The time has come once again. Preseason games are over, fresh lines are being painted on the fields for week one, and starters are preparing to begin the six month journey to the Super Bowl and the Lombardi Trophy. It’s football season, but it’s also my favorite time of the year: Fantasy football.
Fantasy football used to be something that intimidated me. All of the stats and projections seemed like way too much math for my brain to handle. I was completely content with sticking to video games like Madden for football fun. That all changed when my brother asked me to join his fantasy league that needed one more person. The entry fee was $10 dollars, so I said “Why not?” Little did I know that a $10 investment would turn into a lifelong obsession.
Every year since I have had at least one fantasy football team. Some years I had three, other times five, and this past year it was ten. Of those ten teams, six won championships, two were runners-up, and the other two we don’t speak of. But those teams mean nothing to me when compared to my first team. Fantasy football has become something that has taken over my life in the fall, and I am not the only one.
The Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) estimated that in 2013 there were 25.8 million fantasy football players in America. In 2000, there was only around 2 million. That’s 10 times more players in the span of a decade. Fantasy football also brings in a ridiculous amount of revenue. The FSTA reports that over $1.67 billion dollars was spent on fantasy football in 2013. To put that in perspective, the Oakland Raiders are only worth about $970 million dollars. Fantasy is rapidly surpassing reality.
And it’s not only men playing; there are plenty of fantasy leagues that have women in them. In fact, women make up 20% of the entire fantasy football population.
Anyone can play fantasy football. The only things you need to play is a computer, a high-tolerance for aggravation and a love for the sport. Find some friends who are in a league, and simply ask to join.