Every fall since I was in the 7th grade, I’ve been a complete addict. This addiction has taken my mind away from school, shifts my focus to other aspects of life, and worst of all keeps me coming back for more every time. I can’t help but to submit to this dependence and I wholeheartedly believe that this habit will never come to an end. But by simply reading the title of my blog, this addiction does not involve the use of drugs or alcohol, but something much more addicting…Fantasy Football.
To give you a basic idea of what fantasy football is, it comprises of a group of ‘managers’ (everyday people) who draft real life NFL football players into their fictional online team. Based on their players’ real life statistical performance, they score points and whoever has the most points or wins at the end of the season is crowned that league’s fantasy football champion. Fans from all over the world have the opportunity to connect with friends near and far to compete in building their own fantasy football dynasty and more importantly, in many cases, claim bragging rights for the rest of the year.Fantasy football has become a constantly growing industry with increased users year after year. Now with the emergence of the internet and updates in technology i.e. cell phones with internet access, fantasy football has become a more accessible and mainstream industry. I now ask why fantasy football has become this active mainstream entity in recent years. Long before there was nearly no mention of anything fantasy football related, but now there are full length advertisements and commercials that feature fantasy football. Commercials like THIS combine the collective marketing of ESPN, a cell phone, and fantasy football at the same time, essentially ‘killing three birds with one stone.’
But why just fantasy football and not other fantasy sports? For some reason there's just more buzz and mainstream focus on fantasy football than other sports. Commercials and media are typically centered around football more than other sports. I would like to delve deeper and investigate why fantasy football has taken over as the benchmark of all other fantasy games.
I also would like to inquire why fantasy football is such an addicting past time (as noted in the opening paragraph). The article It’s First and Ten for Fantasy Football on Facebook published last August by the Washington Post delivers an interesting argument on the comparison between fantasy football and Facebook. We all know what kind of success Facebook has generated over the past few years and the article points out that people connect with each other in a common, online medium in both fantasy football and Facebook world. With the ever expanding creation of Facebook applications, it’s no surprise why companies have decided to blend the two ‘social networking’ devices together for added accessibility. In one aspect I hope to discover what similarities fantasy football holds with Facebook and what drives users to become infatuated with both devices. I would also like to research how fantasy football can connect with other social networking devices such as Facebook to provide a more worthwhile consumer experience.
To those who have never played fantasy football or do not care for football, this might seem overly ‘macho’ and merely a waste of time. However, to those who have played fantasy football and do care for football, they might understand that it is not only a game, but more over an experience. Many users are so engaged in their teams that they research their players’ historical data, analyze key match-ups, and constantly check game day statistics of their teams. By doing all these preparations and actions, games are more closely examined and passionate emotions tend to get involved. Emotions such as anticipation, victory, and sorrow are all common feelings that arise over the course of a fantasy football season, and the users tend to build a personal attachment to their teams you could say. HERE is a perfect example of how emotions and fantasy football can easily relate to one another. Finally, as an active and veteran participant myself, I want to discover why such a simple game could stimulate such intense emotions and attachment from users. When there’s feelings involved, it’s plain to see that it's not just a game anymore.