The Fantasy TD Only Tradition

In fantasy football there is something therapeutic about the yearly ritual. I am in what I call the “old guys” league. It’s a bunch of grown men on the verge of retirement that are in a TD only fantasy football league. I was recruited 7 years ago when one of the founders moved. These men helped to nourish my love of fantasy football. They were the first league that I ever joined. They were kind on that first draft when I was all nerves and stuttered as I picked. They assisted me when I almost drafted a player who was injured for the year.

This league is more then just fantasy it is a bond that we all share. In a world that is incredibly “plugged in” with technology there is some solace I take in looking at the handwritten lists that each of them hold and are so proud off. The work they put in is impressive. They reference games from years past and what was in the “paper” this summer. They pull out stats from “last” year and explain their “gut” instincts. I don’t even discuss a blog with these men. Heck, I’m not even sure if they know what a blog is and that I run one. They talk of the glory days when they tracked the scores by hand and called each other with updates on game day. They discuss their child hood and their kid’s kids.

An amazing thing has occurred. This tradition has been handed down to their children. Now their kids are grown and many of the teams are shared by father and son. You look at the blend of young and old. Much like life or the workplace they learn from one another. The irony is that in the 7 years I have been in this league no team has ever repeated in the championship. Whether you use the paper, a magazine, a blog, or your own handwritten list LUCK and good fortune still dictates how your team will perform. The beauty of this is that the smack talk still exists. In fact I would say these guys have zingers that are amazing. I love the ribbing that occurs and how smack is still smack no matter what generation you are in.

As players end up in the hospital or on the verge of death’s door we all rally around one another. This year we drafted one members team while he was in the hospital on the verge of a life threatening surgery. He still had the wherewithal to call in 3 times from his hospital bed to give us updates on the Eagles game and check on the status of his team. The biggest irony? This member won the championship last year. They have a trophy similar to the “Stanley Cup” that is rusted and faded and passed from winner year to year. The pride of this trophy cracks me up. You might think its worth a million bucks. With this trophy comes bragging rites. Rites that seem to last forever even if you won 10 years ago.

At the end of the year once the championship is won they all gather for a celebration. Its a simple gathering at a local watering hole where the champion has to buy everyone dinner and drinks. Its not even about the money because by the time the champion buys everyone everything he is lucky to walk away with $50. However the winner holds onto that trophy for dear life until it is returned the following year. I can only hope that this tradition continues on well after the founders “retire” because I feel that this is a special traditional that transcends generations. Fantasy Football is that force that brings all together for one night each year.

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5 Responses to “The Fantasy TD Only Tradition”

  1. Gregg says:

    Dude – where can I find that trophy? I desperately want to buy one for my league. Thanks in advance!

  2. fantasy flukie says:

    Spike’s…’s a store in philly… you can find them online as well.

  3. The Fantasy Flukie says:

    As an update to this story the man I wrote about in this story did pass away 3 months ago…. The tradition however will carry on as his son will continue to carry the torch this year at the draft.

  4. […] I have my coveted “old guys” league draft. For those of you unfamiliar feel free to read my previous emotional post. It is a TD only league and is one of the most enjoyable leagues I play in. Tonight is the night I […]

  5. Heatball101 says:

    I enjoyed reading this post. My dad and I have been in a 16 team, TD-Only league for roughly 13 years (I’m 23 now). Most of the other managers are original owners. Many of us have moved on to other cities or states but come Preseason, we all look forward to making the drive to do the face-to-face draft.

    The comment about nobody repeating it pretty funny. It’s true of our league as well. I’m happy to see that there are other great stories from leagues like this.

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