Guest post by Angie Six
I’d like to think my husband is a pretty lucky guy. As a general wife model goes, I came with the standard features: decent looks, able to cook, fairly frugal, sufficiently frisky. It’s the bonus feature he lucked out on: I like sports. I like watching sports (on TV or in person), I like reading about sports, and I like talking about sports. Sports Center is just as entertaining to me as Food Network. And that’s saying something – I like food A LOT.
I like some sports more than others, but the sport I love, the season I live for, is pro football. I’m not sure where or when the fanatic in me was born, but I’d venture to say it was Nashville, Tennessee circa 1997. That’s the year my husband and I married and moved to Nashville, where SEC football is king. A certain player for the University of Tennessee caught my eye – one Peyton Manning. It might have been a brief love affair with the player, and the sport, had the Indianapolis Colts not chosen him in the draft. I’m a Hoosier through and through, and having Peyton on my team sealed the deal.
My husband was just as surprised as I was when I discovered that my love of football transcended the Colts. I liked it all. Oh sure, I hated watching the Lions as much as anyone else, but put two other decent teams on? Pass the wings, baby. I watch the Super Bowl AND the commercials. I learned the rules. I learned the players. Name the top 40 players in the NFL today and I’m pretty sure I’d recognize their names. I’d put money on myself matching them up with their teams, too.
The one thing I never got was fantasy football, though. It annoyed me, actually. Here we’d be, sitting together in our matching jerseys, enjoying a perfectly nice Colts game. We’d be rooting for them together, until Peyton threw the ball to the wrong receiver, the one on the other guy’s fantasy team, and my husband would fall to floor writhing in pain. It just seemed morally wrong to root against your real life team for the benefit of your fantasy team. Then there was the constant checking of scores and players, the trading/adding/dropping of players, and the dejection when your fantasy team lost, even when your real-life team was kicking ass.
There was a part of me that wondered, though, how hard could it be? There was a call among some of my twitter girlfriends to start up our own fantasy league. No guys allowed, no husbands picking your team. We’d call ourselves the Twitter Babes. My husband rolled his eyes when I told him. That was all the incentive I needed.
As my draft day approached, my husband grew worried. Aren’t you going to do some research? Nah, I told him. How hard can it be? My only rule was I wasn’t picking douche bags. Especially douche bags on the Patriots. He watched me during my draft and banged his head on the desk when I chose Peyton as my quarterback in the first round. I reminded him that this was my FANTASY team, and I was sticking by my definition of fantasy. It’s not who you fantasize about in the locker room, it’s who you think would make the best team. Is there a difference, I asked? More banging of the head on the desk. Thankfully it was a free league; otherwise he might have died right then and there.
The first Sunday came and he was all over me again. Have you checked your team? Does anyone have a bye week? Is anyone out? Back off, I said. I can handle it. Note to self: it is apparently necessary to do some work beyond the draft. I had envisioned it working more like the March Madness brackets – make some picks based on random musings and hope for the best. I did my best to look deep in thought while staring at my list of players. It temporarily appeased him.
And then a funny thing happened. I won my first fantasy game. And then another. And another. Before I knew it, I was 7-0, without doing so much as moving a couple of players from my bench onto my roster. I was killing people, while Mr. Over-Involved was struggling every week.
Ha! I gloated. Forget so easy a caveman could do it: so easy your wife can do it. In her sleep. And kick your ass at the same time.
What can I say, I have a mean streak.
Wait guys, don’t go away yet. I didn’t come here to gloat. You see, apparently all the blood, sweat and tears you pour into your fantasy teams does serve a purpose. It all caught up to me. Guys got hurt and I had no idea who to replace them with. Those douche bags I was dead set against? Turns out they score you crazy points. That defense I wouldn’t pick because I didn’t like their team’s colors? They spanked me hard. . . and I didn’t like it. I lost 3 games in a row.
My husband’s nicer than me. He offers his advice now and then and doesn’t gloat . . . much. My fantasy team’s doing better – I’ll still make the playoffs. Would I do it again? Probably not. It’s enough to keep track of the daily doings of my two kids. I don’t really feel like worrying about whether or not DeAngelo Wiliams is going to play, and if not, who will I replace him with?
I’m glad I tried it, though. I get the obsession with fantasy football now. It makes otherwise boring games worth watching. It’s a great ice-breaker – I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve struck up with other guys about our fantasy teams. Even the dullest guy in the room can wax poetic about their lineup for five minutes. It gives you the opportunity to insert a little more smack talk into your life. And really, do we ever have enough smack talk in our lives? And if you’re lucky, you end the season with bragging rights and maybe a little extra change in your pocket. (Which, surely, you’d share with your wife. You know, the one who had to listen to the Fantasy Guru on the way home from church every Sunday for an entire NFL season?)
Nah, I’ll stick with my own personal fantasy team in my head. Good luck with yours, though. May your team name be killer, may you make it to the playoffs, and may your real life team win the Super Bowl.
You can follow Angie Six on Twitter at @katydid6 and read more Indianapolis Colts lovin’, Pats hatin’, food makin’ posts by Angie over on her blog, Just Like the Number. (and thanks for guest post, Angie!)