Fantasy football competes online

Sonya Francis

Everyone has reasons for doing things. Some have agendas, while others have personal motivation.Whether the matter be small or large, nothing comes without purpose. This includes the lifestyle of devoted fans who participate in the online game of fantasy football. Senior Scott Coffelt joined a random fantasy football league last year, and after a successful year, he got his friend, senior Will Echelmeier, involved.
“I enjoy [fantasy football] this year even more than last year because I have a bunch of people in my league that I know and that are friends with me, so I’m not just playing a bunch of strangers online. I actually know who I’m playing against,” Coffelt said. “You can kind of banter with [your friends when playing] — you know, make a game out of it, make it fun.”
Because of the close bond that Coffelt and his league members have discovered, they have developed a new prize, one that suits the intentions of Coffelt’s league. Normally, each team in a league puts in a decided amount of money in the pool, and the winning team takes the coveted money all for itself.
However, Coffelt’s league takes the cash and puts it to a more league-oriented prize.
“As commissioner of my league, I think I’m going to suggest that we each put in $80, and we invest it in a huge trophy that would get passed year-to-year so that you could put your name on it or ‘2011’ or something like that,” Coffelt said. “So it wouldn’t be winning money, but you would get the trophy for a year.”
The trophy may up the ante in competition for Coffelt’s league, but, as with any game, what makes a good nail-biter is a healthy dose of rivalry. Each week two teams within the league comepte head-to-head.
“Two people playing against each other in the league might be a bit more interesting if it’s close,” Coffelt said, “especially since you know who is playing. It’s a lot more personal, and it could make it more entertaining,”
No matter the relationship, there will be a competition; with Coffelt’s league, it was through friends, but with junior Cody Vandergriffe’s, it is all about the family. Vandergriffe plays fantasy football with his younger brother and father in a league made up of middle-aged men from his dad’s workplace. Keeping up with the acquired knowledge of the National Football League with men who are engrossed in the game is no simple task. In fact, Vandergriffe does it just for the joy of beating his father.
“I play for the competition and trying to beat my dad. He always wins at everything,” Vandergriffe said.
Vandergriffe’s determination to throw his father off his undefeated throne relays through his brother.
My brother “always wants to beat me because [he doesn’t like that] the older sibling always wins,” Vandergriffe said.
Despite the competition in the Vandergriffe household, the family turns the rivalry into a base of their relationships.
“My dad signed me up, and now it’s a family competition,” Vandergriffe said. The sport “is something we can talk about, and it’s something we can all do.”
For both Vandergriffe and Coffelt, this is their second NFL season playing fantasy football. They are both continuing to play with their competition — be it against their friends or family.
Although senior Alex McDonald is also starting his second season of fantasy football, he enjoys the online fun for a different reason. McDonald started playing last season in a random league, where although he planned to enjoy the experience, he did not expect to win the prize.
However, the outcome was somewhat different.
“I finished second [in the league], which is surprising,” McDonald said. “I didn’t think I was going to do that well. It was my first time playing, and the people that I was in the same league with were older and they had been doing it for a while.”
While McDonald’s first experience playing the game went better than expected, it also gave him a taste of something he liked. He continued playing the game this season. However, this time around he went into fantasy football with a new attitude, determined to be more competitive.
“It’s fun, it’s entertaining and it’s the thrill of competition,” McDonald said.
Ultimately, the desire to win is what drives the players. Fantasy football is a medium of being involved in NFL while containing the drive that is rife in any sport, whether on the field or online.
“People think, ‘Oh, I could coach so and so better than the coach of certain teams,’” Coffelt said. “You get to be the boss, and you get to be in charge.”
By Sonya Francis