I love fantasy football. I love it so damn much I actually take time out of my day to write a blog about it (no, really!). Just a couple of years ago, I was one of very few friends who actually watched football – or any sport for that matter. Most of “the guys” would justify their lack of football love by telling me that football was a game of men in tights rolling in the mud for a couple of hours. They would then call me every imaginable version of the word gay. I didm’t take any of it personally, that’s just what guys do. We act as unsupportive of each other as humanly possible. So how in the world did I manage to make a 12 team league made up of friends (and friends of friends)? I’ll walk you through getting your friends involved in some very subtle steps.
1. Subliminal Footballing
The first step is to get your friends interested in the game. You need to make them associate football with fun bro time. You can’t just hangout with guys that hate football and hammer player stats and facts into their faces. The trick is to bring your buddies to sports bars on Sundays. Have some beers, eat wings, and surround yourself with screens showing the game. Maybe act excited on a big play to divert their attention to the screen, but otherwise just play it cool. Their first interest will likely be big hits. It’s kind of like watching Nascar – they’re really just there to see a car crash. Just point out a cool highlight of a hit. Next up, bring the game into the home. Leave a game on in the background at a party. Maybe leave a football talk show on the radio. If you have another bud who likes football, talk about how awesome the game last night was in front of the rest of the guys. Don’t take this too far, though. There’s no easier way to clear a room than arguing football for forty minutes around people who don’t care. By this point, football will be part of the gang. You may actually be able to get the guys together to drink and watch a game.
2. Build Hype
Once you’ve gotten them to watch a couple games, build hype for the next fantasy season. You need to make it sound like more than football – it needs to be embedded as a staple of dude culture (because it is). Explain the crazy hazing the league’s loser has to do, pitch the bets you can make when you face each other, make it sound like a great way for your group to do the crazy guy things you already do. Not only that, the fantasy draft and game days are a regular excuse for more guy time – and more beer. Especially more beer. By now, as long as your friends aren’t the worst kind of uninteresting human beings, you should have them hooked.
3. Don’t Be a Jerk
Seriously. I know every ounce of your being wants to get ahead and clobber your friends for a successful fantasy season. You also likely have this insatiable urge to screw with all of your friends and give them terrible advice as a joke. Congratulations, they’ll lose interest a quarter of the way through the season and never play again. You need to be a coach, a mentor, and a genuinely selfless helper to these poor souls. After all, they probably still think Megatron is a transformer. Give them your relevant fantasy sources, help them build cheat sheets, give them your incredibly biased advice and even help them on draft day (even if it means they pick the player you wanted). Giving your friends a strong first season and an interest in the nerdy-half of fantasy football will keep them coming back season after season. This should continue into their season at least for a few weeks. Give them trade advice and don’t take advantage. By next season, they’re fair game. Crush their sorry asses.
As far as those relevant sources go, keep an eye on my blog! I’ll be compiling a list of my favorite sites and favorite active NFL tweeters.