There are several reasons people get excited for the NFL football season, some better than others.
Primarily, people are pumped to see their favorite teams duke it out with the rest of the league. However, others see the beginning of the NFL season as the beginning of their fantasy football season. According to a 2012 article published by Forbes Magazine, fantasy football is a $4 billion industry with a growing user population of over 27 million. This revenue is generated by both paid leagues and internet advertisements derived from the individual leagues and various articles promoting it.
As a veteran fantasy football user myself, I have noticed one major flaw in the system. Many NFL viewers are becoming more focused on the individual players on their fantasy football team rather than the real life teams themselves.
Some fans will go as far as to root against their favorite team for a specific player on the other team to score and add to their fantasy team’s value. Hey, if your favorite team loses to the San Francisco 49ers, at least Frank Gore got 153 yards and scored against them, right? That is 22 points in any standard league.
Although fantasy football adds to the fun of watching professional football, it has made some fans lose sight of the thrill of watching an NFL game. The big plays do not seem to matter if they are statistically irrelevant or do not add points to your team’s totals. A major game-changing fumble in a game will not satisfy several NFL fans if that defense/special teams is not on their fantasy team or the opposing fantasy team.
That unbelievable, one-handed catch a receiver makes on the sideline makes the game worth watching for me, but it is sad to see some people see this spectacle as “only three points.”
It is worse to watch fantasy football players get upset when a player on their fantasy roster gets injured. Many fantasy football players have no concern for the health of the player; the only fear they have is who they will replace this player with from free agency.
Instead of watching for teams to win or lose, several fantasy football players want only their fantasy team’s players to do well. These “gamers” get so wrapped up in the competition of fantasy football that the real clash between two NFL teams becomes just another footnote. It is a bit selfish to think that the players, who rarely think of their own statistics, enter the field of play to score points for a fan’s fantasy football team.
I know that fantasy football is fun and quite entertaining, but there is more to professional football than numbers and statistics. The greatest part of an NFL matchup is watching the events of the game unfold. Fans should remember to distinguish between the “fantasy” and the real football.