SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC-News)-There are just some things that go together very well. Peanut butter and jelly, Bert and Ernie, and the NFL and fantasy football. It is that last duo that is of real interest in the sports world. Specifically, what is fantasy football, and why has it become so popular in seemingly the last half decade?
Before we go any further, let’s answer that first question. What exactly is fantasy football? In speaking to Rotoworld’s John Daigle, he describes fantasy football as,
“Basically, you draft players playing football right, and then they score points,” Daigle said. “You accrue points based on the touchdowns, their yards, their touches the list goes on and on. So, it’s a game theory. It’s a bit of a game.”
According to the Fantasy Sports and Gaming Association, in 2017, 78% of all players of fantasy sports (an estimated total of 59.3 players in the United States and Canada) play Fantasy Football. Despite this large number the majority of fantasy football managers don’t consume read articles on fantasy the way it is intended as Daigle mentioned,
“If you read a fantasy football article, most people are ‘control F-ing’ or looking for the names, they’re looking for the picks,” said Daigle. “Whereas that is not the way I operate.”
Like any other industry, growth is extremely important and the same applies for Fantasy Football. As of right now, fantasy football fans can find plenty of content in mainstream media. There are countless podcasts, websites, weekly columns and TV shows. For Daigle however, the future as he sees it his very bright and the culture of Fantasy Football has not even reached its ceiling,
“I want big picture. I want fantasy football on TV,” Daigle said. “I want one of us, whether it is me or my friends in the booth as a third man calling games on Sunday nights or perhaps Sunday afternoon, or at least preseason games. I want us announcing events. I want a fantasy media network. I want a fantasy TV channel. I want to expand so far beyond what we think we are tapped out on what the industry can be.”
Will Shea is a junior at Syracuse and has been playing fantasy football for a decade. He has been a part of several leagues, he feels the reason why fantasy football has become so popular is because it provides fans a new way to enjoy the NFL.
“I think it has been popular because it gives an extra layer for fans to root for when watching a game because as much as we all love football,” Shea said. “We can all admit that not every game matters and not every game is entertaining and this is your team you have a collection of players that you consider your own and that you root for on a very like stringent basis.”
Shea’s passion for fantasy football is shared by millions of players across the country and the world. It seems that the future, for fantasy football is bright. Now, it is just a matter of where will it go from here.