Do you feel like your league is dying? Isn’t that much fun? Don’t know half the people you are competing against? Then this article is for you, because you have probably found that Fantasy Football has lost its luster.
The key to having ages of fun playing fantasy football isn’t about having great drafts, having the best players, winning your league, or setting new season records.
THE KEY TO ENJOYING FANTASY FOOTBALL IS MORE ABOUT THE MANAGERS THAT MAKE UP YOUR LEAGUE, THAN ABOUT THE PLAYERS WHO MAKE UP YOUR TEAM.
After all, the last time that I had to move all my stuff from one house to another, Jimmy Graham wasn’t the one with the dolly moving the same box for the fourth time. It was The Russian Yeti, Marinovich Project, and Hip Squeaks – my fantasy football buddies – that were risking life and limb with over-packed boxes and mysteriously weak packing tape.
Fantasy Football is a great conduit for guys to develop better friendships if you take advantage of some of the opportunities that arise. I don’t care if you are the meanest biker in the word with a hairy face and buffalo hide for a leather jacket, you need friends. We all do. Let’s say it altogether now, therapeutically, “we all do.”
Ok, now that you have admitted that, let’s make your fantasy league the best league in the world with some practical ideas.
- Don’t draft online: Have everyone be present in person for the draft. I have found that there is always a buzz of excitement in the air, everyone seems to be a little chatty, and generally in a good mood. The stage is set for a good time so have people show up early, bring some food and drinks, talk fantasy football, and draft away!
- Get together for at least one season game: Make an effort to pick a game at the beginning of the season where you all can get together and yell at the TV. There is something bonding about yelling, TV, and football.
- Respectful trash talk: This is a bit of an oxymoron, but I think it’s possible. Trash talk encourages communication and discussion, but it also can lead to graffiti on your new car if you aren’t careful. One trick that will keep your auto insurance claims down and keep you out of jail is to make sure your trash talking isn’t personal. Keep it about the players and the game, not about their wife’s weird hairdo.
- Engage in a Player Trade: If your league is anything like mine, once a trade has been started, the texts start flying! I’m constantly talking to the person who started the trade, getting advice from other players in the league, making counter offers, the process starts over, and in the end the journey has made you as close as a Band of Brothers.
- Ask about something unrelated to Fantasy Football: The clean comedian Brian Regan in the vimeo below nails the point that guys can be pretty terrible about talking about personal things. Or even thinking to ask about personal things. But if you want to be a true friend, you have to take off the fantasy football comfort blanket and ask a guy how he is REALLY doing.
- Get team trophies: In our league I made some wood trophies for Biggest Blowout (who won by the most points in a single game), Points Hog (most points scored in a season), along with a Championship Trophy, and First Loser Trophy (2nd place trophy). You can buy name plates for the winners that can easily be glued onto the trophies for like $11 bucks and everyone knows a trophy is way cooler when your name is on it. Our league also has a Got Screwed trophy and this is voted on by the league. Managers are nominated for who had the crappiest set of circumstances that contributed to a loosing season. This has led to some pretty fun discussion. If you are interested in making your own trophy – click here for some good ideas.
- Go see a real football game: Don’t have the money to see a real NFL team? Get the boys together to check out a local Arena Football League or University Team… or watch ice skating? I don’t know, what else is there to watch in the winter that is worth the price of a ticket?
The suggestions above can help bring some life back into your fantasy football league by increasing the camaraderie across managers. Because let’s face it, we all need friends. We all do. Altogether now, therapeutically, “we all do.”