Sports

Why Is Fantasy Football So Popular?

thinkR_fantasyfootball1You only need to look within the title of this trending pastime to figure out the popularity factor. It’s the fantasy in fantasy football that’s hooking everyone from old-school sports fans to young women who’ve never watched a single game.

Of course, it definitely helps with the addiction process if you’re already into the sport. It’s kind of like Dungeons and Dragons for people who aren’t into dungeons or dragons.

However, fantasy football isn’t that different from any other fantasy game. Whether you’re a workers compensation attorney or Kindergarten teacher, it’s a means of escape. It puts control, fun and excitement back into your life, virtually. This is why these kinds of games can be just as addictive as a tangible drug. Who doesn’t want to be at the helm the country’s biggest sport?

The Social Aspect

What a lot of people don’t get is that fantasy games are very social events. Whether you started a league yourself or joined an existing one, it’s a means of getting together and interacting with like-minded folks. It might not be the traditional route of happy hours or cocktail parties, but who says that’s the only way to socialize? Some people want to get together and talk sports while drafting or trading players.

It’s also an avenue to actually meet people who are into the same things you are. I started a book club with a niche book roster for the same reason. You might know one or two people into fantasy football, but you also know there are a slew of others out there. You’ll instantly have much more in common with these folks than the random sampling of people you’ll find at yet another holiday get together.

The Gambling Dose

Most people play for a little money, which keeps things interesting. There isn’t the same kind of junkie addiction that some serious gamblers get when it comes to fantasy football. When stakes are kept low, it’s simply a way to make the season a little more exciting. Of course, technology helps.

Setting up a league online, and often for free, has never been easier. It’s simple to make changes, keep tabs and not worry about everyone having the same updated information. The downside is that many meetings are now saturated with people glued to their smartphones and tablets. However, that isn’t much different than any other aspect of life.

You Choose the Commitment

You really can invest as much, or as little, time as you’d like in fantasy football. If you just want to give it a test drive, set your draft to auto and let the program do the work for you. For many, part of the fun is having full control, a delicious possibility.

The good news? Unlike some other hobbies, fantasy football lets you be in charge of how much time is required of you.

Buckeyes Undefeated in 2012

thinkR_buckeyes1It’s been exactly one decade since the Buckeyes boasted an undefeated season. Considering only one other team is undefeated, Notre Dame, some fans are lamenting the fact that the Buckeyes aren’t eligible for the BCS Championship Game. Jim Tressel’s issue with the NCAA standards means a one-year ban, which many fans say cost the Buckeyes the championship. However, it’s not all over for the Buckeyes.

Quarterback Braxton Miller is thought by many to be a shoe-in for a Heisman nod (if not the win). Braxton’s only a sophomore but averages 170 yards passing. It’s clear that in 2012, the Buckeye team is doing more cramming than just at science lab tables. Here’s a look at the best season in a decade.

A Numbers Game

The September 1 game against Miami set the standard for the season. The Buckeyes owned that game with a final 56-10 score. Next was UCF with an impressive 31-16 win. The closest game of the season happened on September 29 against Michigan State with an exciting 17-16 win.

The Buckeyes rounded out their perfect season on November 24 with a 26-21 win against Michigan. There were a few close calls during the season, such as the game against Indiana where the Buckeyes led by three. However, there’s no denying that it was a season for the record books. Fans are already hopeful about the 2013 season, when there won’t be any bans holding them back.

Is it Really That Impressive?

Some critics point out that the Big 10 wasn’t very tough this season, since only three teams were ranked. When competition isn’t that stiff, it’s easy to come out on top. However, that doesn’t quite disregard a stellar 446-283 season, so many fans are brushing the naysayers aside. The team also showed diversity and the ability to adapt on the field.

The good news is that the Buckeyes had only 22 seniors in 2012. Fans are already guessing at what 2013 has in store, since many of the players will be returning. Some are comparing Miller to Tim Tebow, and there are definitely some similarities if you look at Tebow during this time in his career. It’s a comparison that only time can confirm.

Blossom or Wilt Under Pressure

Obviously, the Buckeyes have a great coach, quarterback and promise of youth on their side. However, the pressure of an undefeated season might prove too much in 2013. It took them 10 years to get back on track, and there’s no way of knowing if 2012 was a fluke complete with unfortunate timing with the ban.

