Popular game worldwide but not necessarily on-campus at UVU
Adam Cichoski | Sports writer | @AdamCichoski
Fantasy football is something that’s been around for a long time but it seems like every year it gets bigger and becomes more popular. It has been around since 1963 when the inaugural league called the GOPPPL (Greater Oakland Professional Pigskin Prognosticators League) was started. As it has grown in popularity since that time with leagues on a wide variety of websites including espn.com, cbssports.com, nfl.com, foxsports.com and others, it has become the single most important marketing tool for the National Football League.
Fantasy football is normally played online. A group of people will get together, usually friends or family, and they will hold a ‘draft’. In that draft, each member of the group will take a player currently playing in the NFL and add them to their team. Depending on the type of league, the group will take turns picking players for anywhere between 16-24 rounds.
The results of the game are based off of statistics from each NFL game. Quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, a flex player, a defense/special teams, and a kicker can each earn points in individual ways that combine for a team score.
The game of fantasy football brings a very interesting perspective to the sport because now people aren’t worried so much about a team as they are about the performance of each individual player.
There are even one-week leagues that pay out money such as draftkings.com and fanduel.com. These sites have become extremely popular.
The sports writers at the UVU Review have started their own league and the UVU Intramural Department now has two leagues available. The first league is for those that are experienced in fantasy football and the other is for those who might be new to the sport. They started their league in 2014 but were only able to have 12 teams.
Assistant Intramurals Coordinator Dustin Lamont believes that it might be different if people were playing in a league with people they knew such as friends or roommates rather than against people they don’t know. He is hoping that it will catch on as fantasy football makes watching the NFL a little more entertaining.
UVU PRSSA president Micah Jensen is playing for the first time this season even though he has known about fantasy football for some time.
“It is fun and it helps you to stay up to date on players for the season,” Jensen said. For his friend Austin Schupple, it is about the love of football and just having a good time with a few good friends. “I love football and this is just a great way to be involved in the realm of the NFL more,” Schupple said.
Travis Griffin is another UVU student who loves to play fantasy football.
“I play fantasy football because I like to compete against my friends and family for bragging rights and money sometimes,” Griffin said. “It’s fun to pick players that you like and root for them on Sundays. I also like how every year there seems to be a player that comes out of nowhere and ends up being one of the best players that year.”
Some UVU students just aren’t fans of fantasy football even though they are sports fans.
“I’m fine with sports as I love playing them,” Brayden Hughes said. “I follow but I don’t watch them and don’t watch ESPN. The thought to immerse myself in a whole new world full of stats and players I’ve never heard of, is overwhelming.”
Fantasy football may not be for everyone, but there are many who know about it and love it and who look forward to this time of year.
My name is Adam Cichoski, I’m a junior at UVU studying Journalism. Sports is my passion, especially football. I’m originally from Las Vegas, Nevada. My plan after school is to pursue a job in sports journalism.