Fantasy football establishes itself as important aspect of high school

Ethan Gainsboro, Staff Writer

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People can navigate various fantasy football websites, including ESPN’s. Many students at the high school recognize the importance of fantasy football to their high school experience.

Photo by Leon Yang / Sagamore Staff

Ever since the NFL season has started, the typical Monday morning question of “How was your weekend?” has been replaced with “How many points did your fantasy team score?”

At the high school, fantasy football has established itself as a prominent part of social conversations.

At the high school, many students play fantasy football. Some play for the thrill and responsibility of owning and managing a team, even if that team is not “real”. Some play for their undying love of football. Some play for the competition and rivalry with their friends. A few students play just for the money or prize that the winner of the league receives.

Dan Schwartz, commissioner of the BHS Sophomore Fantasy Football League, said that he plays mainly for the competition in his league.

“I play for the fun of competing against my friends,” Schwartz said. “The best part is the bragging rights, but the money prize is great too.”

Sophomore Isabel Lobon said that the money involved in fantasy football can create feuds between friends.

“My friends get really into it and it’s not healthy competition,” Lobon said. “It gets bad because people get mad at each other, especially when money is involved.”

New websites such as DraftKings and FanDuel allow users to pick a team for one week instead of a full season. Participants can play in head-to-head contest or against thousands of others for a huge prize.

Sophomore Owen Thoft-Brown, who has already won $40 on DraftKings, said that there is no long commitment and the money involved attracts a lot of students.

“In regular fantasy, injuries can really hurt your team,” Thoft-Brown said. “There’s always the opportunity to make money every week and the fact that you can win big every time you play makes it really fun and competitive”.

However, the majority of people said that they participate in fantasy football for the fun and rivalry of competing against their friends. Thirteen of the 15 students interviewed said that they play for their love of football and the entertainment of playing against their friends over prize money.

Some teachers also play fantasy football at the high school. Latin teacher Elisha Williams said that he likes to play so he can reach out to friends.

“I do play for money, but I play mostly because it’s a nice way to connect with ​college ​friends ​on a weekly basis,” Williams said.

Sophomore Shai Branover recognizes the important role fantasy football has played in his high school experience.

“I play so that I can have an enhanced experience of watching Sunday football,” Branover said. “Playing competitively against my friends is a lot of fun and gives us a lot to talk about. Fantasy football is like a religion, it’s not a choice.”

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