One of Don’s first leagues was in the early 90’s while he was still in college, working at the local Nemenz grocery store. They gathered about ten guys and met at one of his buddy’s houses. Some of the guys didn’t know a lot about fantasy football, but one guy had not only never played before – he didn’t know a thing in the world about it. This poor guy drafted a kicker in the first round. They all told him he shouldn’t do that because the kicker wasn’t an important position but he thought they were all just trying to pull one over on him. From what he knew, the kicker scored a lot of points every game! They tried to let him pick again, but he wasn’t having any of their “help” and insisted on keeping that kicker for his first round pick. No, he didn’t get lucky and win the season!
In the beginning of Fantasy Football, all the draft picks were based on information out of magazines. Those magazines were purchased in July for the August draft, and other than that, the main way to keep up with player stats was through newspapers. Those were the days when they used a USA Today for the results, checking Monday for Sunday’s game, and Tuesday for the Monday night game. To top that, the commissioner mailed out a letter with that week’s league results! Don’s league was a work league so most of the guys got the results handed to them, but those who weren’t handy got theirs through the US Postal Service! The commissioner of Don’s current league, Dave, also used to mail out results.
Fantasy football has become a Seven Billion Dollar industry with over Sixty Million Participants. Billions are hard for us to wrap our heads around, and even millions of participants seem unbelievable! It has grown to the point that all major sports stations have fantasy shows. Sirius XM Radio has a 24 hour station devoted entirely to Fantasy Sports. There are fantasy experts who write books and teach seminars. Even the Pro Football Hall of Fame has had a weekend Fantasy Experience featuring Hall of Fame players and some of the most elite Fantasy experts from television and radio.
Now, with social media, information is available almost immediately when something happens to a team or player. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are all powerful tools for everyone who has an interest in Fantasy Sports, from novice to expert.
NFL RedZone and Direct TV’s Sunday Ticket have up to the minute stats and information to keep Fantasy team owners in the know. FX even created a sitcom, “The League”, based on a group of people in a Fantasy Football league. If you haven’t seen this show, it is worth taking a weekend to binge watch. It is funny as heck! The NFL Network has a live show called “Fantasy & Friends”. This show uses Skype to talk with Fantasy Football players from across the nation.
Even though this is only early July, Fantasy Football Season is here. Now is the time to start listening, watching and reading in order to be on top of your game when your draft rolls around. Saturday Nite Date Nite is once again scheduled around Bob Harris and Mike Dempsey’s Football Diehards show!