Nov 10, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) scrambles out of the pocket to pass against the New Orleans Saints during the second quarter at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Fantasy Football Craze: How it's changing NFL Fandom

Since the days of Johnny Unitas and Bart Starr Americans everywhere have been engulfed in their love for the NFL. But more recently the fandom of NFL fans has spread from just loving your hometown squad to loving players from every team throughout the NFL, even to teams that you hate. As we approach Week 12 of the NFL season, we are at the crux of almost every fantasy season. This is a make or break game for fantasy ballers all over the nation. However, the strangest part of the obsession comes to when you have to put your allegiance to your favorite team squarely against that of your fantasy squad.

I am in a league with all of my best friends from high school (we call ourselves The Firm) and there are a ton of us that are in a serious quandary when it comes to where our allegiances lie with the fantasy playoffs on the line. One of my closest friends Cam “The Sandman” Hand is really up against it this week. He needs a win in this week’s contest to jettison the ‘Geno Smith Bandwagon’ into the playoffs, however Cam is a die hard Giants fan and his quarterback is Tony Romo. The game at MetLife Stadium between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants doesn’t just hold NFC East implications for Dallas and New York, but it also holds the fate of his team and fantasy teams around the country. Another one of the bops my dear friend Matt Campbell (the inspiration for this article) has a WR2 issue in whether to start Hakeem Nicks against the hated Cowboys (he is a huge Big Blue fan as well). Nicks throughout his career has torched the Cowboys but is having a down year. Is he less of a fan if starts say Nate Burleson or Santonio Holmes?

My favorite facet of fantasy football is that it has created a reason to watch every and any game on the NFL docket and have a reason to cheer. The popularity for the NFL is ever expanding because of the growth of fantasy and truly made football the most followed sport in the US. On almost every play in every bar in America you will here fans jubilated or enraged by what play callers are doing in the redzone or if a player gets tackled at the 1-yard line. Fantasy football has created a scenario that even if your favorite team is terrible there is still a reason to be excited every Sunday for potential fantasy glory and the ability to talk smack to all of your friends as the Head Coach and General Manager for your very own team.

Tags: Fantasy Football NFL

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