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While trolling through the internets this afternoon, the headline of an article on Darren Rovell's sports business site for CNBC demanded some attention. "Fantasy Football Insurance: Good or Bad" earned a click mostly because it seems unlikely that you'd suffer an injury while participating in a fantasy football league.
Ryan Froh of Texas would beg to differ. He got shot by a neighbor during his fantasy draft because he had the temerity to complain about noise coming from the neighbor's yard while the selection process. If you're going to do something bold like draft Brett Favre in the second round, then, dadgummit, you want people to know about it.
Turns out, though, that the insurance isn't for you but for the players you draft onto your team. For roughly 10 percent of your league's entry fee, Fantasy Sports Insurance will cover up to three of your players and pay you back should those players miss two-thirds of your team's games. The insurance is limited to their choice of the Top 50 players in the game, which includes such injury prone players as Larry Johnson and Chad Ochocinco.
Makes sense, especially if you're in a league with a high entry fee and because fantasy sports has become such big business over the last few years. That said, there's something that just doesn't jive about the words fantasy and insurance going together. Fantasy implies fun and enjoyment, while insurance is the real world's reminder that things don't always work out as expected. Putting them together certainly makes the fantasy part of the name a misnomer.
On top of that, it's hard to feel too much sympathy for a guy who lost $200 he couldn't afford to lose for the chance to be a virtual owner of Tom Brady. It's a tough break, and makes the season less fun but that's kinda the point of the game. According to the company, some leagues are requiring owners buy insurance because they'll be more likely to remain involved if the season goes in the tank, but the opposite seems a lot more true since anyone who lost Brady last season could have signed Matt Cassel, made a trade or otherwise found a way to remain competitive.
The nice thing about this new venture is that there's a way to make it fun. There's no verification process in place for how much you're actually paying in league fees and you can purchase insurance up to $1000 on any of the eligible players. A gambling man might take the 10-to-1 odds on $100 and bet that a certain player, preferably from a team they like to root against, will get hurt for the year. It would make for an intriguing bit of side action, and it's a lot more in the actual spirit of fantasy football.