Travel + Leisure

Fantasy football as a dental-school outlet


The life of a dental student is definitely a challenging one to say the least. It is a juggling act that you perfect year-to-year as you encounter new challenges along the way. As a first year dental student, you are in a state of shock as you try to keep up with a new and demanding routine. As a second year dental student, you have new challenges as preclinical work gets heavier, you begin treating patients, and you prepare for part I of the National Board Exam. As a third year dental student, you still have difficulty but a completely new set of challenges as patient care becomes your primary focus. Then finally, as a fourth year dental student, it all comes to a close. You hope you have enough requirements to graduate on time and prepare to complete your final Board and licensing exams. Interestingly enough, I have learned that there is one thing that brings many dental students together regardless of year classification and that, of all things, is fantasy football.

The New York Post reported “nearly 75 million people will play fantasy football this year” citing that all ages play the game and it brings people together. If you’ve always wanted to give this game a go, maybe choosing the option of fantasy football sign in on sites like draftking could help you understand why so many people love this. You might find yourself being one of them sooner than you think!

At the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry, a survey was issued to all of the dental students to gauge their interest and involvement in fantasy football. Of those surveyed, more than 75% of students reported they played on a fantasy football league. Most of them hold draft nights where they gather together to pick their players that will help them win week-in and week-out. We may be stressing about that physiology exam, a difficult denture patient, but on any given Thursday chances are we might be mulling over a last-minute change in our roster to give us that extra edge in our fantasy leagues.

Fantasy football has become so big that an organization was created to govern many of the rules surrounding the exciting sport of fantasy team ownership. The Fantasy Sports Trade Association was created in 1999 and has become a worldwide community of fantasy owners and enthusiasts to come together in their sports of interest. Each summer fantasy owners await the projected draft list of NFL players released by ESPN, Yahoo and other sports networks to see who they should draft for their team. Of those surveyed at Oklahoma, the number one draft pick was a close tie between Adrian Peterson and Aaron Rodgers. Being that Adrian Peterson was a past player for Oklahoma, he was no doubt my number one choice in my draft selection. Also make sure you take a good look at your weekly match up. You might be in trouble if you are head to head with Armed Rodgery, Maxilla Killa, Team Toothaker or RoMoWitteHisPaNtz. My Oklahoma Colleagues are in no way lacking in creativity or innovation when selecting a team name this season.

As you can see, the life of a dental student is not all crown preps, molar wax-ups and biochemistry exams. Whether it is rationing out our student loans to ensure that we can afford that Sunday Ticket each NFL season, or doing the research to ensure the best weekly roster, we are in it to win it. There is definitely a competitive drive that keeps us focused on that ultimate prize: making the cut into the playoffs and winning it all. Who is your money on? My money was on Andrew Luck, and so far this season it looks like my luck may have run out.

~Tabitha Dunham, Oklahoma ’17, associate, Council on Communications

Tabitha Dunham

Tabitha Dunham is a fourth-year dental student at the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry. She is the immediate past president of her local ASDA Chapter and enjoy staying involved in many other organizations on their campus. She serves as the chair of ASDA's Council on Communications. In her free time, Tabitha loves to travel and spend as much time with family as possible. Some of her hobbies include skiing, singing, listening to live music and doing pretty much any activity outdoors. Tabitha has two mottos by which she lives her life: "work hard so you can play hard,” and "fake it 'til you make it" (which came about during her first year of dental school!).

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