Over 18 million people engage in Fantasy Football in this country. Some of them are women.
Can women be happy (fulfilled) playing Fantasy Football? This woman cannot. My brother-in-law sweetly invited me to join his “league”—he has 14 men and one woman so far, and I turned him down. He responded, “maybe down the road.” I interpreted his comment to imply when I become more sophisticated at football fandom, I will crave Fantasy.
True, I was not indoctrinated at birth to be a fan of a certain team, as he was (Green Bay), nor did I play football in high school, as he did. As I said in my book, Necessary Roughness, “in my family, nobody played contact sports; we played string quartets.” And yes, the ranks of females in Fantasy Football leagues have increased a whole lot: 12% of players in 2009, up to 20 to 25% in 2010, and will likely double that in 2011, given America’s increased mania over our most popular game. The threat of NO NFL did the whole no-supply-creates-demand thing. . .
However, Fantasy focuses on the individual performances—you “draft” star players from different teams throughout the NFL, then decide which of your team members will play that week, and you SCORE points based on how those players perform in actual NFL games. So you are rooting for the individual, NOT the team. This seems koo-koo to me: football is the ultimate TEAM sport—it’s not golf or tennis—it cannot be done singularly by one talented individual. The game is dependent on everyone playing their part, and team chemistry wins—look at the results of the Super Bowl last year.
As a female entrepreneur with a Human Resources background, I embrace teamwork. I don’t want to be distracted by rooting for individual players on opposite teams in the same game!! How does THAT happen? How crazy would that make me? Does it make you crazy, football girls? How do you do it? Please let me know in the comments below—maybe I can become more sophisticated instantly!