I was a late bloomer in respect to playing fantasy football; I hadn’t really even considered playing until I was invited into a league with some friends from high school when I was already well into my 20’s. In fact, I wasn’t really a fan of football until recently, and although I probably watched the occasional Giants game every now and then, I wouldn’t have been able to name more than a few players from any one team off the top of my head. From the outside looking in, fantasy football seemed like an unpleasant mélange of hardcore football fans and gambling addicts. While I’m sure that there may be some unpleasant elements in some leagues, I have to say that my experiences could not be further from that initial perception. I would honestly go so far as to say that the benefits and learning opportunities inherent with thoughtful participation are good reasons why everyone should get involved and at least give it a try for a year.
The most common excuse that I’ve heard regarding why people never give fantasy football a try is that they aren’t really a football fan and they don’t know enough about the game to join in. The truth is, with all of the resources now available, from freely available expert rankings to drafting strategies, you really don’t even have to know much of anything to get started. So why should everyone give fantasy football a chance at least once in their life? Regardless of your interest in football or even sports in general, I have experienced and noticed the following useful skills that are developed in drafting and managing a team throughout the season:
On top of these skills and many more, there is also the fact that it is fun. Every Sunday, Monday, and Thursday during the football season you get to see how your decisions pan out in real time, and of course if you’re in a league with friends (which I would advocate) it’s a good excuse to be social and possibly meet up with people who you haven’t seen in a while. So while it might seem a bit silly for a group of adults to get together and pretend to own football teams, I think it’s pretty clear that fantasy football offers the opportunity to hone skills that might otherwise not have an opportunity to develop. I’m not saying that fantasy football will make you smarter or better at your job, but I am saying that it will probably not be a waste of your time.