Fantasy sports provide captivating pastime for sports fans

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Cam Fuller

Photo by Camille McManus
[dropcap size=”4″]F[/dropcap]antasy sports are a staple of the American experience. The rush of a great trade or a close game in a fantasy allows sports fans to get even more invested in the action, and as a result has brought new meaning to sports as a whole. No longer do sports gurus cheer solely for the favorite. Now, fans from all across the country root for individual players as their fantasy managers, putting the good of their make-believe team in front of fandom.
 
For RBHS students, fantasy sports are more a social tool than an intense moneymaking scheme. Nonetheless, the rivalries become more entertaining from the added excitement of a friendly rivalry. Junior Griffin Strong joined his small group’s fantasy football league this year, and has already seen the added reward which it brings to watching a NFL game.
“Playing against my friends during fantasy has been a wild ride so far,” Strong said. “The game has already been super fun because you get to compete against your friends each week for nothing more than bragging rights, which makes it less intense and just fun.”
For other students, the football season offers a lucrative benefit as new fantasy apps like Draftkings allow players to guess which players will have great weeks, and rewarding them with real and tangible money. Sophomore Wilson Fisk and his family have used Draftkings to make over $100 this football season, and don’t see any reason to stop.
“My dad and I just started out by putting in a few dollars, and we got lucky really quick,” Fisk said. “It’s really fun because it’s essentially betting, but on a smaller scale and with sports.”

“I actually feel in control of a real team because I have to keep it updated and checked on 24/7.” Kylan Johnson, senior

Fantasy sports aren’t just reserved for the gridiron, however, as fantasy basketball and baseball have seen a major uptick in participation thanks to promotions from organizations like ESPN.
Senior Kylan Johnson only plays fantasy baseball, an activity he says is much tougher and time-consuming than any other fantasy sport.
“There’s something special about fantasy baseball because it’s so involved,” Johnson said. “I actually feel in control of a real team because I have to keep it updated and checked on 24/7.”
The future of fantasy sports is uncertain as the newer gambling apps threaten to take fans from the mainstays like ESPN and CBS. There is still a big market for the regular fantasy leagues, as shown by football fanatics like Strong. Not only does he plan to continue playing, but also expects to be putting in more time for the hobby in the future.
“I’m not very good at fantasy quite yet but I think I’m getting there,” Strong said. “I just want to put more time and money into our league next year so I can hopefully win it all at some point.”
What are your best fantasy sports memories? Let us know in the comments below.