Former Bronco Nate Jackson: Fantasy football dehumanizes players

Former Denver Broncos tight end Nate Jackson went on with Colorado Public Radio on Friday to discuss his new book “Fantasy Man.”

The UCHealth Training Center during Denver Broncos Training Camp. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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Former Denver Broncos tight end Nate Jackson went on with Colorado Public Radio on Friday to discuss his new book “Fantasy Man: A Former NFL Players’s Descent into the Brutality of Fantasy Football.”

Jackson, who’s spoken out on the health benefits of medical marijuana and the general brutality of football, provided insight as to why he thinks American men are so football-obsessed.

Here’s what he told CPR:

“I think we’re drawn as a society to violence, for whatever reason. To blood, to collisions, to aggression. We watch violent television programs and fights. If there’s a fight out in the street, people run to it. … In some men, not all, there exists a need to push that out and be aggressive. And there is nowhere to be aggressive. I think men find that in football sometimes.”

CPR then asked Jackson about fantasy football. Jackson’s new book is some fact, some fiction weaved together about one season playing fantasy football with his buddies.

What Jackson discovers, he says, is how it dehumanizes the men who play the game.

“For so long football was about the team. The individual was not celebrated or not supposed to be. … And then fantasy football comes along, and it’s no longer about the team. It’s about the individual. His face, his likeness, his actual name. And most disturbingly, his actual medical records. His health care is public fodder. People are speculating about his injuries, when he’ll be ready. They’re trading him as if he were a piece of meat.”

Christian Clark

Author: Christian Clark

Christian Clark covers sports. He's worked for outlets that include the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Oklahoman, Columbia Missourian and Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine. He likes music and Mexican food. Lots and lots of Mexican food. Got questions? Tips? You can reach him at