NFL Wants Schools to Teach Kids Fantasy Football

| by Michael Allen

For the uninitiated, fantasy football is when football fans draft their own players, create their own teams, join online leagues and accumulate points based on real performances by NFL players. Often times, gambling is a part of fantasy football.

NFL chief marketing officer Mark Waller recently expressed how the multibillion-dollar sports corporation wants to incorporate fantasy football into school curriculums.

"We want to make sure that at the younger age, there’s a format for fantasy and a way to play that will allow you to engage," Waller told the Wall Street Journal.

"But also use it educationally. It’s a complex game, fantasy. You should be able to learn a lot, particularly around math," added Waller. "How many points do I need? How many points does this player get? We’re also trying to work with groups to get the concept of fantasy based into the curriculum of elementary schools. If you love football and you teach them math through football, the chances are you may teach them better math and more quickly."

However, it's not clear how advanced math concepts could be taught via fantasy football, or why math could not be taught via a different sport.

According to US News, American students have fallen in international academic tests. The Washington Post reported in 2013 that U.S. students are behind the rest of the world in math, science and reading.

The Atlantic noted, "The U.S. ranks fifth in spending per student. Only Austria, Luxembourg, Norway, and Switzerland spend more per student. To put this in context: the Slovak Republic, which scores similarly to the U.S., spends $53,000 per student. The U.S. spends $115,000."

Sources: Wall Street Journal, US News, The Washington Post, The Atlantic (Image Credit: Flickr user hyku)