Every September, approximately 40 million Americans come together to play fantasy football. Some join a league with friends, some play with family, and others play with colleagues. Here at Cannatron, we embark on a company-wide battle featuring weekly prizes, bragging rights, and a hefty first-place payout. At the end of the season, each winning team gets their name added to our official office fantasy football trophy.
This tradition started in 2018 and a lot has changed since then. As the company grows in size, so does the size of our fantasy league. Let's dive into the history of this iconic American tradition and some of our favorite fantasy football memories in the office.
History of Fantasy Football
In October of 1962, three friends Bill Winkenbach, Scotty Stirling, and Bill Tunnel were hanging out in a Manhattan hotel room looking for something to do to pass the time. As friends with a close connection to the Oakland Raiders (today's Las Vegas Raiders), they wanted to find some amusement in their team’s season even though they were on a disappointing 1-13 losing streak. That autumn night in New York City, they outlined the rules for a game we now call fantasy football.
The idea was simple; each player drafted a team of football players they believed would perform well. Then, they would watch each game, and the team with the best performing players would win. At the time, they had no idea this game made from pure boredom would become an international sensation that grows in popularity with every football season.
Fantasy Football at Cannatron
By 1989, over a million Americans were participating in a fantasy football league. Now, that number has grown exponentially with approximately 57.4 million people (about twice the population of Texas) playing in North America. According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a person participating in fantasy football spends an average of $556 per year on league dues.
Luckily, for Cannatron employees that number is $0. We want everyone to have a chance to participate in our league by breaking down any entry barriers, so leadership pays out all employee winnings. By making it free to play, employees don't have to worry about losing money and leadership has an incentive to win. Plus, each week players can win extra money by having the best week in the league. This tradition has been going on since 2018 so, let us take a stroll down memory lane and look back at fantasy football at Cannatron throughout the years!
2018 Fantasy Football League
Back in 2018, the Cannatron team was looking for a way to blow off some steam, build company morale, and get coworkers connected. With this goal in mind, leadership got together and proposed a company-wide fantasy football league. Although the team was much smaller back then, we still had 8 teams of 2 competing for the win. The 2018 fantasy football league champions were Harrison Williams and Donovan Hertz with their team Post Mahones!
2019 Fantasy Football League
In 2019, the team had grown enough for a full 12 team league! We also started doing weekly winner payouts, so every week someone had a chance to win. This addition definitely made everyone more invested in each week's outcome! The 2019 fantasy football league champions were Anton Harris and Robert Salhaney with their team Phuck Y’all.
2020 Fantasy Football League
The 2020 fantasy Football season was a bit different than years before. We decided that continuing the tradition of fantasy football was a fantastic way to get everyone feeling connected to one another even though we were going through such unprecedented times. Although the team wasn't fully in the office, we had more employees than ever before and enough participants for two 8 team leagues! The 2020 fantasy Football League champions were Nikki Martus & Matt Wilson with their team Nobody Eats and Joe Pace & Kyle Montgomery with their team Bobby Bectar.
2021 Fantasy Football League
The 2021 Fantasy season upped the ante with two 10 team leagues! We pulled out all the stops with a company-wide draft in our state-of-the-art game room. With tons of Detroit-style pizza consumed, auto-drafting kept to a minimum, and team names carefully thought out, the event was a total success. It allowed every Cannatron department to intermingle and get to know each other.
With two leages comes two winners! Kyle Montgomery is a back-to-back champion along with Miranda Jones on Kyle's Nice Team. Marie Mushro of Big Money Grip came in clutch for leage #2. Both teams won $500 payouts, their own trophy, plus their names added to the big Cannatron Fantasy trophy.
2022 Fantasy Season
We were back in full action for the 2022 season, again with two 10-team leagues! The competition was neck-and-neck throughout the entire regular NFL season, and it looked like we had clear winners going into the last game of the year. Then, Damar Hamlin was injured during the Cincinnati Bengals-Buffalo Bills game, and it threw a wrench into everything.
After all the chaos settled, we ended up with a winner of one leage and a two-way tie in the other. Victoria Borngesser and Hathem (Joey) Hannawa of Bezos's Bitches snuck their way into the top spot.
Two teams from the warehouse ended up on top. Shannon Malone and Charlie Harrison of the Dead Rabbits squad and Kyle Montgomery and Miranda Jones came through for the 3-peat! They gave their team a new name, 4th and Bong, and it ended up going the distance.
Fantasy Football is one of our favorite seasons of the year here at Cannatron! We love the friendly banter and it's always nice to score one of the weekly cash payouts. We can't wait for football season to start up again!