Fantasy Becomes Reality With each thundering stride he took and missed tackle he created, the galloping beast came closer to reaching his final destination, a rectangular patch of turf measuring 30 feet by 160 feet. As tens of thousands of spectators looked on at number twenty four with their naked eyes, millions more were witnessing this mind-blowing feat of willpower on their televisions from hundreds of miles away in the pleasures of their living rooms.
Endeavors to corral the beast and bring him down by each successive man proved to be futile. The animal busted through the wall of defenders with the aid of swift, elegant movements by his feet. He bull rushed through the outstretched arms of two defenders, swiping hopelessly at his legs, and continued his path of destruction. The already boisterous crowd became even louder as they saw the increasing amount of defenders, thrown to the ground with heads snapping up, looking at the behind of the beast as he tore apart his next victim.
With the switch of the ball to the other arm, number twenty four jammed his newly-freed arm into the side of a defender and pushed him flying into the air, out of his way. Number twenty four, Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks, eventually helped his team score one of the biggest upsets in NFL playoff history against the defending Super Bowl champions, New Orleans Saints, by launching himself into the end zone for the touchdown.
Consequently, an ear-screeching eruption of noise, unofficially measured as a 7. 5 on the Richter scale, exploded through Qwest field and into the living rooms of millions and millions of onlookers. This moment is why casual and die-hard football fans watch and enjoy the game. All football fans would be ecstatic upon seeing the incredible 67-yard touchdown run with the possible exception of Saints fans. However, this is not the case anymore as the question of “why” fans watch the game of football has changed.
Fans nowadays not only watch football for the big hits, back-and-forth scoring, athletic plays, rivalry between divisional teams, but also for keeping track of one’s “imaginary” team in what is called the game of fantasy football. In the scenario above, a lot of people watching the game would probably shake their heads in disgust as the touchdown run results in a loss for one’s fantasy team as one’s team gets outscored by the opposition’s fantasy team for the week. Without the advent of the internet and the NFL’s support, fantasy football would not have become mainstream and he next big thing in the entertainment industry. It has changed why fans of the National Football League watch the game, forever. Fantasy football is a game of skill and luck where one drafts one’s own team of NFL players to compete against another team once each week with the winner being the team with more points at the end of the week. Points are awarded based on yardage, touchdowns, sacks, interceptions, and more, to the team with that particular player or defense who has earned the points.
The specific amount of points vary per league depending on the preferences of the league manager, but a point is usually awarded for every 10 yards rushing or receiving, 25 yards passing, and 6 points for every touchdown reception, pass, or run. Fantasy football players usually spend most of their Sundays and Monday nights glued to television and computer screens with Red Zone Channel and live scoring on their internet browsers so one knows exactly how much one is winning or losing by.
This game can be defined as an addiction to many people, including me; the compulsion, to check one’s fantasy team to see the health status of players, check possible trade offers from other teams, and analyze the player matchups for the oncoming week is so intense that one will continue to do this despite knowing that he or she will get fired from their jobs if he or she is caught checking his or her fantasy team during work. Is this addiction and love for fantasy football good or bad? ” one might ask. An addiction where one does not harm himself, or the people around him, is what I see as a good addiction. Fantasy football is not just something one gets into to pass the time. It is the ultimate source of entertainment associated with sports.
If sitting down in one’s sofa on a splendid Sunday afternoon to watch game after game of hard-hitting, competitive football with drama and a storyline, on par with those of the World Wrestling Entertainment is not enough to make one’s hair stick on its ends; imagine on top of that what it would feel like to have a whole week of bragging rights after beating your friend’s fantasy team with “your” player, Michael Vick, running in from 40 yards out for the touchdown, resulting in 10 points to your fantasy point total that ultimately yields a 100-99 win.
This moment is as sweet as it gets in terms of the euphoria that one will feel. Why should we acknowledge and embrace the notion of fantasy football now? It is changing the landscape of football fans. More and more fans that are hooked on the sport owe their new hobby to fantasy football. The prospect of winning your league’s championship, the entry fees collected at the beginning of the season from each player, an average of ninety-five dollars per person, and gaining respect and recognition from fellow colleagues is unparalleled in any other activity (M.
Christine Holleman). The National Football League even acknowledges and promotes fantasy football as evidenced in one of the commercials of this year’s Superbowl because they know that they can benefit from increased sales due to an increasing fan base brought upon through fantasy football. Whether one likes it or not, fantasy sports is a billion dollar industry that impacts our economy and a part of everyday life. In the days before the birth of fantasy sports, one would choose a NFL team to be the team that he or she lives and dies for.
One could say the team embodies the person in a way that one can boast about his or her team’s miraculous comeback in the Meadowlands, but also get ridiculed when his or her team collapses down the stretch. Basically everyone in the area will have this mindset. However, this mindset changed with the debut of fantasy football. Instead of rooting for one’s team, one is compelled to root for the individual players that comprise one’s fantasy team. Pride and bragging rights are now associated with one’s own “imaginary” team now instead of the city’s professional football team.
I feel a greater attraction towards my fantasy team than my hometown team of the Philadelphia Eagles. The reason behind this seemingly absurd idea to the non-fantasy player is that I feel closer to my fantasy team because it was I who assembled it and have control of its future success. I watch more football now because of the fact that I want to keep up to date with how my fantasy players are doing. Fantasy football has changed why I and so many others watch the game.
Anyone looking to write a book about the role of sports in American culture will have to delve into the game that revolutionized sports and entertainment, with its humble origins as just another activity to pass the time during long road trips, for a few Oakland Raiders’ fans in 1962 (M. Christine Holleman). Works Cited M. Christine Holleman, Article, Fantasy Football: Illegal Gambling or Legal Game of Skill? , 8N. C. J. L. & Tech. 59 (2006), available at http://cite. ncjolt. org/8NCJLTech59.