Fantasy Football Helps Latin Students Connect During Pandemic


Fantasy football is a competition in which participants select imaginary teams from among the players in the NFL and score points according to the actual performance of their players. What I didn’t know when I agreed to participate for the first time this year was how much it was going to positively impact me in these trying times.

Personally, fantasy football helped me and other Latin students connect with each other while being isolated with limited social interactions. Students simply aren’t hanging out with each other like we used to in “normal times.” Moreover, we lack small but meaningful social interactions, and it’s difficult to replicate those conversations virtually. In the world of fantasy football, members of leagues can form deep friendships over text chains and phone calls about trades, players playing well, live NFL games, injuries, close fantasy matchups, and much more. It gave students an opportunity to redevelop connections among each other. Sophomore Leo Romano said, “The 2020 fantasy football season was really fun. Even though I traded away my best players, I became closer to my good friends.”

For many, fantasy football became an intense hobby. When students found themselves with an abundance of free time, some engaged in this activity chose to spend time researching which players they should start that week, what advice experts had online, and what free agents they should pick up to improve their team. Research can go a long way, and the research that I did definitely helped me win my league’s championship. Sophomore Ryan Rose said, “With fantasy football, it’s been nice to have something to do on a weekly basis, and it has become a hobby for me. Plus, playing fantasy football has been a fun way for me to keep in touch with friends recently since you have to constantly trade and play matches against other people.”

The activity even helped teens expand their social circles and socialize with friends not in their league because many people play fantasy football and can also relate to fantasy football news and events. During a gathering with friends toward the end of fall, I was having a conversation/argument with another member of my league about a controversial event that recently happened, and another friend who wasn’t in our league walked toward us, so I asked if he plays fantasy football and he said yes. Because of that, he understood what we were talking about, and I brought him into our discussion. Even though he wasn’t in my league, because of fantasy football I was able to connect with him.

All in all, fantasy football had a greater impact during 2020 than ever before for Latin students. As sophomore Cameron Woan put it, “Fantasy football has been a great outlet for me to still be able to connect with friends without having to see them in-person.”