Or should it be the All Zheimer's team?
Anyway, if you just want to read the rules of my league, be my guest, you'll need to scroll down a bit until the boldface type. Otherwise, please continue reading my rationale for why this league makes perfect sense and is a morally superior version of traditional fantasy football.
I know a lot of you love fantasy football and even more of you love the NFL. It's faster moving than other American sports, and since the risk of bodily injury is far greater than the other Big Four sports, it's a lot more "exciting" to watch, in that your adrenaline is more likely to flow than when you watch the Cubs play the Padres on a Tuesday in April. I get that.
But what I don't get is the fanatics who also say what a shame it is that players develop Chronic Traumatic Encephelopathy and/or Alzheimer's Disease from playing. But when you're the guy decked out head-to-toe in your team's gear watching the NFL Red Zone package, then you live-tweet about what a bruising hit your linebacker just put on their sucker tailback, you're part of the problem.
Think about this scenario: You discover your neighbor, a father of 4 boys (aged 7, 9, 11 and 13) holds a Fight Club in his basement every Sunday for his boys and their friends to come over and compete for prize money generated from ticket sales at $10 a pop and gambling revenue.
After hearing about the fight club you go over to his house and catch him red-handed- while he's conducting the fights. While you're telling him what a lowlife he is, your neighbor actually agrees with you. He says, "Believe me, I know. I worry sick about these kids getting permanently injured- trust me, I do. But they know the risk- heck some of them are 13- and people will pay them, they come any way. What am I supposed to do? NOT risk their health while I DON'T profit?"
And just before you're about to say, "Yes. That's what you'd do if you were actually concerned. Either you aren't concerned, or you're too greedy to stop it. It's one or the other.", a bloody second grader walks by while he palms him a $100 bill and says, "Good try out there, Richie. Next week try to earn a little more money from me, huh?"
My question for you isn't- did you see what that analogy was about? Because I know you got it. My question is- how is your neighbor different from Roger Goddell?
If you were a middle-school athlete who excelled at football, baseball and basketball- wouldn't the NFL appeal more to you because of the sheer popularity of it? If you're that middle schooler, wouldn't you like to be taken in a fantasy draft and maybe play in a Super Bowl? The Super Bowl is the talk of America for two whole weeks, whereas World Series games draw fewer viewers than a regular season football game.
Only the most grisled of NBA fans is in an NBA fantasy league, and no one does fantasy baseball because you have to update it everyday and baseball is boring. But having someone take you in a fantasy draft would be pretty badass, there's no denying that.
From an economic perspective, the demand is certainly there (and at an all-time high) for NFL football. Heck, even fans watching their boyhood heroes murder themselves over mental deficiencies caused by football cannot convince most fans to look away.
Since I'm powerless to drive down the demand for the product, maybe I can do my part to drive down the supply.
I'm introducing my Fantasy Football CTE/Alzheimer's Futures Team. The rules are easy:
each contestant picks 11 players, either current player or retired (as long as they haven't publicly announced they've been medically DIAGNOSED with mental problems), and when it's discovered that player has CTE/Alzheimer's you get points based on the following rules:
- 1 point for a lineman
- 2 points for a running back
- 2 points for a linebacker
- 3 points for a DB
- 4 points for a receiver
- 5 points for a QB
- Double their points if they are a Hall of Famer.
- First team to 15 wins
How is this not a JACKED UP version of ESPN's Jacked Up? It's great right? It's essentially a lifetime achievement award version of Jacked Up. Only the manliest of manly men who dole out or receive the most manly punishment are rewarded in this manly game of manliness.
It's also great because when a Junior Seau or Dave Duerson dies, that's when most fans feign introspection and say, "See, this is why I sometimes wonder if I should feel guilty about giving the NFL product $400 of my dollars every year and tweeting about it incessantly. I'm gonna be sad for 75 seconds before I completely ignore it and move on with my life. But those 75 seconds are gonna suuuucckkk", you get to say, "Woohooo!!! My investment paid off! Drinks on me!! I knew that guy was an idiot to ever play football."
That way at least SOMEONE benefits from his suicide/ death sentence diagnosis. I mean, someone other than commissioner and team owners, and people who sell NFL licensed gear, beer vendors, etc.
But most importantly it benefits that middle school kid 8 paragraphs ago. This league benefits him more than all other parties combined. He might catch wind of my league and say, "God these people are sick! Cheering for men who go out and halve their life expectancy just so you can have a less boring Sunday? You vigorously support a league that glorifies behavior that results in mental illness? When a 350 lb. man runs head-first into another man and knocks him out cold, you applaud that? What a sick f--king sport you all go bonkers over."
The odd thing will be that when the middle schooler says that, you won't know if he's talking participants in my Fantasy Alzheimer's Football League, or a traditional Fantasy Football League.
If only one youth hears of the league and opts out of playing organized football, than my league as produced more winners of consequence than traditional fantasy football leagues. That kid might live long enough to get to see his daughters and sons live past the age of 10, which is a lot more meaningful than winning your Fantasy league and getting $250 and the right to keep the inflatable moose head for a year that serves as your trophy.
So who's in? I got first pick and I'm taking Bill Romanowski.
update: I'm thinking about taking Richie Incognito instead with my first pick.