I’m ashamed to admit this, especially at my age and in this current culture, but there was a time as a little girl watching pro sports with my dad and looking at female sideline reporters thinking, “What does she know? She’s never played football, hockey, baseball (insert male-dominated sport here)!”
What a hypocrite. I LOVED – and still love – all sports. I played lacrosse, soccer and tennis and swam competitively. I watched the Nuggets, Avalanche and Broncos religiously and still judged women who dedicated their lives to the sport on which they reported. Why?
I grew up with two older brothers, a dad raised on a farm in Ohio and a little sister who followed me around everywhere. I was, by no means, a girly girl. Building forts with my brother, who is 7 years my senior, and riding motorcycles with my brother, who is 12 years my senior, were more my speed. My childhood was spent learning about and using all the tools God ever blessed this sweet earth with at my dad’s side while pulling weeds, making weekend runs to Ace Hardware and picking up dog poop.
Even time with my sister was spent playing Barbies and then taking Ken out for target practice with the bow and arrow – he was, of course, strapped to the target naked. I was a pro at organizing my mom’s Mary Kay products, putting together orders for clients and creating a Ford-style assembly line for her monthly newsletter.
I started swimming competitively when I was 6 and called it quits when I was 16 because I had “more important things to do” (Read: getting into trouble and being a typical 16-year-old-girl). Practice was from 7-10 p.m. every night, which really cuts into a girl’s terrible decision-making time, if you know what I mean. JV and varsity lacrosse conflicted with swimming, tennis and soccer, so I ultimately ended up dropping the latter two in favor of lacrosse. Like I said, I have always loved sports.
Football has waxed and waned for me until 6 years ago. I remember watching Emmitt Smith highlights on VHS when I was in elementary school (Feel free to pause here to Google what a VHS is). Okay, now stop laughing so that I can get on with my story. Watching John Elway was like watching all of your dreams and nightmares come to life in front of your eyes as the 16 seasons he spent as the Denver Broncos’ quarterback unfolded.
Where am I going with this? Women have earned their due and their respect in the realm of sports. Erin Andrews, Pam Oliver, Sarah Spain, Wendi Nix, Jackie MacMullan, Mina Kines, Katie Nolan, Joy Taylor and many others have paved the way and we need to listen to what they have to say. As women, we don’t need to play a sport to appreciate it and love it. Any gender and any age can love something just because they love it. Period.
I love sports. I love competition. I love winning. And I love hearing what women have to say about their passion and about weekly protections. We’re here to stay, so buckle up and listen!
I dove in head first this season: three start-up dynasty leagues, three Super Flex, a double Super Flex and a couple standard scoring flex leagues. Am I crazy? Probably. I’ve always just had one standard flex and maybe a junk Yahoo league with strangers.
And by no means am I an expert, but I do keep my ears open, listen to podcasts and watch the experts – “The Herd,” “NFL Live,” “Around the Horn,” etc.
Each week is a crapshoot, and we keep our fingers crossed, hoping all the work we do pays off. That said, we’ve all done it. We put guys like Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski or Antonio Gibson in our starting lineup, and they bomb. Lesson learned. We move them to our bench for the next week, just for them to break out with an explosive game. We can’t win ’em all, but through analytics, stats, other smart people weighing in and a little luck, we can try to pull this off.
Every week, along with anecdotes about being a mother, wife and human being in general, I want to help you build your best lineup and get an edge on other people in your league. I’ve never done Individual Defensive Players (IDP) or Dynasty prior to this year, but I hope to contribute to your league in a positive way.
I’m diving in and learning, just like everyone else. After drafting seven teams, I hope to have successes, and crave learning from my failures. I’m here to join the conversation, drink in hand and watch this crazy, COVID-19 year unfold. Cheers!
Game Day Drink Recipe for the Week:
Pink Party Beer
- 1 container of frozen pink lemonade (thaw it first)
- 3 12 oz. cans of Coors Light (because, you know, I’m from Golden, Colorado)
- 1 cup of vodka
- Mix all three in a pitcher and pour over ice
Thanks for reading and follow me on Twitter for more motherly and fantasy sports advice @JenPolvogt.