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A Rise In Popularity

An article in The New York Times from 1984 by Robert Thomas Jr. chronicles the first book written about fantasy football. Fantasy baseball had grown in size by that point in time, but football was rarely played.

The book, "1984 Fantasy Football Digest," by Tom Kane Jr. and Cliff Charpentier of Minnesota, outlined how to play fantasy football with an all-offense seven-player roster. Kane was a huge proponent of fantasy football, saying that he would never go through another football season without playing.

By 1989, an article in the USA Today by Paul White proclaims that there are "thousands [of drafts] going on across the USA this time of year" and describes the fantasy sports industry as "burgeoning."

A 1992 column in the Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio) by Dennis LePore describes the idea of fantasy basketball to readers who are looking for a fantasy fix when the baseball season is over. It is clear by this time that fantasy sports are big enough in the country that people "who need a rotisserie fix year-round" exist.

People began to make money off of fantasy sports with the advent of the Internet. Drafts and statistics were able to be kept on computer hard drives instead of on paper, and this made fantasy sports much more accessible to the average person.

In 1999, the Fantasy Sports Trade Association was founded. TheFantasy Sports Trade Association Logo group brought together competing fantasy sports companies together into one They call themselves "the voice of the fantasy sports industry" and are often interviewed by the press for information about fantasy sports.

At this point and into the 21st century, fantasy sports was beginningFantasy Sports Writers of America Logo to emerge as a huge business and a huge obsession. Newspapers and magazines were hiring people to only cover fantasy sports. In 2004, the Fantasy Sports Writers Association formed. It represents writers whose lives revolved around fantasy sports, and its goal is "promoting journalistic excellence in fantasy sports."

These are all signs that fantasy sports are bigger than ever.

Read on to see fantasy sports as it exists today.