By Joseph Vilenski (’19)
Stress and tension are an integral and unavoidable part of school life. Students drone on and on about the mental strain that homework, tests, and projects cause, but some of the boys at SDJA are more apprehensive about setting their NFL fantasy football lineups on Saturday night before Sunday morning football, than they are about their next Calculus test. When asked how much stress fantasy football causes in his life, Isaac Rosen (‘19) answered, “It is indescribable, to put it shortly.”
Fantasy football is defined as “a competition in which participants select imaginary teams from among the players in the national football league and score points according to the actual performance of their players,” but for some kids at SDJA it is much more than that. Although fantasy football can make the most composed of people fret with anxiety, it has its definite pros. Rosen (‘19) said, “[fantasy football] puts you through all the ranges of emotions, anger, happiness, sadness, frustration, excitement, and disappointment.”
In most fantasy football leagues there is are small-scale prizes involved, like a small sum of money or a trophy, but in one league at SDJA, The Jew Crew, two super bowl tickets are at stake. Tickets to the super bowl range from between $2,500 to $3,000, but bragging rights are on the line. One of the fathers of one of the participants in the league put these tickets up for grabs if each member of the league, in some way, gives back to the community.
Some of the students around campus don’t have the faintest idea that their peers are pulling out their hair and and are pushed to the verge of tears because they don’t know whether they should start Keenan Allen or Julio Jones (obviously Keenan). When asked what she thought about fantasy football, all Veronica Warner (‘19) said is, “It has to do with money and it has to do with gambling, I guess.” Some other female students at SDJA have quite a disliking for fantasy football, because as Becky Penhos (’19) puts it, in an exasperated tone at that, “It takes all of you guys [her friends] away from me!”
Fantasy football is not a thing of fantasy. It can put someone through the wringer. It can be a fantastical dream but it can also be a terrifying nightmare.