Monday, July 28, 2008


When it comes to playing in fantasy sports leagues, especially fantasy football, there are a lot of fallacies and myths that have developed over the years.
One of the biggest fallacies is that fantasy sports, where you draft a team and earn points based on the professional players' performance, is strictly a man's game. Maybe that was so in the 1980s and 1990s, but not in the 21st century. In fact, there is nothing more sexy than a woman who drafts a competitive team, pulls off blockbuster trades and kicks butt to win a league championship.
Sure, there are some women, like there are some men, who seem to have no clue when it comes to competing in these leagues. But there is something about women that makes competing against them challenging. When they are serious players you better have your game-face on.
Women who play are in it to win.
"I've been competing in fantasy football leagues for about six years now,"said Jean Davis (hometown withheld) . "I've been in leagues with all women and in leagues with men, including my husband. Some of these guys think 'Oh, I'm playing a girl this week, chalk up the W.'
"These are the guys I love beating the most. I wouldn't equate it to reaching an orgasm when I beat them, but it's pretty close."
Depending on which story you read on the Internet, about 40 million people nationwide play in fantasy sports leagues and according to a recent study by Compete, Inc., 70 percent of those players are men. Some reports claim about 300,000 to 350,000 play in Connecticut.
Now, the fact that 30 percent who play are women might not seem like a lot. But that percentage is impressive when you learn that from 1998-99 only 3-5 percent of all fantasy sports players were women.
The study by Compete, Inc, also pointed out that 77 percent of all women who play fantasy sports leagues today only started playing in the last 6 years. Linda (last name withheld) of Middletown said she has more fun playing in all-female leagues and can't wait for the upcoming football season to start.
"I played in a few football leagues where I was the only woman and it wasn't a lot of fun," Linda said. "When I would beat a guy some of the other guys would bust his behind and raz him that he got beat by a woman. Some guys would make rude remarks if I made a trade they thought was one-sided in my favor and some of my trades would get vetoed when they were truly fair trades. After awhile you get tired of all the testosterone-driven nonsense.
"I've been in an all-woman league two years now and there is no sniping, no ripping of other players and no sarcastic remarks when you draft a player or make a trade. It's fun and we're very competitive."
Jim Samuelson of Connecticut enjoys playing in a fantasy football league with women.
"We have a two-division 14-team league that plays head-to-head competition," Samuelson said. "The two women in our league have been in it for two years and they're just one of the guys. They dish out the trash talk as much as they get it and everyone knows it's done in a fun way.
"I have never been in a league with women who know so much about football. They take it just as serious as anyone else, do their homework and spend hours looking up information on the Internet. They both have made the playoffs the last two years."
The bottom line is fantasy sports isn't a fad and is here to stay. The hobby continues to grow and evolve and women are becoming a big part of that expansion and evolution. The lure for both sexes is that everyone is placed on a level playing field. Whether you're a 98-pound waitress at a local diner or a 250-pound construction worker, as long as you can log onto a computer and can analyze stats, performances and projections, you can be extremely competitive and successful in the world of fantasy sports.