Sometimes it seems as if the most fascinating elements of professional football is the behind the scenes dealings as well as the mechanical creation of the perfect team. This is the idea behind fantasy football, a fantasy sports game in which players take on the role of team owners and are arranged into a fictional league. Players deal with data to determine the outcomes of their fantasy league championship, that is, the names of real-life NFL players. Each team starts the season by drafting or acquiring NFL players by auction and then scores points based on players’ statistical performance on the field. (Note that some fantasy leagues use the NCAA division as well) How are victories determined between players? It depends on the creators of the league, as winners could be determined by the most points garnered by the end of the season or in head-to-head tournament NFL style.
When did the phenomenon of fantasy football start? This sport within a sport began in 1962 as an idea passed on by Bill Winkenbach, a limited partner in the Oakland Raiders, as well as Bill Tunnell, the Raiders’ public relations man. Also involved in the creative process were Scotty Stirling of the Oakland Tribune and George Ross, the Tribune’s sports editor. The idea came from a three-week road trip that saw the Raiders visit the East Coast. The men fleshed out the idea on the road and then penned the basics of the first fantasy football league, the GOPPPL, otherwise known as the Greater Oakland Professional Pigskin Prognosticators League.
Over the years, fantasy football leagues continued either in groups or even through BBS (Bulletin Board Systems) communication. With the rise of cheaper PCs and the Internet in the late 90s fantasy football experienced a slight resurgence in popularity. The sport continues to be popular among football purists and experts who know football facts like no one else’s business. Fantasy football players still are passionate today about their favorite hobby and are always looking for ways to win. This is why many magazines, websites and books offer tips and tools on how to get ahead in the fantasy sport.
Magazines, websites, books, and software are available that provide fantasy players with the information they need to make better decisions. Additionally, the popularity of this sport has increased thanks to the availability of live football games via satellite TV, satellite radio, cable, and Internet websites. Interestingly, whereas the Internet has taken away the business of many retail industries, as far as football is concerned, fantasy football only increases football program ratings, attendance and website traffic. By nature, fantasy sports players must watch more live game telecasts, buy more tickets and spend more money at stadiums than just an average football fan that only watches his team and has a Super Bowl party. In general, fantasy football has had a very positive effect in educating football fans as to the rules of the sport and abilities of players. If you are interested in playing then consider the three biggest virtual leagues: CBS, ESPN, and Yahoo.