NFL Fantasy Football Is $erious Business

NFL Fantasy Football is serious business. Serious to the tune of a billion dollars, serious.

Behind the NFL Lockout, and the millionaire players bickering with the billionaire owners, were the thousands of fantasy football players absolutely freaking out at the thought of no National Football League games in 2011. They were freaking out not because they’d miss out on their favorite teams playing every Sunday, but because they’d miss out on the countless hours they love to spend pouring over stats, the 6-8 hour fantasy draft party, the bragging rights and the chance at winning a cash reward or trophy.

Fantasy football is the reason that the NFL is now America’s Game. The Hollywood Reporter has a cover story about this phenomenon and it hits newsstands today.

They interviewed Hollywood heavy hitters like Paul Rudd, Ashton Kutcher, and Demi Moore, about their fantasy addiction. Magazine cover boy Rudd, calls fantasy football “a sickness.” Entourage‘s Jerry Ferrara, who plays Turtle on the show calls himself a fantasy football “junkie.” Musician Meat Loaf says he would rather win a fantasy football championship than another Grammy.

Starting tight end of the San Diego Chargers, Antonio Gates, the perennial top TE pick in fantasy drafts, is “flattered” from having his name recognized due to his fantasy connection.

The Hollywood Reporter tracks the game back to 1962 all the way through to the obsession (19% of all American men have played) it has become today. Check out their article as it’s a fascinating look at the topic.