Players win games and players lose games - it's all about players really." - Bobby Ferguson (commentator). Not many Friday night television programmes have the power to make you leave what you were doing, go home, sit down in front of the telly for half an hour and indulge in a bit of jolly-
Fantasy Football League hosted by midly funny bourgeoisie. "did you spot the cultural references in that joke", David Baddiel and the sublimely hilarious, flat cap and tab, Frank Skinner, is one of the few that can.
The basic premise of Fantasy Football is sound. A host of minor celebrities are given a fixed amount of imaginary money and a list of players from the English Premiership. Each of the players has been assigned a value that roughly correlates with their worth in real life. Fantasy managers then bid in an auction system for the players and assemble a credible team that should make it through the upcoming season.
At least, that's what they do in the television version. Fantasy Manager caters for up to a maximum of 15 fantasy managers - six minimum - and they can opt to either bid against each other for player or take turns at buying players at their face value.
As soon as each manager is satisfied that they've assembled a team that will se them safely through the trials and tribulations of the season, the fantasy game for real begins.
Considering the potential for laughs, visual jokes, puns and puerile humour, Anco's offering is decidedly lacklustre. The front end makes no use of the mouse or anything convenient like that. Selection of players, either from auction of placement into the team, beggars belief. There's no summary of selected players, and no undo function to compensate for mistakes.
It's more than slightly annoying and can lead to more wasted time than waiting ina bread queue in Russia. At the very least, it's frustrating. If it wasn't for the animated scoreboard during games, there'd be nothing to save the game from the ignominious title of Glorified PD database.
The message is clear, if you want to play Fantasy Football, there are cheaper, more enjoyable ways to do so. Check your favourite paper. It's worth it.