Students talk fantasy sport websites

Daniel Johnson
    Staff Writer 

For over forty years, the National Football League (NFL) has been the most popular professional sports league in the U.S.

It was a long process, really beginning with the 1958 NFL Championship Game between the New York Giants and Baltimore Colts, which saw about 45 million viewers watch the game, a staggering viewership at the time for the NFL.

Then, with the rivalry between the American Football League and NFL throughout the 1960s, and with the two leagues merged by the end of the decade, the sport’s popularity was raging like a runaway train, and there was no other sport to stop it.

By 1972, the sport of professional football had overtaken Major League Baseball for the most popular sport in the country. Since then, like a great dynasty, the sport has only increased in power and profit.

Preseason football games have gained higher ratings than postseason games in the NBA and MLB. Football has become the sun and all other sports simply the planets, standing awe of its massive size.

Like any great business, the office of the NFL has worked hard to keep itself the alpha and omega of professional sports in the country. With one of the most popular and well known video game series in the world, the “Madden NFL” series gives fans the ability to interact even more with the game they love. The league, which also brilliantly advertises its players, has recently been even more interactive for fans due to a new form of sports betting which has taken the community by storm.

The websites FanDuel and DraftKings have spent the first month of the NFL season virtually appearing on every tv-watching device, every commercial, and seemingly on any station which at one point in their history has shown anything resembling a sport.

Though the two companies are still very young, as their combined age of existence barely hits a decade, they have already sent shockwaves throughout the sporting world. This past summer alone, DraftKings signed advertising deals with ESPN and Fox Sports in the range of about $500,000,000 combined. With FanDuel, the company spent its summer becoming partners with 16 NFL franchises and 14 NBA franchises.

UNC-Greensboro student Aaron Dimattia discussed seeing so many fantasy sports commercials for the sites.

“If I watch ESPN, I will usually see about three or four commercials,” Dimattia said.

Just like with football in the early 1970s, the two sites have become the dominate game in town for online sports gambling. However, unlike the NFL, they are not the universal site for sport fans.

When it comes to the NFL, the websites pride themselves in week long leagues that allow the user to select a new fantasy team every week for cash benefits. In the area of fantasy sports however, it has not yet pass traditional fantasy football locations, such as websites: Yahoo, ESPN and in the fanatic’s heart.

“I have played fantasy football for about four or five years,” UNCG freshman Trey Jacobs said. “But I am not interested in playing for money, just for fun.”

Losing money is universally not seen as a fun experience or practice. When it comes to young adults who play in fantasy leagues during the season, the demographic who play the most fantasy sports, chances are that they do not have that much money to spend on gambling. As a result, they may not as frequently try FanDuel and DraftKings.

However, the sites do peak interest among fans of the sport. Senior Tyler Goodwin talked about an interest in trying out the sites.

“If I had the money, I would try out FanDuel,” Goodwin said. “FanDuel has different amounts for each sign up. I know they have one that start at a dollar. I have also heard of people using DraftKings.”

For the most part, people have an interest in trying out FanDuel and DraftKings, but the option to lose money is not really appealing to students whose diet includes a steady helping of Ramada noodles and food taken from the Caf. The two sites have gone on a tear over the past two years in the world of sports, but for this campus seemingly, they will probably stay second to safe and free fantasy football.

When asked who would you choose in a normal situation, your fantasy player’s success or your favorite team facing said player, Mr. Goodwin stayed with his heart.

“My team most certainly because some of the players I might know their name, but I want them to play well together,” Goodwin said.

Categories: Pro Sports, Sports

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