A Fantasy Frenzy
By Brian Duskey
August 26, 2013
A majority of boys grow up wanting to be Batman, a rock star, or a professional athlete.
No promises can be made for the caped crusader or a sexy lead singer, but because of fantasy football, a lot of fans can live the dream of being a professional athlete.
For those who don’t know, fantasy football is a game and system where fans assemble teams of their football favorite players and through a points system of how the players perform on game-day, they face off against each other to see who can form the better team each week.
For a lot of people, fantasy football can really take over their lives, especially in the social sense. A lot of preparation, superstitions, and trash talk go into the game.
Fantasy football has really made a huge impact on pop culture. There are entire magazines dedicated to it, ESPN has shows just for it, and there are even “fantasy experts.” The FX Network even has a very successful sitcom about fantasy football, called The League
Mason Blair and Travis Hudson, both Western alumni, are just two of the millions involved in this machine.
Hudson, whose team name is “99 Problems But a QB Aint One,” believes that fantasy football is good for the actual game of football.
“It gives you an extra reason to watch games that don’t inolve your favorite team.” Hudson said, “Without fantasy football, I don’t see any situation that would involve me wanting something good to happen to teams like the Raiders.”
There are certain tactics and methods that go into the game. Many players put hours upon hours into research for the game.
Blair often goes after quarterbacks late in the drafts and tends to stock up on running backs. “I don’t like getting a quarterback early, then I’m always chasing after quality running backs,” Blair said.
Hudson accepts the fact that research is a make-or-break for fantasy teams. “Early on, it’s easy to pick the highest rated player and have a decent team, but later on, it takes more knowledge and research to find good value.” Hudson said.
The difficulty with fantasy football can be that you are rooting for certain players to score touchdowns or have really good statistics, which can make things complicated when those said players are playing against your favorite team.
“If the Chiefs are involved, all fantasy implications are put aside,” Hudson said.
Blair concurred to the point, “You’re a terrible fan if you root against your favorite team, just because it means you’ll win at fantasy that week,” he said.
Because of shows like The League, trash talk has become a huge part of the game.
Blair does not shy away from trash talk or punishments during the season.
“My cousin told me I couldn’t beat him,” Blair said, “after I won that week, I bought him a three foot Justin Bieber birthday card and taped it to his windshield with some smack talk on it about how I owned him last week.”
Even if you’ve never watched a game of football, there is no reason to get jealous. Even people who are uninformed about the NFL can pick up fantasy football.
Hudson even got his fiancée to play the game. “It took me a while to convince her she couldn’t just pick the guys with cool names,” Hudson said.
Blair even constantly trieds to recruit people who know nothing about it.
“I always tell them to make sure they draft a kicker in the first round,” Blair said, “because there are tons of quarterbacks out there, but good kickers are hard to come by.
The start of the NFL season is vastly approaching, so the deadline to play fantasy football is drawing near.
There is more to fantasy football than just numbers and trash talk. “Put two guys in a room that don’t know each other and bring up fantasy football. There’s a good chance the conversation will last a while,” Hudson said.
Even if you don’t love the game of football, it’s clearly a fantastic social gathering that brings people together.