Fantasy football is not just about watching sports. Sure, it that’s part of it. But there are also elements of camaraderie, friendship, control, and a financial incentive built into fantasy football leagues and game playing that makes the game even more exciting. Here are five reasons why playing fantasy football can be good for men.
1. Make new friends
If you’re in a league with coworkers you don’t know very well, fantasy football is a great way to connect with others. During football season, there’s always something to discuss at the water cooler. Participating in a league where your boss or other superiors are involved can also help break awkward work tension and build companionship at the office.
2. Reconnect with old friends
With fantasy football, each week there is a different matchup. This means every week men go up against a different childhood friend or an old college roommate. This gives us the chance to message that one guy and rib him about how his team is going down.
We may not have spoken to him in several months, but when our teams play each other, it’s just like old times. A lot of men wouldn’t just message a friend out of the blue to see how he’s doing. Men aren’t as likely as women to check in on a friend’s marriage or job, but starting a conversation about fantasy football rekindles the friendship and can open doors to other conversations as well.
3. We see our friends’ true colors
All the competitiveness and trash talk of fantasy football can bring out someone’s true colors. You may witness anger, sadness, gloating, lying, and pride from your friends like you never have before. Winning and losing, experiencing injuries and making poor decisions can have your friends showing some new emotions. Think you know your friends? Include them in your league and get ready to have your friendship really tested.
4. We get to be in charge
In fantasy football, each person is the general manager of their team. We get to choose the players we draft, trade, bench and ultimately start week after week. We all think we can do better than an NFL team general manager when it comes to making these decisions and fantasy football lets us have chance to prove it. We are in charge of making the decisions for our team and no one gets to override us.
5. A chance to unleash the trash talk
When you’re going head-to-head against someone in a matchup, the claws can come out. Even the most reserved person can enjoy flinging an insult or two from behind his laptop screen. For many men, trash talking is a way to communicate, express emotion, and build camaraderie. It can also allow some men to show another side of themselves by giving them an outlet to joke like they might not do in everyday life.
Playing in a fantasy football league makes NFL games more interesting and offers a number of other benefits as well. This season’s nearing its end, but if you’ve never participated before think about joining a league (or two) next year. Many of us guys struggle with connecting with other men, so take advantage of the opportunity fantasy football provides to make some new friendships, blow off steam, and have an outlet to let your inner fan go a little crazy.
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