What’s the Deal with Fantasy Football?

-Candice Smith, Contributing Writer

What is Fantasy football? Fantasy football is a competition in which participants select imaginary teams from among the players in a league and score points according to the actual performance of their players. So, in other words, participants are pretending to be the Bill Belichicks, Sean Paytons and Tom Coughlins of Fantasy Football.

According to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, (http://www.fsta.org) the average fantasy football player consists of: 80 percent male, 89.8 percent Caucasian, 51.5 percent not married, average age of 34, 78.1 percent with a college degree or higher, and those who spend about 8.67 hours a week on fantasy sports.

“I have been playing Fantasy Football since 2007,” said TJ Pride, a Grad student at MC. “I’m addicted to it now and can’t stop. I’m part of a twelve man league. We generally discuss football all year. I love it, but it can take away from the game by becoming fixated on the individual game, taking away from the team concept.”

“Fantasy Football is a fun hobby for people. My boyfriend plays fantasy football with his youth group and they use it as an incentive to watch the game and learn from the NFL players because he coaches a junior high and high school football team,” says Elise Mullins, a senior. “He uses it as a way to come together with his youth group. It can become an obsession if taken too seriously and consume too much of your time.”

According to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, in 2014, over 41 million people in the United States and Canada participate in fantasy sports. That’s a lot of sodas, pizza and high blood pressure!

Forty six percent of players spend up to $50 in entry fees while only 8 percent spend in excess of $300 in entry fees. At least 46 percent of the players have some common sense!

“I’ve been playing Fantasy football on and off for about 4-5 years. I don’t necessarily have a strategy. I just have my general knowledge of the NFL and use that to pick players. It’s not an obsession but something to keep me interested in football and also a way to waste time. Plus, it’s just fun to play with friends,” says senior Walker Lacey.

“It’s a fun way to interact with others and keep up with stats with friends and co-workers. I might play one day. I’m not opposed to it if I got asked to join. Most of my guy friends play. They are really into it. It’s just fun for most of them. It’s not about the money. I almost joined but didn’t,” says Krista Woods, also a senior.

People may mock Fantasy Football, but it seems to be a healthy outlet for people to be able to come together in celebration of a hobby for which they all share a passion.

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