I check my fantasy league scores every Monday.
It's been a tough season, but thanks to a local Tampa player, I've secured a solid second place going into the playoffs. I'm talking, of course, about Josh Murray, my remaining "bachelor" in this season of The Bachelorette.
Yes, my friends and I have taken the mundane rules for one of America's fastest-growing passions and converted them into a competition built around televised love. And you thought fantasy leagues were just for men quarreling over their mythical squads of running backs, receivers and quarterbacks. Ha.
In this battle of love — because this is clearly a healthy way to find your soulmate — the reality TV drama is pushed to new levels of absurdity. Contestants score points for everything from dancing with or kissing the bachelorette to fighting. There may be no crying in baseball, but here manly tears net you big points.
Let's be clear: This league is in no way serious — except for the fact that it absolutely is. It's about finding another reason to gossip with your friends about the ridiculous Bachelorette antics that play out each week. Plus, who doesn't like coming up with league names like Prosecutorial Misconduct (this season's bachelorette, Andi Dorfman, is a district attorney) and team names like Guilty of Love.
So, you might be wondering, how does this madness work?
The draft is crucial. And few things are more entertaining on their basest level than judging 25 men on their "stats": photo, profession and insightful questions such as, "What is your ideal mate's personality like?"
Unfortunately, I landed two duds who didn't make it past the first episode. But it was nothing wine — wine is a big part of Bachelorette league success — and two reliable players couldn't fix.
Thanks to Murray, known as Josh M. on the show, I've pushed aside my weaker opponents by steadily collecting roses and dominating on group dates (a weird mating ritual where a gaggle of men try to impress the bachelorette through some embarrassing group activity such as karaoke or miming).
Peyton Manning may have led the NFL in touchdown passes, but Josh M. leads the Bachelorette league in connecting with Dorfman. Each time a rival contestant was sent home, I pumped my fist in victory. My blind trust in Josh M. as the hometown hunk was paying off.
I selected my other guy, J.J., solely on his profession: "pantsapreneur." On The Bachelorette, the weirder and more combative the player, the better. J.J.'s eccentricity paid off. As did the three fights he got in. Hello, 60 points!
We learned particularly disdainful contestants could earn negative points. This season's slimebag, Nick V., committed the Bachelorette "cardinal sin" (yes, they call it that): He interrupted Andi's alone time with another contestant despite having a rose. Minus 40 points.
Last week, Josh M. flexed his sweet, sweet muscles while showing Andi around Tampa during hometown dates. They strolled along Bayshore Boulevard and played some baseball, and that secured him another rose (80 points, check) and a spot in the final three.
Unfortunately, a league win appears out of my grasp as the current leader has the other remaining contestants, Chris and Nick. But thanks to the magic of the Internet, I can join an upcoming league for American Idol, Dancing With the Stars or The Amazing Race.
And guys, don't worry, you have lots of time to draft women for next season's Bachelor league.