A League of Their Own

No, I’m not going to talk about the movie (even though that movie was pretty awesome).  I’m going to talk about fantasy football…again (am I boring you yet)?

Today, I had lunch (and cupcakes) with my friend Dave.  Dave is a sports buff and one of my close friends from law school.  He is part of this group of guys from my law school who get together to hang out for mostly sports related purposes.  I started to talk to him about fantasy football when we were in line at the cupcake truck in downtown Oakland. 

Me:”How many leagues are you going to be in”?

Dave: “Three, but one doesn’t count because it’s not for money.  We just booted someone out so that Earl could get into the league”

Me: “Cool, let me know if you ever have an odd number of teams, I’d love to look for a new league.  I wasn’t crazy about the one I was in last year”

Dave: “Oh…I mean, maybe.  You’d be the only girl.  You wouldn’t mind?”

Me: “Um, we were the only all girl team in the league last year and we won”

Dave: “Right”

Me: “Ok, so you’ll let me know, right?”

Dave: “Yeah, I mean, we’ll see”

This conversation did not go as expected.  I thought one of my close guy friends would be thrilled to have a “cool” girl like me in their league.  But then I realized that one of three things would happen.  1). I would suck and he would get laughed at because he invited a GIRL and she doesn’t seem to know a damn thing about football.  2). I would win and then they would all be embarrassed that they were beaten by a GIRL and then Dave would be reprimanded about inviting me or 3). I would either suck or win, but either way I would probably hang out with them, during the draft, watching games, on their emails about the league which are undoubtedly intertwined with emails complaining about their wives or oogling at Megan Fox (or is it Fox-Green, now?).  None of those would be acceptable and put Dave on the outs with the other guys (who all also happen to be friends of mine). 

I don’t get it.  I watch sports with them.  They all respect me as a sports knowledge authority.  They like talking to me about college basketball (they all participated in the pools I ran, even).  Why is this different?  Is fantasy football really the last frontier of manhood?  And if it is, where does it leave us, women?

My partner from last year’s fantasy football league, Lo, is not what you would call an expert in football per se (I mean, who is, really, besides Tony Reali), but she definitely knows her stuff better than most and she likes football and watches Eagles games and enjoys a good sporting event.  I liked bouncing ideas off her and getting reaffirmation in my draft choices.  We made a good team, and she kept up the constant praise that we were an ass-kicking girl power team.  I love that chick.  Anyways, we were invited into the league after a misunderstanding about another one of our friends not wanting to join in.  An email was sent to the wrong address and we ended up stealing his spot.  During the draft, we got jeered and made fun of, and there was the obligatory “it doesn’t matter if they stole the spot, it’s not like they’re winning anyways”, and then we did.  I didn’t love that league for a number of reasons, but I don’t think we’ll be invited back. 

Maybe the idea is to start a league of our own, and all girls league.  The hard part is finding women who love fantasy football as much as I do.  But if I can, we may have the best thing since sliced bread.  Throw the macho attitude out the windows and crack open a beer.  Write league emails intertwining them with ones complaining about your boyfriends and your period or something (ok, probably not, but whatever).  And if any guy tries to infiltrate the League, we get to haze them, and then we will steal their entry fee fair and square with a series of awesome trades and strategic substitutions.  Men, you should be scared.  Very scared.

And as for my friend Dave, I remember that last year, he was in a weird winners pick’em league with his wife, and I think she outperformed him.  So maybe it’s not that women can’t be better at this stuff, but the men just don’t want to admit it.

And to all my women out there, go get em!  Also do (or don’t do) all of these things: don’t draft a QB in the first round if you have a high second round pick.  Look for receivers who get lots of targets (means they have a bromance with their QB).  Pick defenses with a bye week where a crappy team is going to be playing another crappy team (no one will draft them and you can pick them up later).  Don’t draft running backs over the age of 30.  Stay away from rookies in the draft (see how they perform later).  Look for a backup QB with a good week the week your starter has a bye (good backup QB could also be one that takes risks, runs the ball).  Look at last year’s stats but don’t rely on them (the times they are a changin for a lot of players).  A QB is only as good as the receivers on his team.  Pick kickers on high scoring, offensive minded teams that don’t play outside in the bitter cold a lot.  The first two weeks are critical in terms of pick-ups.  Keep your eye out for emerging talent and for underperforming talent.  Keep an eye out for playing time for your receivers and running backs, probably an indicator for the future.  OK, that’s all for now.  Chicks who like sports, unite! 

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