Fantasy football, real madness

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Fantasy football, real madness

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Whether it’s constant roster updates or having to eat an earthworm, fantasy football has led to real-world job opportunities and some very memorable stories – and Granite Bay High School students and staff are very much in the mix.

“Every time of the day, seven days a week” said senior Brett Walston when asked what his time investment was for fantasy football. Being a five-year fantasy veteran means Walston spends Sunday mornings like most dedicated fantasy team owners. “I watch Sunday Ticket, (to catch) every single game,” Walston said.

Similar to Walston, junior Kyle Sisco has an almost identical routine. “Every Sunday at 9 o’clock, I like to make sure I’m watching NFL Network to get my lineup set,” Sisco said.

However, Sisco and the rest of his league have an interesting twist to determine their leagues draft order, as well as a punishment for the loser of their league.

“Being the commissioner of the league, I have to come up with a unique way every year to determine our draft order,” said Sisco. “So this year we went to Petco and got a styrofoam jar of nightcrawlers. We set up a station for the worms to race. And whoever’s worm finished first got whatever pick they wanted in the draft,” Sisco said.

Even worse, the loser of the league faces a brutal punishment.

“The loser of the league this year will have to eat a fully grown nightcrawler,” Sisco said.

Team names are one of the easiest ways to drop subtle inside jokes, incorporate raunchy humor and be unique from the other 74.7 million  worldwide fantasy football players.  

Questionable reference or innocent joke, Sherman summed up most team names accurately.

“They (contain) a lot of innuendo and questionable references,” GBHS math teacher John Sherman said, who has been a fantasy aficionado for several years. “Usually twisting players’ names to (become) funny.”

Sisco was known as “Relampago Blanco” – which means “White Lightning”  in Spanish – during his first year as a fantasy team owner.                            

“That’s tough,” Walston said about recalling memorable team names. “I’m not sure if any of them are school appropriate, (but) there have been some classics.”

Junior Cole Diemer said part of the point when it comes to team names is for players to increase their level of enjoyment.

“The most memorable team name I would say would be any name that involves another player in the league,” Diemer said. “These names give the whole league some good laughs and are always fun to look back on.”

In the case of theater arts director and former GBHS introductory journalism teacher Kyle Holmes, fantasy football  opened new doors in his professional life.

“(It) got me my foot in the door in sports journalism and being a professional writer,” Holmes said. “I am a contributor for USA Today sports media. I do a weekly column for them. That was crazy for me – as a college student – someone offering to pay me to write about football and fantasy football.”

For the most part, Holmes is a traditionalist when it comes to fantasy football. He catches all the games he can on Sunday mornings and is involved in about four to five leagues a year.

“I don’t really have any superstitions,” Holmes said. But, there are some players who have hurt him, and Holmes refuses to forget those incidents.

“Deuce McAllister (a former New Orleans Saints running back) and I had a long and rocky breakup for years,” Holmes said. “We wouldn’t go near each other.”

Holmes is by no means the only team owner who has felt some sort of heartbreak or embarrassment through his fantasy career.

Although fantasy sports are “pretty low key” for Sherman, wagers and other bets have taken him out of his comfort zone.

“I lost a fantasy football bet, so I had to dress up like a Granite Bay cheerleader,” Sherman said. “It was totally embarrassing.”

To avoid any consequences, Diemer takes a more superstitious approach – even though it hasn’t aided his fantasy football financial situation as of late.

“I used to wear a plastic (football) helmet during some games on Sunday, but now I usually just make sure I check my fantasy scores every two minutes or so,” Diemer said. “I have invested around $150-200 into daily and season-long fantasy over the last couple years. Long story short, I haven’t seen much of that back”

As the 2016-17 NFL season kicks off, all these fantasy competitors are looking to win their leagues. Whether it be for money, bragging rights or both … the illustrious championship crown will be sought by many, but worn by few.

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