Fantasy Football Gains Popularity at Greylock and Beyond

John Skavlem, Sports Editor

Over the past few decades, Fantasy Football has emerged as one of the most popular forms of sports entertainment. As if watching your favorite team on the gridiron was not entertaining enough, avid fans now get to build their very own team and compete against their friends. 

This adds a new factor of entertainment to each snap of the multiple football games that regularly occur on Thursdays, Sundays, and Mondays. Fantasy football players also find themselves much more engrossed in the sport itself as they pay closer attention to their player’s stats. They also watch new games they may not have watched before to see if one or more of their players is doing well. 

However, fantasy football did not always see the same popularity it now enjoys. Back in 1962, businessman Bill Winkenbach and a group of friends founded the first ever fantasy football league, originally named the Greater Oakland Professional Pigskin Procrastinators League. The league was founded amidst the panic of the Cuban Missile Crisis, most likely to serve as a happy distraction from the rest of the world. To this day it has continued to provide players with a welcome distraction. 

The game has now been adopted by large entertainment companies such as ESPN and CBS and has even spurred the founding of companies based solely around fantasy football, such as DraftKings. Players bet small sums of money with the chance to get huge payouts, adding to the stakes and excitement of the game. 

Fantasy football has inspired a myriad of other fantasy leagues, including fantasy baseball and soccer leagues.

Fantasy football has also seen a rise in popularity in the Greylock community. All diehard fans often join a league with their friends in hopes of winning simple bragging rights. Hardcore leagues all contribute to a pot of money at the start of the season.

Discussions of how many points someone’s running back got in their most recent game or who had the upset win against one of the league’s heavyweights have begun to fill Mount Greylock’s halls. Fantasy football has emerged as one of the most entertaining ways to be involved in one’s favorite sport. Only one question remains: who will be your first round pick?