In This Corner: How to make fantasy football drafts, tournaments enjoyable
Yep, fantasy football article in July.
As a fantasy football writer, I’ve gotten my fair share of “it’s too early to talk about this,” “this is too much information to process” and “I’m a cynical jerk who just wants to crap on everything you love” remarks.
In response to everyone, I say if you want to be a part of a fantasy league, if you aren’t talking about it too early then you’re too late.
And if you’re a cynical jerk who wants to crap over everything I love just for the sake of doing so, then well, piss off.
Fantasy football is customizable enough so that even casual fans can hop on the crazewagon.
Although it can be simple enough for everyone to enjoy, that shouldn’t mean that those people shouldn’t do everything in their power to make it into an over-the-top spectacle that they can look forward to every Sunday from September through December.
If that’s your goal, and it ought to be, keep these suggestions in mind:
Make an event out of it
Parties are awesome, so make one out of your draft.
Get everyone in your league to congregate to one place for an afternoon of taunting, football talk and unnecessary intensity.
Fire up the grill. Leave a giant pot of chili simmering on the stove for six hours. Hell, get a keg and make an entire day of it.
Besides, drafting teams with a three-drink minimum always makes for interesting results.
Not that I know from experience or anything.
If you want, take it a step further and make another separate event for determining the order of your draft.
For example, say Joe Team-Owner really wants to pick first in the draft.
That’s fair, but make him earn it in a league-wide beer pong tournament or something.
Don’t make your scoring and settings suck
This is probably the No. 1 reason I don’t participate in more leagues than I do.
Last year, I signed up for a league at my job, only to find out that team defenses scored about 30 points every week and there was no limit whatsoever on acquisitions.
The waiver wire was a total free-for-all, and a guy almost won the league despite starting zero players that he originally drafted during the final weeks of the season.
This is the quickest way to take the wind out of people’s sails, so don’t be “that” kind of commissioner.
If you’re confused about how to perfect these settings, there are plenty of places to look online.
Play for more than just money
The winner of my friend’s league a season ago got an elaborate trophy, but his league-mates accidentally misspelled his name on the engraved plate.
Thus, the tradition of purposefully misspelling the winner’s name in every following season began.
This is just another example of how raising the stakes with something as simple as a trophy can spawn new traditions and add more depth to your league.
The more ridiculous, the better
Don’t be afraid to talk trash, but don’t be the guy who takes trash-talk too seriously.
It’s all in good fun, and it’s even more fun when there are stupid ad hominem attacks on the league’s message board.
Changing your team’s name every week to a well-crafted insult toward your opponent is always fair game.
Things always get interesting when the stakes are higher, and the right to gloat after a win should make other teams all the more competitive.