- Are You Ready For Some Football?
Oh, how I long to hear those words “Fantasy Football”! As I sat down to write my next article, I was not necessarily having writer’s block in the sense that I could not think of a topic to write about, it was quite the opposite. I could not choose from all the topics I have written down since starting to blog and the new ones popping in my head all the time.
About the time I was contemplating putting them all in a hat and having my boyfriend pull one out, he comes in the living room and turns the channel to NFL Live. Right then I felt the football season withdrawals kick in. When I looked over just in time to hear the news about Andrew Luck’s new contract and then there was Peyton Manning on TV, that did it. Decision was made, an NFL article was staring me in the face.
I realize, to some, it may still be a bit early. However, as I sit here writing this article, we only have 23 days until Preseason and approximately 49 days, 5 hours and 17 minutes until the NFL season starts. I have consciously decided I can now start getting geared up for football. It is time to start paying attention to who drafted who, who bailed on one team and joined another, who retired or possibly made a not so wise decision and won’t be playing this year.
Growing up my family didn’t necessarily spend the whole day on Sundays glued to the television, but if I was to pick a sport we tuned in to, football would be the one. Having five brothers, I had my share of high school football games, even if it was primarily a social event for me.
Later in life, along came the three boys, by high school they were all very much involved in football and more times than not football was on our TV on Sunday’s and Monday’s. Sports were always the topic of conversation when the male figures in the household got together. Just by being around and listening, I was absorbing all the football stats, player names and team information, which lead to my love of the game.
One day, right before preseason started, the boys (along with their Father) organized a Fantasy Football League and asked me to join. The whole idea was to be interactive with the NFL as a family. Not knowing the first thing about how it all worked, I said “yes” and that is where the addiction to fantasy football started and it has only gotten worse from there!
As I continued with the one fantasy league we played through ESPN.COM, I found myself learning more and I was tuning in to watch the NFL regularly, not just when the Indianapolis Colts were playing. You see I was born and raised in Indiana and although we had already made the move to Seattle, I still remain faithful to the “home team.” This being the reason I professed my love for Peyton Manning. Although he did leave our beloved Colts to join the Broncos, I have stayed true to him to this day.
Admittedly, I probably was not the best at the whole fantasy football the first year, as it takes a little learning to understand how the draft works, whether it is a live draft or an “auto” draft. For those who don’t know when you join a fantasy league, you participate in a draft with the other people in you league and draft your own team all together. It is a little confusing in the beginning which is why I can confidently say I probably didn’t make the playoffs that first season.
A couple years later, I met my boyfriend, Brendan, who was pleasantly surprised that I (a chic) actually loved football and was participating in a fantasy football league. He thought he had hit the jackpot! You see, he too had a fantasy football league he was the “commissioner” (meaning he organized the league) of with a few of his buddies from high school and college.
Our second football season together he actually invited me to join the league with him and his buddies. I actually think they might have been short a person and I was readily available and easy to recruit. Thinking I had this activity under control, I said I would do it.
Brendan also introduced me to an online league in which he also participated. This particular type of league was a little bit different. Participants can create their team drafting any player they want regardless if someone else had them or not. The competition was a little greater because there are thousands of teams you randomly play and the big draw for me was I just might win big bucks! This league is through Head-2-Head Sports and, yes, I joined and no, I have yet to win the big bucks.
If you are keeping a tally, at this point I have gone from being the proud owner of one fantasy team to now having three. When I drafted my first team the initial year, I had to think of a name. Being the faithful Peyton fan I am, I creatively decided on “Manning’s My Man”. At the time it only made since to stick with the theme, therefore, my two new teams shared the same name.
It became very clear, this season I had to “put my big girl pants on” and take the jabs and sarcasm as it was dished out. Apparently, I had lived in the Seattle area long enough, that I should have already been transformed into a die-hard Seahawks fan. Well, I wasn’t and living most of his life in Seattle, Brendan eats, sleeps and breaths “Hawks”! Slowly I adapted to being faithful to two teams.
It was a little trickier now having three teams, I without a doubt held my own and have learned to try to play nicely with “the boys”. It can be a lonely place sometimes in the fantasy football world for us girls.
I am going to throw this out there, because I do every chance I get, a couple years back; Brendan wanted to step it up a bit in his league and decided to have a trophy made for the season winner to have possession of throughout the end of the following season.
It is a replica of the Super Bowl trophy, the winner gets a small plaque with their name and season year mounted to the base. It turned out quite nice and I must say I was pretty impressed as was he. I was even more impressed with this lovely trophy at the end of that season because the very first winning plaque on the base read “Teresa Wilgus, Manning’s My Man”! On my dresser it sat for a whole year to look at every morning and night. I tried to proudly display my new award on the mantel for everyone to enjoy, but that idea was nipped in the bud within seconds.
I am a football junkie without a doubt, not understanding how we ever made it through the NFL season without Red Zone. Not exactly sure exactly how this transformation happened. Quite possibly having five brothers, three sons, a Seahawks obsessed boyfriend and many other men in my life, I figured if you can’t beat them, join them and therefore, here I am today.
I haven’t always had winning seasons with all of my teams, but I will continue to come back for more. Football to me is exciting, engaging, and competitive and brings friends and family together. I am a girl possessed and I really do watch the game, not just show up for the food and drinks. Fantasy Football allows you to enjoy the sport and stay in touch with friends and family no matter where they live. In our original league we have expanded and have family from Seattle, Indiana and Florida.
I am far from an expert and there are many out there much more knowledgeable, However, I have decided to make it my goal to possibly bring little tips and tricks I pick up on along the way and pass along stats here and there in addition to game highlights in a way anyone can understand.
This is just a little warm up to start getting everyone excited. Please feel free join in adding any wisdom you might have to help as well. It’s just around the corner folks and I’m getting a little excited!
Feature Photo by Jose Chavez on unsplash.com
Other Photos by Teresa Branam Wilgus on stateofliberation.com
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