What is it?

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Fantasy football is, in its most simplest terms, a game that takes place via Internet and based on the performance of real NFL football players in real games. Before each NFL season, each league (composed of however many people they choose to be in it) holds a draft in which each team takes turns selecting NFL players to be on their fantasy team. There are many different types of leagues and ways to do this, but we will get into that later. When the season starts and NFL games begin, fantasy team owners decide who to start from their team and who to leave on the bench. All players who participate in NFL games earn points based on their performance in the game. The better a player plays in the game, the more points he will earn for his fantasy team.

Modern fantasy football can be traced back to the late Wilfred "Bill" Winkenbach, an Oakland area businessman and a limited partner in the Oakland Raiders. In a New York hotel room during a 1962 Raiders eastern cross-country trip, Winkenbach, along with Raiders Public Relations man Bill Tunnel and Tribune reporter Scotty Starling, developed a system of organization and a rulebook, which would eventually be the basis of modern fantasy football. Winkenbach organized a group of eight men associated with the AFL in some way to each make a team. His game resembled modern day fantasy football in which teams would take turns drafting players, but the players would earn money instead of points, as the men gambled each week. His group came to be known as the GOPPPL (Greater Oakland Professional Pigskin Procrastinators League).


Fantasy Football:
History And Future Of Fantasy Football

Winkenbach's league rules had each team draft 20 players, some of which could be drafted twice if they played more than one position. In 1969, one of the team coaches, Andy Mousalimas, opened up the first public league to his restaurant patrons at Kings X Sports Bar and altered the scoring rules a bit from the originals in GOPPPL. Once the Internet took off in the 90's, fantasy football exploded and became exponentially popular into what it is today. What was once a game for elite all-male sports enthusiasts is now open and played by all different types of people.