Short account of a 8 year old’s first hand experience in Fantasy Premier League.
Let’s first define this term “Fantasy Premier League”, shall we?
It is a game that casts you in the role of a Fantasy manager. You are given the task to pick a squad of 15 real-life players who score points for your team based on their performances in their own matches. Fantasy Premier League (FPL) is specifically known for players and matches attributed to the Premier League – Tier I domestic league in England. It is the wealthiest professional sport league after the NFL, MLB and NBA (domestic American sports now slowly and steadily vying to expand globally). Incepted in the 2002-03 season, it grabbed the attention of 76,000 Fantasy managers – number which now has skyrocketed to 7.8 million (as shown below).
Got it. Now, what’s this “Snowflakers”?
**Writing with a sense of pride**
Snowflakers is the name of one of the 7.884 million FPL teams this season which is managed by my daughter. Happy to announce that the experience (for both of us i.e.) has been absolutely first-rate. She is currently basking in glory as she is a few points ahead of me!
Although she did follow Premier League (specifically Liverpool’s games) in the previous season, it was a pristine moment when one September evening over dinner she implored “Can kids also have their own FPL teams?”
ME : HELL YEAH!!
After that very day, Maths as a subject (one of my central tasks as a father) was respectfully put on the back burners. Managing a Fantasy Premier League team (a season which normally goes on for 10 looooong months) has made her take up (still early days mind you) the following habits/etiquettes:
- Time Management Skills: timely i-Pad reminders for her team changes/captain changes to abide by the weekly cut-off.
- Research Skills: home work on the upcoming games (for her players) which essentially benefits in planning the player transfer ins/outs(format allows one a Fantasy Manager to take out and get in players).
- Maths Skills: Point calculation every week has enhanced her maths skills to a noticeable extent.
- Building up Emotional Quotient: I have seen her go through multitude of emotions depending how good/bad the weekly score has been.
- Sports Interest : Heartening to see her interest levels in other sports rising as well, as a neutral fan.
- Personal Equation : It’s fun watching a live game with her on TV. She tends to come up with these peculiar but thought provoking queries to which sometimes the standard answer is “Aren’t you late for bed?”
Bud, is there any moral to this story?
This being my 11th season in FPL which is now undoubtedly an integral part of my life, my 8 year old’s aptitude towards the Fantasy Sports realm in the 1st year is nothing but a dream come true! This adventure with her has been silly but mature, cranky but pleasant, painful but joyful at the same time.
So, all the fathers (or would be fathers or whatever form of father you will be) out there – introduce this mind numbing, demanding but most importantly a delightful experience to your child and you never know. (There is fantasy version of literally each sport on this planet!)
Next Target (nervousness setting in) : This 8 year old’s mother??