Fantasy Land This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     September 4th - the beginning of a five-month journey. For the next 150 days, it would be all strategy and game plan. No fooling around, just business. At 8 p.m., the guys would arrive at the designated household, armed with $50 and a list of hopefuls. Would their long hours of reading stats online pay off? Who would get the luck of the draw? Would they triumph in the glory all season or would they struggle to stay out of last place? Another season of Fantasy Football was set to begin and there I was, the only girl in a league of 12.

So, I arrived with a plate of brownies, my money, and my list of hopefuls based on good looks, lucky numbers, and uniform appeal - or at least that’s what I told the guys. Little did they know, I too had been doing my homework. Contrary to what they thought, Michael Vick would not be my first draft choice since he had been suspended due to an arrest for illegal dog fighting, and the Cleveland Browns would not be drafted as my defense.

For days I listened to their “advice” and pretended to believe them. All the while thinking, Are you serious? I quickly realized that deceiving me was the strategy of some members. Unfortunately, I drew 12 as my draft order - dead last. So, I waited patiently for my turn while in disappointment watching some of my list of hopefuls go to others.

When my turn finally arrived, I did not pick Mike Vick, much to their surprise. I chose Reggie Bush, and being last in the draft order, I had a second choice and selected Marc Bulger. The room fell silent, mouths gaped open and chins dropped to the floor. Someone finally said, “I think she knows her stuff. We’re in trouble. We can’t get beaten by a girl!”

So, here I am, week four and currently tied for third place. Last week I beat the only undefeated member in the league. Some of the guys graciously congratulated me while others choked on their words. While they are constantly bickering over rosters, trades, and free agents, I just sit back and enjoy the show.

Truthfully, I don’t know where I will place when the season ends. Each week is like a roller-coaster ride with ups and downs. But, hey, you never know: Who says a girl can’t win?

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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