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Fantasy Football started in 1962... (1 Viewer)

Sullie

Footballguy
1989 - it was my first year. It was an office league and I had the 3rd pick in an 8 team draft and Warren Moon was my first pick. I don't recall that we even had magazines out yet and the only thing available was Cliff Carpenter's 1989 Fantasy Football book and (as I recall) at least 5 or 6 of us had the exact same book. I just looked it up, I think it featured Greg Bell of the Rams on the front of it if I'm not mistaken. :) God it was so much fun. We drafted at the office, the draft lasted way, way too long. We had one guy that substituted for another guy and he was an absolute RINGER. He was from New York, he had been playing fantasy football for a few years and his draft was amazing. The next year we instituted a "no sub rule" for the draft!

1991- I joined another league, in another city (about 200 miles north of me) drove up for the draft and, to me, that was okay but it was a 12 team league and I was just not ready for it, too many sharks and I was still a guppy. Later on, I got better but that league started a spinoff keeper league a few years later and that was fun for a while until there was an expansion draft, then it turned horrible. I really hated that keeper league, to me it sucked the fun right out of it because there was no in person draft, it went on all year long and you never felt like you ever got a break from it. So, it went from new, unique, fun and interesting to meh, going through the motions, playing along to finally complete and total burnout. The last straw for me was that I got a call on a Saturday morning in February at 7:00 am "Hey Sullie, you wanna trade blah for blah?" And, of course, it was one of those stupid, one sided trades and I just thought "I'm done with this" and I quit. That was 1997.

1994 - I met the girl of my dreams (she still is) but she lived in Indianapolis and I lived in Cincinnati. . . I found a job in Indianapolis and I moved there to be with her so I quit my job and, naturally, the office league I had joined in 1989. We later got married, I hated the job I transferred to (love the hell out of the dream girl and I really like Indianapolis) but I gutted it out for another couple of years at my crummy job until 1997.

1997 - I started a new job at a new company and I did not have a fantasy football team so I thought it was time to start a league. Again, this is a time pre-internet. So I got 8 co-workers plus my brother and I started a 10 person league. We drafted in person, I bought those large tear off sheets of paper, everyone wrote their drafts on the sheets with a marker, we ALL had fantasy football magazines and the FOREVER JOKE of the draft is that one guy drafted Bubby Brister first and his 2nd pick was Bruce Issac. . . always a classic. That guy quit after the first year.

2022 - I dissolved the league. One of our founding members passed away last fall. He was awesome, he became a close friend over the years and I let him pretty much co-run the league with me. He was 79 and he really looked forward to playing fantasy football every year and he was just one of those people you can't replace. So another guy quit to go work at a different company about a month ago and a 3rd founding member e-mailed me the other day to say he was no longer playing. And, if I'm being completely honest, I was so overjoyed he did that because I was completely over it last year after our friend passed away. I'll be more candid and just say I had been going through the motions for a few years now. I had used a 3rd party tool for the last few years to help me draft because I stopped getting excited about fantasy football years and years ago. I really had not been into fantasy football for a few years and I found myself just watching random NFL games with my son just to enjoy the game. I felt like fantasy football made me focus on the players so much, I stopped focusing on the games a long, long time ago. . . which is messed up if you think about it. I think, for me, fantasy football stopped being fun a long time ago and it had become an obligation. I miss the in person drafts the most. The problem was that no-one wanted to host them any longer (can't blame them) and getting 10 people to agree on a draft date is a big enough chore let alone working in an in person draft, setting up the room, etc. Again, it became a source of dread for me in the last few years, especially when it was obvious it became an obligation to, not just me, but I could "feel" the others were over it as well.

So then this will be the first year I have not played fantasy football in 33 years. . . I may cheat and join an online league with a bunch of strangers, we'll see. Right now, I'm enjoying the thought of being FREE from fantasy football for a year.
 
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Gally

Footballguy
The problem was that no-one wanted to host them any longer (can't blame them) and getting 10 people to agree on a draft date is a big enough chore let alone working in an in person draft, setting up the room, etc.  Again, it became a source of dread for me in the last few years, especially when it was obvious it became an obligation to, not just me, but I could "feel" the others were over it as well.
 
