Next week we will be into the throes of the Month of August.  August is an important date on the calendar for a variety of reasons:

  • Summer is winding down and school is just around the corner
  • Casual Observer Blog writer Johnny Goodman celebrates another birthday.
  • College Football fall camp starts
  • Fantasy Football drafts take place everywhere

Now normally I would say the second item on this list is the most important but since I am trying to entertain you all, I won’t go on about my 39th birthday plans.

Fantasy football has already begun for some of us.  Going to the local bookseller, picking up one, two , or even nine of our favorite magazines.  Websites galore publish countless articles about what rookies to take, who is hot and who is not.  Some of these sites are even proud enough to charge users a “fee” to tap into their myriad of insider information.  This is not the case here at the Casual Observer, where outstanding opinions such as ours are free of charge.

Before you harp on your friends at work, or grumble at the spouse who is heading over to a friend’s house all day on a Saturday to conduct a draft, there is a few things you need to know about fantasy football.  Heck, it might even be something that can continue to spur our economy….because it has turned into a big business venture and capital boon for many companies who have ties to this popular pastime.

Fantasy football has turned into a billion dollar industry.  The popularity of football, coupled with the things such as Direct TV, the NFL network, and your local sports bar establishment which will show each and every game, has had significant effects on football viewing and rooting habits among participants. 55 percent of fantasy sports players report watching more sports on television since they started playing fantasy sports. The NFL entered into a five year, $600 million deal in 2006 with Sprint that was driven at least in part because of fantasy sports, allowing subscribers to draft and monitor their teams with their cell phones.  Other outlets such as ESPN have tapped into this market as well in the last two years.

Many folks are so rabid with their fantasy leagues that they will even forgo their normal “root, root root for the home team” in exchange for cheering for the players on their fantasy roster.  To circumvent this,  many longtime fans refuse to draft players who play for ‘their [real] team’s rivals, thus preventing the problem of cheering against their team.

Often, a fantasy owner may end up watching a game he would otherwise have had no interest in, simply because he “owns” one or more of the players involved.  It pays (literally speaking) to familiarize oneself with the rosters of each and every team in the league.  If your player gets hurt, finding the best replacement quickly before someone else can tap the services of the hot player can often mean the difference between winning and losing.  Most leagues play for some sort of monetary prize, a trophy, or both.  Many on line sites such as CBS Sportsline even have fee leagues whose overall winner can make more than most of us doing in our careers on an annual basis.

Yes, fantasy football is popular, likely kills productivity in the workplace to some degree and has created its own subculture and the need for business to support this pastime of thousands of sports fans everywhere.

…..Now I will bid $32 on Adrian Peterson.

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Johnny Goodman writes a weekly sports column for The Soap Boxers. His articles can be found in The Goodman File.

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