The University of Iowa University of Iowa

Dear Fantasy Football Gods…

I have been participating in a fantasy football league with the same group of people for the past three years. So far, the Fantasy Gods have been on my side (knock on wood). However, fantasy football is not just about picking a team and setting a roster every week; there is a certain camaraderie created, trash talk to be perfected, and bragging rights open for the taking.

This year, I arrived roughly seven minutes late to our draft party, which was held in the basement of one of the league’s members. I came to find out that the draft, of course, had started twenty minutes ahead of time. Names had already been drawn out of a hat for the order of draft choice; I somehow got the tenth pick of the draft. I almost immediately had to make a pick when I arrived. Under pressure and unprepared, I quickly pulled out my mock draft sheet and crossed out players had already been chosen. With my first pick of the draft, I selected Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions (mainly due to an outstanding year in fantasy last year). With his selection, my team donned the name Staff Infection. Fantasy football team names are nearly as important as the players on the team.

By “nearly as important,” I mean not important whatsoever, but typically the more creative your name is, the better chance you have of being recognized by the Fantasy Gods and potentially winning. Along with my team name of “Staff Infection,” there are a few other clever names in our league, such as Snakes on Reggie Wayne, Teddy Ginn & Juice, Nice Hands Larry, and Andres Johnson. Most of the other team names are either too vulgar to mention, or just plain stupid.

Only one other member of the league (coincidentally the commissioner) lives in Iowa City. All of the other people in the league are in school somewhere else. Truthfully, Fantasy football has been an excellent way to keep in contact with some friends that I normally would not talk to. That brings me to my next point, one of the best parts about fantasy football: the trash talk.

Immediately after the conclusion of the Monday Night Football game two weeks ago, and my win over the much-disliked DahmsDOTcom team was secured, I received a phone call from the owner of that team (who was not even present at the draft and had his team picked by a “friend”) who went on a rant saying things like, “you got so lucky” and, “if only so and so would have scored a few more points,” and blah, blah, blah. The bottom line is, he lost and I won. I usually try to keep my trash talking to a minimum because I believe in a little thing called karma.

Including myself there are four teams with a record of 4-1 in the league. Going into this week I am again predicted to win. I plan on making the playoffs this year and making a run for the championship. Just remember though, fantasy football is not ALL about football.

And who was my final pick in the draft you ask? Tim Tebow, of course.