When my husband speaks about Fantasy Football, I don’t understand the words coming out of his mouth. I use the time his precious mouth is moving to fantasize instead about eating Cinnabon for dinner.
(Just for the record, if I could draft for that Fantasy team, I would choose a family pack of Cinnabon Classic Rolls, some Cinnabon bites, and throw in a few Cinnabon Stix. When you’ve spiraled so far down, “clean eating” becomes lick your fingers clean of all the cream cheese frosting.)
Let’s emerge from that delicious rabbit hole and return to the topic at hand: Fantasy Football.
More specifically, the draft that goes down before the start of regular season football games. For a wife on the outside of Fantasy Football, the draft appears to be equal parts mystical, critical, and life-altering. Like, if “we” do not win the league this year with the team “we” drafted, then is life really worth living without all those bragging rights? (Obviously not.)
I may not be an expert on all the ins and outs of Fantasy Football, but I’m pretty good at speculating, making assumptions, and composing blatant misrepresentations about any given topic. It only seems fitting that I should use those gifts, combined with a handful of stereotypes, to blog about my current understanding of Fantasy Football. My husband didn’t think I was listening, but I listened just enough to bust this draft WIDE OPEN right here on the internetz. That’s why my friends call me Sleeper Pick. Here we go.
PREPARING FOR THE DRAFT
Fantasy Football drafts are intense. Not that I’ve ever been invited to one, but I can just tell. Before you can even choose players for your internet football team, you have to monopolize the computer at home and do “research” to be fully prepared. (A friend of ours was so into his research that his daughter asked, “Daddy, will you have time to read to me tonight?” LOL. His wife then sent to me…)
If you want to win Fantasy Football, you have to rise above your responsibilities and get committed to your research. Go deep in those stats. Download “Eye of the Tiger” and play it until your ears bleed. You want to eat, breathe, and live these players’ stats until you know even the smallest details that could be consequential to your Fantasy team. (He got blisters on his heels during pre-season play? Sounds injury prone to me, HE GONE.)
You show up on draft night with mountains of research and a team name ready to be unveiled. Now, every year my husband Daniel asks me what he should name his team, and every year he doesn’t choose the names I suggest. This year, for example, I feel particularly passionate that his team should be called, “Kiss My Tight End”. Anyway, so I guess you go to draft night with your research, a team name your wife had no part in choosing, and a wad of money to set aside for the league winner. Because apparently we’re so flushed with cash we can contribute to a pretend sport winner but yet buying those jeans in every denim wash “isn’t a line item in the budget”. Oh. Cool.
Where they go: Anywhere with WiFi, where the children are nonexistent or sound asleep, with a large refrigerator and a semblance of a low-lit man cave
What they eat: Four different meat platters and a side dish of chips
What they talk about: If their text chains are any indication of their draft conversations, it’s something along the lines of everyone-talk-at-once about depth charts and the best picks and rankings, interspersed with trash talk or hustling someone for a player
What they do: Take turns drafting their players by passing around a Magic Eight Ball.
“Should I draft the Philadelphia Eagles’ defense?” Outlook not so good.
“Is this player going to get busted for steroid use by the end of the season?” Signs point to yes.
“Should I draft anyone from the Cleveland Browns?” Reply hazy, try again in a few years.
You set up your internet team by choosing a quarterback and a bunch of other people who combine running, catching, blocking the football, and prolly some other athletic stuff. Once your team is drafted, you beat your chest and make sure everyone else in your league knows they don’t stand a chance.
AFTER THE DRAFT
My husband comes home after his Fantasy draft and has all kinds of analysis and insight into the team he’s chosen. He’s so blinded by his own euphoria that he tries to have a conversation with me that ends up something like this:
Daniel: If you could draft anyone to your team, who would you choose?
Me: Tony Dungy seems solid.
D: Well. You can’t draft an NFL coach. And also, he doesn’t even coach anymore.
Me: Agree to disagree.
Me: Who are the good people to draft onto a Fantasy Football team?
D: “Aaron Rodgers is the quarterback for the Packers; he throws a lot of touchdowns….”
Me: Wasn’t Aaron Rodger’s brother the winner of the Bachelorette?
“…Adrian Peterson is a good running back who plays for the Vikings….”
Me: Wasn’t he accused of child abuse after giving his son a bad switching?
“…Rob Gronkowski plays tight end for the Patriots…”
Me: I’ve heard his Gronk Party Boat is wild.
D: “…YOU DIDN’T ASK ME TO CHOOSE THE NFL’S MOST UPSTANDING CITIZENS. We’re done.”
In most ways, we are not on the same page with Fantasy Football. But on one thing we agree: he must win his Fantasy League. For him, winning means he has risen above adversity to pocket some cash and a year to brag about his team. For me, winning means my man won us some money which means we get to go to the fancy movie theater that has the recliners. We get to wipe our rom-com tears with twenty dollar bills and ignore texts from the babysitter. And we might get Cinnabon on the way home. And sometimes winning also means I get to buy new jeans in 2-4 different denim washes. Also, new pillows for the couch. And maybe this year we can pick out the black boots I’ve been needing.
FANTASY FOOTBALL IS THE BEST.