By Sam Frellick, Staff Writer
One way many students cope with the beginning of the new school year is following the start of the NFL season. With new classes and new classmates comes lots of excitement as students scramble to find new friends.
Some students form groups through their fantasy football leagues, in which students try to draft the best players they can and compete with their friends on a weekly basis. “It helps people socialize because it is something to talk about,” said Ryan Heise ‘20.
While many see this as a healthy way to strengthen bonds, some feel otherwise. One of the harmful aspects of fantasy football is how it can be a distraction from class. Simple trash talk and trade negotiations can take away from other students’ learning. Fantasy football creates another issue in a competitive culture. While trash talk is usually friendly, some people may not find it so humorous. One fantasy football player describes the game saying, “It’s all I can think about sometimes. As soon as I get to lunch it’s all we talk about.”
This can lead to an effect opposite of the one the game aims for. While fantasy football has made many positive contributions to the Payton community by strengthening communities and heightening excitement, leagues should work to ensure that negative actions such as distractions in class and hostile antics do not occur.
So does fantasy football divide the Payton community? As one anonymous Payton student who does not play put it, “I don’t believe it divides the Payton community, but I think people talk about it too often.”
There’s no one answer to the question, but there are a few things that leagues can do to make sure they are positively contributing to the community. Leagues should be inclusive, and add anyone that wants to be involved. Leagues should make sure they discuss football outside of class, or head to the fantasy football enrichment held every Tuesday.
Fantasy football is a great way to build friendships and meet new people, and if leagues can ensure they are benefiting the school, they can tighten Payton’s community.
LISTEN TO THE PNN PODCAST, SECOND TAKE, ABOUT FANTASY FOOTBALL AT PAYTON (featuring PNN Broadcasters Liam Dillon, Joey Pinkert, Matt Sullivan, Henry Xiao):