FFL 2008

It’s hard to believe, but this is the 2oth year of Fantasy Football in the Crotte family! Twenty years of friendly and not so friendly rivalries, trash talking, bragging rights, and everything football from August to January. My brother Al has been the “Commissioner” of our league from its inception in 1988. Twenty years ago, it was a true cut and paste project (like in kindergarden) and the statistics were kept on the fly, while watching as many games on as many TV’s as Al could muster, and following up with the local newspaper and USA Today the following day. It was a minor nightmare to keep track of every single score from every single player on every single NFL team every single Sunday, Monday, and occasional Thursdays. Fortunately for us, my brother Al has a monstrous case of OCD, which he has used to great advantage in keeping meticulous records, and producing kick-ass weekly reports. In later years, computers started helping with record keeping, graphs, databases, etc. Reports could be sent by fax, making them speedier and less costly. Then email. And now, for the past 3 years, we manage our league through NFL.com. It is worth the money we pay them because some of our league members who live far away can now attend our virtual draft day remotely, yet make their trash mouths heard through the live chat. Then on game days, NFL.com keeps track of all the scores real time, so we can see how each of the fantasy teams are doing at any given moment. I now watch football on my computer because our fantasy games are more fun than the real ones. Great stuff!!!

We play for money. Twenty years ago I think it was $50 per team. It is now up to $150. There are 12 teams, or “franchises” in our league. So we play for $1,800! That’s some serious cash! There are various ways to get some of that dough, but the overall winner gets the biggest part, a trophy, and most importantly, the bragging rights! The overall loser also gets a trophy for his or her mantle: The Cup of Shame.

My mother has had one of the franchises from day one. She’s an awesome competitor. I can remember in the early days, she’d come in to draft day with reams of research, lists of running backs 100 deep, and like that. She has won the league at least one year, but is always among the leaders. My father has a team, as do my two brothers. We have several friends that have also owned a team for all of the twenty years. We have had very little turnover. That speaks for the fun, camaraderie, and the excellent way the league is run.

Today was draft day. It takes us about 4-5 hours for the 12 teams to each pick 20 players. So now we each have a collection of quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, kickers, and defense/special teams. Every week, each team will pick a starting roster and then we compete with each other. Imagine. How often do you get to call your mother and wish her bad luck, and hope she loses. That’s usually just one week out of the year, when we play her team, unless we each make it to our post season playoffs. In that case we’d have to give each other shit again. Doesn’t that sound like fun!?! But don’t get me wrong, I love my mother, 51 out of 52 weeks.

Serious business! Al and me.

My mom and dad at one of so many games.

I hope this doesn’t interfere with my blogging too much. Maybe I’ll just have to post updates from time to time. There have to be at least a few fantasy football fanatics out there!

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