And so last night another season began. I think I have been playing fantasy football pretty consistently since 1998. Each year it has ramped up a bit more in terms of my engagement. Two years ago I went beyond the normal fantasy league and joined a keeper league. This has been by far the best experience so far as it requires me to always have some kind of background thoughts that are engaged with football all year round.
Last night was a draft for a Dynasty league, which is a league where you keep almost all of the players for good. It will be interesting to see how this pans out. I was dicey on keeper and have really enjoyed it. Dynasty will place a big premium on focusing on new incoming players out of college.
The tools that are used for fantasy football have continued to improve as well. The news services, the draft tools and the various communication tools are just amazing. I believe that our choice to use AIM for our draft was directly responsible for 6 new people in their 30s to start using instant messenger. Last year I believe that there were 3 of us using IM. Now it is 12. I wrote back in April of this year, this post, that talks about how the NFL drives technology adoption. I think Sprint is doing some smart things with their various NFL Tie ins.
I frequently cite fantasy football as an example of user created content that is a big driver of consumer entertainment. Although the primary content is the actual sport/game itself, we fantasy football nuts spend a massive chunk of time looking at stats, arguing over rules, making trades with other players, paying for services, and buying every channel that Directv will offer us for pro, college and any other kind of football. As more of us non Gen Y folks take control of our entertainment experience, whether it is through things like fantasy sports or other things, we will continue to see and understand that media is undergoing an unparalleled paradigm shift where the users are in charge.