I came home from having a great dinner with some girlfriends a couple of weeks ago with some surprising new insight. There were just four of us at dinner, and as I crawled sleepily into bed, Tony asked me how it went. “How are the girls? Did you have a good time.”
“I did. But you’ll never believe this. Guess who has their own Fantasy Football teams.”
“Karen and Katy. Both of them. Their own teams. Teams that win!”
“What? Seriously? Why?”
“Well, they play on a league with their husbands.”
“Huh…” He sat next to me in bed looking as bewildered as I’d felt when they first started talking about it. I mean, we all love fall football, but I never would have guessed that my girlfriends would get into something like Fantasy Football. The more I thought about it, the more I loved the idea. What a smart way to have fun connecting with your husband!
The next night, Tony and the girls and I went over to Karen’s for dinner with her family. Without being prompted, her husband Kevin chimed in to Tony, “So, we’ve been doing this Fantasy Football thing together.” He beamed as he told us all about the draft and how it works – I’m still not sure I get it – and how he and Karen stay up late talking in bed about their players and checking their scores. This guy was smiling ear to ear and chatty as ever. I couldn’t help but smile with him.
Karen and Katy are a part of a growing trend of women getting in on the fun. It turns out that roughly 20% of Fantasy Football players are women, with an increase of almost 200,000 women from 2012 to the 2013 season. It’s becoming less of a hobby that takes men away from their families and much more of a family affair, and why shouldn’t it be?
While the field and the stands are dominated by men, it appears that smart women who want healthy marriages are choosing not to sit on the sidelines anymore. And, don’t be fooled! It’s not just to connect with their husbands, though that’s a huge benefit. Women are gaining interest because it’s fun! Fantasy football is strategic and competitive and appeals to much more than the stereotypical male characteristics of masochism.
Whether your mate is a part of the Fantasy Life, or simply enjoys watching the games on the weekends, take this as your chance to connect. If you’ve never gotten into sports before, don’t be intimidated. I know Tony loves it when I ask questions about his interests because I want to learn, so ask away! Find out the basics and grow from there. The often portrayed cliche is of women rolling their eyes and walking away, annoyed at their husbands’ hobbies. Don’t let that be you. Think of their interests as a window into their inner lives and an opportunity for you to connect with them on another level. Couples who play Fantasy Football together, stay together… and #staymarried.
You are reading Day 9 in our 31 Days of Loving on Purpose series.
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