Are Fantasy Sports Addicting?

Fantasy sports; the year round leisure pursuits that has captured the attention of millions of sports fans. The phenomenon is often expensive, and requires sports knowledge as well as pure luck. Many people like it since they have a greater stake in sporting events. Fantasy Sports Trade Association data shows that more than 56 million people in North America will play fantasy sports this year, up from 12 million people in 2005.

When thinking of the word addiction, the average person would commonly think of an addiction to drugs and alcohol, not necessarily fantasy football. So, is “addicted” the right word to call fantasy sports players who are dedicated to a certain fantasy sport? Most players are simply having harmless fun, but there is a small percentage who spend extensive amounts of time, energy and money on fantasy sports.

Lynn Nelson of the Holistic Mental Health Clinic believes fantasy sports can trigger adrenaline and dopamine in the brain that makes us feel happy. “First it was fun, then it was exciting, but I want that lever to be pushed again,” said Nelson. Since fantasy sports are just a click away on your computer, becoming “addicted” is simple for even your casual sports fan.

I talked to Jake Ruppert who has insight on Americans being addicted to fantasy sports. “I feel that a lot of Americans could be addicted to fantasy sports. It has made football a lot more popular,” Ruppert said. I also asked if he feels that he is addicted to fantasy sports. He added, “I might be a little addicted to fantasy sports since during my open hour I spend nearly the whole time on fantasy football rather than doing my homework.” This trend is common among many other students not only at EPHS, but also among typical sports fans.

Everyone has their own definition of addicted. In reality, some people may simply be hooked on or obsessed with this trendy American pastime.