FantasyFootballFest, held at the Atlantic City Convention Center on August 18-19, brought fantasy football fans from all over the country to the gambling mecca of the East.
Attendees to the event looked like fantasy football geeks as most wore their jerseys of their favorite players. Many appeared to be members of particular leagues and were there for some shady guys weekend in Atlantic City that would surely involve gambling, drinking, and visits to gentleman’s clubs.
Guests had a distinct Philadelphia flair to them with Brian Dawkins, Michael Vick, Keith Byars, and LeSean McCoy all attending. Past greats included Joe Montana, Joe Theismann, Tony Dorsett, Jim Kelly, Lawrence Taylor, Phil Simms, Chris Doleman, Ottis Anderson, Bruce Smith, Howard Cross, Bruce Harper, Byron Hunt, and Tony Siragusa.
Players were available to sign autographs on any item. You could get an Ottis Anderson or Keith Byars autograph for as little as $25. Michael Vick’s penmanship went for $100 and Joe Montana hit you up for $225 for a signed football. Jim Kelly was signing on Saturday morning and his signatures strictly prohibited using “Machine Gun” on them.
There were lots of celebrity fantasy football analysts there with RotoExperts being the most prevalent with 6 guests.
An interactive area was there and guests were able to try their skills at field goal kicking, passing accuracy, and pass receiving. These booths were manned by stars from the Lingerie Football League.
Numerous opportunities existed for Fantasy Football Fest mock drafts. Several were going on simultaneously and if visitors wanted to play for the National Fantasy Football Championship (NFFC), they could do so with a $150 entry fee and a have a chance to win the $10,000 grand prize.
There were over 50 vendors present. Many were selling merchandise such as beer pong tables, fantasy football trophies, and Fatheads, but what struck me most was the largest category for such products were websites where you could play fantasy football for cash money. It struck me as odd that you could essentially bet on fantasy football statistics, but our country largely prohibits betting online for the outcome of a particular football game or playing online with a poker app or with ipad poker apps.
As for the event itself, I suspect the organizers had hoped for a larger turnout, but for the first year, I would have to say that the event was a success. Let’s hope they continue offering this type of event for fantasy football fans.