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The Student News Site of Darien High School

Neirad

The Student News Site of Darien High School

Neirad

The mural painting class is available to juniors and seniors who have taken Drawing and Painting 3 and received teacher approval. Before painting the mural students must get the design and location approved with administration.
Music Notes, Statues and a Cow?
Katie Galligan, Journalist • April 14, 2024
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“Where Fantasy Becomes Reality”

Fantasy Football and its Popularity amongst the Students of Darien High School
The Blue Wave fans celebrate as flour rains down on the student section | Source: Darien Athletics Foundation

It is no secret that the sport of American Football plays a large role in the culture of Darien High School. Just about every other Friday, the DHS football team plays at home, and the reception is typically fantastic. In the hallways, one may spot a student wearing a sweatshirt supporting a certain NFL team or overhear a conversation about “ the Monday Night game.” However, the love of football extends from on the field to on the screen. 

Oftentimes, on the bus, in the library, or on my way to class, I’ll overhear discussions about trading players (which often precedes a long argument about why the trade proposal is “trash”). Fantasy football, on the strategic-end, holds its claim to inducing decision-making, negotiations and transactions. Although it is typically played among friends, controlling and managing their assets (the players), is something they seem to enjoy; it is in this executive position that many find Fantasy football so endearing.

The value of Fantasy Football has increased steadily over the last decade. In 2023, Fantasy Football Market was worth 9.84 Billion U.S. Dollars | Source: Statista

There has been a steady increase in the popularity of Fantasy Sports in the last decade; in 2022, there were over 50 million players in America. In 2022, 22.9 Million Americans participated in Fantasy Football specifically; the 2nd most popular Fantasy Sport (Baseball) has a player count of less than half of that of Fantasy Football. Fantasy Football is a rising phenomena that will continue to grow over the following years. While DHS is a small sample size of America’s affinity for the “sport,” it certainly is reflective of these national trends.

Scaccia’s Fantasy Roster…When playing, he said his favorite activity is to “laugh in [his friends] faces.”

These “adult-like” responsibilities bring a sense of meaning and accomplishment (if the team succeeds) to the managers. The rush of “risk and reward” does not fail to reach the students. Many of the leagues that the students participate in have prizes for the Championship Winner…and punishments for the manager who “fell flat on their face” for the entire season.

Sophomore Max Scaccia, shared his interest in the high-stakes competition. 

“It’s called the Jelly Donut Mile,” Scaccia said.”[Whoever] finishes last in our league will run a mile, where every lap around the track, you eat a jelly donut.”

While it is undoubtedly a strange punishment, Scaccia’s league punishment is an indication of many leagues’ brutal creativity when it comes to the “consequences for being the worst.” Yet, it is another reason to explain Fantasy’s wild and growing appeal.

By a combination of the zeal of sports, business-like behavior, and amiable (or aggressive) competition, it seems as if Fantasy Football will continue to be popular among Darien’s youth.

 

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About the Contributor
Kevin Cope, Writer
Kevin is in the class of 2025 at DHS and began writing for Neirad in September of 2023. He favors well-research pieces that add value to interesting, yet unexplored topics. Kevin is a leader in the local Scouts organization and plays tennis for the school in the spring. You can talk to him about anything sports-related; he enjoys both watching and playing baseball, football, basketball, etc. Kevin has a twin sister (2025) and an older brother who is a freshman at Providence College, Providence, Rhode Island.

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