“We live in this culture of fantasy nerds,” Colin Cowherd said on ESPN Radio’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd. Cowherd has long been a vocal opponent of fantasy sports, admonishing fantasy managers for their focus on specific players and, therefore, lack of interest in the actual game. While Cowherd’s brazen opinions can sometimes paint him as a contrarian, he’s not the only one who has referred to people who play fantasy sports as nerds.
If, in fact, fantasy sports enthusiasts are nerds, then I must be at the top of the nerd hierarchy, which, I suppose, requires me to give a brief personal history with fantasy sports: my family participated in a neighborhood fantasy football league when I was much younger. If we didn’t finish last, we were pretty close, but I was hooked. I joined my first league online when I was 13 and haven’t missed a year since. I typically managed five-seven fantasy teams per sport. That is until I recently eliminated all of my free time by enrolling in graduate school (now I have two fantasy football teams and two fantasy baseball teams).
My interest in fantasy sports seems logical to me: I have a keen interest in real sports, I am competitive by nature and I like to gamble. I tend to find these traits in common with many of my fantasy peers. What intrigues me and what this blog will attempt to discover is the story behind the meteoric rise of fantasy sports in America. Specifically, why do people who do not have similar traits as me get involved with fantasy?
Analysts estimate that $3 to $4 billion is spent on fantasy sports every year. Moreover, approximately one million women play fantasy football every year. An investigation into this phenomenon is quite necessary and this blog intends to partake. The relative motivations of fantasy sports players must be examined. Just how did we all turn into these “fantasy nerds?”