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Kyle Rudolph is now in his ninth season with the Minnesota Vikings, the team that drafted him in 2011. He’s had a stable career with just that franchise, but he was involved in at least one significant trade.
In his father’s fantasy football keeper league.
“My dad actually did not draft me when I came out,” Rudolph said. “One of his buddies did, and my dad traded for me, so I’m on his team to this day.”
The image of a father rooting on his son because of the fantasy implications is amusing to think about, but Rudolph’s endearing anecdote may be reasonably common nowadays. The 29-year-old tight end is part of a generation of players who grew up as fantasy leagues were becoming part of the mainstream sports culture in America.
No discussion of the modern NFL and its popularity is complete without acknowledging this phenomenon — in which fans all over the country compete for championships of their own as owners of virtual franchises.
“I think it’s probably, as an offensive skill player, the most common thing that you hear out in public: ‘Hey, I had you on my fantasy team last year,’ or, ‘Hey, I have you on my fantasy team this year,’” Rudolph
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