Looking at all major sports leagues in America, it is easy to see that they are growing year after year. It is simple and enjoyable to just relax and watch sports. Maybe a nice cold beer and some good food. Year round in Pittsburgh, there is almost always a game on TV. The TV’s in bars and restaurants are always tuned to major sports channels, with customers eagerly awaiting their team to score. But, sports are evolving. More and more people are playing fantasy leagues, and care about not only their local teams, but teams all around the country.
Fantasy sports are changing the way we watch sports as a whole. It used to be you would just watch “your” team, but now you want to watch any game on since you could have that player on your “team.” Lets face it, we all wish we could be playing them for a living. To make that dream become somewhat more real, why not run a team? You’re literally building a team of players you choose. I think that is part of the appeal of playing fantasy sports; no two teams are a like. Fantasy sports are great for all leagues, including the big four: Football, Basketball, Baseball, and Hockey.
Fantasy football is by far the most popular. This should be obvious given the top 10 viewed television programs this year have been football games. But, there are now all kinds of fantasy sports online. Anything from golf to surfing and even fantasy congress.
How many people do you know that play fantasy sports? If you do, do you now watch every game you are able to in hopes of seeing one of your players or an opponents players? Fantasy sports started to boom around the dot com era. Around 2003, it was believed that about 15 million people were playing. Fast forward to today, The Fantasy Sports Trade Association estimated that 32 million play fantasy sports. That is roughly 10 percent of the country. To put it into perspective, take the population of New York, and multiply it by 4. Or, if you live in Pittsburgh, that’s about 100 times its population.
With the popularity of fantasy sports rising, TV ratings are rising as well. The ratings in almost every sport has risen in the past five to 10 years. Is this all due to fantasy sports? No, of course it isn’t, but to say that it doesn’t play a role would be ludicrous.
But, Fantasy sports do have a price to pay. Sometimes, people take it way to far and forget that it is a fantasy. Even though the sport is meant to be free and fun, money is usually wagered for the season. Whenever there is money involved people tend to get a little crazy and might lose control. People screaming at the TV because their fantasy wide receiver didn’t get the touchdown pass. Or their pitcher in baseball did terrible and only lasted one inning. I have heard of people writing to coaches and teams asking them to use their player more during the game. I love fantasy sports as much as the next guy, but it’s a game and fun for me. People need to relax and remember it should be fun whether you win or lose.
How many Fantasy sports do you play? How many Leagues?
I play usually only fantasy football, since I feel most comfortable with that sport. This year, I have climbed to three leagues, a little to much, but I still enjoy every week.
Photo Credits: CBS Sports