Draft that and Duel this
By: Michael Melville
In my time as a sports fan and specifically a football fan (American football, however, I do enjoy European football) I have been known to play fantasy football on online leagues. I say, “Have been known” because I’ve done it a total of 4 times in my life and most recently last year on an online league with my cousins through ESPN. It was all good and fun, but I found that it took away from the pure enjoyment of watching games especially when I watch them with my dad.
Last season while watching games, I had my phone and Kindle going. I was keeping track of stats, player’s points on my league, doing last minute replacements when big news hit or when players were underperforming and injured and well…it ended up feeling like work. The only work I enjoy doing that I am not paid for (or paid for a little bit) is writing. I remember last year I sat through one entire Detroit Lions game with my dad and my face was buried in these damn websites and I think I only watched 10 minutes of the whole game. I know it irritated him about as much as it irritates my mom when I am constantly on Facebook when I am in Florida visiting her. I can’t blame either of them.
So before this season I said no more. I’m not going to waste my precious time on fantasy football leagues. And it worked until the radio and TV ads started running before the season started. You might know the ones I am talking about for sites like DraftKings and Fan Duel. Instead of me not taking part in fantasy football leagues it made me hate fantasy football even more.
I love sports, but I am not a uber fan of sports. I do not live and breathe sports like others do (I’m not judging them though) I suppose you could call me a “slightly more than casual” sports fan. But if I could go five damn minutes without hearing an ad for DraftKings or Fan Duel during a football game or even listening to my local sports radio channel that would be really awesome. These sites are borderline online gambling anyways and only exist because they found a way to skirt the federal online gambling laws. It’s almost like they bought the NFL for as much as they advertise.
Regardless of the legalities, they are literally ruining football for me this season more than a regular online fantasy football league through ESPN or something ever could. Does this annoy anyone else? I can’t be the only one.
This past week I was watching the Lions attempt to beat Denver (they lost…of course) but I found myself muting every single commercial break so I did not have to hear these stupid ads. I cannot be the only person who feels this way. So to all those other companies running advertisements during the game, I’m sorry, I didn’t hear them or really see them and you can blame DraftKings and Fan Duel for that.
To make matters even worse, I was listening to the local ESPN radio channel today and heard an ad for a bookie company for sports betting. I do not think I’ve ever heard that before in my life. I was annoyed. Why can’t people just be allowed to enjoy football or other sports for the pure enjoyment of it? Why does gambling or even pseudo gambling have to be involved? Keep that crap in Vegas or the casinos where it belongs.
I was reading an article on Awful Announcing and it broke down the amount of fantasy football ads during a block of football watching on a Sunday during the 20th of September. This covered pregame coverage and three games on four different networks (ESPN, CBS, FOX and NBC Primetime).
Here is the breakdown for total ads from these companies according to Awful Announcing:
Now here is the breakdown per network for those same companies:
ESPN Pregame: 10
CBS Early game: 5
Fox late game: 9
NBC Primetime: 6
The article is actually pretty interesting and worth a read on its own so click HERE for the link to it. The numbers above came directly from Awful Announcing. Did you know that DraftKings is the number 1 advertiser in all of television right now? I didn’t and I’m horrified.
It makes you wonder just how deep this whole thing goes when it comes to sites like this. According to an article by the New York Times both Jerry Jones and Robert Kraft who are perhaps, the two biggest names in NFL ownership have stakes in DraftKings. What is also ironic is that the same article talks about how the NFL wouldn’t let players take part in a Fantasy League event because it was at a Casino in Vegas. Even on ESPN, it appears that DraftKings has nearly bought up that network for as much as the advertising and commentators talk about it. So where is the line between sports betting and just fun?
Enough is enough already. Gambling already has enough sharks in it and we don’t need them in our sports as well.
Here is another great article from Bloomberg Business