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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Fantasy football and work/life balance

Today I explored the growing fascination with fantasy football in my Miami Herald column. For so many people, it's become an addiction, one that lures them into checking Internet sites and sending e-mails while at work. I have learned there's a lot of work involved, choosing the right players and selecting who you will start and who you will bench each week. But there's something really enticing to me about joining a league. Maybe it's that competitive spirit or the chance to bond with colleagues.
I discovered that although 96 percent of the 37 million people who play are men, it's growing in popularity with women. Jennifer Kuperman, a corporate event planner, played fantasy football before she met her fiance Tadd Schwartz. Now the two of them are team owners together. Schwartz says he thinks it will enrich their lives as a couple. Otherwise, he says, "she would think I'm a lunatic about football. "
I received an e-mail today from Joey Epstein, a Fort Lauderdale CPA. He says his wife, Kip, is as addicted as any man who plays. Writes Epstein: "My friends don’t even acknowledge me in our leagues unless they get Kip’s approval. She watches 3 TV’s in the family room, including satellite, and controls the clicker every Sunday."
It sounds like fantasy football, the latest rage, will battle for our time along with work, family and other hobbies. But those who play, especially those who wager money on it, say it's a great outlet for friendly competition.

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