Imagine Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant all play for you or rather for your team.
North Lake College Athletic Director Greg Sommers wants to make students’ football dreams come true in the first ever fantasy football league class.
“I hear the comment a lot ‘I’m interested in doing it. I just don’t know how it works’,” he said. “That should never be an excuse for somebody to miss out on something they enjoy.”
Sommers hopes to offer the class next fall and he’s hoping to drum up more support for this growing virtual sporting experience.
Classes would meet Tuesday and Thursday to analyze pre-game and post-game assessment. The goal is to spark conversation among students and allow them to relax from their everyday workload.
NLC student James Rodriguez agreed he would join such a class. “I like the feeling knowing that there are students here that are into different teams. I’m glad to see that,” he said. “I like seeing diversity.”
But not all students showed interest when asked if they would join. “I particularly wouldn’t,” NLC student Jeremy Crane said. Between classwork and basketball practice here at North Lake he can’t find the time.
Fantasy football is commonly played among hardcore football fans during the football season. Fans manage make believe leagues with team names such as “Gronky Kong” composed of real-life players from the National Football League. It’s like watching a television show and cheering for your favorite character, who can earn you points and money.
Fans pick players to fill in the position of quarterback, tight end, running back, wide receiver and other offensive positions. But for defense fans select a team rather than individual players. League points are earned base on the player’s actual performance on the field during a game, so when Rodgers throws a touchdown in a Sunday game at Lambeau Field in Wisconsin, he’s earning points for his fantasy fans as well.
Points are also gained per yardage a player earns. It is also possible to lose points if the player throws an interception or fumbles the football.
Fantasy football is played for fun and sometimes for money and is becoming increasingly more popular with companies such as Draft Kings offering rapid-fire paid contests for multiple sports, not just football. Sport websites such as ESPN offers free, downloadable apps for fans interested in recreational play.
The class was offered through continuing education this semester, but not enough students signed up. Sommers is optimistic for next year’s football season though and he’s interested in exploring other options such as an online class or a club.
“It’s just for fun really,” he said. “It brings people together.”
Author’s note: The article I wrote for the school newspaper is finally published and to my surprise it made the first page! I don’t play fantasy football or even watch football unless I’m at a Super Bowl party. I took the assignment and took it as an opportunity to educate myself, writing as if the subject was my passion. Also, a big thanks to my editors for helping me along the way.