Last night’s Cowboys-Panthers game wrapped Week 3 of the NFL season. More importantly, we are now about a third of the way through the 10-week regular season for fantasy football.
A recent NPR All Things Considered segment estimated that there are approximated 20 million people who play fantasy football. Fantasy football isn’t just for men, though:
According to [Yahoo's David] Geller, more than 14 percent of Yahoo’s fantasy football players are female, and new online tools now make the game more accessible to both sexes.
NPR reporter Katia Dunn profiles two women in an “all-girls” league in Arlington, Va., while they are having their draft (picking their players):
[Jeanette] Casselano and her teammate Susie Schoenberger say it’s a slightly different game with women. Both admitted that looks sometimes played into their picks.”
I’m sure many guys don’t pick some of their players based on looks,” Schoenberger says. While explaining that looks don’t often factor into picks, Schoenberger says she occasionally chooses players on that basis.
We play just as hard and watch the games every weekend and really enjoy it. We know what’s going on and can intelligently talk about it.
- Jeanette Casselano
“I guess if all of your favorite players were gone and that’s all you had to go on, OK, yes, for sure,” she says.
Dunn also makes sure to let us know that men are threatened by the little ladies horning in on their precious boys’ club.
Paul Charchian, president of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association and host of a fantasy football radio show, says the men he talks to haven’t minded women joining them on the virtual field. In fact, for men who are married to these fantasy enthusiasts, it’s a point of pride.
“It’s almost one-upping your friends who have to try to carve out a few hours to sit in front of the TV on Sunday because their wife doesn’t like it,” Charchian says. “And they don’t understand it and it’s an area of contention.”
Charchian also says there’s more to men enjoying their partners’ interest in fantasy football than simple camaraderie. “It is hot. Absolutely,” he says.
Many of these men are so happy, Charchian says, to be sharing the game with their spouses that they don’t even mind losing to them.
I don’t play fantasy football because it’s “hot” or because I want a man’s approval.
I play because I want to win.
I started playing fantasy football last year when my best friend asked me to join her family’s league. I didn’t really know anything about football but I thought, “Why not?” I was at my BFF’s house when we did our draft and she helped me choose my players. Once the season got started, I really got into it. I’m competitive and I don’t like to lose. My main objective was to beat my BFF and everyone in her family. I had always been the girl who didn’t know anything about sports and was picked last for the team, you know? I didn’t want them to think I was a dumb girl, an easy win.
I decided to learn everything I needed to know in order to win, especially after I got shellacked by a really good opponent in Week 1 I was embarrassed that he beat me and I didn’t want it to happen again. I was also embarrassed that he had gotten the really good players and wanted to know how he had done it. How did he know to pick those players?
I started reading the fantasy football blogs every day. I analyzed my players’ stats each week and monitored how they were doing in practice. I played the waiver wire and added and dropped players like crazy, tweaking my roster so I could have the best players available each week. The long and short of it is that I learned the game. At Labor Day, I had no idea what the difference was between a wide receiver, running back or tight end, but I finished third in my league, ahead of everyone in my BFF’s family. (The first and second place winners were family friends like I was. By the way, first place was a woman. Second place was the guy who beat me that first week and a very formidable opponent.)
Last year’s league had five women and five men. This year we have four women and six men. (We have a ten player league.) I probably won’t spend as much time on the league as I did last year but it doesn’t mean I want to win any less.
Because I’m a Helper: