Welcome to the World of Fantasy Football
October 10, 2019
With the introduction of the Internet, football needed to adapt in order to appeal to the next generation of fans — as evidenced by the rise of online fantasy football. Because of this, the dynamic of football has changed for the better. Fans strategically bet in fantasy football, allowing them to finally feel like they have a real stake in the performance of their players and teams.
“In the past, you only cheered for your home team. Now with fantasy football, you can cheer for multiple players and watch different games,” Palmetto football coach, Michael Manasco said. “Thanks to the internet, the average fan now has the ability to be within the game and control their own mini team.”
Before the invention of the internet, fans kept track of their fantasy football team the old-fashioned way, with pen and paper. They had to check the newspaper, look at how their players did and keep score themselves. This complicated process kept fantasy football under the wraps, until the emergence of apps and new technology.
From there, fantasy football’s popularity skyrocketed. According to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, 28.5 million people played fantasy sports in 2008. That number has more than doubled as of now, with nearly 60 million people playing fantasy sports, and 80% of those people playing fantasy football.
“What drew me to it was that it’s so interactive and I get to play — and hopefully beat — my friends. Some of my friends live around the country, and fantasy football keeps us together,” said sophomore Mateo Jimenez.
Friends and families can bond over their common love for the sport by creating fantasy football leagues. Members contribute a certain amount of money to the pot and draft their picks each week. By combining two of America’s favorite pastimes — gambling and football — fantasy football will continue to increase in popularity.
Though other fantasy sports exist, none of them have achieved the same level of popularity as fantasy football. Since the NFL regular season only lasts 16 weeks, fantasy football requires less time and energy than other fantasy sports.
“I play fantasy football because of my soccer friends. Soccer fantasy is trash and there are barely any leagues. Most of my friends play football too, so I decided to join their fantasy team,” Jimenez said.
With so many websites such as draftkings.com or fanduel.com, other fantasy sports cannot compete. Both have opened lounges in a number of stadiums where fans can stream other football games while watching one in person.
“I’ve loved football my entire life,” said Jimenez. “Fantasy football has given me a greater technical understanding of the sport and now it has become my passion.”