Jul 25,2012

This one’s for the LADIES!

When I tell other women that I have a blog dedicated to the recreational obsession known as fantasy football, they often reply with one of the following phrases:

“What exactly IS fantasy football?”
“You’re so lucky that you can talk sports with the guys.”
“My friends and I wanted to start a fantasy football league, but we’re not sure how.”
“I just don’t ‘get’ football.”

Of course, I also meet plenty of women who jump up and down with excitement and immediately begin asking about rankings, or outlining their newly devised plans for league domination. When that happens it’s awesome and almost always ends with either a hug or the clinking of glasses. Or a shot. Depending on the setting.

But more often than not, my admission is met with disbelief and confusion. How could you possibly LIKE football? You don’t actually spend all Sunday watching it, do you? You must have brothers, right? For the most part, I’m used to this reaction. And at first I got a kick out of explaining myself. But the longer I do this, and the more people I engage with, the more I’ve noticed that women aren’t necessarily disinterested in football.

They’re just intimidated by it.

In fact, this past weekend I had dinner with 3 of my closest girlfriends. One of them, who we’ll call Nicole, is not only smart, pretty, and kind… but she’s also an accomplished long distance runner, a successful television executive, an event organizer for one of the most respected charities in the country, and possesses a pair of gams that were made for mini-skirts. Yup, she’s one of those girls that us other girls wish we could be for a day (if for no other reason than to look undeniably fabulous in a pair of skinny jeans). Yet on Saturday night, Nicole quietly confided in me that she was dreading football season because she “feels dumb” and “never has anything to talk about” when we’re all watching the games. I was shocked. This from the same girl who gives notes to one of the hottest pop acts in town while changing the coolant in her car… by herself AND at the same time.

Nicole’s response wasn’t a foreign one, but it was the first time someone in my inner circle – someone who I knew to be intelligent and capable – had been put off by football because it seemed complicated and, therefore, unwelcoming. The truth of the matter is that football is a game. And if we women can climb the corporate ladder, raise children, balance our checkbooks, throw extensive dinner parties, and masterfully apply mascara… then we can sure as heck figure out a game.

Now, if you’re one of those ladies that has zero interest in football, no worries. I totally get it. In fact, I probably feel the same way about camping… or baking… or Pinterest. Not everything is for everyone, and that’s perfectly fine. If, however, you’re a woman like Nicole who would like to know about football and partake in even just a sliver of the hoopla, then I’d invite you jump in and join a fantasy league.

It’s really not that tough, and I’ll be here to help guide you along the way. Beginning in the next few weeks, and running until the end of the season, I’ll be posting content for both noobs and vets. Whether you’re looking for advice on draft strategy – or simply want to impress your man by dropping a few key phrases and/or player names – I’ve got you covered.

Before fantasy, I was a Bears fan. After fantasy, however, I became a football fan. And I’m not alone. Football has the fastest growing female audience of any professional sport. In fact, 40% of the NFL viewing audience is made up of women. Why? Because a day of football has more drama and excitement than the entirety of Season 4 of Grey’s Anatomy. (Gosh, do I miss Denny Duquette.)

Whether you’re looking for a new way to socialize with your girlfriends, or hoping to flirt with that cute guy in the Redskins cap, playing fantasy will be an exhilarating and empowering way for you to connect and engage. So roll up your sleeves, charge your computer, and get ready to tackle the 2012 season. We’ll do it together.

(Right up until the playoffs. Then sh*t gets real.)