An ongoing discussion of politics, law, pop culture, and fine draperies.

Friday, September 08, 2006



Is it Drafty In Here? Is it Me?
Exhortations on Fantasy Football

at its Most Ridiculous Moment

First of all – yeah,
that's a fine softball swing.

By now, most in America likely have some understanding of the term "fantasy football" if not a working knowledge of its rules and cultural connotations.

The web has become replete with articles
waxing on the philosophy and culture of fantasy sports while others target the phenomenon as a scourge upon the modern masculine ideal, and yet others seek some goofy third way.


If my group actually got together live, this kind
of thing might appear on a nearby wall …

Sure. It's asinine, adolescent, self-indulgent, etc. But for those who play, and those who have the benefit of playing in a league with folks they know and have known for longer than a single season know how fun of a diversion it can be.

Some publications, reputable and goofy alike, have gotten into the act.
The Globe has a fantasy column, as does The Times, which jumped into the act with something cleverly called The Fifth Down (you get it? There are really only four downs in any football series … so 'the fifth' – it's kind of a play off that … tellin' ya, wicked clevah!).

While we're with the smarty newspapers, I should point out
this Washington Post article. Apparently, Redskin TE Chris Cooley, not to mention his having a fine mop, is also a fantasy nerd who faced the unthinkable dilemma last season – he beat himself by having a great day on the field against the Cowboys. And I get filled with anxiety when a player I have in one league is on an opposing manager's team in another league. Yikes.


The Stuporcrown!

So then, I've been playing with the same group since 2002, operating under the league name of Stuporcrowns. Crowns, as in, the winner earns the crown and whatever amount of clamshells is offered as stakes.
And Stupor, as in, anytime any 3 or more of us got together, a foolish drunken stupor likely ensued.

The key, however, with drafting is to balance the Stupor with the drive for the crown. And therein lies the competition – to adequately distract those who might draft the players you covet by any means necessary. Any competitor will tell you that no single solution exists to throw off all drafters. For some, food will sufficiently distract a guy so that he drafts some running back named to the injured reserve list earlier that day. For others, no better distracter exists than the
nudie magazines. The trick is knowing your enemy and exploiting his weaknesses.


Tempting, no? Pay no mind who's still
on the board at #28. Have a beer!

The 2002 league consisted of ten team managers, one of whom departed after a few years and was replaced. Eight of the guys involved went to high school together in Northern Indiana, whereas another friend of mine – the Burgher – and me joined by way of our acquaintance of two of the other guys through softball. Since, the league expanded to 12 teams, and various other players have rotated into and out of the membership base. Today's membership, with nicknames and identities slightly modified to protect their guilt, is as follows:

1. The Greg – League commissioner. Self-styled debaucherer and moral policeman.
Equally enjoys gambling and booze along with defending conservative American Christianity and Bush's domestic policies. Reportedly has a book in the works, titled, " Skoal Sandwiches and Other Recipes For a Fantasy Championship." Highest Finish: 5th in 2005. Best Name of Record: "Feather Ruffler". Quote that best sums up his league performance: Tie: "Farce," "Shambolic," and "I hate bands!"

2. The Elder/Rat Bastard. Steady as she goes, maintains the league's moral/ethical bearing
by telling his brother, the commish, when to shut up, and occasionally helping to corrupt the Lion King (see below). Highest Finish: Champion, back-to-back, 2002-03. Best Name of Record: "The Jive Ass Honkeys" Quote: "Hambone," and "Cruizin' down the street in my '64, jockin' the beeches, smackin' the hoes."

3. Slim Shalay.
The strong, silent type. Played a serviceable RF for the Fighting Slugs Softball Club, circa '99-'01. Owns a strange array of children's videos despite having no children to speak of. Works with some kind of microscope … allegedly. Highest Finish: 3rd in 2003. Best Name of Record: Satan's Circus. Quote: "Boiler up, Biotch!"

4. The Lion King.
Amateur nihilist, corporate paradigm, American hero. Rumored to be leaving the care of Snoopy after years of service and sharing the company's most asinine internal emails with his similarly critical league-mates. Former Fighting Slug and occasional patron of The Alley Cat bar and grill (well … bar), Broadripple, Ind. Highest Finish: Champion in 2005. Best Name: Murder Incorporated. Quote: "Fire Water … woo woo woo woo!!!"

