How to Play Fantasy Baseball Without Losing Your Girlfriend
A year ago I posted a version of this entry. At the time, I had a girlfriend; now it’s just me and my cat. Did I lose the girlfriend because of the way I played fantasy baseball? No–it was an offseason move. But this advice has withstood the test of time, and I think all of you guys out there could benefit from it. And girls. Really, this applies to anyone in any type of relationship where one of the people play fantasy baseball/sports.
A wise friend once told me that he had two girlfriends: his actual girlfriend, and fantasy baseball. Truer words have never been spoken.
It’s a scientific fact that during fantasy baseball season (which starts about 2 months before regular baseball season, since managers need plenty of time to research for the draft), guys use 85% of their brainpower to think about fantasy baseball. That leaves 15% for work/school, understanding Lost, and engaging with your girlfriend. Split three ways, that’s 5% each.
Girlfriends need more than 5%. Trust me. I’d say they need 20%, minimum. On “special” days–birthdays, anniversaries, weekends, days when Grey’s Anatomy is on–she needs more like 70% of your brainpower focused solely on her.
If you give her 5%, you will lose her.
But clearly we’re not giving up fantasy baseball either. So I’ve compiled a handy list of six tips and tricks to employ during fantasy baseball season (March-August) to ensure that you still have your girlfriend when the season is over.
Also, be aware of fantasy baseball relapse–once fantasy baseball is over you may consider playing baseball with your friends. When you do, check out HomeRunMonkey to find the best baseball gloves, bats, and accessories.
- When you’re talking to your girlfriend, don’t be thinking about your fantasy team. Hopefully you’re interested in the majority of things your girlfriend talks about. Sure, fantasy baseball is probably even more interesting, but you’ll have plenty more time to think about it. The last thing you want is for her to ask you if she looks good in that dress, and you answer, “Miguel Cabrera.”
- Don’t check your stats when you’re hanging out with your girlfriend. I promise you that no matter how often you refresh your Blackberry, you’re going to have zero impact on whether or not Hanley Ramirez gets that steal you need to win your head-to-head match. Wait until you drop her off and then check your stats at home. Or if you absolutely have to check (maybe you will have an impact on Ramirez), do it in the bathroom. You’re allowed one bathroom break per hour for such purposes. Drink lots of water.
- Use your enthusiasm to your advantage. Here’s one way that fantasy baseball can actually help your relationship. When you have a big day (I love it when more than one guy hits two homers on the same day), or you win a matchup, or you make the playoffs, you’re going to feel a rush of endorphins. It’s like runner’s high, but lazier. Don’t make the mistake of sharing the good news with your girlfriend–she doesn’t care. Instead, take out your enthusiasm on her. Treat her to a special dinner. Dote over her. Give her a back massage. Anything unexpected and full of energy is perfect–just channel that fantasy baseball energy into her. She won’t see it coming, and I guarantee she will love it. (Sidenote: Seeing your girlfriend should also excite you in itself. This is just an added bonus.)
- When you have a bad fantasy day, don’t have a bad real day with your girlfriend. This is the inverse of #3 (and in all likelihood will happen much more often than #3). If team goes 2 for 33 for the day, don’t mope around and complain to your girlfriend. Because while your fantasy players have no idea that you exist, your girlfriend treasures your existence. Do something to increase your team’s batting average by going 4/4 those days by giving your (1) girlfriend flowers, (2) chocolates, (3) compliments, and (4) a loving back massage.
- Don’t talk about trades with your girlfriend. When you’re pondering a trade offer, there is nothing more interesting in the world. Dolphins could be taking over San Diego, but you’d rather compare stats on ESPN than check the hostage list over on CNN. Regardless, your girlfriend could care less. If you don’t find something interesting to say to her, she’ll find someone else to talk to sooner than later.
- When you’re talking about fantasy baseball with a group of friends, don’t try to include your girlfriend. This is a tricky one. The key is to wait until she’s talking with other people before you can slip into baseball mode with the guys. If she’s standing around in the circle of males, the last thing she wants is for you to try to explain how Dan–idiot–left Tim Lincecum on the bench when when all he needed was one strikeout to win that week. Again, she doesn’t care, and she’ll feel excluded. Change the conversation topic for her benefit. (Sidenote: If she rolls her eyes, says, “Fine, talk fantasy baseball,” and moves on, don’t protest. Wait 5 minutes and then go over to her and say, “I can’t believe that’s all they want to talk about.”)
- Never, ever let your girlfriend join your league. This isn’t a chauvinistic thing. Many women are just as–if not moreso–knowledgeable about sports as men. But you don’t mix business and pleasure. This isn’t something you two do “together.” You walk in the park together or go to wineries together or learn to scuba dive together. Not fantasy baseball.
If you have any additional rules to add, please post them in the comments section.
Also see: How to Play RISK with Your Girlfriend