So it’s not every day that I start an article with a disclaimer, but if you don’t have sense of humor about fantasy football or life, turn back now. No one will know. Ok, for the rest of you, welcome and congratulations, a sense of humor in life is a necessity. I have yet to write an article that doesn’t directly connect to fantasy football players and how I can help you draft the best team possible. However, inspiration struck and who am I to deny it?
Being the curious staff that we are, my fellow writers and I at thefantasyauthority.com ran a few twitter analytics and found that the majority of our followers are men and only a small percentage are women. The highest percentage among us was 30% women, but the majority were under 10%. These stats are mirrored in those collected by the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as they list 66% of fantasy players are men. Brad Evans, Yahoo Sports fantasy columnist and CEO of #teamHUEVOS, echoed these stats when he graciously responded to me (thanks again, man), but also noted that women are getting more involved each year. It got me thinking and researching…why are women so underrepresented in the fantasy football community?
So I took it to the streets. And by the streets, I mean to twitter. Obviously. So, why aren’t women playing fantasy (or shouldn’t)? Let’s take a look at the arguments.
They don’t know enough about football.
Sure, because we haven’t been watching it every Thursday, Sunday, and Monday just like you men folk. And, of course, because fantasy football relates so directly to actual football. Half the time a player can be an amazing football player and help their team win every week, but you wouldn’t draft them for fantasy if someone paid you. They just don’t get enough fantasy points. Of course, I don’t know the difference. So a touchdown is when they cross that one line right? Gotcha. Why are they kicking through those post things again? Right. Most women that don’t know much about football will just tell you that and aren’t interested in trying fantasy football. How allusive and mysterious women can be, eh?
They only play because their partner plays.
I’ll admit, it is a fun thing to do together and might help you get some time with your partner if they are very involved in fantasy. Who says this is a detriment? It is common knowledge (or should be) that having common interests and working towards a goal (dominating a league!) helps people bond. Just because they initially joined because their spouse plays, doesn’t mean they will forget about setting up their line-up come Week 2. Side note, if you’ve ever played with your partner, you’d know that the competitiveness can get kicked up a notch because you want to kick each other’s butts. The line-ups shall be set (don’t worry, avid fantasy player), especially when you play against each other.
They pick players based on their looks, the attractiveness of their uniforms, or some other arbitrary factor.
Come on now, we can all agree those Pittsburgh bumble-bee uniforms aren’t doing anybody justice, let alone convincing us to draft an unknown or not draft Brown, Bell, or Ben. On top of that, have you seen the top NFL fantasy players? If we drafted for looks, we would lose our leagues 95% of the time (and, we don’t, by the way). My favorite is the new beard scruff that makes them need a bigger helmet. If a woman in your league drafts a kicker in the 5th round because he’s cute, I will…well I won’t do anything but I’ll shake my head at her and laugh! The key here is not to generalize. Are there women who do this? I’m sure. Does that mean we all do? Not even close. I’m sure there are men out there that pick players for completely arbitrary reasons (your “gut” feeling is arbitrary, by the way…but I still think it is completely valid), but we don’t blame the whole lot of you and call you incompetent players. See my point? Another point to consider is that all women out there don’t find men attractive in general. Picking up what I’m putting down?
They’re too emotional.
I love this one. Because, we are ALL emotional about fantasy and if you say you aren’t then you’re lying. Regardless of gender, you are screaming at that TV during the games, cursing the guy that drops the pass in the end zone that would have won it for you. Plus, emotion leads to obsession which leads to good research, which leads to good picks and, ultimately, results in us winning. So really, you’re just telling us we have the tools to beat you. And we do. [Evil Cackle]
I, man. You woman. Get in the kitchen and grab me a beer while you’re at it.
I can’t cook for crap and I like beer more than most men I know. Neither are criteria for…anything. Especially not fantasy football. Throw those stereotypes out because it’s the 21st century! And because you’re probably going to get a concussion from the can of beer thrown at your head if you ever say that to a woman. Then you’ll miss the game anyways and you’ll be the one the league is complaining about that didn’t set their weekly line-up. You slacker.
I don’t want to hang out with you. Sunday is my day. Don’t join a league too. Ba-humbug.
You’re on your own with this one. Good luck. God speed. Go to the bar to watch the games and don’t check-in on social media because she will find you…
Wasn’t that fun? Ok, Ok. It wouldn’t be fair not to flip the script a little and talk about why men don’t (or shouldn’t) play fantasy football. Why not? Let’s have a chuckle and, of course, be balanced.
Men take fantasy way too seriously.
A tattoo if you lose your league? A TATTOO??!! And you guys think we are emotional and crazy. Add in the money that is spent each year on fantasy leagues, especially with how big the daily leagues are getting, and you have some seriousness going on. You thought you were playing for fun? Think again, my friend. They’re out for blood. And all your money. Of course, they’re plenty of leagues that are out just for bragging rights (most of mine, including ours at TFA) and these can be the most fun.
They’re incapable of balance.
For entire seasons, they cut out friends (that don’t play fantasy), partners, social events (that aren’t football games), and skimp at work. They sign up for 15 leagues and start to lose track of who they should root for while watching the game. Described as “obsession”. Sound familiar? There are some guys that take it too far of course and I’ll admit, with so much that changes on a day-to-day basis, you have to keep up on your research. There is a middle ground though. Let me know when you find it! This one applies to most fantasy players I know, regardless of gender.
They become temporarily delusional.
Men actually start to think they (their superstitions, actions, and jersey they wear) dictate the outcome of football games. On top of that, they also believe that the real football players care about their fantasy rosters and if their performance dictated a win/loss for the fantasy player. Men tweet their fantasy players in real life, calling them out for not catching that one more pass. It is hilarious to watch. Am I talking about you? You know you’re out there. But, alas, you’re most likely an outlier. Most men can realize the “crazy” button once they’ve hit it, or at least can admit it while they continue to tweet-harass a head coach about resting their star fantasy RB.
Every guy that plays thinks they are an “expert”.
They played one season, talk crap on social media, gain fake followers, all just to try to make a name for themselves. For every legit fantasy advice source, there is one that has ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what they are talking about. Don’t worry, I’m not one of them. There are a lot of opinions out there. The good “experts” are the ones that don’t even call themselves that. They understand that this is unpredictable to a certain extent, but they watch the tape, research, and try to help you figure out the most likely thing to happen. If you’re blaming them, the person you should probably be blaming is yourself for not doing more research or going with your gut.
Ok, I think I’ve made my point. When it comes to fantasy football, we are all crazy. Can’t we all just get along and make a little room for each other? Invite that female co-worker into your league this year, maybe you’ll be surprised. You might just be surprised when she is more serious than you about football and beats you on any given Sunday. Depending on which uniforms her players are wearing, of course.
Love the X’s and Y’s Podcast because they have both a woman and a man hosting it, giving a balance and hilarity. Check them out at thefantasyfootballgirl.com. I also guest host on our podcast on thefantasyauthority.com with the rest of the guys. We have 2 women on the team, so a shout out to all you women representing out there and to all the guys that have always been more than welcoming to me in the fantasy community. It was my best guy friend that got me into fantasy football in the first place, so cheers to that!
Hit me up @TheOnlyJenSmith on Twitter!