Best Homegrown Hobby

Fantasy Football

If you've ever experienced the rush of victory or sacrificed large chunks of your fall and winter to fantasy football, you have Oakland to thank. As the story goes, the game was invented by Raiders limited partner Bill Winkenbach, Oakland Tribune beat writer Scotty Stirling, and Raiders PR flack Bill Tunnell in a New York hotel room during a team trip to the East Coast in 1962. The three soon founded the Greater Oakland Pigskin Prognosticators League, originally open only to a small group of people associated with the Raiders and the Trib. But the idea quickly spread, and since then, fantasy football has become a national obsession: A recent ESPN study showed that some 27 million people play it, each averaging about nine hours a week during the season. If only the team that spawned it could be as successful.

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