Football with Friends

Editor’s Note: This is part-one of two on fantasy football and social interaction.

ESPN is one of the more popular online draft tools
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ESPN is one of the more popular online draft tools

Fantasy football has become more than just a game. With the NFL growing in popularity, teens and adults nationwide have followed suit, showing their support through fantasy football. Nowadays, people care more about NFL games than just watching them for fun. People invest time and money into the NFL and fantasy football, and with the growth of technology, fantasy football is available to anyone and everyone with internet access. Fantasy football has become a social event for many students as well as staff at OHS, allowing friendly competition between their teams and the owners.

The main goal for every fantasy player is to score more points than the person they are competing against that week. Mostly to beat all others in the league( AKA your friends).In order to accomplish this, players must draft a team consisting of a quarterback, two running backs, two or three wide receivers, a tight end, a kicker and a defense. Fantasy football leagues can contain anywhere from eight-fourteen players. Each of these players draft their teams before the NFL regular season begins and are able to trade their drafted players in exchange for players from another person’s team during the season.

The process of drafting teams is what most fantasy football players enjoy most out of anything. Countless leagues are active right now in OHS, and one popular league is run by math teacher Mr. Steve Benson. Senior Ryan Owen said, “I go into the draft without much research at all. I like to draft proven veterans early, such as Peyton Manning. Later on, I draft deep sleepers, so I can maybe get lucky.” Once the draft is completed and teams are set, the fun begins. Everyday, people at lunch try to convince others which player to trade for another player or talking trash over who has the best team. Senior and avid fantasy football player Nick Raichle said, “I love the drafts! Sometimes, I have a tough time with trading away my players afterwards, though, because I think that they are so good, and I get so attached to them. The struggle is real.’’ The atmosphere of a fantasy draft is electric, with every participant anticipating their next draft pick, all while critiquing other players’ draft choices.

Although fantasy football is common amongst students at OHS, many teachers play as well. Notable players are Mr. Cummins, Mr. Skala, Mr. Pierce, Mr. Benson, Mrs. Wagner and many others. Mr. Benson said, “The tough part about being the commissioner of a fantasy football league is making sure everything is fair. When we first started seven years ago, I was afraid the older members of the league would take advantage of the younger members. I am now scared of the opposite.” Mr. Benson’s league consists of nine students from the OHS & five other adults.

The reason people get so competitive about fantasy football is because there is usually money at stake. At the beginning of the season, before the draft takes place, participants wager money. For example, in the “Husky Boys League”, they all put in $20 dollars. At the end of the year, the first, second and third place winners divide the money with first getting the highest payout. These teachers and students all play fantasy football with different levels of investment. Some wager into the hundreds whereas others don’t wager anything. There are many other fantasy leagues throughout OHS, including one ran by junior Hunter Atkinson. This league is less structured than adult ran leagues, but one thing is for sure, everyone has fun!