As COVID-19 continues to change everything, fantasy football stays the same

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Gori Spillis '21

Anders Aagaard ’21 shows Ethan Gomez ’21 his star-studded lineup as Ethan expresses his envy.

Yelling about a controversially early quarterback pick, muffled by a mask. Awkward encounters around the draft board as members try their best to keep their distance. Debates about whether players will be smart enough to stay quarantined. This is what a fantasy football draft looks like in 2020.  

As of nowfootball is on, which means fantasy football is as well. While many traditions will be the same, as there will still be waiver wire disputes, vetoed trades, and benched players outscoring starters, this season as a whole will be very different. 

On Labor Day weekend, drafts for the 2020 National Football League season were held, as they always have been and the sense of competition is still very alive. There was no time for small talk: there were friends to beat and a trophy to win. Two hours and 16 rounds later, teams were set. Elation, frustration, and flat out confusion prevailed as members looked at their new rosters.  

The projections [for players’ weekly point totals] are off,” Ethan Gomez ‘21 said. “And I’m paying more attention to what players do off the field. While I can’t brag about beating someone in school anymore, I can still do it in the group chat. Every win is more epic in person, but we can’t really have that experience. I’m still excited and it’s still fun to be in my league. 

“Ive always tracked off the field issues,” Daniel Fisher ‘21 said, regarding his strategy. “But this year it’s a lot more important to pay attention to the guys who are out there partying and doing crazy stuff. I’d rather not have anyone on their team on my roster at allThat’s a major red flag. That player could spread the coronavirus to the whole team and ruin my setup. 

“Not much [has changed]. The competition is still there,” Levi Gans ‘22. What I will miss is Football Sunday together with the whole crew. That bonding around this game is really something special and I hope we don’t lose our connection to the league watching the games alone.” 

Though Football Sunday can be a loss, some people see the situation differently. “The only thing that will be different to me will be the lack of trash talk on campus between members until October 12th,” Jack Rivas-Vazquez ‘22 said. “Nothing else has changed, really.” 

Football has brought a happiness that had been absent from the world since the Covid-19 pandemic shut down the country in March, anfantasy football participants do not want to confront the grim reality of a potentially canceled or delayed season.  

I don’t even want to think about it,” Jacob Simkovic ‘21 said. Fantasy football is the highlight of my winter, and I know I’m not the only one.” 

Some participants proposed their ideas for what could happen in a scenario that involved a delayed or canceled season, but all are far cry from the experience of fantasy football. “No NFL would be terrible,” Lenny Miller ‘21 said. “We’d have to find a new sport to make fantasy teams with. Maybe golf? I’ve heard of that. Nothing compares to football though.” 

Fantasy football is the highlight of my winter, and I know I’m not the only one.”

— Jacob Simkovic

It’s true. There’s nothing quite like football, but for now, it is back. Amidst all the chaos, it seems like fantasy football can stay a source of fun and connectionsLeague members have their eyes set on first place, just like they would any other year. Even though no games will be watched together, everyone is still excited to be part of their league and ready to grow closer through football. As 2020 rolls on and more and more traditions and activities become impossible, it is good to know that some things that have always brought joy to the world will continue to do so. Fantasy football, it’s good to be back.