The Fantasy Football Guide for Married Couples The fantasy football season can put a lot of stress on marriage. Here are Coop's 10 tips to thrive during fantasy football. BY STEVE COOPER
Fantasy football doesn't need to be a drag on your marriage, just use these simple tips.
“ Every wife of a fantasy football player across the country has heard about how their husband's player has gotten injured. They don't care.”
It's the most wonderful time of year—yes, football season! I am an unapologetic fanatic. Over a decade ago I began playing fantasy football with my friends. This was before the days of automated drafts and mobile apps, and as the commissioner I would wake up on Monday morning and go through the box scores in the newspaper (remember those) and hand tally the weekend data.
Fantasy sports have grown quite a bit since then. The Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA), estimates there are a total of 41 million people playing fantasy sports in the U.S. and Canada, with 80% of them male. Among the fantasy players, the FSTA says 51.5% of them are not married, so we'll estimate married players are also near the 50% mark. So while I know there are many women/wives who play fantasy sports (there's a wife in my league of 14 players), I'm going to presume husbands are the fantasy players and address the following 10 tips from that perspective.
1. Husbands: Make Friday and Saturday about your family if you're spending Sunday with your league. Because my wife and I both work during the week, we typically spend a great deal of time together on the weekend. During football season, though, we have an understanding that I will be pre-occupied on Sundays. To make sure we get our time in together we plan date nights on either Friday or Saturday so that we continue to spend quality time together.
2. Wives: You may think fantasy football is stupid, but your husband likes it—so root for his success. Trust me ladies, your man will love you more if you feign interest in his fantasy football team. For bonus points, you might even consider asking him how his team is doing from time to time.
3. Husbands: Your wife probably doesn't care about your running back who pulled a hamstring on your imaginary team. Every wife of a fantasy football player across the country has heard about how their husband's player has gotten injured. They don't care. Guys, it's fine to keep them informed, particularly if they ask, but there's no need to go on and on about it—that's what the league message boards are for.
4. Wives: Surprise your husband with a little football knowledge. Small gestures go a long way. Acquiring information in this day in age with the web, smartphones and apps makes this feat simple. If that already sounds like too much work, ask a football fan at work to give you a Friday football tip. Then, relay that information to your spouse—a simple text is fine—and watch the appreciation grow.
5. Husbands: It's a long season, you may have to miss or record a game. The diehard fans among us don't like to miss one second of real-time action, but the world doesn't stop turning during the NFL season and things that are more important do come up. Don't worry, whether you watch or not your player will rack up the same amount of points. I've tested this theory and it holds true. Bonus tip: Turn your phone to "Airplane Mode" to avoid spoilers.
6. Wives: Use Sundays for personal fulfillment. You might already do this, but some people feel better if their own tacit permission becomes blatant encouragement. This day of rest can be your time to catch up on reading, stream a TV series, launch your food blog, or whatever else you have been putting off. Remember, personal growth is important for a thriving marriage.
7. Husbands: Support your wife's season of interest. You have football season, your wife deserves her own season of interest. Ask her if there's something coming up that she'd like to delve into deeper and support that interest. If, for example, she's watching your young children while you're watching football, reciprocate by offering her the same opportunity. If there's a stage play season coming up that she'd like to attend, support that.
8. Wives: Avoid calendar conflicts and respect the football season. I've already warned men that some things are more important than football (that was difficult to admit), but you must also avoid scheduling conflicts when possible.
9. Husbands: Don't draft a Raider. Ok, so this is a personal preference, but in all the years I've been playing fantasy football, I've never drafted a Raider and in turn have not been disappointed by their consistent, poor performance. This is a scientific fact. Google it!
10. Wives: Don't let your husband draft a Raider. Really, tell your husband to look at his fantasy football magazines for the past 10 years and see if he can find a Raider that has finished in the top 10.
Do you have tips for how to survive and thrive during the fantasy football season? Leave them in the comment section below.
Steve Cooper is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Hitched. You can follow him on Twitter at @hitchedmedia.