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Sometimes it seems like the most fascinating parts of professional football are the behind-the-scenes relationships as well as the mechanical creation of the perfect team. This is the idea behind fantasy football, a fantasy sports game in which players take on the role of team owners and are organized into a fictional league. Players process data to determine their fantasy league championship results, i.e. the names of actual NFL players. Each team starts the season by drafting or acquiring NFL players at auction, then scores points based on the players’ statistical performance on the field. (Note that some fantasy leagues also use the NCAA division) How are wins determined between players? It depends on the creators of the league, as the winners could be determined by the most points collected at the end of the season or in an NFL-style head-to-head tournament.
When did the fantasy football phenomenon begin? This sport within sport began in 1962 with an idea passed on by Oakland Raiders sponsor Bill Winkenbach and Raiders public relations man Bill Tunnell. Scotty Stirling of the Oakland Tribune and George Ross, the Tribune’s sportswriter, were also involved in the creative process. The idea came from a three-week road trip that saw the Raiders tour the East Coast. The men brought the idea to life on the road, then wrote the groundwork for fantasy football’s first league, the GOPPPL, also known as the Greater Oakland Professional Pigskin Prognosticators League.
Over the years, fantasy football leagues have continued either in groups or even via BBS (Bulletin Board Systems) communication. With the rise of cheaper PCs and the internet in the late 90s, fantasy football saw a slight resurgence in popularity. The sport continues to be popular among football purists and pundits who know football facts like no one else’s business. Fantasy football players today are still passionate about their favorite pastime and are always looking for ways to win. That’s why many magazines, websites and books offer tips and tools to progress in fantasy sports.
Magazines, websites, books, and software are available to provide fantasy players with the information they need to make better decisions. Additionally, the popularity of the sport has increased with the availability of live football matches via satellite television, satellite radio, cable, and internet sites. Interestingly, while the Internet has taken away the business of many retail industries, when it comes to football, fantasy football only increases football program ratings, attendance and traffic on the website. By nature, fantasy sports players have to watch more live games, buy more tickets, and spend more money in stadiums than the average football fan who only watches their team and throws a Super Bowl party. In general, fantasy football has had a very positive effect on educating football fans about the rules of the sport and the abilities of the players. If you’re interested in playing, consider the three biggest virtual leagues: CBS, ESPN, and Yahoo.
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