Regardless of how 2013 pans out, we’ll always have 2012 as proof of greatness. There’s the possibility of a Heisman in the future and the promise of a new season around the corner. That’s all fans can ask for.

The Hows and Whys of Fantasy Football

Fantasy football, or Just Plain Fantasy, is the talk of the town. From the water cooler to the Thanksgiving Day table, here’s why our nation has become a nation of leagues.

You Learn a Lot

We can hear your skeptical snort from here. But trust us: when you do fantasy, you learn more about football than you ever thought possible.

Many fantasy participants begin playing because they’re fans of the game. Some play because a colleague at the contractor software company or a family member needs another team to fill out a league. And others get serious and play for real money.

Whatever your reason, when you do fantasy you get the opportunity to learn about playmakers from across the league, not just the bold print names that appear in your local newspaper. You live in Florida, but your star RB might be from San Fran. Or you live in New York, but your defense is from Baltimore.

Why? Points. It’s all about the points.  When league standings and potential humiliation are on the line, you also learn a lot about who you need to win.

Trash Talking Is Fun

From the draft to the season to the playoffs, teasing your opponents mercilessly for their hopeless managerial skills is not only hilarious, it’s also essential to a quality league. In short, if your league doesn’t engage in friendly rivalry, you’re missing out on one of the best parts of the fantasy experience.

You’re in Charge

If you’re the fan who shouts at the TV, calls out plays before they happen and watch pregame, postgame and daily football coverage, you’ll love being in charge.

You get to pick the players and you get to pick who starts. You can trade, drop and add, nearly at will. You manage injuries and try to guess who’s going to have a big week and who’s going to go home empty.

If you’ve ever thought to yourself, I can do that coach’s job, then fantasy football is for you.

You Can Win Real Money

When your fantasy football teams are the stuff of legend year after year, you belong to more than one league, you pick individual players instead of “team” defenses and offenses and you eat, sleep and breathe football, consider playing for money.

The downside? Because real money is on the line, what you gain in potential winnings you lose in conviviality and friendship. You’re competing against teams whose owners you don’t know personally. The focus becomes winning instead of having a good time. Instead of dreaming up trashy repartee, you’re scouring ESPN, the newspapers and the members-only fantasy forum for tips for next week’s matchup.

But when you’re good, you’re good.

Byline: Michael is a full-time blogger who has passions in all corners of the online world. In his down time he enjoys being outdoors, traveling, and blogging on everything from technology, to business, to marketing, and beyond.

Queens Cup at Steeplechase

Joe RestivoA Saturday afternoon in the Carolina countryside… what else could a guy ask for? How about adding your friends, family, finger-food and alcohol into the mix, and you’ll have quite the fun day!

The Queen’s Cup at Steeplechase is like no other event in the Charlotte area. Thousands of people flock to Steeplechase from across the country to partake in the festivities. Other than the normal excitement of the actual horse racing, there are several other family activities. Steeplechase has spectacular views of the entire racecourse from wherever you sit, which is pretty cool!

One downside to this race is the fact that gambling is illegal in the state of North Carolina. There are ways to ‘bet’, but I’m not going to share them here. Just know that I won the first race :-)

The weather was OK, as we were hoping to sunshine, but we were still able to have a good time without it. It took us some time to get there, but traffic to Steeplechase was not as bad as we were anticipating. It’s fun to dress up in bowties and funny hats, as is something I’m sure me and my crazy friends will go to again next year.

How Bout Them Buckeyes

Jared SullingerIt took me a little bit to get into ‘basketball mode’ this year, but once March Madness rolls around, it’s hard not to get excited. Doesn’t hurt either when The Ohio State University has an all-star team that is now headed to New Orleans for the 2012 Final Four!

Led by sophomore Jared Sullinger, the Buckeyes put up an intense victory Saturday night over Syracuse, a favorite going into the tournament. Aaron Craft has played OK, missing a couple key shots from beyond the arc, but Sullinger and Deshaun Thomas have come to play.

Coach Thad Matta has really kept his team composed and focused, which can be hard to do when it comes to the ‘madness of march‘. However, college sports is a coaches game, and he’s taking his team all the way.

I remember watching them earlier this season, thinking they looked “OK”. They started the season off undefeated, but got their first loss on Saturday, December 10 to Kansas. They are going into this game healthy, and in their prime…

Guess who they’re playing in the Final Four?! Kansas… Time for some revenge! Should be a fantastic game!

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