Highland Rambler

The student news site of Highland High School in Salt Lake City, Utah

Highland Rambler

Highland Rambler

A Fantasy We Can All Tackle

Fantasy Football Is A Great Way To Make The Sport Fun For All
Hannah Pace

Fantasy football is a strange game. It’s the stuff of suburban legends, when for a lot of people, depending on how well random football players perform, they could either win a prize or lose in spectacular fashion and face an equally spectacular punishment.

Fantasy football lets players manage their own football team filled with their favorite players. It also allows fools like me to draft people who have cool names.

According to the Bleacher Report, around 33 million Americans play fantasy football each year, or roughly 10% of the U.S. population. I like to think that I’m not alone in not understanding this absurd game where you draft players from different teams to sit and wait as they earn points for you. Supposedly, players earn points by playing well.

But that’s not the strangest aspect of the game, at least not to me. The strangest thing is how obsessed with the game people get.

“It’s an addiction. Every win gives you the highest of hits, but a loss can destroy the rest of your week. It’s a full-time job, not a hobby,” Will Munns, a senior at Highland said.

Ignoring Munn’s clear cry for help – I can only imagine fantasy football addicts hunched over a spreadsheet in their basement, a dim lamp flickering light through the dusty green room. Cigarette butts and old bottles of chocolate milk litter the floor as another $100 slips through their fingers while the Lions somehow pull off another miracle – fantasy football is a lifestyle in the fall for many.

But for some, fantasy football can be simply a social event. Here, a more positive quote about fantasy football from Highland sophomore Truman cannon, someone who hasn’t fallen into the grasp of obsession.

“I like that it gives me a reason to watch the game and it makes football as a whole more interesting because I want my players’ teams to do well,” Cannon said.

Fantasy football seems to be a way for people to get interested in a sport that isn’t super easy to get into. Sure, if you’re a suburban dad it’s required by law or something to live and die by your team. But no student at Highland is a suburban dad. As such, games like fantasy football appeal to a wide variety of audiences because it draws people into the sport.

“I would say I’m drawn to it initially because of nature and I’m a competitive guy that wants to win,” Matt Lambson, a senior at Highland, said. “But another reason I like it is because it allows me to be engaged and interested in a game I would otherwise have no interest in just because I have one of the players on my team.”

It also appeals to people who just enjoy football in general, like Highland senior Zeke Mitchell.

“I’ve always liked watching football. Having a fantasy team just makes each game more exciting to watch, and it’s fun to discuss the past games with friends in your league,” Mitchell said.

Football is by far the most popular sport in the U.S. According to Statista, football is followed by 74.5% of Americans. And now that Taylor Swift is involved, every Swift fangirl in the country is invested. As a result, anything that brings the fans into the game is going to be extremely popular. And if you have to put a little bit of work in order for it to pay off, it also appeals to human nature.

“I love statistics and numbers because it all makes sense. There’s no luck or randomness to it, it’s all straightforward and clear,” Peter Huntsman, a sophomore at Highland, said. “Plus, I love sports and football is super fun to watch so I enjoy watching football, and having a fantasy team makes it more fun,”

There’s another side to fantasy football that draws a lot of new players like myself and Highland freshman Will Johnson. That’s the social aspect.

“I went to the draft to hang out with some friends, then I realized it was fun to manage a team and look at the numbers.” Johnson said.

The social aspect is as good as any to join anything. It’s a very common decision maker, especially in high school, where someone’s entire life might revolve around their friends.

Or as Highland junior Tyler Harman said, “Doing it with friends is really the best part of it.”

Indeed, sharing an activity with friends is really the best part of anything. It goes back to human biology, of which I have no authority to explain so I won’t try. But what I do know is that despite how confusing it is, I must admit it is really fun talking with your friends after either a win or loss. And if that’s how people are connecting with other humans, I won’t call foul.

But you’re not reading this for a message on humanity. So, here’s what I’ve learned. Running backs somehow manage to get a lot of points, so get a lot of them. There’s something called “reliability” where certain people always get a good number of points. Picking up those are always good, although I have no clue who they are. Maybe just choose a name that you’ve heard someone yelling at their TV screen to do better. The little red Q by their name means they might not play, not that they’re a quarterback. That’s been learned the hard way. The app will tell you a lot of really useful facts, so listen to it. Overall, as long as you have a good group of people telling you what to do, you’ll be okay.

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