I am the baby of my family. I have two older brothers, and I have a mom and dad who don't believe in "letting" you win, even if you're little and cute. I was 32 years old before I ever beat my mom at Scrabble; I still have the score card. For every domino game I win, either (or both) of them will soundly thrash me 3 or 4 times in return. I have never beaten either of them at shooting pool or golf. My mom even trash talks when she solves a Wheel of Fortune puzzle before me. My middle brother and I were rarely allowed to play games together because eventually the game board would take flight in a fitful rage from whomever happened to be losing (typically me, I admit). And many a Nintendo controller narrowly avoided my wrath.
I hate losing more than I like winning, but, sweet baby Jesus, I do love to win.
Coaching junior high girls for 13 years taught me to temper my rage and frustration (although I'm embarrassed that I did accidentally break a volleyball cart once because I kicked it so hard). I understand what behavior and expectation is expected and acceptable at what level; I'm a fairly humble winner and loser publicly. But even my best behavior cannot quench my thirst to just make somebody else pay for their self-righteousness.
As the baby girl in a highly competitive family, I was desperate to be old enough or cool enough to be as good as my brothers and their friends. I tend to have a chip on my shoulder when it comes to "boys only" activities and clubs, and I feel a deep need to impress if not out-perform or outsmart the competition. So, today, when I was invited to play in my school's fantasy football league, I accepted the challenge without much hesitation.
And it will be a challenge, for sure, because I know ZERO about Fantasy Football. In fact, I usually think it's kind of dumb. But I'm not about to be left out for simple facts such as being a girl (or being clueless), so tomorrow afternoon, I'm going for it. I've consulted a few of my Twitter experts and done a little studying up. I think I've got the basic plan formed.
In my head, I'm viewing it as my own personal Title IX test case. I'm about to roundhouse kick down the fantasy sports gender barrier, people. This is the trophy I rescued from the garbage pile at school today. I think it's an omen.
In truth, the guys I'm playing with are actually really nice guys who will talk noise and test me but still love me no matter how terrible I am at it. There's only a couple that I'd really take delight in beating. They're kind of like my work brothers, though, and historically, that spells trouble.
Hold onto your game boards and volleyball carts, friends.