Before the Internet became a widespread tool for sports fans and research junkies alike, there were decades of proto-fantasy and fantasy sports with no help save the daily broadsheets.
Fantasy sports began with Oakland Raiders limited partner Wilfred "Wink" Winkenbach, who devised a way of creating fantasy golf leagues in the 1950s. By simply picking a team of PGA golfers and compiling the scores, players could “manage” their teams. He soon brought his team-tinkering skills to the NFL, devising the first ever proto-fantasy football league with two Oakland Tribune writers in the 1960s. By 1980, the world was primed for modern fantasy to make its debut.
“I feel the way J. Robert Oppenheimer felt after having invented the atomic bomb: If I'd only known this plague that I've visited upon the world," Dan Okrent, the godfather of modern fantasy sports, once said. He claims to have created “rotisserie” baseball “for peaceful purposes,” but for millions of players around the world, fantasy sports are a daily war. The internet allows everyone to play all the time, but before its advent, fantasy sports were something completely different. Here’s how: