Fantasy Congress

Does anyone around here play Fantasy Congress? I’d heard about it before, but now that I was invited to join a league, I started looking into it in more depth.

As in other fantasy sports, you – the Citizen – draft a team of real-life legislators from the U.S. Congress and score points for your team’s successes.

However, as one commentator aptly notes: “[I]t’s lifelike: you win by getting bills passed, not by passing good bills.”

If you only care about winning the game, sure, you can compile a team of senators and represenatives who have an active record. But do you really want to be sitting around hoping that some real-life bill that makes your stomach turn is successful just so you can score some points in FC?

I can see the appeal to some extent, but overall I am not convinced the system is refined enough at this point to get me sufficiently enthusiastic. And while my first reaction was that at least it has educational value by teaching people about the legislative process, now I’m thinking that since it is most likely to appeal to folks who already know much about politics, it’s not clear that it will really spread the word far and wide about how the system works.

That said, I don’t have much experience with fantasy sports so I may be missing some important factors. Moreover, I do think the idea is interesting and certainly impressive that some college students thought it up and managed to execute itp. And to be fair, it sounds like its creators – four undergraduate students at Claremont McKenna – are working on refining the system.

One Response to “Fantasy Congress”

  1. david Says:

    I drafted a team while Congress was in recess, but I’m not sure how active I’ll be in the management of it. I keep up with politics, but not enough to make well-informed roster moves (benching, trading, or substituting my “players”). To do that would require more time and expertise than I possess about specific pieces of legislation. I will, though, check on my team (and my point total) just to see how it’s doing and hopefully learn a little more about what folks on the hill actually do up there.