Addicted to fantasy

Photo Illustration by Michael Uribes / The Collegian

Sports fans are increasingly becoming more addicted to fantasy sports

Addiction: the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming.

When reading the definition of addiction, thoughts that commonly run through one’s mind are drugs and alcohol. But with the once-considered “hobby” of fantasy sports rapidly on the rise, it has managed to make its mark as an official unexpected addiction to some.

Men everywhere have created their own self-addiction to fantasy sports. Whether it’s September and football season is about to take off, or it’s March and spring training is in session, the addiction never stops. It’s a year-round leisure pursuit that has captivated the lives of sports fans.

“I’ve been doing it a long time, but I’m definitely not addicted,” said fantasy sports contestant Mike Grossman. “I mainly play to make money.”

When dealing with addiction, denial is often the primary psychological indicator that someone is involved with a personal struggle—for example, asking someone who religiously takes part in fantasy leagues on a daily basis at the expense of other responsibilities when claiming it’s nothing important to them.

In 2007, the Fantasy Sports Trade Association reported that an estimated 30 million people over the age of 12 participated in fantasy sports in 2007. The numbers may seem low compared to the 300 million who are now on Facebook, but with the amount of effort it takes to successfully participate in a fantasy league, some consider the numbers to be respectively comparable.

“It’s a lot of work to be successful in a league,” participant Ryan O’Rorke said. “Personally, I like to engage in a friendly competition with friends and family for pure entertainment. I’m not anywhere close to being addicted.”

The phenomenon is a timely and tedious process that requires sports knowledge and sometimes a lucky charm. A typical fantasy draft can take anywhere from one to five hours. Participants break down player stats, injury reports and opposing predictions when creating their roster.

Participants are repeatedly having to update and maneuver their rosters based on the website’s scouting reports. They perceive that this managerial power gives them a sense of authority.

“I like the feeling of having general manager power,” O’Rorke said. “Being able to control lineups, trades, free agents—it’s entertaining.”

O’Rorke’s experiences seems to be a pattern among others who play.

“I find it entertaining being able to put together your own team and manage it in a sense,” Grossman said. “It’s empowering as a sports fan.”

Whether it’s playing for money, the feeling of authority or pure entertainment, there’s no question fantasy sports have become a common activity for many.

However, some women can’t quite understand the hype of the “fantasy world.”

“I don’t get why guys make such a big deal about it,” graduate student Ali Llanes said. “They make such a big deal about their stupid teams when it just doesn’t seem like a big enough deal to get as mad as they do.”

Llanes said she is 100 percent convinced that all males who play fantasy sports are addicted.

“They all like to say they’re not addicted,” Llanes said. “That’s the first sign of addiction. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t spend four hours of their day messing with their rosters.”

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