We solved the problem of the draft date by having the draft on the exact same weekend ever year.  It is booked and everyone already knows when it is.  For my longest running league it has always been on the Saturday before the first Sunday games.  We had a discussion when the NFL started the Thursday night game as the opening game but everyone agreed to just leave it on that Saturday.  It adds an extra little quirk to the draft.  Everyone knows how they players did in week 1 for those that played on Thursday.  They are eligible to be in your lineup for week 1 so sometimes it inflates a players draft position and other times it deflates it a bit.  You also get the guy that scores the odd TD somehow that might go as someone's last pick just for week 1 to get the six points.  

My other longest standing league (dynasty) league is always the Saturday before Labor Day weekend.  It's two weeks out from the start of the season and everyone knows to leave that day open.  Since it already set in stone it makes it easy for everyone to remember and schedule around.  

 

Rubi

Footballguy
1989 - it was my first year. It was an office league and I had the 3rd pick in an 8 team draft and Warren Moon was my first pick.  I don't recall that we even had magazines out yet and the only thing available was Cliff Carpenter's 1989 Fantasy Football book and (as I recall) at least 5 or 6 of us had the exact same book.  I just looked it up, I think it featured Greg Bell of the Rams on the front of it if I'm not mistaken. :)   God it was so much fun.  We drafted at the office, the draft lasted way, way too long.  We had one guy that substituted for another guy and he was an absolute RINGER.  He was from New York, he had been playing fantasy football for a few years and his draft was amazing.  The next year we instituted a "no sub rule" for the draft!

1991- I joined another league, in another city (about 200 miles north of me) drove up for the draft and, to me, that was okay but it was a 12 team league and I was just not ready for it, too many sharks and I was still a guppy.  Later on, I got better but that league started a spinoff keeper league a few years later and that was fun for a while until there was an expansion draft, then it turned horrible.  I really hated that keeper league, to me it sucked the fun right out of it because there was no in person draft, it went on all year long and you never felt like you ever got a break from it.  So, it went from new, unique, fun and interesting to meh, going through the motions, playing along to finally complete and total burnout.   The last straw for me was that I got a call on a Saturday morning in February at 7:00 am "Hey Sullie, you wanna trade blah for blah?"  And, of course, it was one of those stupid, one sided trades and I just thought "I'm done with this" and I quit.  That was 1997.

1997 - I started a new job at a new company and I did not have a fantasy football team so I thought it was time to start a league.  Again, this is a time pre-internet.  So I got 8 co-workers plus my brother and I started a 10 person league.  We drafted in person, I bought those large tear off sheets of paper, everyone wrote their drafts on the sheets with a marker, we ALL had fantasy football magazines and the FOREVER JOKE of the draft is that one guy drafted Bubby Brister first and his 2nd pick was Bruce Issac. . . always a classic.  That guy quit after the first year.

2022 - I dissolved the league.  One of our founding members passed away last fall.  He was awesome, he became a close friend over the years and I let him pretty much co-run the league with me.  He was 79 and he really looked forward to playing fantasy football every year and he was just one of those people you can't replace.  So another guy quit to go work at a different company about a month ago and a 3rd founding member e-mailed me the other day to say he was no longer playing.  And, if I'm being completely honest, I was so overjoyed he did that because I was completely over it last year after our friend passed away.  I'll be more candid and just say I had been going through the motions for a few years now.  I had used a 3rd party tool for the last few years to help me draft because I stopped getting excited about fantasy football years and years ago.  I really had not been into fantasy football for a few years and I found myself just watching random NFL games with my son just to enjoy the game.  I felt like fantasy football made me focus on the players so much, I stopped focusing on the games a long, long time ago. . . which is messed up if you think about it.  I think, for me, fantasy football stopped being fun a long time ago and it had become an obligation.  I miss the in person drafts the most.  The problem was that no-one wanted to host them any longer (can't blame them) and getting 10 people to agree on a draft date is a big enough chore let alone working in an in person draft, setting up the room, etc.  Again, it became a source of dread for me in the last few years, especially when it was obvious it became an obligation to, not just me, but I could "feel" the others were over it as well.

