National Fantasy Football Convention brings frenzy to Fort Worth

FORT WORTH -- As a TCU graduate and a Washington Redskins fan, Babar Siddiq was pumped to learn Horned Frog-turned-Redskins receiver Josh Doctson would be appearing at this year's National Fantasy Football Convention in Fort Worth.  But that still didn't prepare him for the excitement of meeting him.

"The second he walked by, I damn near lost my mind!"

That sentiment was felt by many at the second annual event, which is drawing more than 100 NFL players from all 32 NFL teams to the Will Rogers Memorial Center this weekend.  Along with getting autographs, pictures, and mingling with players and an assortment of football personalities, fans could partake in some unique experiences like getting a picture in the giant Salvation Army kettle that Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott famously jumped into after scoring a touchdown a couple years ago.

"It's pretty cool to be a part of football history like that," said Cowboys fan Jon Jackson.  "I'm amazed at his athleticism to just be able to hurdle that thing and jump right in.  I struggled using the stairs!"

And as much fun as it is for fans, the players enjoy themselves, too.  Many of them decided to come this year after hearing rave reviews from last year's participants.

"To have an opportunity to meet your fans and give back to the community, that's what it's all about," said former NFL and Texas quarterback Vince Young.  "A guy in the Army, when he was fighting overseas, he said he was in one of the holes and bullets were flying but he was on the radio listening to the [2006] Rose Bowl game.  Just hearing those types of stories, man, it's unbelievable."

Some players were also hoping to use their appearance to try to boost their virtual draft stock with fantasy players.  But that isn't always easy--even with their own families!

"My dad says he still doesn't think he's going to take me in the first round," laughed Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes II.  "He says you take the quarterbacks a little later, so we'll see."

Regardless of how anyone's teams do--fantasy or real, at least this convention is a victory we can count on for years to come.

"Even if you're not VIP, even if you're not waiting in line, they're just walking around, they're just greeting everybody," said Saddiq.  "It's nice to know for a day they're just one of us."