Fantasy sports craze spreads among teachers and students

Scott Hyon

Start of new NFL season begins the obsessive hunt for glory and bragging rights

 

 

Tense Sunday afternoons. Hours spent on analyzing and dissecting the minute details of quarterback statistics. Feelings of exhilarating joy and crushing disappointment.

It’s time for another grueling season of fantasy football.

On Sept. 9, the National Football League kicked off the new season with the New Orleans Hornets and Minnesota Vikings going head to head in a rematch of the previous year’s National Football Conference championship game. That week, thousands of football fans gathered at a predetermined time to draft their key players. Students and teachers were no exception.Math teacher Joe Kim sits besides his collection of fantasy sports trophies. Photo by Scott Hyon.

Over the past few years, fantasy sports has seen an enormous growth in popularity, and in nearly every demographic. The widespread participation in this new rage is reflected at MVHS, where many teachers, students, and administrators scrutinize every detail associated with their “leagues.”

“I’ve always watched football, but I’ve never really remembered [statistics of players],” administrator Denae Moore said. “But now that I play fantasy football, I care.”

Moore plays in a league that includes teachers and administrators such as geometry teacher Brian Dong and vice principal Michael Hicks. As a first year participant, she feels like the activity enhances her football-watching experience despite the somewhat confusing rules involved.

Still, for those who have never heard of fantasy sports, it goes like this: a group of individuals come together and make their own fantasy “league” on a website such as Yahoo! or NFL.com. After the group holds a “draft” of athletes in that particular sport, each member compiles a roster of real-life players. From then on, each fantasy player goes against each of the other players and earns “fantasy points” based on the statistics of his or her roster.

One may think this is just for fun and games, but it can get competitive.

“It’s all about bragging rights,” math teacher Joe Kim said. “Because when you win, you can talk smack with [the other players].”
 

Kim, who teaches Pre-Calculus and Algebra 2/Trigonometry, participates in fantasy football and basketball leagues with his own students and other teachers.

And almost all players, regardless of age, immensely enjoy the sport itself.

“I play because it’s fun [to compete with others] and I get to check out all the stats [of the players],” senior Sukrit Dhir said.

According to Moore, Kim, and Dhir, it’s usually not about the money. The winner’s shiny trophy at the end of the season and the opportunity to “talk smack” with fellow fans is the priceless prize that makes this hobby so attractive for many fantasy sports owners.

 

 

 

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