By CHRIS MARKHAM
As if college students did not already have enough distractions to keep them from their studies, fantasy football is yet another pastime utilized by students as a way to provide friendly, or not-so-friendly, competition. The game has been available to the public for almost 10 years and is still hitting its peak of popularity annually.
“My favorite part of fantasy football is the way that it makes watching football a much more interactive experience,” senior business major Brandon Smith said. “I like to get together with the other members of my league to watch games that we have stakes in; victories and losses are much more colorful when spent with close friends.”
Fantasy football, as it pertains to college students, has more pros and cons than one could list. For example, newly acquainted freshmen often join leagues in order to quickly become closer to one another. On the other hand, there are many cases where these games tear apart friendships as the competitive spirit gets the best them.
“I find that my most successful leagues have been made up of friends and family that I don’t get to see too often; it prevents physical altercations, which are extremely common in games when pride is at stake,” Smith said.
Fantasy football also provides students with a healthy pastime to get their mind off schoolwork. Nonetheless, students might get too involved in the game and allow it to distract them from more important materials. Some even let it affect their mood.
“Fantasy football is a full time management position and is not for the faint of heart,” Smith said. “I’ve often had to skip important classes, birthdays, births and other occasions in order to make sure that my lineup was set. “
Disappointments such as these can cause many headaches for fantasy owners. At the same time, if one hits the jackpot and wins the league, it can be a better feeling than getting an ‘A’ on a final exam.
Anybody who knows enough about fantasy football is aware that the current NFL season has not been a fantasy-friendly one. Injuries and suspensions to elite players have left some fantasy owners frustrated and confused.
“The fact that high value players have been injured recently has added an extra dimension to the game,” Smith said. “In years past, the draft could have been the most important part of the season. However, lately, success has correlated much more closely to individual effort and harvesting of the waiver wire.”
Not everyone is emotionally tame enough to handle a high-stress game such as fantasy football, especially in a year where predictions are nothing more than what they are.
Should you participate, be sure to keep your priorities straight: have fun and never draft a Jacksonville Jaguar.