The 14th season of The Bachelorette, starring Becca "Let's Do the Damn Thing" Kufrin, kicks off on Memorial Day, and also means the return of our real national pastime: Bachelor Fantasy League. Yes, for each new cycle of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, 10 of my closest friends and I spend an admittedly excessive number of hours agonizing over and betting on which realtor, dental hygienist, or personal trainer will find love on the long-running ABC reality shows.
We're not alone. Groups of friends have been informally betting on winners since The Bachelor's inception back in 2002, but it's jumped to a new level in the past few years. The first online game and one of the most well known, The Bachelor Bracket, started in 2013 and now has more than 70 million accounts created. Many news sites now create custom printable brackets each season for groups to use. And even ABC cashed in, when it created its Bachelor Fantasy League ahead of Nick Viall's season in 2017.