The real life of fantasy
Fantasy football alters ways fans approach the game
Published: Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 23:10
The world of fantasy is not always the realm of knights, goblins and princesses, but can instead be the territory of friends huddled around makeshift draft rooms attempting to prove who has the most sports knowledge. In this hectic environment, friendships are built, strengthened and sometimes even destroyed in an attempt to justify a basic competitive urge — the drive to win a championship, even if it is hypothetical.
“I’ve been playing [fantasy football] for four years now,” said senior geophysics major Trevor Hansen. “I was introduced to it by my friends who said a fantasy league would be a good way to keep in touch. I’ve always enjoyed football, but playing fantasy makes following it so much more interesting.”
Logan McDivitt, freshman business major, said a few of his players were weighing down his team, but he is enjoying the season anyways.
“No matter the result, it’s a good way to get together with my friends and have fun,” McDivitt said.
Fantasy sports require dedication and persistence to guide a team to glory, but reaping the rewards of a fruitful season can be well worth it for students such as Hansen.
“In my league, we have a trophy that we pass around,” Hansen said. “It has a plaque and everything so you can keep your name on it as our league gets older.”
With so much time and energy devoted to their personal leagues, the lines between devotion to a fantasy squad and the real teams can sometimes blur. Senior visualization major Quentin Holtz said he tries to balance his loyalties and strategy carefully every week.
“Whenever some of my players are playing my favorite team, I’ll take them out of my lineup,” Holtz said. “I want my real team to win, but I also want my fantasy players to do well. In the end, it’s all about my real team winning.”
The prospect of having a good time with friends is the ultimate reward from the experience, which is what keeps students like senior finance major Tyler Ernest coming back season after season.
“I really enjoy the competitiveness,” Ernest said. “But definitely the most important part is being able to trash talk your friends.”
Ernest said, beyond the relationships built through the fantasy football leagues, the work put into analyzing teams and players every week has given him a greater appreciation for the executives who do that every day.
“Through the challenges that come with the game, the players gain respect for their counterparts in real sports,” he said. “A lot more goes into fantasy than people think. It really gives you a sense of respect for the team executives that do this for money every day.”
Nancy Berry, mayor of College Station and mother of Matthew Berry, the renowned ESPN fantasy sports analyst, said fantasy football has been a part of their family for a long time.
“My son started playing when he was 14, almost 30 years ago,” Berry said. “At that time, he had to get USA Today and check the box scores at the end of the week since there were no computers.”
Fantasy sports are a great way to stay in touch with old friends and family members, she said.
“My son has friends from 30 years ago, as well as college and professional acquaintances, that he keeps up with through fantasy,” Berry said.