Girl Power Crushes Fantasy Football by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles
Female fans of the NFL now represent the fastest-growing demographic in sports. So naturally, more female fans translates into more women jumping into the fantasy football arena and teaching guys a thing or two about it! Although men are more likely to play fantasy football, nearly 20% of the 75 million fantasy football owners competing in leagues are now women. ( and many are winning!)
Matty Murder is a smart, funny chick who won her 2015 fantasy football league and contributes her championship to having a few peculiar quirks. “My win was because I wore the same bra every Sunday and my husband pulled a Taco and drafted 4 QBs.” Mary describes her league as…“an 8 man league, with two married couples and a bunch of my husband’s friend and I beat every single one of those asshats.” While Matty came in first last season, her husband with his own team, came in 7th. Matty will respond to his 7th place finish when she stops laughing.
This fantasy football player and commish thinks that this beauty might have some brains to go with that lucky bra….for when she’s not stomping the male anatomy with her fantasy team, she’s an environmental scientist.
I’ve asked our dominating damsel a few questions about her dazzling victory and when you read her sassy answers, you’ll know why I wanted to interview Miss Matty.
Utter-Fantasy: Let’s begin by telling us how long your league has been around and how long you’ve been in it?
Matty: This was our 2nd year with the same league members. Two women with a love for the sport, their husbands who know slightly less than they do, and friends from all across the country. We are all affiliated with the US military and Fantasy Football allows us to have the same banter over beers that we would have had were we all still in the same duty-stations. Our internet platform allowed for us to comfortably interact [read: shit talk each other] during the week while keeping up with our adult responsibilities and still be able to kick ass Thursday through Sunday. Though we were nice enough to occasionally warn people when they happened to have someone starting that was on a bye. Maybe only 5 minutes before the game started, but still.
Utter-Fantasy: Who in particular did you take in the draft that was like a twisting knife in your fellow fantasy football owners’ hearts?
Matty: Well, I remember being in a bar and talking line-ups with a friend and the bar tender overheard that I had both Brady and Rodgers on my team. However, I had an ulterior motive. I personally hate Tom Brady. I am sure he could be a great person in person but I just cant stand him. So he was my first round pick and I benched him the whole season. This bartender had NO IDEA why I would do something so “stupid” and waste my time. Then a sports segment came on right behind his head talking about the top 3 QBs in the NFL. Number 3? Aaron. Fucking. Rodgers. Ended up getting a few free beers out of that one. If you scroll through my twitter feed my mid-season pickup of Andrew Luck was perhaps the most talked about player on my team. We had lots of mental conversations about his playing and apparently on more than one occasion he took my critiques to heart and came out swinging after halftime.
Utter-Fantasy: What was your drafting philosophy going into the 2015 fantasy season?
Matty: Funny story. ..most of our league took a group vacation to Mexico over the summer and over unlimited drinks on the beach talked about how amazing the 2014 season had been. We decided mid-trip that we should do it again. One of the boys in particular had a whole defensive monologue he would spout for anyone to listen, on why he was going to draft Tony Romo right out of the gate because, if you look at his stats he is “actually quite consistent”. Well that didn’t go well for him. I on the other hand did my research, got my facts in order, and went with my gut. As a scientist I am no stranger to research, and on the weekends and evenings I would shift my focus to football. My ultimate goal was to do better than these men who would assume because I am a woman I was going to randomly click players in until I had a full team and then hope for the best. There was no more satisfying feeling than sipping my beer while the league chat sang my praises. Though more in the form of trash talking my opponent.
Utter-Fantasy: Did the guys in your league feel castrated by your victory or were they pretty good sports about it? ( or as “Star Lord” would say….”Bitta’ both!” )
Castrated may be a bit strong. They walked into this season knowing us ladies could hold our own in the league setting. We are two strong women who have always stood our own in conversations, nights on the town, and have made it through years worth of deployments and come out the other side stronger. There were many many close calls, nights I would have to go to bed before games ended simply hoping that my boys would pull it off. All in all they were good sports. Of course if they had said a thing about coming in place after a woman I would have simply called their dedication to the craft into question. What did I do that you didn’t? Oh right, win.
Utter-Fantasy: Were there any key trades during the season that paid off big-time for you and that you care to brag about?
Matty: Trades? Nah. My husband plays video games with the other league members during the week and they did occasional trades. I am too hardheaded to admit that someone else has something I might need. I research ways to make it work or find some who can pull it off on my own. My wins were all me.
Utter-Fantasy: Was your draft live or was it completed online? Any fun details from it?
Matty: Because we are all spread out it had to be online, but we were in a skype chat! So we still were able to judge everyone elses choices and drink together. Only fun detail is how my husband kept running off while other people were drafting because he though he had important things to do (video games in the other room) and ended up drafting WAY too many QBs. We called him Taco for the rest of the season, after the episode of The League where Taco drafted…was it 13 kickers? When husband caught his mistake he felt pretty silly, rightly so.
Utter-Fantasy: Do you have a fun ball-busting team name?
Matty: No, we all had team names that played off of our actual names. My name is no fun. So I just went with “Matty’s Morgue” to play off of my twitter name.
Utter-Fantasy: What was the prize for whooping all of the asshats in your league….was there a trophy or cash?
We had no prize except for bragging rights. Though I wish we had a trophy. I would put it on my mantle right next to my two degrees and wedding pictures. It is an accomplishment I don’t take lightly. Though as my husband talks to the other guys more than I do he did brag on my behalf for a bit. And we went out to celebrate, steaks!
Utter-Fantasy: What else won this 2015 league, besides your Sunday best bra? A smart draft perhaps, or good research, luck, a woman’s intuition, savvy waiver wire moves….all of the above?
Matty: Besides the lucky bra, a trick I actually got from my Dad who wears the same underwear every time the Texas Rangers play, I credit my win to my research! My draft didn’t make all of my wildest dreams come true. I pulled the wins off through smart research and occasional input from league outsiders. Though they didn’t always think I was making the right choices, like the bartender from the start of the season. In the end I went with my gut and it paid off.
Utter-Fantasy: Who would you say is your favorite fantasy football player?
Matty: This season it would have to be Aaron Rodgers. I had faith in him from the start and in most instances he didn’t let me down. Plus I feel like when people doubted me for putting him above others his abilities pulled through for me. Plus he seems like a genuinely cool guy and sometimes that is what it comes down to for me. “Would I want to have a drink with this person?” and in his case I would.
Utter-Fantasy: Have you inspired other rad chicks to take on their own teams and kick some of their own male-dominated fantasy football asses?
Sadly us league ladies have not yet convinced others to join. But we do have a small group of other women who know enough about football to talk and enjoy games with. They are too busy to play. Into the future I hope that isn’t the case with my husband and I. We are good partners but I think Fantasy Football is something that we can do together to unwind at the end of the week. With the responsibilities of our adult-lives becoming more and more, my wish is that we can continue to make time for it. But I would settle for a Cowboys-Redskins game with him over beers and burgers to have a fun night. As long as the Eagles are somewhere losing.
( Utter-Fantasy Wrap Up: Matty wasn’t the only cool chick to walk away with trophies in male-dominated fantasy football leagues in 2015. There were a lot of women strutting their stuff and there will be even more in 2016. I for one enjoy what the gals bring to fantasy football and look forward to competing against them in 2016!)
Follow Matty’s 2016 quest for back-to-back championships on twitter