Fantasy fumble


I’ve always been proud of my nerd-dom. In high school I would happily protest that I had no idea what sport the Lakers played and I didn’t know a fumble from a field goal. After all, what sport outside of the jousting at Medieval Times could possibly be worth watching? If it didn’t have long haired muscly Vikings and broadswords it wasn’t for me.

My blissful ignorance was shattered when I married a jock cleverly disguised as a nerd. The only excuse I have for my mistake is that I never dreamed that a man could equally obsess over Lord of the Rings, Dragon Ball Z, and the NFL without some geek paradox devouring all living things. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Conversations like “man, I just don’t know who to play this week! Should I put both Welker and Thomas in even though they’re on the same team? Or should I keep Thomas in and put Garçon in for Welker? Also what should I do about these van braces? The iron studs look really cool, but the weight is making the whole arm piece slip down over my wrist. I won’t be able to do an offside wrap without exposing my elbow. Of course Welker has been pretty consistent over these past few….Jill….JILL! Are you even listening to me anymore? Your eyes are glazing over again–” happen far too often at my house.

Equally unfortunately, I’m a big participation junkie. I don’t care if I win, I just want to show up and play with the cool kids. In junior high I was given the option to either stay 23rd chair clarinet in wind ensemble until I actually practiced or pick up the bass clarinet and get a free ride into Concert Band, the big kid’s cool orchestra. Concert Band got to go to Catalina Island at the end of the year. Concert Band got to march in the Montrose Christmas parade. Guess which one I chose. I could never play a scale to save my life, but guess who went to Catalina! If it has enough perks, you can probably talk me into almost anything. And who doesn’t like football game beer, hot wings, and those little burger sliders? Good junk food is the perfect Jill trap.

I also to tend to have a ‘if you can’t force ’em to stop babbling about their hobby, join ’em’ mentality. Unfortunately this didn’t work for snowboarding, where I discovered getting ice chips shoveled down your pants by an unforgiving, rocky mountain covered in snow is not as fun as the Olympics make it out to be. But for football I didn’t have to put any pads on, right? I did a little research, realized that football players actually look pretty attractive in tight pants, and resigned myself to the fact that the Vikings, the Broncos, and the 49ers would occupy my Sunday afternoons September to February. One game every couple of weeks, when California cable decided to air the Minnesota Vikings didn’t sound so bad to me.

Little did I know that I was a frog in a pot of slowly boiling water. Last year Michael decided that playing fantasy football would add another level of enhanced fun to our season. Yay. Now, instead of only watching the teams we are rooting for, we now have to watch every game because somebody in our eight man league has somebodyplaying.

So that is how, for the second year in a row, I have wound up being the hapless owner of a fantasy football team. I wouldn’t say I’m a great owner. Michael, now Michael is a great owner. He treats his team like a prize show dog. He checks on it nightly, grooms it continually, and he actively, passionately coaches it throughout every game. Me, I’m more like a goldfish owner. If I remember to check on it once a week and make sure nobody’s belly up, I pat myself on the back.

And somehow, because the universe is a strange place, this week I’m 2-2. The super nerd who actively watches curling in the Olympics has won two fantasy football games. I’m actually kind of excited about this. I’ve never been in a not losing position before! I’m not winning, but there’s now that glimmer of hope that I might actually win something since I landed on number 4 at the kindergarten Halloween carnival cake walk. This could be big! I should actually start paying attention to my lineup! On second thought, maybe I should just grab another hot wing and leave it up to chance.

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