If you’re a fan of the NFL you more than likely are playing fantasy football. That is, if you have friends willing to play with you.

We have a league of 12 this year. An ideal number of players. Any less and there’s too many good players to choose from and anymore, there’s not enough. We had 14 last year and it was the first year that we as a group had done it. Needless to say, it was a bit of a mess. I’ve found that fantasy football adds a different element to the season. Suddenly you’re interested in watching games you normally wouldn’t care about and better than anything, you’re doing it with your friends.

American Football is something I personally have had an interest in since about 2003/4 when I was introduced to it by some American family members. The Raiders were their team but as I learnt more about the teams and the league, Pittsburgh and its hard running, Steel Curtain blue collar culture became my team of choice. However, now thanks, more to fantasy football more than anything, myself and my friends have finally found a sport the majority of us can sit down and watch together. Most of us are rugby fans but not at all in the same way that we now watch and garner attention on the NFL season. We have a Whatsapp dedicated to it because of the heated discussions that take place at times, be it about players, trades, or anything football related in general. We’re a very autocratic group except everyone thinks he’s king. Still we make it work. There’s even been tantrums and people deleting people from Facebook. We even have a weekly smack video recapping the week, which although the creator of which may read this article, I will never admit to his face is funny.

Our draft starts at 10pm tonight, to accommodate a friend currently living in Canada and I’m sure there’ll be plenty of risky choices and plenty of mundane moves we all expect. To make it interesting we don’t know what position we pick from until just before the draft which makes strategy all but impossible. We also have a faux Super Bowl ring for the champion. I’m looking forward to wearing that and I’m sure the rest of the guys feel the same.

The point is though, regardless of the season and the winner and the loser, the fights and tantrums and smack talked as well the joy when your kicker gets that one point in extra time to beat your most intense rival, the most important thing is that fantasy has brought us together better as a group and now every Sunday (for the most part) we sit down, get some good aul fast food, a few beers and enjoy all the wonderful National Football League has to offer.

My suggestion is that if you have a group of you, play as well. You won’t regret it.
P.S. Use ESPN, it’s the better platform out there.

Simon Traynor