Fantasy Football Decoded (No, Not THAT Type of Fantasy)


According to Wikipedia, fantasy football was apparently created (never would’ve guessed this) all the way back in 1963 by Bill Winkenbach, a limited partner in the Oakland Raiders, former Raiders public relations manager Bill Tunnell, and Scotty Stirling, a former reporter. It was not created, as I had previously imagined, a few years back when guys decided they needed another reason to keep away from us ladies (kidding). Also, it has nothing to do with football cheerleader fantasies  … unless the 2013 Fantasy Football season is actually about cheerleader fantasies and all of our guys have us fooled.

Now you would think that just being able to watch football again after a 6 month hiatus would be enough, but no, it’s not. I don’t know what it is about fantasy football that guys are so infatuated with, and believe me, I’ve tried to figure it out. Maybe it satisfies part of the whole, “play for a professional athletic team when I grow up” feeling that has guys hooked. Although this isn’t so much playing as it is managing and it isn’t so much in person professional as it setting up mock teams via a computer program and potentially running these teams in their pajamas.

Whatever the reason for the infatuation may be, fantasy football can in fact make guys go cray cray. Case in point: The bf was running late to his fantasy football draft and of course, there was a huge bike race on one of Chicago’s major roads that same morning. I’ve never heard him with more road rage and he commutes to the suburbs from downtown Chicago every day.

When people ask if I participate in fantasy football, I get a sort of a wide eye look when I say that I don’t, and they’re all like “for real, you of all people don’t play fantasy?” Look, I love football more than I love most things, it’s right up there with coffee in bed on Saturday mornings and cupcakes, but I can barely keep my Pinterest updated and brimming with new pins let alone a manage a whole entire football team for 4 months out of the year, along with watching the games themselves. That along with being extremely biased towards my team and wanting to just enjoy the games themselves without worrying about what else is going on, is why I’ve never hitched my wagon on to the fantasy football wheelbarrow.

Now, we ladies may not get why men love it so much, just like they probably don’t get why we read fashion magazines and never buy anything we see and claim to love, but it’s important for us to at least understand it. So in this post, I’ll be completely breaking down the entire fantasy football phenomenon and how we, as the supportive partners that we all are, can get through two simultaneous seasons, one real and one only real in the online world, without killing our guys.

The Fantasy Football Draft: Yes, this actually exists, our fellas are not making it up. I’m not totally 100% sure how fantasy drafts work because fortunately I’ve never had to sit through one, although I hear the chili is quite good, but I’d be willing to bet that it works in a way that is very similar to the National Football League’s annual draft. Teams go around and around picking players until they have all their positions filled. Each head coach/president/manager (this would be your guy) only picks one collective defense, say that belonging to the Pittsburgh Steelers or the New England Patriot’s. They don’t get to pick each individual defensive position … maybe it gets too complicated at that point? Who knows. The only thing I like to go around and around contemplating is the dance you do while shopping when you find something you like and walk around the store and keep circling back to that same section because you keep finding more and more stuff you like right there. Anyways, the draft is the beginning of your guys season, it’s that first moment that their team comes together and they have an outlook at what the season could potentially look like.

The Season: Fantasy football isn’t just a once a month, or even a once a week thing that you are going to have to suffer through. This is months and months long, day in and day out, every single day. And there is no bye week for your guy in fantasy football like there is in the actual NFL. It takes a real commitment. If you didn’t have the urge to strangle your guy over his incessant fantasy football doings, you may actually find yourself being proud of him for his dedication. Again, that is only if you didn’t already want to put your hands firmly on his shoulders and give him a couple of good shakes.

Before the first game of day, whether this is Thursday, Sunday, or Monday, guys have to set their rosters, but only for the players of teams that are playing. I know, it sounds complicated. But I’m thinking that since our guys can figure out, so can we. Here’s how it works: Say the Broncos are playing on Thursday night (which they just did) and your guy has Peyton Manning as one of his available quarterbacks and he wants to start him for the week. He then has to go in and select Manning before the game would’ve started on Thursday. If your guy plays in a league where you can only play 1 quarterback a week, he’s done with that position until next week. If he plays in a league where he gets to have 2 quarterbacks, he has to go in before games start on Sunday or Monday and pick another. So basically, your guy has to set his players based on what day their real teams play on. If not, those sports are left unfilled, the computer won’t fill it in for him. He can also change defenses every week, but can only pick from “free agent” defenses, or one that no other person has. I think this is part of what drives us fabulous ladies so crazy. Because guys pick players from teams all over the league, they feel they have to watch and stay up to date on every. single. game. Watch how fast his phone battery dies during the season, just do it.

Fantasy football is based on a points system, another reason why it could make guys so nutso, the ole’ competitive nature coming back to haunt. In each league, teams are paired up on a weekly basis and they go head to head. The team with the most points gets the win. I won’t go into all of the points breakdown, mainly because I don’t know it all and my head is already spinning from this fantasy football whoo-hah. But basically, guys want their offensive players to put up big numbers, say multiple touchdown catches from a receiver or a lot of yards rushing from their running back. They want their defenses to give up few yards and fewer points. Luckily for our guys brains, and any sanity that we may still have left, the computer leagues figure this stuff out automatically.

Dealing with this season is going to be a tough test, especially if it’s your first go-around. You are going to have to compromise, and break this to your guy too.

Another case in point: A friend of mine’s guy love love loves fantasy football. She gives him those months to do his thing and very rarely says anything when his phone goes off a bajillion times because of the handy group message his dudes have set up. Her guy then gets a bit frustrated when during the summer, non-football, months, she wants to spend her weekends gettin her tan on. Correct me if I’m wrong here (have at it, I’ll mostly certainly still think I’m right anyways), is that her guy is acting a bit cookoo. Compromises are everything in relationships and this situation is no different. She lets his phone vibrate like it’s a Tickle Me Elmo and she gets to get her tan on. Fair and square.

Everyone has the things they like to do and we and our significant others have to be respective of that. Guys get to have their months of fantasy football, ladies get to hold weekly evenings of wine, ice cream, and Real Housewives. There is no getting around fantasy football and there is no getting around the socializing/whatever it is that you want to do. The only way to deal is to suck it up and compromise. I know, not the most creative advice, but definitely the way to deal.

I hope this post helped you understand a little more fantasy football, why it makes our guys go so bonkers and how you can deal with it. Anything I missed? Any fantasy football stories you want to share? Let us know!


Happy Football is Finally Back Sunday!



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