Saturday, November 14, 2009

Why Women Should Play Fantasy Sports (Part 1)

When I sat down to write this week’s post I decided I wanted to do something a little different this time; perhaps a funny piece on how to trick your significant other into playing (or at least accepting your playing) fantasy football. However, that all changed when I moseyed on over to the Women Against Fantasy Sports website and read this (what I guess is their mission statement): “We are incredibly smart people who can’t believe that their spouses or significant others, family members, and friends don’t have anything better to do with their time than sit in front of a computer looking at stats, planning line-ups and whatever else they waste their time on. It is amazing how over the year we have grown…I guess that only makes sense considering so many are falling prey to this addiction!” My reaction was two-fold: (1) Oh, h*** no!, and (2) obviously, I can’t just let this go uncontested.

So, ladies and gentlemen, here is why women should play fantasy sports (or at least tolerate it without protest)

1. It can improve your relationship: Before you laugh, hear me out. With the right perspective, playing fantasy sports can improve your relationship in some aspects, and I’m living proof. If your boyfriend/husband/ significant other is anything like mine, talking on the phone ranks on his list of favorite things to do somewhere right between cleaning his bathroom and getting ball tapped (Again, hun, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry), so getting him on the phone, at least in an active conversation that doesn’t consist of grunts and single word answers can be quite a challenge sometimes. However, I’ve notice quite a change since, after making fun of me for two years for doing so, he began playing fantasy football this year. Why? Because as much as my boyfriend hates the phone, he loves venting about his underperforming players or basking in the glory of beating his friends more. And who does he call to discuss this? Me. Why? Because I can relate to his situation. Now, you may be thinking “that’s all well and good, but how does that help communication not related to football.” I’ll tell you how. Once you’ve got your boyfriend on the phone and he’s not in that “Oh I hate hate hate the phone, but I have to do this” mentality, transitioning from football to discussing your day and other topics is so much easier. In fact, some of our best conversations, including one about our relationship, have followed “Greg Jennings is the biggest disappointment of my fantasy career” griping. (I’m very bitter about wasting a higher draft pick on him!) Note: This comes in extremely handy when you have a fight and want to talk about it. Guys hate talking about fights so sometimes you have to trick them into such a serious conversation with a diversion tactic. Devious? Yes. Does it work? Yes.

2. Because you can beat him at his game: How great would it feel to beat your fantasy obsessed significant other at his game? For me, that feeling is priceless. However, if you’re not evil like myself and get no thrill out of beating the crap out of your boyfriend at something he asserts to know more about than you, then consider this: You can make this a friendly, reward driven contest. Maybe your boyfriend hates going to the fancy restaurant that you love… well, make it so the winner of your head-to-head matchup gets to their ultimate date night, or something along those lines. “But, Juliann, I know nothing about football or I know about football but don’t want to dedicate time to developing a great fantasy team.” Well, you’re in luck. One of the great things about fantasy football is that you don’t have to be an actual football fan, let alone, fanatic, to play and succeed. Thanks to the popularity of fantasy sports, as well as all those geeks “who don’t have anything better to do with their time than sit in front of a computer looking at stats” there are many helpful websites, for example, which come out with pre-draft rankings and weekly updates to help you select players and week-to-week lineups. Additionally, most leagues will show your players weekly projections, making it easier for even those who, like a certain friend of mine, think the quarterback throws to the other quarterback win match-ups.

3. Because it’s something fun to do with friends: Forget about your significant other, playing fantasy sports is also a great way to keep in contact with friends. Three years ago, I lived in State College, PA where I lived between 3ft and a 15 minute walk to the homes of the friends who played in a fantasy football league with me. Since then, I moved back to Pittsburgh to attend law school while others have moved all throughout the mid-Atlantic region, gotten married and have their big-kid jobs. Due to our insanely busy schedules, it’s hard for us to get together, however, at least once a year, we all take a break from our lives and have a live draft. During this draft we discuss what’s going on with our lives, reminisce about the past and openly mock each other…. Just like old times. Additionally, for months following, you get this same kind of interaction with whoever you’re going head-to-head with and anybody else who cares to comment on the your matchup. I guess through all this rambling my point is this: No matter how close you are, when your friends move away and move on with their lives, you tend to lose things in common with them. This is not because you don’t care about each other, but because you’re not involved in the newer aspects of their lives. Fantasy sports not only provides you a forum to communicate with each other all at once, which is especially helpful if you don’t have Facebook, or Facebook’s acid jean wearing, not so cool anymore older sister Myspace, but also provides you with a commonality to discuss.

Why you should tolerate it: Because fantasy sports being a complete waste of time is a matter of opinion any your opinion is not automatically your significant other’s opinion: Alright, so you don’t want to play fantasy sports and you think they’re incredibly stupid and a waste of time, well this doesn’t mean you have free reign to openly protest and guilt your man about him wanting to play. First, “waste of time” is a matter of taste and I highly doubt that everything you do, your significant other finds value in also. Most of the girls that I know who get pissed at their boyfriends and husbands for playing fantasy sports also spend time reading gossip websites, watching E.T. and the Insider, read gossip magazines, shop when they don’t actually need anything because they find it fun, read Twilight, etc.. I’m not knocking those activities, I’m a Twihard and need my daily dose of Michael K. ( for those of you who have not discovered this magical website), I’m just saying, that if you spend time doing things your guy might think are stupid and pointless, yet he doesn’t insist on you ceasing those activities, isn’t it a bit unfair for you to nag him about spending time on things he loves but you deem useless. Second, one of the biggest complaints women have about their guy playing fantasy sports is that he could be spending quality time with them instead. In fact the Women Against Fantasy Sports homepage has happy pictures of the things men and women could be doing as a couple if he wasn’t playing fantasy sports such as jogging together , him serenading you in the park, and him goofily spilling potatoes all over the kitchen. (Really, you miss spilling potatoes?) Now those pictures are great and all, but ask yourself this, all those things you imagine you and him doing together, would he actually be doing those things if he wasn’t playing fantasy sports? Honestly? Does he do those things during the fantasy offseason? Or would he just find some other hobby that would fill that time? Now, if your guy is neglecting you, the kids, his responsibilities or his personal hygiene in favor of fantasy sports, you probably have a legitimate complaint, but if the status quo is pretty much maintained with maybe a slight impact, what’s the harm in him playing fantasy sports.

Oh wait, there’s more! Just not this week; to be continued……

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4thandinches said...

This was really well done, My GF enjoyed to no end=)

Juliann L. Haynes said...

Thank you very much!

Brett Smiley said...

Good stuff Juliann.

There's been a gal in one of my leagues for a few years now and she usually has the best team name. Recent favorites include "Title IX" and after the birth of her first child, "Milk Machine." She said it, not us.

FantasySportsWidow said...

Really? Again? First off I have never told my husband that Fantasy Sports was something he couldn't do - heck I even encouraged it! Why not! Have fun with you one league and good luck! Hope you win baby! Kiss Kiss! But whe the one league turned to do double digits thats when the kisses turned too groans (and not the good kind)...he was lost to a whole new world.

Now don't get me wrong,I would never ask him to stop! no no I am not that girl..we just happened to start a little site and have some fun.
And for the record I believe that women are probably better at Fantasy Sports (or..okay anything)because we are logical mulitaskers who arent going to let one missed field goal...Not to mention we have pleanty of other things to get to next!

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