This book came into existence in large part through the support I received from the following people.
Bob Sparks and Brian Wilson at the University of British Columbia first introduced me to the role of the cultural researcher and intellectual and to methods for thoughtful and cogent social analysis. Their lessons have stayed with me to this day. Peter Donnelly and Bruce Kidd at the University of Toronto facilitated my grounding in the critical study of sport, policy and the public good. Sherene Razack from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education moved me towards post-colonial theory and studies of Whiteness by modelling her thorough and rigorous critique. Special mention is owed to Margaret MacNeill who not only supervised my doctoral research but also consistently supported my scholarly ambitions and confidence. During my time as a postdoctoral researcher at Dalhousie University, David Black and Owen Willis helped to confirm for me the importance and legitimacy of studying sport and its place in social and political life. Finally, John Horne showed interest and faith in this project through its various stages. His editorial guidance, and the feedback of anonymous reviewers, proved essential.
Academia has also given me many important friends whose support has been instrumental and whose insights can be found throughout this book. Ted Alexander was my first grad student colleague and somehow understood from the beginning that a commitment to sociology and to fantasy sports is not incommensurate. Janelle Joseph, Russell Field, Yuka Nakamura, K. Y. Kim, LeAnne Petherick, Ted Norman, Cora McCloy and Lindsay Hayhurst all shared in the daily grind of life as a doctoral student and served as social support as I made it through to the end. Most recently, Bob Huish and Rachel Brickner provided unconditional understanding and regular pep talks through the tumultuous experience of completing a manuscript while being ‘on the market’.
Finally, there is my family. The Darnell-Campbells in Mahone Bay offered nourishing weekend retreats during the completion of this text. My Dad, Bill, has always supported my belief in the importance of this work and the understanding that inequalities demand attention. My brother Jesse is the most reliable person I know. My mother, Elaine, taught me to be organized and disciplined but also imaginative and flexible, a combination that proved invaluable for the writing of this book.
And last, but by no means least, there is Sandy, with whom everything in life seems possible and for whom I am forever thankful.