Is Fantasy Football More Popular Than Pro Football?
There are millions of different addictions that people suffer with throughout the world. From cigarettes to cars to coin collecting and more, what starts as merely hobbies and habits turns into full-blown addictions that begin to alter one’s way of life. My addiction, as well as millions of other people happens to be Fantasy Football. With the NFL season around the corner, I’m starting to get that addictive itch that tells me my fantasy draft is coming near and I have to start prepping for that hour and a half that will determine if my football season will be successful or not. That’s right, I said my football season. Playing Fantasy Football puts you in charge of your own team, making you a pseudo-manager of a made up NFL team. I know that this all sounds like a jock’s version of Dungeons and Dragons, but it is way more than that. Some might say that people are more invested in Fantasy Football over the real deal.
It’s every sports fans dream to be a professional team’s owner, and playing Fantasy Football gives you a slight insight to what that might feel like. I’ve been playing Fantasy Football for over 12 years and every season it seems to get a little more intense and a lot more important to me. While I am a die-hard Jets fan through and through, I find myself paying more attention to my fantasy teams and league rather than what the Jets and the actual NFL is doing. Wins and losses have become secondary to me, because as long as my individual players are doing well I’m happy. Now don’t get me wrong, if I had a choice of the Jets winning the Superbowl or myself winning my fantasy league, I choose the Jets every time. Since there is absolutely no chance in that actually happening, I have to find solace with my fantasy team.
Reports show that when fall rolls around, there are nearly 40 million people who participate in some form of Fantasy Football around the world. From head-to-head, Rotisserie, Pick-em’ and straight up game by game betting, there are tons of ways to participate in Fantasy Football. The most conventional and popular form is Head-to-Head, which is what I play. There are some people who take Fantasy Football a lot less serious than the true die-hard’s out there, but for those people like me, we know how truly important the Fantasy season is.
From bragging rights to the monetary gain, every week of the NFL season becomes more and more important as you get invested in a fantasy league. Your NFL knowledge alone multiplies by 300% when playing FF because of how much information you need to be good at it. From waiver wires to injuries and trades, you have a nonstop stream of information that you have to retain just to stay in contention throughout the season. Fantasy Football has completely changed the way that football fans enjoy Sundays.
What used to be a day where you sat back and watched your favorite team play for the normal 3 hours has now turned into a day where you feel like you are in the boiler room following every stock carefully with your life depending on it. I for one have 3 fantasy teams and anyone who plays knows how hectic that could be. It has gotten to the point where I don’t even take phone calls on Sunday’s because there is just too much to do. That’s what makes FF an addiction. As if my watching the game will have any effect on the outcome, I still stand there and refuse to look away because of the possible ramifications.
The addiction that is Fantasy Football has spawned an extremely popular television show, “The League,” which is a surprisingly good look into how a group of friends dynamics change during the fantasy season. With my group of friends, we try to gather for the most part on Sunday’s and while we can all never agree on what game to watch, we will sit there with multiple electronic devises watching and following every moment of every game possible. When having multiple teams, you often find yourself with conflicts of interest, like when your teams players are playing your favorite team or you have one player on your team playing another player on one of your other teams or if you need your player to do well in one league but in another league that same player is against you. That sentence probably didn’t make sense to most, but for those of you who understood what I was saying, you know what I meant.
The amazing part of Fantasy Football is that the intensity starts weeks before the actual season does. Every league has their own draft day and when that day comes there is no more kidding around. Everyone thinks they have their own sleepers and surprise picks that will have the rest of the league kissing their asses in amazement that they were able to make such an incredible move. The truth of the matter is that every season will bring their busts and unknown surprises that no one saw coming. There is a true art behind drafting the perfect team and I swear that someday I will figure it out. When the draft order is chosen the true trash talking starts. Once the teams are completely picked then everyone goes back and forth with how their fantasy team will reign supreme above all.
With the amount of time and dedication that people put into their own fantasy teams, there is no disputing that Fantasy Football has an appeal that most real sports can only dream of having. I am sure that any real Football fan would put the team they root for in front of any of their fantasy teams, but that fantasy team will be a close second. Good luck to everyone in their respective drafts and if you don’t plan on playing Fantasy Football this season, I strongly suggest you reconsider.