Fantasy Football Has Gotten So Big That There is Now a TV Show Based Around It

October 30, 2009 – 9:30 am by Chris Fedor

I remember about ten years ago or so when I first got into fantasy football.  I was in High School and it was big deal back then, but now it’s huge.  There are so many people out there that play it nowadays.  Aside from just your average Joe, celebrities play fantasy football, athletes from other sports play fantasy football, and even NFL players themselves play fantasy football. 

Every year, I have about three or four different teams that I run and every year I look forward to the live draft when it rolls around.  It has turned into one of those days on my calendar that is a constant every year.  Of course there’s my birthday, there’s Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween and you can go on and on with holidays.  Then there’s the day of the fantasy football draft.  After starting to play fantasy football a decade ago, here I am 10 years later still playing it, loving it more than ever and seeing how much it has grown over the last ten years.  There are tons of websites dedicated to helping fantasy football players manage their rosters, there are a number of networks like ESPN, FOX, and the NFL Network that have their fantasy experts on to help make things easier for you, and now, to show just how big it has become, there is a new TV show on FX that is set against the backdrop of a fantasy football league.  “The League” premiered last night and it’s about a number of things.  It’s about male friendship, marriage, parenting, and growing up through a circle of friends that are involved in fantasy football.

One of the stars of the new TV show, Nick Kroll joined KGOW in Houston with John and Lance to talk about what “The League” is about, how the idea came to fruition and the realness of the show with some of the things that are going on around the NFL this season.

On the premise of the show:

“I’m glad you guys like it.  Especially as sports guys and guys that like comedy I think our effort was to please both those guys and often those are the same guys.  I had never done fantasy football until this season.  We all created a league within the cast and creators of the show.  All my buddies growing up do fantasy football now and they were like you guys have gotta have this happen, you’ve gotta have that happen.  We’re like got it, nailed it, doing it.  I think and hope we’ve captured what its actually like. 

How real the show is: 

“Yeah, you know the couple that created it, Jeff and Jackie Shaffer, Jeff has been doing fantasy football for at least ten or fifteen years.  The story he told me was that they were on their honeymoon in Switzerland and he kept running off to the bathroom.   His wife was like what are you doing?  And he was like doing his draft from Switzerland on his honeymoon.  And she was basically like sweetheart if you’re going to be in three leagues and waste all your time on this, we better learn how to make some money on this.  So he went off and created the show.  He’s one of the guys that’s been running Curb Your Enthusiasm for the last couple of years.  He’s one of the guys that was running Seinfeld.  He’s a really funny guy that happens to be obsessed with fantasy football.  Also now that were all in a league together, there’s definitely storylines and things that we picked up from our own league that have gone into the show.  Like the scramble to get Glen Coffee when Frank Gore went down.”   

On whether they did some re-shoots to make some of the stats accurate on the show:

“We had to go back and do some re-shoots for any number of reasons on the pilot.  Throughout the show, we just finished production yesterday, so there’s going to be a lot of stuff that we can’t cover in the show.  The amazing thing is you have all these examples that come up every year of fantasy football and we have the incredible opportunity of taking real events and real occurrences and throwing it into the show.  Not every single thing you see is going be what happens for real in the NFL this year, but we were able to throw in a bunch of details that our real events.”

Listen to Nick Kroll on KGOW in Houston with John and Lance

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