I admit this isn’t a very provocative answer. I tend to be a little hesitant to dig too deeply into my motivation for participation in certain activities because of the chances of a Freudian realization of my propensity for child-like indulgence that might avail itself to me and undo years of fledgling ‘manhood’. However, I do think there is a certain element of fantasy football that appeals to the kid in every participant and that is the inherently mindless yet deceptively complicated fun that makes any game of chance worth playing. Like poker, one can learn the ins-and-outs of fantasy football to a ridiculous degree, and yet success is still reliant upon the one elusive factor that is chance. You can, of course, boost your odds of victory by an increased awareness and a scholarly approach to the game. But in the end, no amount of pre-planning will buy you more than a slight advantage. You can strategize all you want, but ultimately chance is the one mitigating factor in the success of your fantasy team.
Curiously enough, I am not typically a lover of games of chance. My last ‘friendly’ poker game ended prematurely, all of my money lost in mere minutes to a friend of a friend whose false modesty and feigned lack of skill I wanted to reward with a decidedly unfriendly kick in the face. In retrospect, it was not this false amateur – patronizingly ‘gee-whizzing’ and ‘aw-shucks-ing’ at his supposed dumb luck – who was to blame for my loss. It was my own damn fault for taking part in a game of chance for which I was clearly ill-prepared. Not so with fantasy football, where even the most novice of football fans is likely to come away with a better understanding of the game and its players and will thusly be all the more ready for the next go-round.
I liken my interest in fantasy football to my enthusiasm for collecting sports cards in my adolescent years, when I became a studious observer of the finer points of the game and as a consequence, a veritable computer of useless statistical information and trivia. Years later, I have found myself in a similar situation owing to fantasy football. And for this reason, I am simultaneously proud and embarrassed to say that I am now starting my second season as a league commissioner.
Like many fantasy leagues, mine is a league of guys - guys who love football and guys who love talkin’ shit. I have approached a few females about participating in my league but they’ve all declined, stating a mystification at the mostly male fascination with fantasy football. However, I think there would be some surprises in store for those in my league or any league that think football is a sport exclusively populated with male fans. It has been a great pleasure in discovering that there exist many learned female football fans with just as much love and enthusiasm for the sport (maybe more) as I possess.