Mr. Cole Otley
The fantasy football playoffs are in full swing as managers attempt to end the 2018 season on a high note. Fantasy sports stretch from the NFL to NASCAR and are able to reach just about every sports fan in Vermont, and even in the world. Whether it be competing just for fun against friends, or playing for cash rewards, fantasy sports has something to offer everybody. It creates a social phenomenon that can’t be ignored with its domination of lunch-time conversations, small talk in the hallways of CVU, and beyond.
For those who are unfamiliar with the concept of fantasy sports, the rules are simple. The basic idea of a standard fantasy league at CVU is as follows: Each manager drafts a lineup that they work with throughout the season. It is up to the managers to set lineups of players that they think will perform the best each week. The players are real people, whose fantasy performance correlates to their performance in real life. Managers can add, drop, or trade players throughout the season to improve their team. The teamsin the fantasy league go head to head each week until a champion is crowned in a playoff. The result of this is an exciting, comprehensive experience that brings people together through their love of sports.
CVU is no exception to the fantasy sports phenomenon. Prince Yodishembo, a senior at CVU, has been playing fantasy sports for several years and has developed some opinions of his own. “Fantasy sports promote a comradery between people,” he says. “It gives people something common to talk about.” Prince is a seasoned veteran when it comes to playing fantasy basketball and competing in the annual March Madness bracket challenges. According to Prince, he is a two-time fantasy basketball champion of his league and, in 2015, had a 73% accurate March Madness bracket. “Fantasy sports prepare people numerically, and it also gets people a lot of analytical practice,” he said.
The positive effects are clear. Students feel like playing fantasy sports gives them social and educational gain. However, according to some, this isn’t always the case.
Class co-president, Bennett Cheer, has a different opinion on the effects that fantasy sports have on CVU. Bennett claims that they are “stupid” and that “they are a distraction to people who should be focussing on school work.” Nicole Eaton, our other co-president, however, counters his claim by saying, “[fantasy sports] give people an alternative option to sports which can help their emotional wellness”.
Fantasy sports offer another dimension to sports and, for some people, this added dimension can benefit them educationally, socially, and spiritually. “I play fantasy basketball with my Sunday School group,” adds Prince. “It has been a real catalyst for bringing people together”. Fantasy sports has an ever-growing presence in the culture at CVU. What it produces is some of the most excited and passionate conversations between peers you will hear all year in the hallways of CVU. I urge everyone to begin playing some sort of fantasy sport in the future and feel the positive effects it has on your own wellbeing.