September 22, 2023

The Roots of a Fantasy Football Champion

by Amanda Crinks

When the temperature drops a bit, the school buses come back out and the vacations stop, it becomes my favorite time of year: football season! The 2014-2015 season was the year I was crowned the Fantasy Football Champion of my work league. Now, there are some people reading this who probably think fantasy football is a waste of time and energy; there are others who know what a feat and point of pride this title can bring. Week after week, there are trades, injuries, and buys that create a competition of skill and intense rivalry.

I have been playing fantasy football since my freshman year in high school, but my love for football started long before that. I was born and raised a Dallas Cowboys fan, which either gets me a high five or a typical team-based joke. The hardest thing for me was growing up in Northern Virginia, where the Washington Redskins were at my back door.

I am not a Cowboys fan by choice and I am not a fan because of my hometown. I am a fan because my grandfather and father were born in the great state of Texas. There were many years of my life when I did not realize there were other teams out there because all of the jackets and blankets we had were Cowboys-themed. When you are born into fandom, it creates a deep-rooted passion for the team that nothing can erase.

My greatest football memory came when I was 14 years old and my dad took me to my first professional football game in Irving, Texas. I remember the first time I looked up at that dome with the faded stars; it was a dream come true. We sat twenty rows behind the end zone and I remember the excitement that came with every touchdown and the sadness that came with every bad play. All of the fans around me were true Texans and had that intense love for the team and shared all those joyous moments with me! My dad and I left that game with a win and I could not have been more excited because it was a conference game against the New York Giants.

I went back to that stadium with my dad one more time before it closed. Then came the experience of a lifetime: the Cowboys versus the Redskins on Thanksgiving Day in Arlington, Texas. We were on the thirty yard line, thirteen rows back, and had an amazing view of one of the best stadiums in the NFL. The Cowboys lost that game, but my saving grace was that I had Tony Romo on my fantasy team and he went on a crazy streak in efforts to make a comeback.

At least if your team loses, there is always hope for your fantasy team! There are people who think caring about a group of people who are paid to play a sport is ridiculous. But for those who have deep roots in the sport, it is not just a pastime, it is a way of life.