Move over, boys. This ain’t your Daddy’s NFL anymore.
Times have changed. We now call this “your Daddy’s Little Girl’s NFL”!
Gone are the days when the only women on the football field were either…
Lingerie Football League players…
And of course, NFL cheerleaders!
Fantasy football leagues are super popular now among women. Women account for approximately 25% of all fantasy league participants. That includes leagues comprised of soccer moms, book club members and gardening groups.
Jesus-Christ-Tim-Tebow, I even once read about a group of nuns who formed their own fantasy football league! They earn bonus points for “Hail Mary” passes completed.
Nielsen statistics support the belief that NFL is no longer just a man’s reason to escape Sunday chores around the house. Women are escaping, too!
More American women watch the NFL than any other team sport, and not just the Super Bowl. In the regular season, the NFL has eclipsed Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association in having the largest percentage of female viewers. In the past decade the NFL has launched several marketing and outreach programs, including coaching clinics, apparel that fits women and donning pink during breast cancer awareness month. Further, watching football tends to be a social event, with people watching in groups of varying gender composition. As a result, the percentage of the football audience that is female has grown from 32.6% in 2006 to 33.6% in 2010, to over 34% in 2011. (Source: The Nielsen Company)
(I also saw an ESPN statistic which cites that a 43% female audience, but I think ESPN is being a little self-serving with that claim. And any guy that has been to a sports bar lately will attest that there’s not even 34% women in the bar on game days.)
So then, it had me wondering…why are there only a handful of women in high-ranking NFL jobs??? You talk about industries like investment banking having glass ceilings? Can you name a more male-dominated business industry than pro football?
Do you realize how difficult it is for a woman to succeed on the business side of football using just her brains and savvy, instead of her pom pons and double-stick tape?
Even former female owners like Georgia Frontiere (Rams) and Denise DeBartolo York (49ers) fell into NFL ownership because of rich husbands or rich families. Yes, ladies, these are your pioneers.
I commend the handful of women making significant strides in the NFL. Really, I do.
On the executive management side, you can find…
Amy Trask (Raiders CEO)…
Dawn Aponte (Dolphins Senior VP of Football Operations)…
Rita LeBlanc (Saints Executive VP)…
and Katie Blackburn (Bengals Executive VP).
On the player representation side, you can find NFLPA certified agents like…
and Kristen Kuliga…
(I actually had the pleasure of interviewing Kristen a few years ago as research for a screenplay of mine, and she was both professional and insightful.)
I admire—and envy—these professional women more so than I do any male professional football player.
With all these great female minds, it should not come as a surprise that our Unsportsmanlike Fantasy Football League crowned a female champ.
It was never a boys-against-girls fight.
It was strictly boys-against-girl.
And the girl won!
In our championship matchup, season point total leader BLIND SIDE TAYLORS went up against the wild card MONEYBALLER. I liken this matchup to the Rams-Titans Super Bowl XXXIV; it wasn’t a memorable game, until the very end when the Rams linebacker tackled the Titans wide receiver just short of the goal line at the end.
Going into the Sunday night Bears-Packers matchup, MONEYBALLER had to feel pretty good with his lead. It would take a record-breaking performance by Rodgers-to-Nelson to make up that huge deficit.
Umm, did someone order the personal best five TD passes by Rogers, with a side helping of two TD grabs by Nelson?
With only the Monday night Falcons-Saints matchup left, BLIND SIDE TAYLORS now had to hold off MONEYBALLER. TE Tony Gonzalez vs. WR Marques Colston. After Colston’s first-half TD catch, it was now the TAYLORS who had to be worried about the rush coming from her backside.
In the end, with MONEYBALLER stuck with 94.76 points, BLIND SIDE TAYLORS (102.32) could breathe a sigh of relief when my boy Julio Jones coughed up the football and the Saints defense scooped it up for a touchdown. Why should BLIND SIDE TAYLORS stop ridiculing Julio? Because that fumble kept Marques Colston on the sidelines, and with a bigger lead now, the Saints would be throwing the ball less.
“You’re welcome.” – Julio
All hail…BLIND SIDE TAYLORS…our 2011 Unsportsmanlike League champion. (For the sake of the IRS, all she won was the respect of the seven other guys in our league.)
Congratulations to MONEYBALLER, who sneaked into the playoffs with his Week 14 win over yours truly. (It’s worth noting here that if FLAMING BAG OF POO had played TE Antonio Gates like he should have, POO would have been crowned our champion, since POO would have won any playoff matchups with the high point totals for both of these last two weeks…123.42 points this week!)
CHENGRI-LA…after clinching a playoff spot about halfway through the season…settled for third place…thanks to a slim victory over DRUNKEN IRISHMEN…97.40 points. According to Yahoo Sports, CHENGRI-LA enjoyed the easiest strength of schedule this season, going up against an average of only 89.93 points. For as long as I can remember, CHENGRI-LA had held this honor for nearly the entire season. Probably not the wire-to-wire finish that he had hoped.
BARDSDALE BRAWLERS actually squeaked in with the most difficult schedule honors with 103.85. The week prior, this would have been BLIND SIDE TAYLORS’ honor, and the week before that, it would have been FLAMING BAG OF POO.
DRUNKEN IRISHMEN went as far as the Patriots could take him. You gotta commend a guy for loyalty. He had about four Patriots on his roster. Even BLIND SIDE TAYLORS never had more than two Giants; I guess the important lesson here is “loyalty is for losers, kids.”
FUNCTIONING DERELICTS seemed to end the season the same way that he started it…with a few embarrassing weeks. From about Week 4 to Week 11, it seemed like the DERELICTS would be a force to reckoned with; in the end, they just looked like a wreck.
TEUFLE HUNDEN capped off the season with his highest point total (122.64) since Week 2. Imagine how he would have done if he had updated his roster during those few midseason weeks!
A special award should be created for BARDSDALE BRAWLERS. With Tony Romo’s Week 16 thumb injury, every one of the BRAWLERS originally drafted players was knocked out or dropped due to injury. Take a look at the BRAWLERS’s current roster, and you won’t recognize one healthy player from his draft day.
BARDSDALE BRAWLERS, by far, made the most moves (34), while not surprisingly, TEUFLE HUNDEN made the least (6).
FLAMING BAG OF POO easily posted the most blog victories this season (and still counting…into the off-season, POO fans!)
By my calendar, there are only 253 more days left before our 2012 Unsportsmanlike League fantasy draft party. You better start shopping! I need some better wide receivers to match the brilliance of Julio Jones!
There’s no crying in baseball. But there are plenty of tears from this season’s fantasy football.
Because she throws like a girl.
And he cries like a guy.