I know there are several women out there who may not appreciate my amateur findings in my first attempt at fantasy football. To those of you die-hard pro football fans, forgive me. And to the moms who have absolutely zero interest in the NFL, hear me out. Even if you never intend to follow my footsteps into joining a fantasy league, I hope you can take something from what I’ve learned.
I consider myself a mid-level football fan at best. Of course, I love the Buckeyes. Living in Columbus, it’s almost a sin not to, not to mention that I attended every game I could with my season tickets for the two years I attended grad school at THE Ohio State University. Unfortunately, the Bucks aren’t a pro team, so I will also confess that I’ve been a Cleveland Browns fan since birth, which is admittedly easier to do when I haven’t watched a full game since before my nearly 7-year-old daughter was born. And yes, I know their record this season, thank you.
I decided to play fantasy football in my brother-in-law’s league because my husband thought it’d be a fun thing for us to do together. Which brings me to my first takeaway from fantasy football this year:
Friendly competition brings people together
I have absolutely loved the banter between my brother, husband, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, and friends over the past several weeks. It’s been the reason for added phone calls and text messages since we’re spread across the country from Alaska to Arizona to Ohio. I’ve also truly bonded with and come to even more deeply respect my husband as I’ve learned more about each player on my team, the positions they play, and what factors into points earned each week.
I’ve also learned some valuable life lessons that you can apply to parenting, friendships, and work relationships:
No amount of research will tell you EVERYTHING
I’m pretty analytical and methodical by nature, but reading every post available on each of my players hasn’t reliably predicted how well they’ll each do in a given week. Statistics and ratings have certainly helped me weigh various decisions I’ve had to make in who plays and who stays on the bench each week, but those numbers don’t always lead to points on game day. The same goes for how we prepare to parent on specific topics like breastfeeding, potty training, having conversations about life changes, etc. Don’t expect a book, article, or blog post to tell you everything you need to know about anything.
Go with the flow
Not many people like change, and that’s ok. Sometimes. But to maintain sanity and succeed in life, you really do need to learn to go with the flow. Pay attention to last minute decisions and don’t hold on to something that isn’t working longer than necessary. There may be a much better running back (or idea or method) that you haven’t even considered yet. Having said that…
Everyone has a bye (or off) week
You can’t count on anyone to perform at their peak all the time. Just as every player has a bye week and is susceptible to injuries preventing their ability to score points each week, none of us can be “on” or at our best all the time. So don’t be too quick trade a player in for someone else who seems better at that moment. That especially goes for our kids – as much as we may want to at times!
Relax & enjoy the game
I may be winning right now (Kelly’s Zeke Outlook is 8 and 2, baby!), but even if I don’t net $175 at the end of this, I am so glad I gave it a chance. I’ve loved connecting with my husband in a different way this football season, and it’s given me a new perspective on a crazy popular industry. It’s definitely not always fun when things don’t go as planned, but just as with parenting and in life, I’m certainly not going to let an interception or fumble stop me from going for the end zone every time.