We may have to wait until September 9th for the 2021 NFL season to kick off, but the close season is still a busy time for Fantasy Football (FF) managers everywhere.
As fans build their team rosters and consider their trade and draft options, it’s worth remembering just how far Fantasy Football has come.
The History of Fantasy Football
In 2017, there were an estimated 59 million people playing fantasy sport in the U.S. and Canada. That figure is even more impressive when you consider that there were only 500,000 players in 1998.
But where did this phenomenon first begin? The answer is way back in 1962 when Bill “Wink” Winkenbach and a handful of friends created the first-ever fantasy sports game.
Legend has it that Winkenbach, Bill Tunnelland Oakland sportswriter Scotty Stirling, sketched out rules for a game that would eventually become fantasy football, in a midtown Manhattan hotel room. It was the world’s first fantasy league and has set the tone for every fantasy league that’s followed.
Reasons for Fantasy Football’s Boom
It’s hard to believe that a game invented in the ’60s is so popular today, so just how has a game created back in 1962 gained such a huge following today?
It may sound obvious, but people don’t spend hours of their precious time trawling through stats looking for the perfect Draft pick because they’re not enjoying themselves. When all’s said and done, FF is a lot of fun to play.
Growth in smartphone ownership coupled with fast, easy internet access has been a huge driver in player numbers. Now players can change their team, check injury news, and analyze the team’s results, anytime and anyplace they like.
Not only that, but before the internet was even a thing, players were searching newspapers and getting their information from any source they could find. Now everything’s in the palm of their hand making the game far easier to play, no matter your knowledge or experience.
With FF available to play via laptop, tablet, and smartphone, the game fits around players’ lives making it convenient and easy to play. Got five minutes while you sat on the bus? Maybe you better check out the injury situation on your star running back.
Thanks to leagues like DraftKings Daily Fantasy Football, fantasy football is now incredibly convenient and easy to play. Players can choose from free or paid contests, win real cash prizes and set up their own leagues to play along with friends.
You’re in charge
How many games of football have you watched and thought “I can do better than that!”. Plus, you’ve seen enough games in your life to know that play will never work right?
Well now’s your chance to prove it. FFgivesall of us who think we know better, the chance to put our money where our mouth is. How hard can it be?
Many Fantasy leagues offer players the chance to win cash prizes over the season, adding an extra layer of excitement and pressure to every play in every game. So if you can prove you’re a better coach than Bill Belichick or Don Shula, chances are there’s a nice cash prize in it for you.
Playing FF is a great way to further enhance your enjoyment of an NFL game whether your team is playing or not. Let’s face it Jacksonville Jaguar fans, the 2020 season was not a great watch. But thanks to FF the entire season doesn’t have to be a downer when you’ve got your own Fantasy team to focus on.
Your friend’s star quarterback has just fumbled and cost him a top spot in your Fantasy League, it’s time to get on social media and let him know about it. Yes, the joys of social media add yet another fun layer when it comes to playing FF.
Thanks to social networks it’s easy to share tactics and strategies with fellow players worldwide, or even better, poke fun at your friends when their team flunks. By using social media, FF players are part of a globally connected community.
Not only has improved technology seen an increase in smartphone usage, but it’s also responsible for smarter apps and gameplay. Being able to drill down on player stats, draft, and trade players, and watch live updates online, not only makes the gameplay easier but also much more realistic.
With all the information at your fingertips, being a head coach of an NFL team, just got a whole lot easier.
The 2021 NFL season
The Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers kick off the 2021 season at the Raymond James Stadium, Tampa on September 9th, and we can’t wait.
CanTom Brady take the Buccaneers back to the Super Bowl and claim an incredible eighth championship, or will Patrick Mahomeslead the Kansas City Chiefs back to the final and claim his second ring?
Did the Jacksonville Jaguars get their draft picks right or is Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne, and Tyson Campbell not enough to turn them around? Maybe you think the Cardinals, Broncos, Bears, and Patriots crushed the draft and are now going all the way.
If you think you have the answers then maybe it’s time to sign up to that fantasy Football league and put your skills to the test.