What's in a Fantasy Football
Team Name?

Fantasy football team names
and their importance

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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 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 forget that.

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.

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