Fantasy football unleashes competitive spirit like no other


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ESPN fantasy football logo.

James McDermott, Sports Editor

Every Sunday from September to December, households across the country are filled with whirlwinds of emotions. Some houses consist of people jumping up and down in celebration, while some contain people screaming at their television. All of these emotions are caused by fantasy football. 

The way fantasy football works is you and a bunch of your friends/family create a league. You then draft players in the NFL and compete against one of the other league members each week. The better your players do in real life, the more points they score, and the higher chance your team has of winning your matchup. 

A large amount of fantasy football players in the world spend upwards of hundreds of hours preparing and researching for their draft to ensure they end up with players that they believe will perform well. Many also spend even more time during the week making sure they start the correct group of players. Despite the hundreds of hours of research, us fans have absolutely no control over what happens on any given Sunday.

The lack of control is what is truly so frustrating about fantasy football. If you start all of the right players and you still lose your matchup, you can’t really get overly upset about it. It is when your first-round pick has a disappointing week while a player on your bench goes off, that it becomes extremely upsetting. 

The other unfortunate scenario that every fantasy football player has experienced is losing your matchup because of a “Monday Night Miracle”. For example, your team is winning by a substantial amount of points going into the Monday night game. Your opponent only has one player left and they would need to score four touchdowns in order for your team to lose. You are feeling very confident because this player has not scored a touchdown all season. This player proceeds to score four touchdowns and you have to go spend your Tuesday absolutely astonished about how your team managed to lose this week.

You might be wondering why so many people play fantasy football if it is just so frustrating all the time. Fantasy football is so popular because it can also be exhilarating. Sometimes you are the one on the winning side of a “Monday Night Miracle” and you get to brag to your friend all week long. For example, I was losing my matchup last week by 30 points with only my tight end left to play. He was averaging 19.5 points per game this season, so I knew it was a longshot for him to win me my matchup. Then, he proceeded to miraculously score 34 points. For my opponent, this was a brutal way to lose, but for me it was absolutely thrilling. 

In addition, fantasy football can make you completely invested in a game that you would otherwise have no interest in. For example, if two of the worst teams in the NFL are facing off on a Thursday night, normally you would have no interest in watching the game. Although, if it is the deciding factor between a win or loss in your fantasy football matchup, people will watch the game like it is the Super Bowl. 

Overall, fantasy football is just as frustrating as it is exhilarating, but at the end of the day, it is always a fun way to compete with your friends and family while watching some football.