My, How Fantasy Football Has Changed (or Not)

Fantasy Football Impact was created by me, George Barber, a fantasy football veteran of over 20 years. This article is a brief description of what fantasy football was like when I got started and how far the game has come since. It’s absolutely amazing how much it has changed.

Today, those who play fantasy football take for granted the convenience and range of options provided by internet sites, such as Yahoo!, NFL.com, ESPN and CBS Sports . Team owners have come to expect that these sites, or those similar to them, will organize and administer their leagues in a variety of formats, e.g. head-to-head, points only, redraft, auction, keeper/dynasty, points per reception (PPR) or individual defensive player (IDP). They also expect these sites to provide player projections and to display game stats and fantasy points in real-time. None of this was available in 1990 when I competed in my first fantasy football league.

Back in the day…

Having no familiarity with the term “fantasy football,” I was invited to co-manage a team with a friend from work. Preparation consisted of purchasing a random fantasy football magazine at a newsstand and perusing it over breakfast at a local restaurant on draft day. (We all know that was a mistake, but any preparation is better than none.)

The draft was held at the community pool area of the league commissioner’s apartment complex on a sunny and warm August morning in Southern California. Chaise lounge chairs were randomly arranged near a block wall where the draft board was posted.  As each of the team owners in this 12-team league drafted a player and endured the inevitable mocking of the pick by the other owners, the commissioner would select the player’s Topp’s football card from that year’s collection and thumbtack it to the draft board – a practice likely to offend most sports card collectors. At the end of the draft, each team owner went home with high hopes for the season and a handful of mutilated football cards of his drafted players. Good times!

My, How Fantasy Football Has Changed (or Not)

Does anyone read the sports section anymore?

The job of the league commissioner in the pre-Internet era was a time-consuming endeavor. Fantasy points were calculated manually from the box scores of the Los Angeles Times. League reports were typed by the commissioner and mailed (not emailed) to the team owners on a weekly basis. (The guy in the picture to the right obviously wasn’t a league commissioner. Too relaxed!) Free agents were acquired through a blind bidding process with the commissioner. Team owners would call the commissioner to make their free agent request to state their maximum bid amount. This process was deemed corrupt whenever the commissioner was able to outbid all other team owners for a popular free agent. Lesson to be learned: Select your league commissioner very carefully.

And yet…

Fantasy football has come a long way over the past 20 years. Although the options and their associated complexities have increased, the basic game remains the same. This can similarly be said about those who play the game. Many team owners have become very sophisticated – armed with a thorough knowledge of the game and strategies that foster success. However, there are still team owners who continue to draft their favorite players from their favorite teams and wonder why they aren’t experiencing as much success as they had hoped. And there are still team owners who draft the best players from the previous year hoping for a repeat performance only to be disappointed.

The popularity of the game and the rapid advances of technology have propelled fantasy football participation to all-time highs. It has never been easier to play, but enjoyment of fantasy football is enhanced by experiencing success. And that is what Fantasy Football Impact is all about – helping you win!

This site is for you and I encourage you to explore it. My hope is that you will enjoy it as much as I have had creating it. Now get out there and dominate your league!

If you have something to share with me regarding the site, please send me an email.

Have a great season!

Go to the Fantasy Football Impact home page

My, How Fantasy Football Has Changed (or Not)

Disclaimer: Fantasy football is a game of speculation; therefore, Fantasy Football Impact disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, regarding player performance or results associated with its opinions or advice.