Statistical screen sports
The clock is ticking—three, two, one, and it’s time for the most important choice of the year: who to take first in this year’s fantasy draft.
For some, sports are a casual pastime you catch whenever you’ve already seen that episode of The Office, and yet for others it proves to be a full-time job.
So just what makes this digital realm of tracking stats so obscure, like yards after the catch, so appealing?
“In high school it was a way of proving who knew more about obscure football players then the next guy,” emphasized Ryan Eriksen, long time fantasy football player.
In 2001, Eriksen began his conquest of climbing to the top of this “new and trendy” activity.
In just 14 years, it has grown to a $70 billion industry according to Forbes magazine, and that’s just football.
“It was just a good way to compete against your friends.”
It’s estimated that approximately 32 million Americans spend roughly $467 per person a year or about $15 billion.
Eriksen himself spends $400 between his two keeper leagues (they allow you to carry over a number of players season to season, and can last for up to ten years).
At this point, picturing millions of people sitting over an Excel sheet counting numbers that make accountants look like grade school calculations might make you want to run for hills, but don’t just yet.
Eriksen attends a draft party at the beginning of every year to select his roster.
“It’s kind of the big event of the year.”
In fact, he mentioned it’s the only time all 12 of his buddies can get together—it’s something they make time for out of their hectic schedules.
Now picture thousands of these happening in bars all over the world, full of beers and laughs, and it starts to sounds a little more interesting.
Fantasy sports have themselves become a form of competition for the “armchair athlete.”
“We’re not going to get out there and play football anymore because we’re all fat and out of shape.”
Eriksen relishes in finding that diamond in the rough player who carries his team to victory.
If this sounds daunting, it really isn’t, and Eriksen for the past few years spends about an hour on his league per week.
For those looking to make this a full-time job, look no further than the daily version of fantasy sports.
Sites like Draftkings.com have ushered in a new wave of gambling onto the scene.
You pick your team, pay the entry fee, and pray to Brett Favre that your team does better than everyone else.
Those games can range anywhere from a couple of dollars to a few hundred, capturing all markets.
Every website imaginable is trying to capitalize on this explosion of interest in the past decade or so.
And don’t forget the athletes either, as they are looked at as numbers these days more than anything.
A slot back who goes down for the season with a torn ACL gets more flak from those who have him in their pool than anyone else.
In the end it’s all about “bragging rights,” and the fun that goes along with playing a jock’s version of Dungeons and Dragons.
From casual office pools to The League levels of competition, fantasy sports is definitely something to try.