Many may not know how it feels to be a professional athlete; the competition, the scouting, the training, the film studies, the conditioning, and the dieting — all leading up to competition day. For some people this may sound like a dream. For people who really want to know what that’s like, there is fantasy – fantasy football.
For millions of Americans, a new football season is more than a chance to root for their favorite team as they step onto the gridiron every Sunday afternoon. It is also an opportunity for fans to win it all by creating their own fantasy team to compete in a fantasy league.
In a fantasy league people become owners of a team. They can name the team, customize team colors, and upload any logo they want to represent the team (the more creative, and funny, the better). Then, before the actual NFL season begins, a draft is held where the players that are going to fill the required slots on the fantasy roster are selected.
There are snake drafts, which are just like the annual NFL draft, where each team selects players in a predetermined order. But there are also auction drafts in which teams are all given the same amount of money and you bid for every single player. The player goes to the owner willing to bid the highest.
When the draft is over and the roster is selected, the fantasy season begins. Every week teams face off in games against the other owners in the fantasy league. The winner is decided by whoever gets the highest score after every NFL game has been played that week. Every player on a fantasy roster is an actual NFL player. Players accumulate points based on their performance.
For example, if a fantasy football player drafted Andre Johnson of the Houston Texans. Every time Johnson catches a ball, gains yardage, or scores a touchdown, he accumulates points, which combined with all of the other players on the fantasy football player’s starting lineup will give he/she a total score for the week.
Players also lose points when they play poorly. But, the fun doesn’t stop there. Usually people join leagues with co-workers, family or close friends. This creates a healthy amount of trash-talking that takes place on message boards and even in bars when hanging out with other owners. Fantasy football players experience the humiliation of getting ravaged one week or the elation of destroying your opponent another week and having bragging rights, if only for a few short days.
As the season progresses, owners will look to make trades in order to improve their teams. Or even worse, they may have to replace their star due to injury.
Fantasy football is serious business for those who participate in it. Some people play in competitive leagues and wage real money. The cable network FX is cashing in on the popularity of the game with a successful sitcom called “The League”. Whether you’re a steeler or a dolphin, fantasy obsession is so intense, in fact, diehard fans find themselves rooting for a player on the opposite team because they need a player on that team to do well. Football has been a major sport in America for decades, but for die-hard fans who want to expand their experience, fantasy football has now taken the sport to a whole new realm.