Payton Fantasy Football Week 8 Podcast
Hosts: Koki James and Joey Pinkert
Photo by Joey Pinkert
Students talk about their fantasy football teams during lunch.
FANTASY FOOTBALL: MAKING FANTASY A REALITY
By Koki James and Joey Pinkert
Fantasy sports has become extremely popular at Payton and around the country. Whether it be football, basketball, baseball, or any other sport, participation in fantasy sports has been on the rise throughout this decade.
In 2017, 59.3 million people played fantasy sports, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association. In comparison, only 32 million people played fantasy sports in 2010.
While there are fantasy competitions for many sports, fantasy football has caught on more than any other, both at Payton and throughout America.
What is so enticing about fantasy football? Why do so many people play it? How does it affect players’ lives every day?
According to George Stamatis ‘20, fantasy sports are a part of everyday life: “I check it all the time,” he said.“It’s a big part of my life during the season.”
Stamatis plays fantasy football and fantasy basketball; he is easily able to stay committed to both: “The way fantasy apps are makes it really easy for anybody to play in multiple leagues or multiple sports,” he said. “You don’t even have to know a lot about the sport to play fantasy sports … It’s just a fun thing to do with your friends.”
He also emphasized that it is a bonding experience: “It really brings us closer together as friends. Whenever [fellow league members] see each other, our minds shift from school to fantasy football,” he added. “It’s competitive, yet we all get along and realize it’s just a game.”
Many leagues implement entry fees that are pooled towards a prize for the winner, making the players more invested and the game more competitive. The motivation to win the money keeps players engaged throughout the season, which makes the game interesting for teams who are not doing well.
For some players, therefore, fantasy sports are not just a game: they are a chance to win some money.
Some hard-core leagues even have a punishment for the worst team in the league, which makes the league even more competitive.
No matter the way you choose to play, the competition of fantasy football is another factor that makes it so popular.
Many fantasy team owners at Payton plan on playing after they graduate, including Sam Essex ‘20, who participates in fantasy football.
“Fantasy football is such a great game,” he said. “You get to build strategic skills while following your favorite teams. I definitely want to play it when I’m older to continue bonding with my friends and to keep on having fun.”
Fantasy players all around the country are enticed by the prizes, competition, bonding, and just all-around fun that comes with fantasy sports.
The growing trend of participation in fantasy sports looks like it will continue as more and more people become infused with the adrenaline rush and friendships that come with the game.