major League players admit themselves to playing the game, and the web hasn't only mainstreamed it, it has turned it into a multi-million-dollar business. At this point, we'd say more sports fans know who Matthew Berry is than know most of the players on his team.”
-New York Magazine
Let's be honest: Many football, baseball, and basketball enthusiasts watch sports with a split sense of loyalty: On one hand, they want the local team to win; on the other, the 35 million North American fantasy sports fans want the players on their personal game teams to succeed. What began in the late seventies as a modest venture has become a national obsession that receives regular attention on national news and network sports shows. Fantasy Life takes us into the weird, wondrous, self-contained universe of "reality" sports gamers. Readers couldn't ask for a more knowledgeable guide: As ESPN's Senior Fantasy Sports Analyst, Matthew Berry has covered every facet of this popular indoor sport; from players and officials to attempts, both legal and illegal, to gain a winning advantage. An off-season or on-season must-read; now in trade paperback and NOOK Book.
Mixing autobiography with reportage on friends and field-famous players, ESPN personality Berry delves into the psychology and, more to the point, the comedy of fantasy sports. From mustache-growing pacts to Twitter accounts devoted exclusively to intra-league trash talk, Berry introduces some of the most creative fantasy traditions known to breed league-spirit. His tone—laid-back, witty—suits the beery, good-time atmosphere of fantasy sports. A one-time sitcom scribe, Berry knows how to frame a scene so its full, maybe even shocking, humorous glory shines through (See the one about the repo man, the owner of the would-be-repossessed car, and the cop who all put aside their differences to convene on the wisdom of a draft pick). Similarly, his comic timing comes into play in observations on the non-fantasy ramifications of fantasy team construction. Without abandoning his comedic baseline, Berry successfully journeys into philosophy—that of team play, that of living—and practical advice for leaguers concerning, for instance, how to not be That Guy. Though some sections are targeted solely towards fantasy fans ("20 Most Soul-Crushing Ways to Lose"), readers don't need a commissioner's knowledge to enjoy this insider's peek into the often astounding and always fun realm of fantasy sports. (July)
Fantasy sports: more fun to play than to read about. Rotisserie baseball, which began as a bunch of overly intelligent baseball nerds in New York playing with numbers, has since blossomed into a multisport, multimedia phenomenon. Before the Internet, the typical fantasy league pulled its statistics from the newspaper, after which its members ran the numbers by hand; now, numerous Web outlets have programs in which the masses can draft their teams and let the technology do the stats work. One of the most notable is, unsurprisingly, ESPN, and ESPN.com offers not only online services as a repository for league stats, but also advice columnists, the best of whom is Berry, aka the Talented Mr. Roto. In his debut book, the author combines memoir, history and cultural study in what was likely intended to be the definitive volume on fantasy sports; however, the topic is too thin for this much study and analysis. A genial gent, Berry relates his entry into fantasy sports, touches on fantasy's roots and presents numerous case studies--i.e., stories from fantasy leagues around the world. Unfortunately, the autobiographical sections are less than compelling, the roots-of-fantasy stories have been told time and again, and the case studies are simply uninteresting. In addition, the long, trying-too-hard-to-be-clever chapter titles begin to grate--e.g., "The Benefits of Fantasy in the Work Place, or ‘No One Seems to Realize That Adrian Peterson Isn't a Parishioner.' " Berry's fantasy advice columns on ESPN.com and his ESPN on-air work are flat-out enjoyable, so his many fans may be disappointed with this earnest yet tepid effort, which makes it clear that fantasy sports commentary is best left for the online world. Berry gave it the old college try, but the ultimate fantasy sports book has yet to be written--then again, it's possible that such an entity is a pipe dream.