Am I less of a man for not doing fantasy football?

I consider myself a masculine man. I grunt when I workout, I use expletives in the wrong situations, I love steak, and I think about Salma Hayek circa 1994 constantly. Put those together and you have one rugged dude. But as of late, I have been catching some serious flack from co-workers and friends for not playing the ever popular fantasy football. The craziest part is that I have NEVER played fantasy football in my entire existence.  I know, bizarre stuff.

Fantasy Football is the new age version of the “belch” for a guy. If you’re not doing it, then go hang out in the sun room with the aunts and nieces. And more than ever, Fantasy Football has planted itself in the everyday conversation with males. I’ll admit, I know enough about the “gig” to make conversation. I know who puts up the most stats and who brings in the most points each week, so I can manage a brief conversation about Larry Fitzgerald’s three TD performance last Sunday. Anything more than that, I am screwed. So as I see that window of fantasy talk material closing, I get myself the hell out of that situation by pretending to have stomach cramps from the whole milk in the break room fridge. Usually it works. I’ll give it an 80% success rate. But the other 20% of the time is when I am exposed and am left to defend myself.

When that conversation extends past my three-minute limit, the other male I am conversing with recognizes that I no longer know what the hell he is talking about. He begins to break down his point system with his team and all I can do is stand there, like an idiot, fake smile and nod like I am talking to one of my mom’s friends about the lack of jobs in the economy. The other male sees the dead look on my face and stops himself by saying, “wait, do you even do fantasy football?”. And without a chance to defend myself he goes into a state of shock that eventually turns into hysterics. I cut off the joshing by embarrassingly saying “I don’t have time for that right now” or “I would get too into it”. And according to my peers, that’s when my reputation, my manhood, is deducted 20 points. I have nothing against the “thing”, I just never accepted an invite into a league. I love football, babes, motorcycles (not really but for the sake of the article, sure), and Budweiser, so wouldn’t that justify me as an average man?

I don’t know, I think it’s horse shit. And maybe some day I will start to play Fantasy Football, but for now I won’t purely out of spite. Because I’m a man Goddammit, through and through.

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