As I’ve clearly stated multiple times in the past decade, I love football. I’ve also mentioned how I’ve been into fantasy football for a few years now on my site Momspective. In 2008, I moved into the big time. I completed my first live auction style fantasy football draft.
When we moved into our neighborhood, we had no idea we’d be so lucky. Every home in our circle with the exception of one has children the same age as my own. If that wasn’t great enough, throw in the fact that the parents of these kids totally rock.
Every night it doesn’t rain you’ll find one or all of us in the circle socializing as our children happily frolic. In talking with some of the guys, we decided to form a neighborhood Fantasy Football league. This neighborhood is super tiny, only 86 houses, so we’re all getting to know each other pretty well and I was one of the first on board with this idea.
Two things I did not know going in-
1) I would be the only female in the league.
2) It would be a live auction style draft.
The first one I didn’t mind so much. I actually felt pretty cool to be outside talking with all the dads in the circle. They looked at me with wonder and are, in fact, my inspiration for this all female league I started for women that same year. It’s the second fact that made me nervous.
With an automated draft, you simply log in to the fantasy football website for your team, rank your players in your preferred order (or keep the default settings) and wait. I’ve been invited to participate in leagues that feature live drafts, but always bowed out claiming I didn’t have the time. In truth, I was terrified.
This time, though, I was locked in. These are my neighbors. I see them nightly. I can’t be on board with a league and flake out when I hear its live. So I suck it up and put my game face on. For days before hand I agonized over this draft. I felt that because I was the only female in the league, I had to step up my game with these guys. I know it’s the 21st century and women are everywhere in sports. Every fantasy league I’m in is co-ed and no one thinks twice about it. I think it was simply because it is my neighborhood and also my first live draft, I made it huge in my mind.
So the day finally comes to hold the draft next door at Bob’s house. We actually considered driving there just to be funny, but didn’t. We walk in the door and I swear, my hands were shaking. I had all my materials so I was well prepared. I studied for this. I printed our Auction values, player rankings and projected statistics.
For those unfamiliar with Auction drafts, it is exactly as it sounds. Typically, live drafts are just held in order. First team picks a player, next teams picks one and so on until the roster is full. Since our league is new and we don’t have an order to go with (typically, winner gets first pick the following year-or loser, depending on the team), it was decided the Auction Style draft was the most fair way to go.
I take my seat at the table, separate from my husband because I didn’t want it to look like I was leaning on him for support. I’m my own woman and I could do this. The team manager (Bob) announces we have $200 in fake money and have to spend at least $1 on each player without going over. The bidding starts.
First off, Ladanian Tomilson-LT as he is often called. He’s the guy everyone wants. Bidding starts at $30, $40, $60-next thing I know, someone has the guy for $85! We only get $200 and there’s 15 spots to fill! Next up is Adrian Peterson. This guy I wanted. I had him last year by chance as a 4th round automated draft pick and he kicked butt. Again the bidding is out of control. I stayed in as long as I could but once it got in the $70 range, I chickened out. I’m still regretting that. So bidding continued and we all got out players. No one got heated and my team isn’t too bad from the looks of things. By the time this draft was finished, it turned out I wasn’t the least knowledgeable person in the room. There were guys in the league who had never played and don’t know a lot about football, so I looked smart to them. It felt great.
Like I said, I know its the 21st century. Women are everywhere. Last night, on one tiny little day for one tiny little draft, I felt empowered. It may be silly, but football is still somewhat considered a mans sport. I know very few women even interested in it (hence my new crusade) and yesterday, I got to hang with the big boys of the Spicewood Fantasy League and I held my own. Awesome. Stay tuned next week as I tell you about how I went about training women in my very own fantasy football challenge and you’ll even hear from some of the players to see how it impacted their lives!