Here's All That America Could Accomplish With the Money We Waste on Fantasy Football

ByJames Chairman

Last year, Forbes estimated the economy created by Americans' expenditures on fantasy football, everything from direct revenues to time value, amounts to as much as $70 billion annually. That's a lot of cheddar. Here are six things that could be accomplished if that money was appropriated elsewhere.

Triple federal funding for medical research.

The National Institutes of Health has an annual budget of $30.15 billion for fiscal year 2014, down from $31.2 billion in 2010. Another $70 billion would more than triple federal funding for all areas of medical research. That's no small matter: Budget cuts have lowered the approval rate of research proposals, once at 1 in 3, to 1 in 6.

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Send the Mangalyaan to Mars... once a day for two and a half years.

India's Mars Orbiter Mission cost $74 million, less than the production budget of the Hollywood blockbuster Gravity, as it joined the U.S., Russia and the European Union as the only programs to complete successful Mars missions. At that rate, America's fantasy-football fandom could send a spacecraft daily for 946 days.

End world hunger for two years.

In 2008, the United Nations estimated the cost of solving the world hunger crisis at $30 billion a year. The fantasy football windfall could stave off this global crisis for at least two years.

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Bring every classic TV show back as a feature film.

Kickstarter this. If Veronica Mars at $5 million is the baseline, what project couldn't be made for the right price? Want to see the Cheers gang back? With bottomless capital, you could even get Shelley Long and Kirstie Alley back at the same time. 

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You could get Angelina Jolie to play Vera. You think $15 million per actor wouldn't get the Friends cast back together for a month? To say nothing of the Saved by the Bell cast. Cult shows like V and Jericho and Carnivale could get satisfying conclusions.

Fix our broken education system.

We all saw the problems Mayor Tommy Carcetti had with the Baltimore schools in The Wire — and that was just one city. These problems would no longer exist if we had this kind of money to splash around. We'd catch up to China and India and Sweden in no time.

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Throw the music festival to end all music festivals.

Admission would be free, and all the greatest bands would be there. Slash and Axl don't like each other? Twenty million says they will for a weekend. David Gilmour and Roger Waters only agree on Palestine? We bet that they'd agree on everything else for the right payday. Talking Heads and LCD Soundsystem quit too early for your liking? Pay for them to play together again. It would be better than throwing your money away on fantasy football like you do every other year.

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