Fantasy Football has become as much a part of the NFL season as drafts and the Super Bowl, with players across the United States fine-tuning their teams for the season ahead.
Even in the offseason the discussion and debate rages on. The Bleacher Report covers how it is one of the most exciting times for enthusiasts who see players switch teams and rise up or down the rankings.
With plenty to keep players occupied in the regular season too, NFL fantasy football is a hobby that takes up time all-year-round. A Neilson report suggests 6.2% of the adult population in the United States plays fantasy sports or some type; why is it so popular though, not just in NFL but across a range of sports worldwide?
Sport is all about opinion and even the mailman or ref refuses to share their opinion on his sports team. Who should the Chiefs draft this year to defend their Super Bowl victory? You’re just as likely to get an informed opinion from the guy or girl serving you in Taco Bell as you are Andy Reid.
The Chiefs were recently victorious in Super Bowl 54, not least thanks to their 24-year-old quarterback Patrick Mahomes. bwin News explained how Mahomes was the key to the Chiefs’ chances in the Super Bowl 54, and he powered them on to a 31-20 win against the 49ers. As a Fan Sided article discusses, even that wasn’t enough to make him a ‘must-have’ in 2019 fantasy football.
Therein lies the innate beauty of the hobby that is taken so seriously across the United States. Mahomes is a household name and the uninitiated might think he was a player they should draft, but those who understand the game know better. By playing fantasy football, NFL fans are proving their knowledge and reveling in making the big calls that coaches and media might not get right.
The link between fantasy football and real success is even proven in the history of the game. It began in the 1960s when a group of guys got together in a New York City hotel room and made the first-ever fantasy draft. That group included an Oakland Raiders intern named Ron Wolf, the same Ron Wolf who later went on to win an actual Super Bowl with the actual Green Bay Packers. It’s not known if he won the fantasy league.
Fantasy football also gets you involved in the game so much more than you might as a mere fan. If you follow the 49ers you might take an interest in other games in the NFC West, but would you be paying too much attention to the Minnesota Vikings taking on the Chicago Bears in the NFC? You might, if Mitchell Trubisky was you, fantasy quarterback.
David Jurenka, senior vice president of media for the NFL’s Los Angeles operation, believes that fantasy football also offers fans of struggling teams a way to claim success of their own. “If your team is 1-10 and yet your fantasy team is 10-1, I would argue you’re just as engaged,” he said.
The popularity of fantasy football shows no signs of easing, it’s helping to drive NFL figures across the country. To those on the outside looking in, perhaps the appeal is hard to envisage, but if you’re taking part and regular beating your friends, it’s an obvious way to keep yourself interested in the sport.
Even if you follow the Cincinnati Bengals.
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