More Than Just a Fantasy


Ryan E., Sports Editor

It’s late in the afternoon on a Sunday. You’re on the couch sweating with anxiety. The NFL games are winding down to an end and your team is down by 25 points! Not an actual team of course, but your fantasy football team that you researched, studied, drafted, analyzed, and eventually just randomly selected. Just when you’re about to turn your TV off, your quarterback throws an interception… to your defense…. that scores a touchdown! Confusing, frustrating, and somewhat unethical, fantasy football has taken Lake Mary High School by storm. Students have formed multiple leagues and are even putting cash behind their teams, seeking more than just glory. As the reigning champion of my league, I will admit that first you become a part of it, then it becomes a part of you.

Fantasy football involves selecting real NFL players in a draft and then competing with that team in a variety of game types. Points are earned through real game stats of players and are added up amongst a team to determine a winner. From weekly fantasy leagues that start over each Sunday, to fantasy leagues that carry over between seasons, lasting a lifetime, team owners have become obsessed. Senior Sam Langevin mentioned, “I have been commissioner of my fantasy football league since 2008. It’s what I’ve been raised on. Each season I host a huge draft at my house and all the owners come and select their players for the season.” Sam has one championship to his name and is in the hunt for another this season.

It’s a seemingly basic premise that has become a $70 billion industry with over 50 million participants. Many apps and website have emerged from the large demand, promoting a gambling-like competition. Participants buy-in to different competitions each week and pick a team, hoping to win big. Legally defined as a “skill game,” it is allowed in most states, but some have banned such competitions. With the increased demand for reassurance with one’s picks, fantasy football has reached television. Shows, such as “Fantasy Football Now” on ESPN, have emerged, capitalizing off of the increased demand for making the correct picks.

Whether for mere fun and games or starch competition, fantasy football has attracted the attention of many young sports fans here at Lake Mary, and it’s more time consuming than you might think. Owners average 18 hours of sports viewing a week and 9 hours of perusing fantasy sports sites. Though it isn’t a real team, the competition is absolutely alive. Senior Alec Evenson said, “I absolutely hate losing, which is why I rarely do it. I prioritize my fantasy lineup over other, less important, things. Sometimes family, friends, and school can take a backseat in life if it truly is important.” Alec has yet to win a championship.

Fantasy football has managed to trigger the minds of many sports fans, stimulating their competitive nature. In a society that loves sports, an outlet that allows them to compete with their sports knowledge just makes sense.