So then this will be the first year I have not played fantasy football in 33 years. . . I may cheat and join an online league with a bunch of strangers, we'll see.  Right now, I'm enjoying the thought of being FREE from fantasy football for a year.
Awesome memories Sullie. I can relate to the passing of a friend and original league member,had that happen twice. Also can relate to "burnout" and leaving fantasy,had that happen a few years ago,but i came back!

 

nittanylion

Footballguy
Cliff CHARPENTIER...and his yearly Fantasy Football Digest, which began sometime in the mid-80's until early 2000's. Man, that brings back a lot of memories. Gotta check the garage/attic/basement to see if I saved any of those. I couldn't wait for that thing to come out back in the day, not just for the info, but always enjoyed his extensive recap of the previous season from draft to championship game. Guy was a good writer and a fun read.

Would love to hear other old-schoolers stories about CC/FFD. Deserves some run in this Thread.

 

Rubi

Footballguy
nittanylion said:
Cliff CHARPENTIER...and his yearly Fantasy Football Digest, which began sometime in the mid-80's until early 2000's. Man, that brings back a lot of memories. Gotta check the garage/attic/basement to see if I saved any of those. I couldn't wait for that thing to come out back in the day, not just for the info, but always enjoyed his extensive recap of the previous season from draft to championship game. Guy was a good writer and a fun read.

Would love to hear other old-schoolers stories about CC/FFD. Deserves some run in this Thread.
I remember Fantasy Football Digest. Not as far back as the 80's,but early to mid 90's for sure.

 

One

Not Allowed In Mexico
I'm 43 and played my first time in the mid-80s with my dad and his friends, but it was only for NFL playoffs.  His buddy learned of it when he was in the Navy.  

My first real jump into a seasonal redraft was with fraternity brothers in 1997.  I made sure not to tell many outside people about it since it was looked at like a nerds game. Now it feels like non-fantasy football playing men are in the minority. 

Today it's definitely a hobby and my interest level varies from year to year.  I don't know why, but I still get a kick out of buying the fantasy football mags at the grocery store.

 
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menobrown

Footballguy
1993, my 4th year in college was my first fantasy draft. Friend invited me to join his league, which was a $250 buy in and we split the team among a few friends. We had a whole floor of a restaurant to ourselves and each pick you went up to a podium and made the announcement.

The draft was a lot of fun but I was horrible and cost our team big time.  I pushed for a QB. Friend who had been playing a few years tried to explain how that position you can wait on but I was not grasping it at the time and I forced Mark Rypien on everyone as an early pick.

I actually did not really like fantasy that much at first, thought it was bit geeky and I was actually annoyed when people would discuss their fantasy teams. I was just a big fan and thought focus on  it took away from the game and if I had no rooting interest and needed a reason to care I preferred to just gamble. I kind of just left playing fantasy for years after this and then started messing around with some ESPN and CBS sports league stuff for a few years but still was not that huge into fantasy. Mainly just gambled.

Then a few big changes started to occur.

The internet which enabled me to read hometown coverage of any team. Directv which allowed me not be stuck watching Cowboys games every week and other then gambling gave me a reason to care about any game I wanted to watch. And along the way I realized when I gambled on games for that extra reason to care or get juiced up that I was just not that good at betting on games.

Finally came the WCOFF and that same friend who first got me into fantasy told his plans to get about 8-10 of us from college together for an annual Vegas fantasy football trip. Now this, this I was into. Walking into a giant room with about 500 people drafting at same time with a huge stakes finally got me way heavier into fantasy football. Gave me a reason to care that was cheaper on my pocketbook then paying the bookie all the time and just felt more in depth strategizing.

When I started dynasty for the first time, in 2011, was when I really took off as more of less of an addict. Before dynasty I basically vacated football for most of the off-season. Would watch the draft but not else. Back then around this time of year I would start to remember where FA's landed and coaching changes. Now I got no chill button, I'm on that stuff when it happens, hunting for news and an edge almost daily, a full on fantasy football addict.

How much of an addict? I heard a beat writer for the Redskins a few weeks pose a question on twitter. He said if someone offered him $2 million on condition he could never watch or have anything to with football again would he take it? He was not sure. I knew immediately my answer was no.

