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What Fantasy Football means for women

Courtesy of athlonsports.com.

“What are you up to?” she says.

“Studying,” he types back.

“…When’s the draft?” she replies.

The summer has ended, making way for the approaching autumn. As a woman, you look forward to apple picking, cider donuts, and the opportunity to break out your brown boots and leather jacket. Fall brings a lot to the table for a woman, but these wardrobe changes and weekend outings are trivial to men. They know there are more meaningful things in life.

The guy in your life has been through a rough spring and summer. Since February, he has been moping around the house, trying to get over his love affair from the previous year. They had a great fall together, but winter brought things to a quick end. He tries to fill the void with baseball, but baseball is the girl at the bar, a six at best, who talks a lot yet has nothing to say. Just when he had given up hope, the crisp air and autumn leaves signal that she is back. For the next five months, he will be passionately devoted to the love of his life: the NFL.

Yes, it’s football season once again, a special time of year when your guy dedicates any free time to researching, drafting, and discussing his fantasy team. You may find yourself resenting his inability to watch a chick flick or go on that date he promised you last week. While injury reports and some team’s run defense statistics are obviously less important than doing, well, just about anything with you, it is important to understand the other love of his life. Because let’s face it, she’s not going anywhere.

There are work and family fantasy leagues, which make encounters with distant family members, in-laws, and that guy at the water cooler a little less awkward. The most invested leagues, however, are the friend leagues. Together, they study pre-season reports, texting each other at two in the morning about Gronkowski’s weak ankle. He does a mock draft…oh wait, he does ten mock drafts, looking to fine tune his strategy for draft night.

Now, it would be forgivable if he had a one night stand with her on draft night and then bid the NFL adieu, but the draft is only the start of their relationship. What players should he bench? Is there a trade worth exploring? When Hakeem Nicks gets hurt, it’s all you hear about for the next week. Let’s be clear, Fantasy Football is not the sport of a Patriots or Cowboys fan, but of a football fan. If he has the Eagles defense and Matt Stafford and the Lions are in Philadelphia next Sunday, just rule him out of any plans you have for that day. For that period of time, you as a girlfriend are put in the backseat while the NFL rides shotgun with your guy. Tough, I know.

As a girlfriend, how do we respond to this rejection? Pouting and passive aggressive attitudes are at the top of list. Hostility is instinctive; you just cannot wrap your head around why he invests so much in this sport. During this upcoming season, I advise you to put aside the puppy-dog eyes and assess why he loves this “NFL” character so much.

For him, Fantasy Football started when he was seven years old, memorizing roster after roster of every team in the league. After that, he would pick his favorite players, and that decision was for life. It’s consistent.

Throughout the years he grows older and deals with life as it comes to him. Things change, people change, but football stays the same. He likes sports because they are consistent. Fantasy Football never fires you, never cheats on you and never forgets to call. The NFL is consistent, and even though her relationship is short-lived, every week he is reminded of why he loves the National Football League.

This doesn’t mean you memorize every player, or purposely show off your knowledge of sports in front of him. He likes his fantasy league time because it’s a break from everything, including you. If you want to be involved and follow the daily ups and downs of the season, good luck. More importantly, be happy for him that he has this consistent love affair to turn to when all else fails. At the end of the day however, the fantasy league is not going to cook him dinner or scratch his back, and that is definitely consistent.

Christina Gregg can be reached at cgregg@student.umass.edu.

Comments
8 Responses to “What Fantasy Football means for women”
  1. Anonymous says:

    This is one of the most appalling articles I have ever read in the Collegian and as a woman I am beyond offended. Not only do you imply that all women are good for is being supportive girlfriends who “cook him dinner or scratch his back” at the end of the day, but also you just assume that men “know there are more meaningful things in life” aka an over-commoditized league that has promoted gender stereotypes since its creation. Additionally what right do you think you have to assume the only people who can truly understand and love football are straight men who tote the normative ideals of masculinity by looking down upon women as shallow, needy, inconsistent burdens who, try as they may, will never be able to keep up with his vast knowledge of this sport. As a woman you should be ashamed for perpetuating this stereotypical and degrading rhetoric.

  2. John Kitna says:

    6-0, We’re making all the right moves this year!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wait this a joke right

  4. Leilah says:

    Wow, Christina, you’re like, totally like, a genius, like.

    As a feminist, a dance model, a crisis counselor, a football fan, and a WOMAN, this reeks of garbage to every single one of my sensibilities. Your take on the woman at the bar; the “six at best”, is particularly touching. Did I mention I’ve also been in a long-term relationship with a die-hard football fan (who bought us tickets to our team’s opening day for MY birthday this coming September, might I add).

    It sounds to me, Christina, that you are afraid of other women who are opinionated, intelligent, capable, and, dare I say, “hot”, too?

    Thanks for your invaluable and intelligent contribution to the worldwide, historic battle for gender justice, sister.

    Love,
    Leilah

    PS– If you’re going to be publishing in the English language, perhaps you should learn to properly utilize a comma.

  5. Lindsay says:

    Damn these bat shit crazy feminist. Get over it. It is a humorous, sarcastic article for anyone that has any sense of humor unlike you who agonize over ever single quirky comment pointed at women doing something nice for their man. To Leilah, you are one of those contradictive women who stands up to be seen as equals to men, yet put men down whenever you get a chance. Keep going Christina, these are great!

  6. Anonymous says:

    This is a great piece of writing. Very funny satirical piece, though it seems some people have taken the “helpless girlfriend” idea literally here. Contrary to what some might think, you are almost doing a service through your satire by saying what girls ought not do when they are confronted by fantasy-crazed men (which are everywhere and I can vouch for that). In fact, I just got my sister to join fantasy football after trying to convince her to for a while, so I can definitely relate. A lot of truth in here as well. I feel that you perfectly described the way I feel about sports, and I can guarantee that I’m not alone in that sentiment. Well done.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I keep re-reading this article, trying to find where it’s “ironic” or “satirical” but I’m having trouble. Please help me out and show me what I’m missing, because from where I’m standing this just seems like a desperate ploy to seem like “one of the guys” by making fun of female stereotypes. I know the Collegian is not the NY Times or the Boston Globe, but this article hardly seems journalistic or professional, just kind of whiney and shallow.

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