It’s like a Fantasy Football…Fantasy
It’s a phenomenon that’s generating nearly four billion in revenue a year and conversely, is also projected to cost employers an estimated six and a half billion dollars over a 17-week period. When you calculate the amount of time spent by those involved with it into dollars, along with the advertisements, and other money generated as a result of its existence, Forbes calculated its potential worth at 70 billion. It has hundreds of websites, businesses, and sports networks dedicated to it. There’s even an entire popular TV series about it. I’m talking, of course, about fantasy football.
Top 10 Reasons to Start Playing Fantasy Football
- It gives you the opportunity to play the role of General Manager. Because the NFL’s regular season is quite short when compared to most of the major leagues—only 3 months for teams who fail to make the playoffs—most of the year is spent discussing the possibilities for next year, i.e. what we hope our team does in the draft, free agency etc. Fantasy football is so popular because it gives us the opportunity to do what we’re already doing for most the year: build a team that we would want to see play.
- It taps into peoples’ competitive nature. Sports and competition go hand in hand. Cue the obligatory, “Thanks, Captain Obvious.” Fantasy football, however, takes the competition to a whole other level. I used to work at an email marketing company that had two main offices: one based out of Boston, MA and one based in Loveland, CO. Naturally, the Patriots and the Broncos rivalry was a source of constant debate; throw in that Peyton Manning joined the Broncos a few years back and now we have the added juicy morsel of Manning vs. Brady. Even if it didn’t have the added storyline of the Boston vs. Loveland office, we would be upset if the Broncos lost, but having that extra variable in there gave it that X-factor. It wasn’t just about having the Broncos win, it was about the bragging rights that came with it. That’s what fantasy football does. It gives every matchup that extra bit of zest. It’s not just you vs. somebody else. It’s you vs. your friend/family member. Your knowledge vs. theirs.
- You can make money. And lots of it. The capital involved with fantasy football right now beggars belief; you’ve seen the commercials where online fantasy football sites like Fan Duel or Draft Kings throw around figures like 400 million in payouts; Average Joe made 50k off a deposit of just $25. While most fantasy owners aren’t as lucky as our friend AJ, people are spending upwards of 2 billion dollars nationally on entrance or buy-in fees alone, leaving plenty of money to go around and those numbers are only going up.
- Don’t feel like spending any money? No problem. If you’re new to fantasy football, football in general, or if spending money on extracurriculars such as fantasy just isn’t your thing, that’s perfectly fine. One of the best things about fantasy football is that just playing it just to play doesn’t diminish the entertainment value one iota. You’ll have just as much fun—some might argue more fun—as those who have something bigger on the line.
- It provides meaning to otherwise meaningless games. For those who don’t have NFL Sunday Ticket, which is most people, you are subjected to watching some truly awful games. We’ve all experienced it. Excited for this week’s action, you turn on the TV only to find out you’re stuck with the Oakland Raiders versus the Jacksonville Jaguars. It’s beyond depressing. With fantasy, it gives you something else to focus on while you wait for the next game, or perhaps it turns you on to a team you wouldn’t otherwise bother watching because they have one or two talented players who are on your team.
- Playing fantasy football will cost you time, money, patience, and quite possibly your sanity, but there is nothing better or more addicting than the feeling you get once you win. It sounds like I’m speaking in hyperbole here to the point of being facetious, but I sincerely mean what I say. Anyone who truly has gone all in on fantasy knows what I mean. From the hours spent researching your draft picks from the first round to late round picks to analyzing the best mid-week waiver wire pick ups, fantasy can be nerve-wracking and draining, but it’s all worth it if you win your matchup that week.
- It gives you multiple teams to root for each season. Before the emergence of fantasy football, you had one game that you were most looking forward to; one game that you were the most emotionally invested in. If the team you supported lost that week, you had to wait until next week for redemption. That’s not the case with fantasy. You’re invested in the performance of each player on your team and most fantasy teams are composed of individuals from at least five different teams. If you have a wide receiver on your team, you want that receiver’s quarterback to have a good game. If you have a running back, you want that team’s offensive line to play well. Because there are so many different working pieces that go into one player being successful, it diversifies your emotional interests and doesn’t limit them to just one team.
- It brings people together. Much like social media has been hailed as a method of being able to keep in contact with people you otherwise wouldn’t have, fantasy football can also have that effect. I have leagues that I’m in with family members, former co-workers and friends who live in different states. There are plenty of options for people who are just looking to compete in weekly leagues against strangers, but beating a stranger just doesn’t quite compare to beating a friend or family member and eliminating them from playoff contention.
- Because, let’s be honest, there’s no such thing as too much football. When it’s football season, all we do is watch football. Most people even watch the highlights on SportsCenter of games they’ve already just watched! Even people who aren’t that into football won’t miss a Broncos game all season. When we’re not watching football, we’re thinking about watching football. The NFL, despite all the negative press recently, is still the most popular American sport and it’s not even close. Fantasy football gives everyone the opportunity to be more involved with a sport, that as a nation, we’re clearly obsessed.
- Biggest reason to get involved? It’s just a lot of fun. Those who don’t try it at least once are missing out. Plain and simple.
I write a weekly column each Monday, which I post on the About Boulder website and Facebook page, as well as my own personal Facebook account. Please feel free to comment, share etc. If you want to talk sports or propose ideas you would like to hear about, please reach out to me via my email at firstname.lastname@example.org.