 

joey

Footballguy
How much of an addict? I heard a beat writer for the Redskins a few weeks pose a question on twitter. He said if someone offered him $2 million on condition he could never watch or have anything to with football again would he take it? He was not sure. I knew immediately my answer was no.
To be fair, that’s just a year's salary to most SharkPool regulars ;)  

 

BoltBacker

Footballguy
How much of an addict? I heard a beat writer for the Redskins a few weeks pose a question on twitter. He said if someone offered him $2 million on condition he could never watch or have anything to with football again would he take it? He was not sure. I knew immediately my answer was no.
For a mere $1.9Million I'd be willing to watch the WNBA instead of the NFL.

 

Rubi

Footballguy
This brings back memories of the good ol' FF Index magazine (which I believe is still around).
Just saw it on a newstand the other day,it was next to Fantasy Football Pro Forecast THAT I BOUGHT! Great for in home "library" reading material. I love the smell of printed paper in the morning.

 

Uruk-Hai

Footballguy
1989. 8 team work league with the commish the only one would had played before. TD-only league (4 pass/6rush-recieve), with PKs getting 3 for made FGs. Randall Cunningham was the first pick and it was all QBs in round one. I got Everett. I took Herschel Walker in Rd 2 - it was the year he got traded in-season to the Vikings. I can't recall everyone else I had, though I remember having Flipper Anderson - he had like 300 yds receiving one game, but yardage didn't count.

The commish got fired from our company the next season and I took over. I increased the # of teams to 12. Lots of rule/scoring changes over the next few decades. I ran it until maybe 2016 or so, then became just a team manager (my brother and I are still doing that). The league is still going, but many of us don't work together anymore. My brother & I are the last of the '89 class, but several have been in for 25-30 years and I think the newest manager has been in for 5 or 6 years.

It's the only league I do anymore (I had a bunch of Zealots teams in the '00s/early '10s, and had some other on-line leagues) and, to be honest, I only stay in it because my brother still wants to. I defer to him on most things, as he pays way more attention than I do to the day-to-day.

I remember my father joining a league in the mid-80s at his job. It sounded like the coolest thing ever. I'm not sure what year it was, but his team had Montana, Dickerson, and Jerry Rice and ran away with the title.

Our best year was 1992. We had Rice, Sharpe, Lo White, Watters, and picked up Brett Favre after Majik Man got hurt. It was still TD-only then and we scored something like 1,100 points.

 

Gally

Footballguy
Our best year was 1992. We had Rice, Sharpe, Lo White, Watters, and picked up Brett Favre after Majik Man got hurt. It was still TD-only then and we scored something like 1,100 points.
We drafted Majik Man as our starter and backed him up with Favre late in the draft.  Our league was a SF so there were no QB's available on waivers (including back-ups).  At the time we were able to freeze one player that we drafted after the 10th round.  Favre was taken in the 17th so we had a nice keeper for the following year because of the injury.  

 

belljr

Footballguy
I started my league in 1994....based off of fantasy football index.  It was the best magazine.....

I stepped down from that league 3 years ago.

Quit my last league this winter.  

Don't miss it 

 

Ack88

Footballguy
Cliff’s Notes-

mid to late 80s- started with roto baseball. 8 team league. Did that for two or three years, late middle school, early high school.

early 90s mail in contest through Topps. Got a few cool cards as prizes, this was my introduction to football.

1995- began my first home league. Literally left a message on the commissioner’s answering machine. Barry Sanders was my first pick. USA Today’s Tuesday/Wednesday box scores were official scoring guide. Commissioner sent scoring via mail or you could call Tuesday or Wednesday night for an update. Usually bought as many magazines as I could. Draft was always live. That league is still going. 7 of 10 original guys left.

early mid 2000s- added several leagues, all different formats. Took up lots of time. Pivot to technology changed the paradigm. Information became so easily available that the ROI began to diminish.

early 2010-mid 2010s- kept adding leagues. By about 2018, with marriage and kids, began to cut back.

Presently-play only in my original home league. Still love to play but life has other priorities now.  

 

Rubi

Footballguy
The first nationally recognized/available Fantasy Football Leagues web-site is accredited to Grand Stand Sports in 1985 on Q-Link,later to become AOL.

Does anyone remember any other early league sites?

