A League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Ten years ago, I received a phone call from my cousin, John asking if I wanted to join his fantasy football league. A friend of mine, Nick Kollias, was in a league the previous year and he hipped me to how it worked. I said sure. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

At that time, the only people I knew in the league were John and my uncle, Ron. Everyone else was a complete and total stranger. John was the common denominator. I missed the draft, due to a late call at work, so I had to scramble to put together a team. My father became suddenly ill. Three and half weeks later he died. I didn’t maintain my roster at all.  The first half of the season for me was shot. I was off for a week after the funeral. I was going through my roster, dropping players and adding players.   John tried to help me out (At least that what he called it) by sending some trades my way. Strangely enough, every player he traded with me either got hurt or arrested. I then noticed something called the league message board. There was one cat that went by the Memphis Steelers-AKA Dee- talking much trash about everyone!  Everyone was talking trash back.  This was interesting, I thought.  I try to keep a sack on snappy comebacks on hand. Unfortunately, my team was slaw and I had to take it.

That season ended with John winning the championship. We went through a small issue of player dumping i.e. people whose season has gone to crap and they traded the best they have to help someone else in the playoffs. John put his foot down. There are two main rules… No player dumping and no excuses.

The next season I was ready to go. I attended the draft and was good to go. Flash forward to 2015 and the league is still going strong. We’ve lost many of the people and new people have come aboard.  The trash talking exists, but not as much in the earlier years.  My greatest joy out of the fantasy league is that I took on the role as newscaster for the league and I send out a recap of the week’s winner’s and losers. It’s a great way to poke fun at the other team owners. Many times, I have to poke fun at myself as well. Although CBS (the site that sponsors our league) does a recap, I give life to the teams and their owners.

Although he is very much human, The Memphis Steelers (Demond Shannon) are portrayed as a black and gold robot. When he wins, he transforms into various types of aircraft and sky writes taunting messages or insults to the reporter. When he loses, the commissioner’s salvage team recovers the pieces and ships them off for reassembly before the next game.

Sho’ Nuff (John Williams AKA Commissioner) is portrayed as the movie character, low down and dirty. Usually when he wins, the opposition accuses him of dirty play such as spraying curl activator into player’s eyes. The commissioner turns a blind eye to his antics. When he loses either he’s real abrasive towards the media or all that can be found is a pair of funky, smoking converse.  The media constantly brings up the subject of the mysterious connection to Sho’ Nuff and the commissioner.

Pretty Tony and the Debonairs (Tony Braxton) are a team of pretty boys, that wear Gucci cleats and spend more time at the spa that the practice field.  Win or lose, his level or arrogance never changes; however, he has fired several designers for improper tailoring.

The Warriors of Mandingo Land’s representative is Big Chief (Odis Braxton). Big Chief came to the US as a college exchange student, pledged a fraternity and opened a chapter in the jungle. Therefore, he loves to strip down to his purple jockstrap and gold boots for victory dances.  When he loses, he goes on the warpath.  The commissioner has investigated complaints of scalpings, but no victims have been located.

PhotoGrid_1439006610073The Elite’s (Tim White) representative is portrayed as Tiny Tim. Every pre-season he goes through physical therapy to get off his crutch. When he loses, Coach Bob Cratchit rushes him away. If he beats the Warriors of Mandingoland, he will strip down to his cream-colored jock strap and crimson boots and do a victory dance. Win or lose he hates the media and is not afraid to show it.

Darth Raiders (Corey Gillum) is portrayed as the dark side villain that he is. He has used the force choke on the opposition and the fantasy reporter’s photo journalist. Many team members have filed complaints because referees are afraid to call unnecessary roughness on him.

Team Steel’s representative is Grant Steel. He’s an ordinary guy, but whenever he is interviewed he shouts into the mike like it’s a crowded stadium. He said he was practicing to win the championship.  Last season, he did!

Grit and Grind (Jared Aldridge) is a another robot that grinds his opponents into dust… At least that is the plan.    The commissioner has had to call in all of his horses and men to put him back together again as well.

Bring it is the oldest in the league. No one understands his team’s name. He just wants you to “Bring It”  when ever you play him.  There were a few items that were sanctioned for elder abuse last season.  A few teams learned the hazards of taking an old school player light.

Another team with a confusing name is the team Sixtime (Ked Tal). He won’t tell us why he named his team that and we haven’t made a connection. Maybe this season it’ll be revealed.

The Regulators’ representative is the straight-laced, spit a polished military officer Regulator-1 (Me). He handles victories graciously. But when he has too many consecutive losses, people have been court-martialed. From time to time, he assists the commissioner on rescue missions for team managers that are MIA after a terrible loss.

Then there is Rob-Leo, the mascot of the Lions (Rob Laurie). Rob-Leo is a sad sight when he loses.  The commissioner has personally send transport teams to take Rob-leo to see the wizard for counseling after a loss. When he wins, he would perform encore after encore of the Wiz’s Greatest hits and some of his own tunes as well. Unfortunately, Rob-Leo was offered a Broadway contract and will not return this season.

The team that is replacing him is as mysterious as Racer X on Speed Racer. Right now we only know him as team 36. Maybe Rob-Leo can come back and sing “Who’s That Guy” from the Grease 2 soundtrack on opening day.

CBS knows us as the White Family league, but to me we are the league of extraordinary gentlemen. I expect this year to be as entertaining as all of the others.   The commissioner has his work cut out for him.  He has to address issues of unnecessary roughness, dirty play, and indecent exposure.  The Memphis Steelers is still going to be everyone’s nemesis.  Although we each have own own team, my brothers and I are also portrayed as a boys band BB3.  Its a good week when all members of the BB3 lose.

Fantasy football feeds my love for the game and contributes to my depression when the final gun is fired at the Superbowl. Join a fantasy football league. I can’t guarantee it’ll be as fun as ours, but you will enjoy the challenge.  One things is for sure, it will change the way you watch a football game.  Its tough when your QB is playing against your favorite team.  I’m looking forward to a great season.  Any season is a good season, as long as Dee doesn’t win the championship.