Sunday, August 24, 2008

Are you ready for some (fantasy) football?

It's that time of year again - my husband is already salivating at the thought of watching football soon. Now, don't get me wrong - I like football. It's one of the only sports I enjoy watching on TV - others, I need to be there to stay interested for long. And, I've been associated with some great football teams. My grandmother is a lifelong resident of Green Bay, and my grandfather, when he was alive, was on the team's Board of Directors. As a result, they got to "hang" with people like Vince Lombardi back in the day - pretty cool! (I'll bite my tongue and refrain from commenting on Brett Favre - plenty has been said, and I'll just say that I'm no longer a fan of his, and leave it at that). Then, in the mid-70s, my family moved to Pittsburgh, just in time to watch the Steelers and their Iron Curtain on a great winning streak. Now, I'm in Indy, where the Colts have recently won the Super Bowl (only one year after the Steelers, even - it's been a good run!). So yeah, I'm a football fan. But I just can't get quite as excited as my husband does.

So why am I spending $100 to play in a fantasy league this year? Hmmm, good question!

My husband has been doing this for a few years, and I've watched his players with interest, asked questions about the scoring, etc. Last year was a rough year for me, because he drafted freakin' Tom Brady, who I despise, and I found myself in a moral dilemma trying to figure out whether to actually cheer for the guy! He actually did well for my husband, who didn't win overall, but came in second place for overall points.

So, a couple of years ago, one of the guys in the league had to travel to China on business on draft day, and needed someone to draft for him. Being the good sport I am, I offered to do it, with a little help from my husband. I must have done OK, because the guy I drafted for WON the whole thing that year! (I know what you're thinking - he had plenty of opportunities to decide which players to play in a given week, to make trades, etc., but can we give me the benefit of the doubt on this one and pretend he couldn't have done it without me??) I am still waiting for my cut of the winnings, however...

This year, the league started to fall apart a bit. The group which was once fairly geographically centered has spread out into multiple time zones, more children have come along to take up time, etc. So with the league in danger of beoming extinct, my husband asked if I'd be willing to take a spot. Again, being a good sport, I said I'd do it. So here I am, the only woman in a league of 12 football-a-holics, and last night was our draft.

To say the chatter in the draft room was off-color is putting in mildly, but I'm a good sport, and hard to offend, so I tried to give as good as I got. I did get a little annoyed with my husband about mid-way through, when he wasn't being particularly helpful in advising me on my picks - isn't it in his best interest to have ONE of us win the big prize, espcially since our household has twice as much at stake as everyone else? But, alas, he has to save face in front of the boys - can't make it look like he's sticking up for wifey, right? Heck, I got most of my heckling in the draft room from him - totally unfair.

So, I'll keep you posted on whether this turns out to be a money maker or a monumental failure. I did manage to snag a good QB pick, and one I can cheer for too - Peyton Manning. I got razzed big time for picking a kicker too early, but I got the top kicker (at east according to the two rankings I was relying on), and a decent backup as well. My running backs may be my great failure - we'll see. The top ten were gone by the time I got my first pick (yeah, I was #12 in the draft - wonder if that was fixed??), so I took one, then grabbed my QB, and tried to get strong guys for other positions. Time will tell. In the meantime, I'm going to try to enjoy the last few weekends where my husband doesn't have his butt glued to the recliner and his arm glued to a beer glass... :-)


Beverly said...

OK, I am really impressed! I read "fantasy football," and my eyes just glaze over. Can I admit to you that I don't know how football works? (Ducking my head in shame.) Johnny's tried to tell me several times, but it really just goes in one ear and out the other. In college, I only went to one football game. Granted, it was Northwestern, and our team mostly sucked when I was there (1998-2002). The one time I went was because I had seen an idyllic scene of people attending a football game in a J Crew catalog or something and thought that it would be fun to dress in a cute sweater and drink some cider on a fall day. Well, turned out it was raining, we sat there for more than three hours, my cute sweater was covered by a poncho, and there was no cider to be had. That was my last football game!

I DO like to throw Super Bowl parties, though, because those involve making and eating vast quantities of food!

klalaw said...

Ha - I love your JCrew image of football - if only all games were that idyllic!

I went to Penn State for undergrad, so football was very much a part of the culture there. Far from cute sweaters and cider, however, it was sweatshirts and getting pelted with blue and white marshmallows... I have to admit, although I enjoy going to the occasional game, I kind of prefer watching from the comfort of home more these days. And ditto on the Super Bowl parties - that's the only time I can tolerate a game even if no one I care about is playing - it's all about the food and the commercials!