A new craze is sweeping over campus, one that allows football fans to be even more connected and dedicated to their favorite college and professional players and teams: it’s a football fan’s fantasy come true. It’s fantasy football.
For those not aware of the trend, fantasy football is a game played online. Each individual is a team within a league, a league usually consists of 10 to 15 people, and the object of the game is to earn the most points within the league.
Points are obtained, or taken away, depending how well the football players picked perform.
“You can earn points, say, if the quarterback you choose throws a touchdown pass,” senior Terry Beavers said. “But that same guy can get points taken away if he does something bad, like get sacked.”
Beavers got involved in fantasy football four years ago after a friend of his suggested joining. According to Beavers it was fairly easy to join: his friend had already started a league so most of Beaver’s work was already done.
“I didn’t want to take the time to set up a league but I had a friend – who had a league – e-mail me and asked me if I wanted to join,” Beavers said. “It was pretty easy; all I had to do was get an account with Yahoo!.”
Going through Yahoo! isn’t the only way to start or join a fantasy football league – there are hundreds of providers on the Internet. Some require a fee to join, but many don’t. Senior Zach Riesselman has participated in fantasy football for nearly three years now, and he chooses to go through the no-cost teams offered by ESPN.com.
“I use ESPN.com but CBSportsline isn’t bad either and there are a lot of other sites you can use too,” Riesselman said. “I started playing with my friends, so I just used whatever they used.”
Riesselman’s league isn’t what he would call a very serious one. He checks his team’s statistics at his convenience, usually once every two weeks. There’s no prize given to the winner except bragging rights, something Riesselman says he rarely earns with his picks.
“I’m not like my roommate Jared Brown,” Riessleman said. “I won’t make it to the finals unless some kind of miracle happens.”
According to senior Jon Clanton, being able to brag to your friends isn’t the only reason fantasy football has become so popular at Simpson. Clanton is involved in two leagues, one with his friends and the other with his coworkers.
Clanton said he enjoys playing because it makes watching football – something he already does – even more intense and competitive.
It’s also a way for him to stay in contact with friends who don’t live in the area.
“Some of the guys I play with I don’t talk to all that often,” Clanton said. “It’s a way for us to keep in touch.”
Like Riessleman, Clanton isn’t as dedicated to the game as others who play. According to him, at times, it really shows.
A word of advice from Clanton: if you’re already playing fantasy football or you want to get started, check your team’s roster and make sure your players are actually playing.
“Sometimes I get lucky and the players I pick will do well,” Clanton said. “But there have been times, like last week, when my players weren’t even playing.”