Here's why people play FANTASY sports

By chrisren1
Mar. 12, 2017

A lot of people don't understand why I play fantasy sports. My parents think it's a waste of time, my coworkers laugh at the idea of spending so much time in a virtual "league" that depends on the actions of OTHER people, and my girlfriend... oh she will never understand.

Then why the heck do people play?

Well because there are subtle benefits that come out of it, and perhaps even more productive than other forms of games.

One - it has helped to maintain friendships that I would have lost half a decade ago. Something so silly as picking a couple of athlete's to be part of your virtual "team" just so you can collect their statistics can be competitive and fun when it's the only bridge that binds you with friends 16000 kilometers away.

Two - Aside from keeping up with friends, I know that major leagues would not be as popular if it weren't for Fantasy. Fantasy leagues have created fans out of the most unathletic and continue to garner attention for sports teams that would otherwise be irrelevant (would anyone still watch the Sacramento Kings if they didn't care about Darren Collison's nightly assists?). Studies have shown that fan bases have grown tremendously with the inception of Fantasy. If March Madness Brackets didn't exist for people to fill out, I GUARANTEE that the Madness would just be a mere Flicker; instead it is the most EXCITING sports event in the World (If you don't fill out brackets, I highly suggest you start doing it with your friends, you won't regret watching the highlights of the cruel games). People play because it brings out the inner fan, and connects them to something much larger than themselves. 

Three - you can make a ton of money if you're good at it

Four - For one of my final projects for a business class at Northwestern, I actually wrote about the correlations between the invention of fantasy sports and the growth of leagues and US GDP (complete bogus, I know, but I did get a B+ for being completely original and ridiculous). But I do bet that workers are more efficient if they get to look at fantasy sports at work (same logic as why all the new hot tech firms that are growing much faster than traditional firms have casual dresscodes, free lunches, and TVs all over the place etc.) Happy workers = better work produced.

The bragging, the excitement, the competition, the facts, the outrage, and the silliness, all make Fantasy what it is - something seemingly childish and yet so addictive. Perhaps the childishness adds to the flavor. It gives your girlfriend a reason to watch that stupid college game with you on a Thursday. It helps you have a conversation with a coworker you have nothing in common with. It gives you a sense of control over real life people that you should have no control over ("I AM the manager of Westbrook"). 

Whatever the reason, it adds to the community, and the sense of community and connectedness is exactly what makes us human. It is the exact reason why people watch sports - it is more than just a stupid pass time, but a way to generate excitement for people in their banal lives. As Fantasy Sports grows, perhaps it is time for you to hop on that bandwagon.

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