The History Of NFL Fantasy Football Can Be Attributed To… Golf???
On October 20, 2018 it was reported by FOX that the NFL Fantasy Football market was generating $7 Billion. The average player was spending $556 in league related costs.
Looking back at the origins of the industry one might guess that some hot shot sports nut crafted the concept. Perhaps guys like John Madden played a role? After all it was his name that propelled the popularity of “Madden Football“. Or… just like in the movie & book “Money Ball” – Michael Lewis – perhaps some nerds from Yale started stringing together statistical algorithms. As a result, POOF – Fantasy Football was created!
Nope… the history of Fantasy football can be attributed to golf??? And a guy named Wilfred??? How the heck is George Lucas going to be directing that script with those two variables? That might be a different topic for a different day but if we are simple looking at the facts – lets start with Golf.
Historical Spin According To StatementGames CEO – Marc Saulino
Once upon a time in the 1950’s in a galaxy far… far… away – there was a gentleman who was an obvious degenerate. He was such a degenerate with no real ambition, that he rounded up a handful of friends. These so called friends were not exactly reaching for the top shelf. Instead of solving for racial inequality or a cure for cancer – they decided to get more involved with professional golf. According to the Fantasy Footballers the group decided that they were going to select a group of golfers. At the completion of the tournament each groups scores would be calculated. The individual responsible for selecting the group with the lowest combined score won.
What did the this individual WIN??? I have no idea but as a kid I had a lot of fun playing a game called “Asses Up”. In my day asses up was a game played in schoolyards or office parks. All you needed was a large flat wall to throw a ball against. Basically, you have 2 or more people throwing the ball against the wall and each person had to catch the ball. Should you drop the ball you need to pay the piper. Payment in the form of putting your ass up against the wall, to be beaned by each other person playing the game. This paragraph is a little off topic but trust you get my point.
Wilfred Created It
Anyway – who knows what the winner won but the brain surgeon who came up with this concept was a guy named Wilfred. Wilfred “Bill The Grill” Winkenbach was a California Businessman. Considering he owned a limited stake in the Oakland Raiders, perhaps he was not such a moron after all. What we do know is that from 1961-62 the Raiders flat out sucked. They had only won 3 games in that time frame. In an effort to make Football more watchable, Wilfred took the core concepts from the golf game he created and transitioned into a game centered around Football.
The inaugural league was called the GOPPPL (Greater Oakland Professional Pigskin Prognosticators League), and the first draft took place in Winkenbach’s home in Oakland – August 1963. The league consisted of eight members, made up of administrative affiliates of the AFL, pro football journalists, or someone who had purchased or sold 10 season tickets for the Raiders’ 1963 season. Each roster consisted of the following: two quarterbacks, four halfbacks, two fullbacks, four offensive ends, two kick/punt returners, two field goal kickers, two defensive backs/linebackers and two defensive linemen.
King’s X Sports Bar
In 1969, Andy Mousalimas, an original creator of GOPPPL and participant in the inaugural draft, brought the game to his sports bar, the King’s X in Oakland where he added another couple of leagues. When the patrons of other bars visited for trivia contests, they soon learned of fantasy football and passed the word about it. Due to the time-consuming nature of the game’s scoring, it was difficult to pick up and spread slowly across the country.
Today there are an abundance of Season Long & Daily Fantasy Football leagues but as of 2012, the GOPPPL celebrated its 50th season…. Great job guys!
The History Of StatmentGames & A Different Form Of NFL Fantasy Football
StatementGames has created a different form of Fantasy Football. The 1-minute overview video can be found directly on our platforms Home Page.
The origins of this of this game was created by Louis “Big Lou” Saulino on Thanksgiving Day. Lou wanted nothing more than to be able to sit down and watch FOOTBALL on this national Holiday. Considering he raised his two sons to be New York Giants and ONLY the New York Giants fans… his boys wanted nothing to do with games other than the New York Giants. They were more interested in playing football outside and driving family members crazy than watching a Detroit Lions or Dallas Cowboys match. Lou needed to come up with a way to engage his sons and family so that he could achieve his ultimate goal. A goal of doing nothing but watching Thanksgiving Day Football. A full story of StatementGames can be found HERE.