December 27, 2016

Inside GOA Fantasy Football

Jordan Mayor ‘18
Over the years, watching football has transformed itself from a mild pastime to an almost cult-like obsession. The National Football League has gained a tremendous amount of popularity, but this may not be totally due to the sport itself.
Many sports often have outside components to make them more interesting to watch. For example, many baseball aficionados fill out the box score and betting on horse races has brought attention to the equestrian sport. For football, fantasy football seems to be the counterpart.
For those unfamiliar with it, fantasy football is a game in which participants select real football players for their imaginary teams. Their teams then receive points based on how their selected players perform in real games.
Although it might seem silly to some, there are numerous reasons why millions of people engage in the side-game.
“[It] helps me become more invested in the [football] games,” junior Rebecca Landau said. “Even if it is not the team I like I still have somebody to root for.”
This point was echoed by sophomore David Wingens.
“It gives each game personal significance,” Wingens said.
While junior Aryeh Lande shared Wingen’s and Landau’s sentiment, he noted the added advantage of connectivity.
“[Fantasy football] creates a social bridge between sports and friends,” he said. Lande felt this was the aspect that most allowed for the fantasy sport to improve the enjoyment of the real sport.
Outside of contributing to one’s enjoyment of watching the sport, many Golda Och Academy students felt fantasy football still offered plenty of benefits to its participants.
Junior Aaron Pearlstein, his league’s reigning champion, felt that it teaches its participants how to manage something and that it gives people a responsibility.
Yonatan Arieh, also a junior, shared in Pearlstein’s point of view, but felt the game specifically taught risk management skills.
For Lande, the main benefit was stress relief. Pearlstein strongly disagreed though and responded, “Are you kidding? It adds to stress.”
The final major component of the game students talked about was money. A monetary element is not mandatory for the game to be played, but is often an added source of motivation.
Junior Matthew Friedman explained many of the reasons he enjoys fantasy football, but was sure to end with, “Plus there is money involved which create an extra drive.”
Arieh mirrored this thinking and when doing so jokingly said, “[Assuming I lose,] my strategy is to make my money back in pizza and soda given out on draft day.”
Even though he reflected much of what was already shared, sophomore Aaron Lavitsky noted yet another draw of fantasy sports.
“It allows me to show off my knowledge of football,” he said.
Despite the many different reasons for enjoying the game, one thing is clear: fantasy football is a positive experience that almost everyone involved enjoys.
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