If your office is anything like ours, the month of August is a lot more boisterous then previous months. It brings the start of fantasy football and the hope for redemption, at least in my case. This will be the company’s 3rd season of fantasy football and each season has evolved. Competition gets better and talk gets louder, but it’s all in good fun. Our first season started innocent enough, no one really talked too much. Which would have been fine if we started a book club but half of the fantasy fun is talking smack, win or lose. That was a role I was happy to get behind. It kind of loosened the mood a bit and the smack talk started to build especially around playoff time. Anthony from the IT department had the best team on paper and in the regular season but I was feeling good about my chances. My dreams were crumbled when I lost to Dan, our CEO. He was riding the Cinderella story, and my Wide Receiver threw a pick. You read that right, I lost by hundredths of a point. Anthony ended up with the crown the first season and ended Dan’s Cinderella story. Considering the dramatic fashion and narrow margin of defeat, I was chomping at the bit for our 2nd season.

My 2nd season was my worst fantasy showing of my career. It devolved by way of injuries, poor performances, kickers doing their best Ray Finkle impression and Jay Cutler. I finished only slightly ahead of two teams that barely checked their lineups each week. That didn’t prevent me from smack talk but most of the smack talk was rained down upon me. Mike, Marty, Chris and especially Dan took their shots at me and my crumbling team. Dan took the title in the 2nd season. In two seasons of our league, I have yet to defeat Dan. That will change this year. I am meticulous with my team. I need to know every detail about each players matchup so I can strategize. If there’s a 40% chance of rain in Chicago and a couple of my players are involved, I want to know. Therefore, I refuse to have another poor showing. I will win. I will win big. I would like for all of my readers (yes, both of you) to follow my progress though the season.

One Cup or Mug to rule them all.

This is the 3rd fantasy football season for us here and the end of season trophy has evolved just as the league has. The 1st season, the winner received a special champions mug and the rest of us received an unchampion mug.

It’s a good way to bond your office and those who played and it makes those who didn’t get the champions mug want it more. I display my first season failure proudly. For last year, a trophy was designed custom to the winner. The trophy was laser etched with an image of Dan’s face and name. If your fantasy football play is as competitive as ours, you definitely want to go this route.
Check out our awards section and find a trophy that works for your league. We haven’t named our trophy, but would appreciate any ideas you would have.

The Quest for the Live Draft

The draft is the biggest day on the fantasy calendar. It’s where teams are made and broken. Most of our drafts have been standard, everyone hops into a chat room one evening. Draft order is randomized and we pick. My quest is to make this year’s draft live and in person. If you have a draft similar to ours, that you may want to incorporate a live draft too, and we have a variety of football related products to help make your draft party a great one.

A live draft is like poker, you are picking to make your team great but also sizing up each player to see their tendencies for picking. It’s what sets it apart from the online draft. In the online draft, you can’t really tell if you’ve taken someone that the person right below you wanted. There is a chatroom to discuss, but it doesn’t come close to the drama and excitement of having it live. A fun way to determine draft picks is with a kick for picks game using our gridiron football flip game. Set the goalposts up at the end of the conference table and kick to see the draft order.

It’s going to be a great season here and with products from rushIMPRINT, your season could be great as well. Make sure to follow my blog here for updates from our league and to check my progress, any well wishes can be directed to the comment section and I appreciate any bandwagon jumpers to my cause. Lastly as far as team names go, which do you like better? Takin’ My Talents to South Beach (A Lebron James Decision reference) Or The Annexation of Puerto Rico (For you Little Giants fans) Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading!

-Tom “I’m holding a mini Stanley Cup in my hand in case you were wondering” Bartins

P.S. A quick word of advice for Dan, Mike, Marty, Chris, Todd’s Kid and whoever wants to stand in my way of the fantasy football crown. Step aside. The gate is down, the lights are flashing and the train is coming through, don’t try to cross the tracks. The revolution will not be televised, but it will happen. See you on the (virtual) field.

Currently Watching (Movie): Youth In Revolt
Currently Watching (TV): Rescue Me – Season 4
Currently Reading (Book): Dexter in the Dark by Jeff Lindsay
Currently Playing (Game): Red Dead Redemption – Xbox 360
Currently Listening: (Music): The White Album by the Beatles