For as long as I can remember I’ve been trapped between the two worlds of Tomboy & Girly Girl. As a little girl with an older brother, I was obsessed with him thinking I was cool. I climbed trees like a monkey, attempted daring stunts, glued myself to the Thundercats and Transformers, was rad at Atari and Nintendo and routinely zipped Hot Wheels around the living room. I was also the designated reptile and amphibian collector, and I caught and played with them, harboring zero fear.
And yet, I almost always wore a dress to school, had hair down to my waist, collected as many Barbie’s as humanly possible, begged my brother to play “house” with me and was boy crazy since I could crawl.
It never seemed weird to me until I got older. I’ve had more people than I could count tell me that I’m “so much like a guy.” In fact, my best guy friend pre-introduces me as “the coolest guy you’ll ever meet, trapped in a hot chick’s body.” Yeah, I love sports and I hate shopping. I fail at doing my own hair and makeup. I’m severely lacking in the girl department (which is why I tend to lean towards dressing ultra-feminine whenever I can).
Ever since I joined my first 12 person, all male (besides me) fantasy league I was hooked. I literally thought I was going to puke during the draft. (In fact every draft since then still riddles me with anxiety.) But I drafted well and by the end of the season, I’d taken home a sweet virtual trophy and an even sweeter check of my winnings.
Since then, whenever I join an already put together, all male league, I have to go through the song and dance of proving myself to them. That I won’t fall off mid season, that I know what I’m talking about, that I don’t just pretend to like football—but that I actually do. And you know what?
I’m fucking tired of it.
5 Struggles Every Fantasy Football Girl Faces
You Suddenly Have Something to Prove
“Oh come on, you won’t let me in, but you’ll let a chick play??”
A guy that was too late to sign up for a league I was in, complained and pointed at me. The commissioner, without flinching said, “Yeah dude, actually she was the first one in. Sorry.”
As a chick playing fantasy, more often than not you’re going to be the only chick in your league. Even as someone who is super comfortable around groups of men—this can still be a little intimidating for me.
During drafts I’m the one with a pen, notepad, highlighter and various printed out lists of player rankings. I have my picks and contingency picks for my turn and have laser point focus on the names that were already picked.
As women, when we enter a male-dominated setting, the priority tends to be proving ourselves to be just as good—if not better than our male counterparts. Because if not, then what’s the point? There are plenty of chicks out there that play fantasy football and are really freaking good at it. For some of us the desire to prove ourselves makes us even better, we do endless hours of research, we ask lots of questions, and we find ourselves zoning out to ESPN at odd hours of the night.
For a chick that was “allowed” in a league—you want to be 1 million percent sure that they know you belong there and aren’t fucking around.
You Have to Hear About “That Girl”
As a girl in an all-guy fantasy football league, there is usually some girl they had let in before, who burned them pretty badly (aka stopped setting her line up). Because of that girl you have even more to prove, because of that girl if you start losing there’s no way in hell you’re going to admit defeat. It’s always better to lose than it is to be that girl.
You Find Yourself Watching Games That You Otherwise Never Would
Men are simply bred to love sports, just for the sake of loving sports. I enjoy them for the most part but never find myself in a position thinking that there just has to be some kind of game on. While yes, more and more women are becoming hardcore sports fans, fantasy is a bit more intricate.
Suddenly, games that I never gave a damn about actually matter. Teams like the Bengals and the Browns fill my screen and I feel totally fine about that. The ticker at the bottom has taken on a whole new meaning and I might find myself flipping back and forth between that and some other game I could give a crap about.
Every game matters in fantasy football, whether you have a guy playing, or are going against someone who is.
Your Girlfriends Who Don’t Play Think You’re Weird
Screaming “HELL YESS!!” at your phone as though you had just won the lottery, but nope, one of your players just scored his 3rd touchdown and now you’re beating that asshole who always talks shit to you. Your friends look at you with excitement and want to hear the big news.
You launch into a spiel about how you were going to sit him but put him in instead because it totally paid off and blah, blah—their eyes have glazed over. They don’t get it. They don’t get you. At the very least they’ll tell you that they don’t understand it but are happy that you’re so happy.
Not one of my girlfriends play fantasy, so talking about it is pointless. They have long since stopped humoring me and now just roll their eyes.
Winning Is Addicting and like, Better than Chocolate
Okay really though. The guy that up until you, had gone undefeated. The jerk who always talks shit to you. The guy who wins even though he has failed to set his lineup a few weeks in a row. All those victories are savored and on replay until your next big win. And winning the league? Well that’s a virtual trophy you couldn’t be more proud of.
Are you a girl who plays fantasy football? What are the struggles you face?
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