by Bob Harris
Fantasy Football Is Gaining Notoriety And Respect
As somebody who first got into the Fantasy Football industry back in 1993 - and cranked up my first Fantasy web site (on bmi.net, of course!) in 1995, I can tell you that the last two years have been unique in that the entire world seemed to catch on to our little hobby.
And nobody has jumped on board with more vigor than the NFL itself. If all the commercials and web promotions featuring top players aren't enough to convince you, I offer even more definitive evidence:
The 2004 season:
Last year, a record 732 touchdown passes were thrown, with Peyton Manning's remarkable campaign leading the way. Manning, of course, broke Dan Marino's NFL record for most touchdown passes in a season (49), set the NFL record for most touchdown passes in a month (19 in November), had one six-touchdown game, three five-TD games, two fours, three threes, and five twos.
But this was not a one-man show. Overall scoring was up for the 11th consecutive season and averaged more than 40.0 points per game (43.0). Twenty-four players scored at least 10 touchdowns, tying 1985 and 1995 for the most in history.
You want more?
There were 788 points scored in Week 13, tying Week 1 of 2002 for the most ever in a weekend.
Better yet, league officials are convinced last year's rising offensive totals were anything but offensive and they intend to keep pushing in a Fantasy-friendly direction this year.
I couldn't agree more with the league's approach - on and off the field.
I'm not going to tell you that ensuring happiness for Fantasy owners is a driving force behind all of this, but I can tell you what Priest Holmes told me back in May:
"I think the NFL has to have a respect for it," the star running back said of our hobby. "I think that you can't overlook what's going on in the Fantasy world because it promotes the Sunday games and promotes the players."
Again, I couldn't agree more.
NOTE: Bob Harris is co-founder of the Football Diehards web site and senior editor at FSP Inc., publisher of Fantasy Football Pro Forecast, DraftBook, CheatSheets and Football Diehards magazines. ... Harris is a member in good standing of and was voted 2005 Fantasy Football Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association FSWA