From the outside, fantasy football may seem to be a cult-like game reserved for sports fans. However, for many, the game is an exciting 17 week roller coaster of both triumph and disappointment. Fantasy football is a digital game where people can play and compete with their friends in a league. To start off the season, the participants draft a team of real life National Football League (NFL) athletes who play for their own digital mix of top players. Different people and their respective teams then face off against one another in hopes of becoming the ultimate winners of their league. Due to this head to head competition between friends, it is not uncommon for a prize or punishment to be imposed on the respective winners and losers. More often than not, these come in the form of paying an entry fee and competing for a pot of money. However, for the bolder groups, losers often face humiliating forms of punishment.
Players set their lineups on a weekly basis, where they will assign their drafted players to various real life positions. After each lineup is completed, two teams face off as the real life players perform and earn fantasy points for their teams. Who you decide to play or bench that week could dictate whether to celebrate and boast your dominance or regretfully reflect on the player that had the game of their life while sitting on your digital bench.
Fantasy football is a game of ups and downs no matter which way you look at it. Even if you’ve done all the possible research to create the perfect team on paper, the game still relies on the performance of NFL athletes in real life. Fantasy football veteran Mikey Wright explained, “No matter how good your team is, you can always lose, which gives the game an unpredictably that makes fantasy football so exciting.”
Despite all the uncontrollable outcomes that come with fantasy football, being able to compete in a unique way makes the game unlike any other. It’s the quest and sheer desire to become the best among your friends that makes it a game worth playing. While competing against one another in more conventional ways is always exciting, sometimes it’s just nice to sit down with your friend on a Sunday morning and watch your team destroy their spirits one point at a time.