Thursday, July 14, 2016

We All Have Different Fantasies

For many years, I was a self-proclaimed Football Widow.

My husband has been a die-hard football fan since childhood. He was a Seahawks season-ticket holder for ten years or so, and even asked my dad for my hand in marriage at a Seahawks game. His family gave up the season tickets when the Hawks moved into their new stadium and prices went up accordingly, but he has been a Hawks fan for life.

My darling husband was, at one point, in four Fantasy Football leagues. If you are not familiar with Fantasy Football, it's an online game where you and some of your football-loving friends pick your own teams of real NFL players to make up an imaginary team, and play your imaginary team against other imaginary teams throughout the season, hoping that your best players don't get busted for illegal drugs, or deflating footballs, or child abuse. It's like Dungeons and Dragons where everything can end badly at any time and it's not in your control.  OK, I've never actually played Dungeons and Dragons, so I have no idea what the game consists of, so that example might not make any sense at all.

I mocked my husband relentlessly for this hypothetical game that he played with not one but four groups of friends who all had their own various fictional teams. This means my husband had four imaginary teams himself, each consisting of different players, and he would somehow remember not only who was on each team, but who was out for injuries and who was out for steroid use and so on. My brain is muddled by thoughts of which of the kids need new shoes and who was given the red marker last in order to know who to blame for the red marks on the carpet, so all this extra info was completely lost on me. Hubby would want to watch many of the week's football games as possible in order to see how his players were doing, since how they did in real life effected their scores in the imaginary-pretend-fantasy world. It was frustrating and stupid and annoying and I just wanted to have a life and not be tied to football scores each week. Was that too much to ask?

My brother took pity on me and invited me to join his fantasy football league of people who didn't know much about football and just played for funsies. I was a little unsure, as my football knowledge was limited to whatever slipped through my thoughts as I tuned out whatever my husband was telling me. "I have to remember to go get bread tomorrow, and how much grocery money do I have left this month? Oh, I don't think I've said anything in a while, better nod in agreement, 'Mmmmhmmm.' How many pairs of jeans do the kids each have stocked up for fall? 'Oh, totally.' Wait, what did I just agree with? Dang, better pay attention and see if I can figure out what he is saying. Oh, that Roethlesberger guy is still a total douche-canoe. I didn't miss anything new. Where IS that smell coming from?"

However, I was tempted by the promise that I could attend the draft without children in tow, and there would be smoked chicken and brisket. I can be swayed easily by smoked brisket and time with adult conversation and not wiping butts. I mean, I don't wipe anyone's butt but my own nowadays, but this was a few years ago.

I wasn't expecting it, but I found my tribe.

I showed up to the first draft and was informed that the "GB Packers" stood for Great Britain, and the "Cle Browns" were from Cle Elum. There were no bonus points for knowledge. We all just had fun, no one cared if you made a stupid mistake, and it was awesome. Oh, and the food was fantastic.

I snacked on brisket and chose my players based on uniform colors and how awesome their hair was, and I won the Super Bowl my first year. I was hooked. Then, the Seahawks started playing well, and football became a lot more interesting.

Now, I have been a Hawks fan forever, I just haven't always been a football fan. My first crush as a kid was none other than the amazingly beautiful Steve Largent, and I had the poster on my wall to prove it. I really didn't understand the game, though, and I think that makes it challenging to enjoy a sport when you have no idea what is going on half the time.

You know, like life. And why adulting is so hard.

Anywhoo.  Here I am, a few years down the road, and I'm already planning my fantasy draft at the end of August.  However, my planning is limited to pinning goal-post decorations on Pinterest and calculating if the tootsie-pop foul flags would actually cause injury if we threw them at each other when someone takes the player you wanted next. Who is playing this sport this year? I have no idea. OOH! Taco dip shaped like a football field? I'm IN!

Basically, the tables have turned. My darling husband is now completely annoyed by ME each and every football season.

Hubby: "Who is your backup running back?"
Me: "Huh? I don't remember. He has brown wavy hair and looks scary."
Hubby: "..."
me: *blinks innocently*
Hubby: "I just. I got nothing."

Hubby: "Do you have any Cardinals going this week?'
Me: "I dunno, why?"
Hubby: "Because they are playing tonight."
Me: "What? Why are they playing? It's not even the weekend!"
Me: "Oh, today is Thursday? Whoops. Who is the running back? Wait, I won't remember names anyway, what does his hair look like?"
Hubby: "I hope you lose."

Hubby: "Did you start Julio Jones?"
Me: "No, I decided to start that other guy instead. I had a good feeling about, what's his name? Lemme look... OH! Larry Fitzgerald."
Hubby: "WHAT? He hasn't scored a touchdown in four weeks!!"
Me: "Yeah, but his hair looks fantastic."
Hubby: "You don't get to have good feelings when you have no idea what you are doing!! Oh my gosh, you are insane!"
--Later that week--
Hubby: "So you lost this week?"
Me: "No, I won. Fitzgerald scored two touchdowns and that other guy didn't get anything. I told you I had a good feeling!"
Hubby: "... I hate you."

Really, he loves me. And he just might be filled with a teensy bit of jealousy that I keep winning. I'm sure that's it.