OAKLAND (KCBS) – Football season is in full swing, and that means plenty of diehard sports fans are logging onto the Internet at work Monday morning to see how certain players did all around the league.

Chalk it up to an unofficial national pastime – or a time suck, some might say – for millions of us. Fantasy Football has become a huge industry, though many Bay Area participants probably don’t know it’s a game with deeply local roots.

“This fantastic game started in Oakland, by 16 Oakland citizens,” now-87-year-old Andy Mousalimas fondly recalled. “And today, 20 to 25 million people play it.”

>> Image: Andy Mousalimas’ original 1963 fantasy football scoresheet

Mousalimas is quick to point out that he didn’t actually invent fantasy football. Rather, a trio of his pals developed it, but he was the first one they called to join their “league.” At the time, he owned the Kings X Bar, and he was appointed the main statistician and scorekeeper.

Don’t forget, this was long before the Internet.

“We would call up out of town newspapers and ask for information about fellas who were hurt,” reminisced Mousalimas. “They thought we were bookies.”

KCBS’ Mike Sugerman Reports:

Mousalimas has been sidelined as of late with hearing problems, which make it difficult for him to enjoy the draft as much as he has in past seasons.

He says he hopes his son-in-law and grandson will carry on his fabulous fantasy football legacy for years to come.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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