Fantasy Football Conspiracy Theory
I have a conspiracy theory. Somewhere in the world, in a hidden room decked out with 72’ HDTV’s, endless remote controls, and lazy boys lined up in a row, a secret society of Fantasy Football Illuminati is conspiring to take over the world, one league at a time.
My husband thought my theory was absurd, until we walked into a local Sports Bar on a Sunday afternoon that was as packed to the gills with screaming Fantasy Football fans dressed in sports attire. The internet connection was down in the restaurant after being bombarded by team owners checking their points on their I Phones.
That night we watched a promo for a new show on TV about Fantasy Football called The League. The next morning the news released a story suggesting that Fantasy Football has become the new Internet Porn for guys at work. But, the icing on the cake has been the many guys in our congregation who have sheepishly confessed to my husband, a pastor, of their inner torment when debating between attending church or snuggling up in front of the game on Sunday morning.
At some point, I got his attention and a begrudging acknowledgment from him on my tongue in cheek theory. This has opened up a great dialogue as to the many reasons why the game has recently gained a disproportionate amount of popularity among mainstream American males. So, maybe the secret room (in all reality) is full of ad executives from ESPN, but there is no doubt that a movement from within our culture has changed the face of sports fans and what used to be a hobby for a dedicated few, has turned into a phenomenon.
Exactly how many dudes are we talking about? Well, there are about 30 million fantasy players in the U.S. and Canada, which is an increase of 54 percent from just two years ago. According to Tim Keller, commissioner of The Men of Mariners League, part of the growing interest in Fantasy Football may be attributed to the growing availability of free game software. In the beginning of the Internet boom, sites like Commissioner.com and RotoNews.com charged a hefty fee for commissioners (up to $300) which made the game cost prohibitive for the average NFL fan. Most commissioners spent in inordinate amount of hours hand entering stats into an excel spreadsheet. It was a job that only the dedicated and few could maintain.Continued on the next page