Fantasy Football America: An Analysis of America's [New] Favorite Game

Fantasy sports – in which fans ‘draft’ players and follow their progress through compiled statistical measures – is a major new development in American fan culture over the last generation. While fantasy sports are garnering success across many different sports, this thesis focuses on football since it has become the most lucrative and visible form of fantasy sports in both the sport and popular culture. The popularity of the game continues to rise exponentially, which, ironically, is borne out by recent decisions from state governments to regulate the fantasy sports industry (that is, to gain a piece of the financial pie for the state). This thesis will explore the way American’s consume and critique the fantasy game. To achieve this goal, this paper first explores the transferable skills gained from playing fantasy football as they are compared to the New York Stock Exchange; looking at auction and snake drafts, the fantasy team is equated to building a stock portfolio. Following the individual skills linked to playing fantasy, this thesis then examines the ways fantasy football has infiltrated popular culture. This section looks in particular at Matthew Berry’s New York Times best-selling novel Fantasy Life, FX Network’s television series The League, and various fantasy-related news articles surrounding issues in popular culture. Last, my research turns toward a specific case by taking an ethnographical approach to fantasy football by interviewing people in my own fantasy football leagues. Interviews are used to evaluate how fantasy football impacts and shapes the basis and context for which Americans view the NFL.



Work Title Fantasy Football America: An Analysis of America's [New] Favorite Game
Open Access
  1. Makowski, Jonathan Paul
  1. NFL
  2. Football
  3. Sports
  4. Matthew Berry
  5. The League
  6. Fantasy Sports
  7. America
  8. Gambling
  9. Stock Market
  10. Ethnography
  11. Fantasy Football
  12. ESPN
License Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
Work Type Thesis
  1. Kupfer, Charles (advisor)
  2. Haddad, John (advisor)
  1. The Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg
Publication Date June 5, 2015
  1. English
Geographic Area
  1. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Deposited May 06, 2016




This resource is currently not in any collection.

Work History

Version 1

  • Created
  • Added t76537332r_version1_Fantasy_Football.pdf
  • Added Creator Makowski, Jonathan Paul
  • Published
  • Updated
  • Updated