UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | February 28, 2024

Fantasy sports changing sports watching

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Fantasy football is as much of an addiction to sports lovers as drugs are to a drug addict.

It’s simply an all-consuming activity for 17 weeks out of the year.

Watching sports for me is something enjoyable and something I can get excited for while finding a sense of pride for the team I cheer for.  I have never participated in a fantasy football league, but I think it would change the way I watch sports completely.

What if you’ve been a Patriots fan since before you can remember, but Cam Newton is your starting fantasy quarterback in a Patriots vs. Panthers game?  Who do you cheer for?  Fantasy players struggle with this dilemma every week. Watching sports has turned into a statistics game.

Victor Gonzalez, a sophomore business major from Riverton, has been playing fantasy football for five years, and he said it’s a great way for friends to come together and compete with each other over a game they love.

He said he doesn’t let fantasy football affect how much he loves his favorite team, but sometimes he doesn’t know who to cheer for. 

“The hardest part of fantasy football is when your player is competing against your favorite team,” Gonzalez said. “You want the player to do good, but at the same time you want your team to win.”

Watching football has always been about the team aspect, but now it’s all about statistics. Some people even participate in multiple fantasy teams, which consumes even more of their time.

Jake Pfau, a sophomore biology major from Missoula, Montana, participated in three leagues last season, and he said it was impossible for him to enjoy sports because all he worried about were fantasy points.

“Depending on different match-ups and weeks, I would have four games up at once,” Pfau said.

Some leagues even have pay-for-play, which is an even bigger advocate for addiction. When money is involved, it is hard to not spend all your time dedicating yourself to figuring out stats and listening for player information.

Every sports outlet can have potential information to whether or not your line-up will be successful. 

Fantasy football has been around for years, but the game gets bigger and more popular every year.  There is even a TV show solely about a group of friends who compete in a fantasy football league, called “The League.”

As soon as I started watching the show, I was addicted. It’s hilarious and the situations are relatable to fantasy football players and people who know them.

Fantasy football is something fans can have fun with, but it is definitely an addiction for most people. The world of sports watching has changed; there are fantasy shows dedicated to the game and sports analysts who share their fantasy expertise.

Fantasy sports will be around for good. It may have changed the way we watch sports, but hey, I don’t see too many people complaining about it.