Fantasy Football: The sport that isn’t. Or is it?

Adam Galliano, Staff Writer

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Sport

-an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.

-a source of amusement or entertainment.

 

Since the dawn of man, humanity has strived for success. The challenge of competition and the desire to succeed is ingrained in our collective history.he drive to win is a character trait shared on a global scale, from past to present and onwards, into the foreseeable future. From 15,000 year-old cave paintings depicting wrestlers locked in combat, to the ancient Olympians that combined peak fitness and pure physicality to earn an olive wreath, to our modern standards of champion athletes like Tom Brady, LeBron James and Serena Williams, men and women have ever honed their skills and sculpted their bodies and minds to reach the pinnacle of their fields. Sport is, essentially, the opportunity to win.

From basketball and boxing, soccer to skiing and football to fencing, games of skill have long piqued people’s interests. So, when I was asked about fantasy football and its definition as a sport, my own “interest antennae” perked up.

Fantasy football is the quintessential active participation level for the “Armchair Quarterback.” The game consists of participants “drafting” rosters of active professional athletes to their “team” and “playing” them in weekly head-to-head matchups for points and the opportunity to win a prize. There was a time when a football fan could only vocally join the festivities they were watching.. When the first fantasy football league started in the 1960s, it gave sports fants a new way to experience the game mes.

Now a major multi-billion dollar industry, fantasy football has, according to the FSTA, approximately 41 million people who play every year, with an average age of participants being 34. That is a lot of people competing, but does that make it a sport? I spoke with a few students around campus and asked this question.

Zach Needham, a history major in his junior year, indicated that he knew “many friends who actively played,” but he did not. When I questioned the validity of fantasy football as a sport, he made some astute observations. “Sports involve physical activity,” Zach said. “Although many people around campus played, other than clicking a keyboard, there is no physicality, so it isn’t a sport.” But that begs the question: if this is not a sport because of the lack of physical action, does that make other non-active games, such as chess, not a sport? Does this apply to debate? Even video games have huge tournaments and competitions involving many people.

Competition is the root of all sport, but there seems to be some grey area when it comes to deciding what a sport is. Isaiah Evans, an engineering major at LCSC, states “if you are in a competitive situation of any kind, regardless of type, it could be considered a sport.” Across the board most students I asked agreed that sport is competition, no matter the amount of physical activity involved. So, whether or not you are on the side of the fence saying “all sports are games but not all games are sports,” then fantasy football might not be for you. But if you strive for competition in every step, check out Yahoo Sports or NFL.com and join one of their fantasy leagues.

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Fantasy Football: The sport that isn’t. Or is it?