Why play dynasty? It’s a question that has a different answer for everyone. But for me, it started when I was a kid. Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls, and family shows like Gilmore Girls were what we watched on television. Sunday’s were for the occasional church visit or family party but otherwise stood simply as the last day of the weekend. The absolute importance of Sunday was hidden from me for more than a decade of my life. Unforgivable? No, I actually really liked Power Rangers. Grateful for the timing? Definitely, Power Rangers were NOT cool in high school. It was not until a night in 2008 that – as a backup plan – I became the de facto manager of a high stakes fantasy football team.
First Experience in a league
I was called there by a local friend of my father’s. On account of the fact that the year before I had dabbled in managing a team. Apparently, that made me perfectly qualified as a teenager to draft a grown man’s team. A league with over $100 buy-in, but hey, take the talent where you can get it right? Eventually, I became the manager of said team. That meant the result of the whole experiment was a newly indoctrinated junky to the game of fantasy football.
What happened next can only be described as a fantasy football highlight reel moment. I was young but wise in my ways, because I had already seen Tom Brady win a super bowl or two. So, when the choice came to me early on, I drafted Tom and his hall of fame wide receiver Randy Moss. That team ended up winning us a championship. This gave me, the teenager, way too much money and the confidence to keep playing the game.
Appeal of Dynasty League
That was one of the more exciting gaming experiences I had growing up. Especially because it opened the door to what is clearly now one of my favorite pastimes, fantasy football. Now imagine something with me for a second here. Imagine that team is a dynasty league where I still roster Tom Brady. At every draft for the past decade and change could have been filled with conversations about the kid sensation who entered the league, won it, and kept his quarterback this whole time. Imagine all of the party platters and spirited conversations exchanged over who won a trade with Tom in it. Maybe a rookie pick ended up Alvin Kamara when it was just thrown into the deal as an afterthought. Maybe you and your league mates have a punishment system that simply needs to be put on social media.
Whatever it is, fantasy football managers are gluttons for these types of interactions, and nothing makes them more engaging than a dynasty league. You want to find someone with a memory like an elephant? Talk to a dynasty manager who used Alvin Kamara as a throw-in in that deal. They will talk your ear off about how rookie picks are absolutely NOT throw-ins, and you know what? They probably stepped up their game big time by learning a lesson there. That to me is what dynasty is all about. Sure, we take a lot of punches in regular seasonal fantasy. But nothing in this game is more fiercely fought for then a championship run that you put your team’s future on the line for. To be a gamer in this group you have to care about these things, and that is what makes it so special.
Connections throughout the year
You also have the unique opportunity to talk trades and general football with league mates every night of the week. In a time when going out is really hard to do, and traveling is out of the question for most of us, I have still managed to meet and connect with loads of new people. Including many folks in other countries who I almost certainly would have not met otherwise. These people will be my internet friends for years as we battle for championships. Some of them I will even meet in person as we continue to connect and grow friendships. And the point is they are just a chat away.
See? How many people do you know that will pick up the phone and respond right away to a message you sent? Send one of your league members an inquiry on how to get one of their coveted RB’s though and you will get a response within the hour. It is not just about the negotiation either. It is about having that connection to rely on. Whenever you are ready to let your brain move from whatever your day job is and right into football mode. It’s about always having a friend to say “Hey does this deal look fair to you?” or “Did you SEE so-and-so’s 40 time today?” or “Who is going to be my team’s new quarterback this season?”
In the long run you get grit, some nifty negotiating skills, and a strong desire to beat everyone at fantasy football. But you also get tradition, loaded conversations, and a great group of friends that are always a chat away. To me that is what dynasty is all about: growing together as a group and creating stories that we can tell when we go to our league’s ten-year anniversary party, or at each other’s weddings, or the massive dynasty convention that we all hope is coming soon. It is also about winning too, and nothing gives a true gamer an edge more than tracking their past mistakes and learning from them.
So, this is your PSA to go join a dynasty league. Whatever requirements or barriers you think are in the way, look past them and try one out for a year to see if you find what I am telling you is there. If you are already into fantasy football and have yet to take the leap, find a good group and start a league together. The engagement in these leagues is totally up to you and your fellow league mates, so it does not mean you have to talk trades every night in the off-season like some of us. What it does mean is that you are connected year-round to a new group of friends who want to talk about football, and especially in today’s world that is priceless.
If you have any questions about taking the leap, I am – as always – a DM away. Thank you for reading.
That rounds out our Rookie Mock Draft 1.0 (this was Superflex & TE Premium, just to remind you). Remember, you can check out our other dynasty content here. You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. And, as always, if you want something more specific to your league- reach out!
Image Credit: Mike Dinovo – USA TODAY Sports