What's in a Fantasy Football
Fantasy football team names
and their importance
by Matthew Brown, Guest Writer
Original Release: June 30, 2003
Imagine, if you will, your dream season. Can you see it?
You have just capped off the ultimate season by steamrolling through the
playoffs and crushing your bitter rival in the championship game. In
the days to follow, you will go about the important business of mocking your
fellow owners relentlessly and collecting your championship prize money as
a reward for your season of glory. These are obviously good times,
but, as we all know, all good things must come to an end. You are soon
faced with the fact that your dream season is over, you will spend your winnings
in less than a month, and by the end of January you will have nothing to
show for it. Or will you?
As a league that is serious about its operations, your league likely has
some method of remembering past champions by, such as a traveling plaque
or trophy. This symbol of excellence bears the names of past champions
and is passed on each year from champion to champion. This year it is you who will add your name to the plaque.
Just as those that have come before you have done, you take the plaque to
the engraver. The experience is surreal, it feels like everything is
moving in slow motion and you are watching yourself in a movie. This
is it, the culmination of a major journey all
the way from draft day to the fantasy football title. As you walk through
the door of the local trophy shop, you think back to the past, before winning
the title. You remember how you always downplayed the importance of
getting to put your name on the
plaque, maintaining that it didn't matter one way or the other if your name
ever graced its surface. Fortunately, those days are over. You
have a title now, you have always wanted your name on that plaque, and now
you can finally admit it. The days of being
the runt of the litter are over; it is time to put your name up in lights
with the big boys.
You announce to the engraver that you are this season's champion of your
Fantasy Football League and furthermore, are considered by many of your closest
friends (now enemies) to be the greatest fantasy football mind in all the
land. The engraver, of course,
has seen this act before; in fact, he saw it ten minutes earlier when some
other new champion came in with a similar statement. He is amused by
your silly antics, or at least pretends to be. The ball is now in his
court and, like the professional that he is, he
nods in approval as you hand him the plaque. He proceeds to ask you
for the name that is to be inscribed on this highly coveted plaque to be
viewed in awe by the rest of your league for years to come.
"My fantasy football team name?" you ask. "Brent's Bluebells," you state proudly.
At this point, it is important to understand that the engraver has been trained
to pretend he didn't hear you correctly. He knows all too well that
the inscription that he is being asked to make is meant to last forever,
it is like a tattoo, it is permanent and he wants to make absolutely sure
that no mistakes are made. He asks you to repeat the name, hoping against
hope that he heard you wrong.... but he didn't. The engraver drops his
head in disgust, only looking up at you for a few, short, uncomfortable moments,
similar to the way one looks at the bearded lady or any of the other assorted
side show freaks one might see at a traveling circus.
After composing himself, he sarcastically replies, "Bluebell. Isn't
that a flower?" The engraver doesn't know whether to laugh, cry, or
scream in horror.
As you think back to when you named your team, you recall that your entire
focus on that fateful day was on coming up with something that started with
B, like your first name. As your mind drifts back to the present, it
dawns on you that you don't have
the first clue what a bluebell is. You chose bluebells because you
liked the sound of it. To compound matters, you now realize that the
engraver's response was not intended as a means of making conversation... this
old man is mocking you. Stunned, you try desperately to muster a witty
comeback. After all, this is your day in the sun, you are the star
of the show, but he is already walking into the back room, sickened by the
sight of you and your ludicrous effort. As he walks into the back room
you swear you can hear him making fun of you with the other guy working there,
something about how you are probably married to your cousin.
Okay, the 'married to your cousin' comment was probably a little over the
top, but this engraver has seen thousands of fantasy football champions walk
through his doors throughout the years. He knows the difference between
the ones who are simply playing for fun, like two little schoolgirls having
a tickle fight, and the ones who are playing for pride and respect and honor,
the ones who bleed FFL, like real men. Unfortunately, from time to
time, he is forced to deal with a simpleton like our little friend Brent,
with his flower mascot, who has somehow won his league.
Choosing a name starting with the same letter as your first name is more
than acceptable. I have known many a Fantasy Football League owner who has successfully
utilized this strategy over the years. However, you absolutely have
to know that the use of a flower, regardless of what letter it starts with,
is completely unacceptable for fantasy football. This misguided fool
didn't even know what a bluebell was! If you don't know what it is,
don't use it. Put some thought into it. Don't take the easy way
out, you are better than that! Be inventive. Be witty.
Show some creativity. Don't forget that you are in charge here, you
aren't sitting shotgun simply along for the ride. Your name is a reflection
of you, don't be afraid to flash a little attitude. This isn't some
little game or hobby, this is Fantasy Football. Now act like it!
The use of a flower is not the only 'really bad idea' out there. When
choosing your name, remember that it is an extension of you. For example,
if you choose to call yourself Lanny's Love Muffins, as somebody I once knew
did, please realize that everybody will know that you are a self absorbed
buffoon who thinks he is some sort of a stud with the ladies. Corey's
Computer Dorks is another one I would strongly encourage you to stay away
from. I saw this name in a work league that I made the grave error
of agreeing to participate in. This guy thought he was being funny
with this name. He soon found out that his opponents were laughing
at him, not with him. It shouldn't surprise you to know that this was
one of those guys who stopped at the convenience store on his way to the
draft to grab a fantasy football magazine and use the enclosed cheat sheet
that was produced in May. To people like this, I say, "Thanks for your
money, but you are a disgrace to the game, please move along."
There are too many things in fantasy football that are random; such as a
season ending injury to your #1 wide receiver, or a Hail Mary touchdown
pass caught by your opponent's tight end for his only reception of the game.
These acts of randomness can't be avoided. However, there is one thing
that randomness can't affect... one thing that you have complete control
over...one thing that is yours and yours alone... your fantasy football team name.
So I ask you, "What's in a Fantasy Football Team Name?" That, my friend, is the beauty of
it. The options are endless. Your name doesn't necessarily have
to project strength, power, intimidation, intelligence, courage, or attitude,
but it should project something. Brent and Lanny and Corey think fantasy
football is all fun and games, but you know better. Sure it is fun
and sure it is a game, but it is also a time to dominate your opponents by
running roughshod over their sorry teams on Sunday afternoons. Never
So take another look at your name. Go on, you owe it to yourself.
Maybe it just needs to be tweaked a little; maybe it needs a complete overhaul.
Whatever the case, put some thought into it. Trust me, once you do,
you will immediately feel the difference in your outlook about fantasy football.
Note from the author:
To those individuals who are currently operating their
league without a traveling plaque or trophy: The fact that you are
currently at this website reading this article indicates that
you feel strongly about fantasy football. At this moment, you have
a real opportunity to take this whole fantasy football thing to the next
level. My suggestion is that you reread this article, print it out,
make some calls to get a few bucks together from the boys, get down to the
local trophy shop, and make the purchase. You have to walk before you
can run; now take that first step.