BY JOHN McALEAVEY | I remember it fondly, August of 1999. The world was fretting over Y2K and just what might happen when it arrived. I was in Rochester, Michigan with my family visiting my sister Susan who had just married her husband, Chas. We had been out doing some sightseeing during the day of August 16, but were making sure to be back at the house by 8 pm to see the first episode of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire hosted by Regis Philbin. Why am I sharing this little trip down memory lane you ask? Well, because since the start of football season this year there has been an incessant, unrelenting, and merciless advertising campaign from the online fantasy sports websites FanDuel and DraftKings. The two have so saturated the airwaves, with talk of how much money they can/will pay you if you’ll only signup and win, that It reminds me of the famous game show. In fact the only thing missing here is Reege himself asking: “is that your final answer?”
I swear, unless you have been living under a rock since probably the middle of August (when NFL preseason games were in full swing), it is virtually impossible for you not to have either seen a television commercial or heard a radio advertisement from these two companies. Their logos are great and really, who doesn’t want to win a million dollars just by sitting in your pajamas and picking football players on your computer? This guy does! The lure of the service they provide is that they take the everyday mundane aspects of managing a fantasy football team, like monitoring the waiver wire daily, keeping track of injury reports, memorizing each player’s bye week, etc., and shrinks it into a one day or one week contest. Wow, what once seemed a like fantasy has revolutionized fantasy sports.
Now, instead of handling all of the chores listed above, plus fretting over losing your first round draft choice to a season ending ACL injury (which wrecks your season), you simply pick all new players from one week to the next! The commercials all have quick on-screen testimonials by participants about how great it all is, and while they are talking, the amount of cash they’ve earned “playing the game” (one said $48,000, another $62,500, and so one), is highlighted right next to their head. FanDuel, according to one of its myriad of spots, says its one-week fantasy leagues will pay out over $2 BILLION dollars this year! Not be outdone, Draft Kings will dole out more than $1 BILLION in 2015!
There is however, one tremendous benefit to the inexorable pounding of these online fantasy football commercials, and that is it has shrunken the amount of Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra ads we have to endure. For that fact alone, I may just sign up. Sure the million dollar thing sounds pretty cool too.
And that is My 2 Sense for this week.
Photo credit: (1) Virginia Sherwood / ABC via Getty Images; (2) OREGONLIVE | The Oregonian