5. Hanson. High school compatriot of the brothers, the Lion King, Shalay, the Donimater, and Zachariah. Little more is known, other than his abiding wanderlust for whitewater in Colorado.
. Highest Finish: 4th in 2002 and 2004. Best Name: Denver Whitewater. Quote: "Mmm Bop!"

6. Donimater. Accused of being alter ego of Kid, of 'n Play fame, and ESPN personality Tom Jackson at various points in memory. Member of the Lutheran H.S. posse, and one of 17 fans of the I.U. football team. Pines for days of Antowan Randle El's glory years in Bloomington. Enjoys antagonizing "The Greg" as much as anyone.
. Highest Finish: 6th in 2002. Best name: The T.J. LookAlikes. Quote: "Why does it say we're drafting right now? Did someone pick for me already. Did you pick up LT for me?"

7. Chad. Angry youth. One urinated in my neighbor's front yard. Alleged to have thrown chicken wings on Osama Ben's floor at least once in time. Member of the Lutheran H.S. posse, and Stuporcrowner since 2003
Known for giving Osama Ben a really hard time, including ex-girlfriend borrowing. Calls it like he sees it. Highest Finish: 2nd in 2003. Best Name: Steroid Studs. Quote: "Shut the fuc up, Greg!"

8. The Mayor. Brother-in-arms of mine since Spring '91. Musician, artist-at-large, heavy-lifter, Patriots season ticket holder, originator of fine nicknames, and overall bad-assed mutha.
Highest Finish: 7th in 2005. Best Name: Keith Richards' Skull. Quote: "Sauvignon, do it! Do it!"

9. Zachariah, the Avatar King.
Visual artist, director of a film featuring Big Ben dropping a football pass, fan of Wes Anderson films, and longstanding proxy for the Easter Bunny. Founding member of the Lutheran H.S. posse, latecomer to Stuporcrownia (2005). Highest Finish: 9th in 2005. Best name: The Lawn Wranglers. Quote: "… eating Skoal sandwiches …"

10. Osama Ben Laden. Member of the Lutheran H.S. posse. Has difficulty catching footballs and evading the mockery of The Greg and Chad. Reportedly has a big melon. Founding member of Stuporcrowns.
Highest Finish: 2nd in 2005. Best Name: Quote: You're Dead, Greg.

11. The Burgher.
Fighting Slug softball stalwart, and Stuporcrowner since 2005. Fun Fact: The only league manager with a female Avatar at one point. See here. Hosted the one and only live in-person Stuporcrown draft in 2002. The Greg hates this guy, and he hates The Greg. Once wore boots out in Broadripple, setting off the mutual hatred. Highest Finish: Dead last in 2005. Best Name: Ba Da Bing Tas Quote: "Dude, what's wrong with boots?"

12. And me.
Highest Finish: 3rd in 2002. Best Name: Ty Law's Love Picnic / Schiavo Euthanizers (tie) Quote: "It is better to have won and then lost than to have … wait, never mind."

Next Episode: details of the draft …. And outlook for 2006.

Teaser: I feel confident thanks in part to
this guy, this guy, this guy, this guy, and a certain other guy known in some fantasy circles as the "sleeper of 2006," but I know him as Glory from the 10th Round. No frontin'.

Tune in soon …

4 Comments:

Blogger B said...

check me if I'm wrong, but aren't you participating an illegal form of gambling?

goot thing you already took the ethical part of the bar...

12:10 PM

 
Blogger Rikki said...

a) The crown is owned by the league commissioner. Upon completion of the season, the commissioner issues a license to the league winner to possess, rent-free, the crown for the year to follow. No dominion and control is ever passed. As a result, there is no legal issue created by a voluntary, permissive extension of use by the Commissioner to anyone who wins the crown.

2. Clamshells possess no value -- innate or assigned. Alleged offering of valueless objects as tokens of participation may in no way be reasonably deemed illegal activity or gambling.

1:23 PM

 
Blogger weasel said...

In this day and age, one prefers the term "gaming", as "gambling" is so ring-a-ding-ding fifties kitsch. Besides, in Maine, as long as Rikki drafted next to a harness racing track he's not an illegal gambler but rather he's an important engine for economic growth.

8:25 AM

 
Blogger Rikki said...

May the spirit bless you, kind soul.

And it's worth recalling that a clamshell won is twice as sweet as a clamshell earned.

9:27 AM

 

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