Gearing up for fantasy football season | News, Sports, Jobs

The guys and I have decided to hire security for this summer’s fantasy football draft.

While, most seasons, Butch’s dog serves as a very alert and watchful guard to draft day activities, today, we know the world is a much more “wild and crazy” place and, thus, we’re adding Kenny’s dog to the mix, as well.

Why not? In that way, there will be more “bark and bite” to oversee the event.

While, most draft days, Chad, Rich, Stu, Tim, or Steve are well-behaved, well, there was that one incident three years ago when … oops, I almost forgot our league’s rules — “what happens at Butch’s on draft day stays at Butch’s.”

Trust me, Missy deserves a gold star from each of us for what she overlooks.

Probably more leagues would have more fun if they handled their business like we handle ours. Perhaps we should suggest that to Tommy Pham.

Pham recently grabbed national headlines not for his stellar play with the Cincinnati Reds, but rather for slapping San Francisco Giant Joc Pederson during batting practice over a feud Pham had with Pederson in their fantasy football league.

Now, I’m here to tell you this morning that none of us — not a single one — has ever slapped another. Never. Trash talk — yes. Physical altercation — no.

Can you imagine two professional athletes being involved in an altercation like that?

But the plot thickens …

One of Major League Baseball’s number-one stars, Mike Trout, is commissioner of the league that Pham and Pederson participate in. If you’d like to join the league, you are going to need a special invitation and a cool $10,000 to participate each year.

Yes, you read that correctly — $10,000.

Obviously, managing a fantasy football team in Northeast Michigan is way different. Instead of being a “caviar and champagne” league with a participation fee like that, we are more a “brats and beer”-type group. Heck, some of us — like me — usually only have a Coke in the draft day war room.

And, yes, money does exchange hands in our league, but nothing in the range those guys were dealing with.

In reviewing the results of recent seasons, our money has been pretty well distributed between us over the years, which speaks to the parity that exists in coaching skills of the participants each year.

Even yours truly has coached a team to victory and a first place finish recently.

According to Get Sports Info, a sports information site on the internet, last year, 45.9 million people in the U.S. played some sort of fantasy sports game. Of that amount, 78% participated in fantasy football.

Our league is looking forward to the start of another season. As NFL mini-camps open practices soon, our eyes will read closely NFL camp news each day in the newspaper to learn who looks good and who doesn’t. We will read who is recuperating from injury and who is holding out of camp over a contract dispute.

And, yes, we’ll all be planning who is bringing what potluck dishes to the draft.

And, no, Tommy Pham will not be invited.

Bill Speer recently retired as the publisher and editor of The News. He can be reached at

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