 

Rubi

Footballguy
Rubi said:
The first nationally recognized/available Fantasy Football Leagues web-site is accredited to Grand Stand Sports in 1985 on Q-Link,later to become AOL.

Does anyone remember any other early league sites?
I recall a site called Fantasy Dogs or something similiar to that. There were no rankings or leagues on the site but you could print out roster sheets,rules,small draft boards,that kind of stuff.

 

belljr

Footballguy
Rubi said:
The first nationally recognized/available Fantasy Football Leagues web-site is accredited to Grand Stand Sports in 1985 on Q-Link,later to become AOL.

Does anyone remember any other early league sites?
No but I paid for the service where you download the stats into their program and then would print and mail the results.

 

Rubi

Footballguy
No but I paid for the service where you download the stats into their program and then would print and mail the results.
Yes,I remember our work league doing that. Our commish insisted all 8 of us know how to work the program so we had a "training" session before one of our drafts.

 

Rubi

Footballguy
Anyone else play with a Dad or son back in the day? My Dad never got into fantasy but played a few years with my son in a league. Made for great dinner conversation.

 

Gally

Footballguy
Anyone else play with a Dad or son back in the day? My Dad never got into fantasy but played a few years with my son in a league. Made for great dinner conversation.
The league we started in 1985 was all family and friends.  I partnered up with 4 of my buddies (we were in middle school).  Each of our dads had their own team.  All the moms of the four of us shared a team.  There were two other father/sons that shared a team and then a couple other friends of the groups got the remaining teams.

Out of my 4 buddies we are all there for the draft for the first 2 rounds.  Then two of the buddies got board and left.  That left two of us to run the rest of the draft.  We had a blast.  35+ years later he and I are still partners in that original league.  Those other two guys bowed out after a few years and never came back to the league.  Obviously their hearts weren't in it....hahahahahah.  To date my dad and my buddies dad still have teams.  We are still in it.  We got another buddy of ours in it about year 3 and he is still in it.  Now his brother has a team as well.  The moms bowed out about 10 years ago once it got "serious"...hahaha.  

Since then I started a league when my son was about 8 or 9 as he really wanted to play.  That league he has a team, I have a team and my dad has a team.  Three generations still going strong.  That league started about 6 or 7 years ago.  

 
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Rubi

Footballguy
The league we started in 1985 was all family and friends.  I partnered up with 4 of my buddies (we were in middle school).  Each of our dads had their own team.  All the moms of the four of us shared a team.  There were two other father/sons that shared a team and then a couple other friends of the groups got the remaining teams.

Out of my 4 buddies we are all there for the draft for the first 2 rounds.  Then two of the buddies got board and left.  That left two of us to run the rest of the draft.  We had a blast.  35+ years later he and I are still partners in that original league.  Those other two guys bowed out after a few years and never came back to the league.  Obviously their hearts weren't in it....hahahahahah.  To date my dad and my buddies dad still have teams.  We are still in it.  We got another buddy of ours in it about year 3 and he is still in it.  Now his brother has a team as well.  The moms bowed out about 10 years ago once it got "serious"...hahaha.  

Since then I started a league when my son was about 8 or 9 as he really wanted to play.  That league he has a team, I have a team and my dad has a team.  Three generations still going strong.  That league started about 6 or 7 years ago.  
Absolutely Awesome

 

Rubi

Footballguy
Cleaning out an old desk and I found an old 4x6 foot paper draft board we used back in the early 90's. Anyone that still does in person drafts still use them? Anyone still buy an old school magazine?
The smell of a paper draft board takes me back. The glue on the stickers could have been a little stronger though.
 

Gally

Footballguy
Cleaning out an old desk and I found an old 4x6 foot paper draft board we used back in the early 90's. Anyone that still does in person drafts still use them? Anyone still buy an old school magazine?
The smell of a paper draft board takes me back. The glue on the stickers could have been a little stronger though.
We do a poster board for all our drafts. These days the in person participation is usually around 50-75%. But our commish has the boards for as long as I can remember. Every few years he breaks them out and we have a look at how things went back in the day. It's a really interesting historical perspective.
 

FreeBaGeL

Footballguy
1998 and I only remember specifically because it was Peyton Manning's rookie year and he went in the 1st round of our redraft draft. We truly had no idea what we were doing back then.
 

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