Sunday July 22, 2012

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Widowed by hubby’s fantasy sports obsession? Don’t get mad, get Kim Kardashian. Or Tom Cruise. Or Kate Middleton.

Fantasy sports leagues are big business online, drawing more than 33 million fans of football to cricket. Now, celeb watchers have a handful of their own websites to draft "teams" and trash talk their friends.

They take on names like "The Lifestyles of the Vain and Narcissistic," "Pop Stars and Posers" and "Snookipocolypse." They hold boozy draft parties, sometimes play for token cash and have stats of their own to pore over.

Angelle Smith, a 31-year-old attorney in Washington, D.C., drafted a team in the "Celebrity Wonkettes" league at the urging of a friend. The league soon morphed into the "Celebrity Wonks & Wonkettes" when they coaxed a few guys to join.

"She said ‘Do you think other people care as much about following celebrities as we do?’ I said ‘Absolutely,"’ Smith recalled. "Within about 10 minutes we had a pretty solid group of people ready to play."

Their site of choice is CelebrityFantasyDraft.com, which offers a database of 2,500 celebs to choose from and sends out weekly point counts in email based on the number and placement of photos in three weekly magazines over a two-month season.

Similar celeb-scoring sites are mere aggregators, sucking in famous names from all over the interwebs.


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Drool-inducing stats often drive fantasy sports fans. Not so much for some celeb players.

"If one of us had to be responsible for actually calculating that I don’t think it would ever happen," said Lisa Lovett, 31, a college career services worker in Denver.

Among Lovett’s current picks: Beyonce, Jay-Z, Justin Bieber, Prince Harry and Suri Cruise. Her team’s running fourth, but the season isn’t over until the end of July.

Each team owner in Lovett’s league antes up $10. Winner takes all, or about $90 once the $20 fee to the site is paid.

In a different league but using the same site, Smith’s team includes Bieber, Jason Segel, Kardashian ex Kris Humphries and Mason Disick, the first offspring of Kourtney Kardashian who just became a big brother -- in season!

"The knowledge people display is amazing," Smith said of her fellow team owners. "People do their homework. No one wants to be last."