Students communicate, score virtually through fantasy football


Instead of going to games, students are weekly communicating with classmates about trades, waivers and matchups on fantasy football.

Grace Holleb, Features Editor

Fans no longer shout “Touchdown!” from the stands of a packed stadium while eating a Chicago-style dog and gulping down a Pepsi. Instead, sitting on family room TV couches, they virtually root for their hometown teams. But in some cases, when their favorite team isn’t playing, fans cheer with similar fervor for whoever is predicted to gain the most points on their fantasy football roster that week.

Throughout the pandemic, students remained connected with family, close friends and even not-so-close friends through fantasy football, a virtual game in which participants serve as the general manager of a virtual professional football team competing against each other, motivated by a common love of sports and weekly friendly banter.

Fantasy football has been popular for years, but with very few fans allowed in person during the pandemic, it has become a way for people to feel more connected with the game.

Senior Will Greenstone has played fantasy football for three years with, for the most part, with the same group of 11 U-High boys and one girl. According to Will, the league linked different friend groups that may not have otherwise been in contact during the pandemic. 

“I think our fantasy football league has a lot of different people from different friend groups, so we’d see each other really just in school and that was kind of it,” Will said. “Now with COVID I don’t really see them at all, so it was really good to have fantasy football to connect with them and chat with them about it and bond over that with them.”

Sophomore Ethan Kucera is part of a different league than Will. With 15 family members taking part for the past five years, Ethan noticed his family talking about this year’s league much more than in prior years. 

“It’s kind of a fun way to just be able to talk with family members, and it’s just a different experience than nearly any other activity,” Ethan said. 

Ethan said when there isn’t much new to tell his family about, fantasy football was a reliable and exciting conversation starter. 

Senior Rohn Hoffmeister participated in the same league as Will, and although he did not meet any of the league members in person this year, he used the group chat to stay in touch with them. 

“Through the group chat, we talk about trades games coming up and players,” Rohn said.

“It’s a way for people to come together who love sports and it was a good way to connect even though we couldn’t in person like usual, it was easier to text friends and brought us together in uncertain times.”