Fantasy Football Floods Foreseeable Future


Seniors hold up their final ranking in their fantasy football league at Prom 2022.

Nothing brings a group of friends together quite like fantasy football. The combination of pride, humiliation, and a grand prize make for an enticing competition based on the sport many love. Take it from us: Every Sunday we crowd into a basement together with the same group of friends, sometimes turned enemies, to watch seven hours of heartbreaking, beautiful, commercial-free football. Nothing compares to the emotional rollercoaster of fantasy football, and as more Romans begin to play, the stakes continue to rise.
For those who have not played fantasy football, it is a game in which members of a league draft and manage football teams comprised of NFL players. These players score points based on their performance. For example, a running back scores one point for every 10 rushing yards. League mates face off against each other, and the winner is decided by whose team scores the most points. At the end of the NFL season, leagues host their own playoffs, where a winner and loser are decided.
Fantasy football is not only enticing to the hardcore football fan, but to all who are drawn to the friendly competition it sparks, as no football knowledge is needed to play. Advisories at Latin have even created their own leagues despite the wide array of football knowledge. Additionally, many Latin students compete in leagues with their family members.
However, fantasy football is best known around Latin for the commotion it often brings to the quiet study area, viral draft day TikToks, and the always looming last place punishment. Throughout the fall, students can be found discussing trades, arguing about rules, and avoiding schoolwork to the dismay of faculty.
“I do not do homework on Mondays, Thursdays, or Sundays before 11 p.m.,” said sophomore Henry Sohn. Waiver wire Tuesday and trade block Thursday also delay students’ work.
Despite the academic distractions fantasy can cause students, math teacher Michelle Neely said, “With regards to the theme of ‘Romans Together,’ the enthusiasm is impressive.”
Students also take to social media to share their league’s antics. Junior Zuhair Alsikafi’s viral TikTok gives a behind-the-scenes look into his league’s draft room, as league mate and fellow junior Fletcher Micheli, dressed in a full tuxedo, announced the controversial first pick of their league. The video has garnered over 700,000 views and nearly 60,000 likes since being uploaded and was even featured on the infamous sports media page, House of Highlights.
While champions have been seen hoisting trophies or sporting WWE-like belts in school, most league members are more concerned about avoiding the dreadful punishment. Historically, losers have been seen reciting poems and presentations at gatherings, wearing embarrassing outfits (you may have seen Thor Graham ‘22 sporting leopard-print leggings last year), or eating outrageously spicy foods. While the punishment might be a bummer, all league members agree on it before the season, making the league more competitive and entertaining for all teams, regardless of their chance of winning.
Senior Evan Jones, one of last year’s fantasy football losers, said, “While doing the punishment caused me physical pain, and seeing the pleasure that my pain evoked was slightly alarming, I would do it again. Having a punishment is essential.”
Evan was forced to eat a Lil’ Nitro Gummy Bear that was 9 million scoville units, which is 900x hotter than a jalapeno pepper and four times hotter than the Carolina Reaper, the hottest pepper on Earth. The gummy bear featured reviews on Amazon such as “My roommate almost died. 5 stars!” and “You’ve been warned.” (Note: The Forum acknowledges that Evan won the league in 2019, a year rifled with scandalous trades by the often corrupt Garapati twins.)
The wave of pandemonium that fantasy football has created within the first few weeks of school is only set to grow as each Sunday sees many teams enjoy the euphoric feeling of victory or the sorrows of defeat. No matter what surprises this school year may bring, you are sure to hear plenty of trash talk, trade rumors, and intense cheating allegations while roaming the halls. While it may get competitive, fantasy football only brings those involved closer together.