Published July 27 2011
Labor agreement revives fantasy football interest in areaFARGO – Now that the NFL lockout is over, folks like Adrian Peterson, Jerry Jones and Ramon Morin can get back to work.
But you’re probably asking: Who is Ramon Morin?
Morin isn’t a star running back for the Vikings like Peterson or the owner of the Dallas Cowboys like Jones.
The 33-year-old Fargo resident – like many football fans in North America – is a fantasy football nut.
“I had a feeling it was going to happen, but the only way to deal with (the lockout) was to keep it out of my mind,” Morin said regarding the NFL lockout. “The NFL season doesn’t end because I look forward to free-agent signings and the draft as much as I do the regular season. I take all of that into consideration.”
Crazy as that may sound, chances are Morin isn’t alone in this thinking.
Now that the lockout is over, it means fantasy football fans have reason to exhale and be relieved that all is not lost.
Fantasy football is a big business, and it is estimated that up to 35 million people in North America play annually.
“If there had been no season whatsoever, (companies that are invested in fantasy football) would have had north of a $2 billion loss,” said Joe Dyken, who runs the website FantasyFootballNerd.com.
“I think the NFL is thanking their lucky stars that fantasy football has the participation it does.”
In Dyken’s opinion, Morin would be an example of the kind of person the NFL should be grateful to have.
Morin is the kind of fantasy football fan that admits to thinking about the game year-round.
He has two teams in two different leagues. In one of those leagues, he’s led his team to five titles in 10 years.
In the other, he’s finished no higher than second.
He’s also an example of the football fan that’s becoming immersed more in fantasy football instead of what’s actually going on.
“I wouldn’t watch the Cardinals versus the 49ers unless it was a good game,” he said. “Without fantasy, those games would be, well, ugh, I don’t really know how else to say it.”
The NFL and its television partners have certainly taken notice over the years.
Outlets like ESPN, which hosts a Sunday morning pregame show, have a segment telling fantasy owners what sleeper players they can pick up along with what players they should start and not start.
Television providers like DirectTV offer a feature that allows customers to track their fantasy players while going back and forth between games.
“I think it makes the rest of the NFL palatable for the teams you have no interest in,” Morin said. “I don’t know anyone that just watches football anymore just for watching football. Young cats my age or younger, they play fantasy football. Some people play fantasy baseball, hockey, golf or fishing. Fishing, that’s one I don’t even want to get into.”
Readers can reach Forum reporter Ryan S. Clark at (701) 241-5548.
Clark’s Force blog can be found at slightlychilled.areavoices.com