Seven Ways Parenting is Like Fantasy Football

Seven Ways Parenting is Like Fantasy Football

I am in the middle of yet another trying fantasy football season. Two of them, actually, since I am participating in two leagues, like some kind of masochist. It’s been 12 weeks of misery, punctuated by occasional spurts of short-lived happiness.

Just like raising kids!

Seriously, parenting and fantasy football aren’t all that different (here’s what a fantasy parenting draft might look like!) There‚Äôs a lot of work, you have to pay a lot of attention, and nobody wants to hear about any of it.

I know, you think I’m an idiot. So I made a list!

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Toddlers and Bullies Have a Lot in Common

Toddlers and Bullies Have a Lot in Common

As both a Miami Dolphins fan and a not-exactly-physically-imposing writer type, I am really torn on this whole bullying scandal.

Bullying is deplorable, and, despite being raised in an era (not all that long ago, really) when the default suggestion for dealing with bullies was to fight back and expose the bully as the coward he truly is, fighting fire with fire is no longer an acceptable tactic. But judging what goes on in a football locker rooms by the same standards with which we judge “the real world” is a little insane. I’m not defending Richie Incognito’s actions, but context is important, and I don’t think we have all of it. It’s impossible for non-football players to understand what it’s like in that environment, but I am relatively certain it’s less like your cubicle farm and more like The Hunger Games.

That said, I always find it obnoxious and condescending when someone tells me I can’t possibly know what something is like because I haven’t experienced it. And then I thought about parenting. And I realized most parents take the same attitude with non-parents, and it’s equally obnoxious and condescending.

But that doesn’t make it false. And the inability of outsiders to fully understand what the day-to-day is like is just one of the ways parenting a toddler is like being on the Miami Dolphins.

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Five Ways Toddlers are Like Ray Lewis

Five Ways Toddlers are Like Ray Lewis

This will be the first Super Bowl Sunday my son might actually sit still and watch the game for a few minutes. (Probably while getting really angry about Beyonce’s lip-syncing LIKE THE REST OF US.) It will be the 28th Super Bowl I can remember watching that doesn’t include my Dolphins. Ugh.

On the other hand, my wife is a 49ers fan – something about a childhood crush on Steve Young – and since I have nothing against this young San Francisco team (and I hate the Ravens), our house is all-in for the red and gold today.

But there’s no arguing that the big game’s biggest personality – aside from the Harbaugh brothers’ HILARIOUS parents and Colin Kaepernick’s HILARIOUS fashion sense – is former murder suspect and possible deer-killer or deer-lover or deer-eater or deer-sniffer (who understands these PEDs?), Ray Lewis.

I’m not a big fan of the guy, but he’s definitely larger-than-life. And sometimes he reminds me of my son.

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Parent Abuse

Parent Abuse

I’m a Red Sox fan. I watched Game 6 and I endured as much of the pre-aughts misery as any other fan born in the 70s. I’m also a Dolphins fan, and while I got to watch Marino, there hasn’t been a lot to cheer about since. But I stick around; I continue to root for my teams.

I stuck with “Lost” all the way, gritting my teeth through the meandering Seasons 2 and 3 and surviving until the end and I still have fond memories of the show, even after the terrible final episode. And I continue to hope the people in charge of Superman will someday recapture the magic of the first two Christopher Reeve flicks. Despite little evidence that they will.

I take all the crap my favorite teams and TV shows and movies have to give and I keep coming back for more. As a fan, you have to take a lot of abuse.

But it’s nothing compared to what you endure as a parent.

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