The Real Reason I Started a Fantasy Football League

As you may have read in my previous post, I went through a mild depression as I was getting settled in New York City. Within my first few months, someone had said to me, “New York City, it’s a blessing and a curse.” New York can be particularly tough, but in all honesty I think I would have experienced the same rough adjustment anywhere else.

From unpacking boxes to getting lost in a new area, adjusting to a new city starts out exhilarating. But all of that changes as the months go by and routine settles in. Before I knew it, I found myself so stressed I didn’t know what to do with myself. I couldn’t remember how to enjoy life.

Enter football season. As my boyfriend rattled on about how excited he is for a new football season, it became apparent that I was going to spend a lot of time watching or hearing about a sport I didn’t really know. I thought, maybe I should make this interesting for myself?

I reached out to my closest girlfriends to see if they wanted to start an all girls fantasy football league. Before I knew it, I was immersing myself in articles online about the best players and draft strategies. I created a spreadsheet to help me draft and watched ESPN fantasy football analysts argue over good and bad players. (Yes, I created a spreadsheet…I am a total nerd.)

While I usually tell people I’m not competitive, I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat as I was watching my players gain yards and touchdowns, and I consumed myself with where my team fell within the rankings. This was so exciting! I finally felt like I had something I could fight for. I had a new push and drive to win. I had something to prove.

At a very vulnerable moment, I found something to immerse myself in. Amid all of the loneliness, I found a way to make me feel connected to my friends that were miles away. Even more, it became a great conversation topic when I joined a social sports league in the city. This newfound interest in fantasy football allowed me to regain my competitive nature, and I finally began to feel like myself again.

I ended up winning 1st place in the league that season. We never set up any sort of reward or winnings, but I honestly didn’t care for any of that. After a rough few months, I picked myself up, I fought, and I won. That was just what I needed.

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