Football widow? Don't fret. Join the Fantasy Fashion League, an online betting game modeled after fantasy football. But FFL participants field "teams" of high-end clothing and accessories designers.
The inaugural season kicks off Sept. 18 with the Emmys and culminates 24 weeks later with the Super Bowl of Fashion - the Oscars. Competitors ante up $18 until August 15 ($24 thereafter) and then pick seven labels they predict will get the most press, netting points for mentions in Vogue, In Style and W. Gamers also earn credits by matching Emmy, Golden Globe or Oscar winners with the designers they wear at the events.
Erica Salmon, the New Jersey-based writer who invented the FFL, told Natalie Warady in Budget Living (Aug./Sept. 2005) that she tried out the system with two short test runs this past winter. "The women didn't get it the first day," she admits, "but by mid-week they were nuts over it!"
You can start a private league with five friends or co-workers or join as an individual and FFL will place you in a public league. The grand prize is a $1,000 shoe-shopping spree at www.zappos.com.
I have never quite felt the same about any fantasy league after getting stuck in the Dallas airport four years ago for a five-hour layover after a midnight flight from Las Vegas. My friend and travel companion can sleep anywhere. It's a gift - a gift she has that I've never had. I had had no sleep. And we somehow got stuck by this crew of guys that had just come from some kind of baseball camp or league.
They didn't look like baseball players, but I was tired and trying to be nice. But they were loud. Very loud. And they kept trying to talk to us. After I decide I'm not going to sleep anyway, I start to talk back. I hear about all of these players and their scores and shake my head and nod and smile and say, "How nice."
Then, after about 45 minutes, someone says "fantasy" in conjunction with baseball. I'm confused. I mean what woman hasn't had a fantasy that involves baseball - but not a whole team. (OK, maybe some of us have. Don't worry. I'm not judging.) ;)
I had never heard of fantasy-anything before that day. And, to this day, I cannot hear fantasy football or fantasy baseball without rolling my eyes. (And I'm sure once the gung-ho midwestern athletes heard my comments about grown men flying to a camp for fantasy baseball, they were saying, "Hell, I thought girls from the South were nice. What's up with her?")