Couples therapy: How men and women can bond over fantasy football
Ladies, raise your hand if your boyfriend plays fantasy football. Does he regale you with stories of how he was down by 14, but then someone whose name you barely recognize scored two touchdowns and then his kicker did something blah, blah, blah?
Do your eyes glaze over as you listen to him blather on? You’re probably just happy because you know if his team lost, he’d act as though his life were collapsing around him.
Men, do you spend the day yelling at the television, texting your buddy or pacing around like a Chihuahua on three cans of Red Bull? Are you even aware that your girlfriend is in the room?
September marks the beginning of a Sunday ritual wherein couples suddenly speak different languages. Men grunt, yell and spill out stats like John Nash, while women shake their heads and commiserate with friends that, yes, they too are dealing with this nonsensical behavior from an otherwise pretty together guy.
But football doesn’t have to tear couples apart. It’s time to take out the Rosetta Stone of relationships and figure out how guys and gals can share the sacred ground that is football season.
Here are four easy steps bring couples together through fantasy football:
Step 1: Attitude adjustment
Men, I know you secretly enjoy the lost expression she gets when you talk in-depth about the zone blitz and nickel packages. This is not in your best interest. You don’t want to make fantasy football overly complicated in order to make yourself feel smarter. She will understand football if you want her to. It’s not hard.
Women, I know some of you like watching football already. The guys in your life appreciate it even if they haven’t told you. (That’s a hint, guys.)
But if you think of it as a silly game that men obsess over, try thinking of it as a four-act play instead. You have a protagonist, antagonist and plenty of exciting twists and turns. Any given Sunday can be a comedy of errors or a suspense-filled thriller. Pick a team and follow them through thick and thin. If you can get invested in a Nicholas Sparks book, you can follow football.
Step 2: Help her prep before the fantasy draft
Guys, your way of preparing for a draft might be to look on seven different websites and create a giant Excel spreadsheet outlining the probability of each player having a good season.
Good for you. She probably doesn’t think the way you do.
My girlfriend likes to pick her fantasy team using the following criteria:
- The player can’t act like a jerk in real life.
- The player should have a fun name or nickname.
- The player is either really big or little, or he has cute kids.
Knowing this, I send her links to promote these types of players. Today, she learned that Maurice Jones-Drew is a really short guy whose nickname is Pocket Hercules. He will be on her team.
Send your lady fun facts about players you think she’ll like. It works.
Step 3: Let her pick her own players
So she picked Darren Sproles a round too early, according to your draft sheet. Chill out. She knows whom she likes.
My girlfriend went to the University of Colorado and is therefore fanatical about owning Mason Crosby, a former CU Buffaloes kicker. She drafts him six rounds before any kicker should go. Let it happen. The only time you need to speak up is if a player is no longer playing football. You’ve had years where none of your picks worked out. You don’t know everything.
Step 4: Party, party!
Your day of football should not consist solely of lying on the couch in your DeMarcus Ware jersey. Put together a creative menu – and, no, that does not mean wings and pizza. Get some friends together and make up a drinking game for every time an announcer uses a buzzword. Make side bets, even if it’s just for fun.
Fantasy football doesn’t have to force a guy into his man cave or a woman out the door. Football Sunday can be a day we all enjoy – even if we do so for vastly different reasons.