Culbreath: Name thyselfWritten by Matt 'Shaggy' Culbreath | | firstname.lastname@example.org
With the start of the 2014 NFL season comes the start of the 2014 fantasy football season. I’m in two leagues this year, which is typical, all drafted and ready to fly. As much as you hate hearing about other people’s teams, you can’t wait to tell people about the great move you made. “Yeah, I drafted Aaron Rodgers with my first pick, but since he’s playing Seattle the first week, I benched him. Total genius.”
Come on, you know that’s what this is about, right? Bragging rights. You made the right call, you made the clutch pick, you found the waiver wire sleeper. And at the end of it all, you will hold your league trophy in victory, proudly proclaiming the championship for… Team Smith?!
No no no, that can’t be. You’ve gotta have a better team name than that!
See, a team name isn’t just how you indicate yourself in your league. It’s another competition. It’s all about who can be more clever. If you go with “Team Miller”, you’re already 2 games back. That’s a heck of a hole. Championships aren’t won in September, but they can be lost in September. See, I was once like you: when I was first invited into the fantasy hockey league at Clear Channel Toledo, I went with “Shaggy’s Lose-O-Matic”. It fit, since I was new to the game, and it was at least slightly amusing. But I carried that name for 5 years, and eventually it became just as milquetoast as “Team Culbreath”.
Here’s the good news: most leagues will allow you to change your name in the middle of the season. So I’ll give you the primer on getting the great team name. And just as it is with most humor now, it’s all about the reference humor.
The easiest and typically on-target method is to go with references to players. My go-to in one league is to make a joke based on an incoming rookie. In 2011, I won my league with “Von Miller High Life”. I’ve also gone with “RG Threepio”, “Here Comes Mingo”, and for this year — “Jadeveon Clownshoes”. But you don’t have to go with a rookie: you can run with a current player who has made headlines. “Over the Dwayne Bowe”? What about “Wes Welker’s Glowsticks?” Here’s a good one: “Ray Rice Beat His Wife Unconscious In A Hotel Elevator”.
Oh wait, that one is A) not funny, and B) too long for the website. Dangit.
Can you spin something with your name? Last year’s league was won by the deceptively simple, yet hilarious “Ndamukong Sue”. By the way, Suzie drafted the day after giving birth, and won the league. You officially do not have an excuse.
Failing that, go with the pop culture reference. Nods to sports teams in TV and movies are a good choice. One friend went with the Orlando Breakers, a shout out to the later seasons of the sitcom Coach. You could go with the Dillon Panthers from Friday Night Lights, or the Gotham Rogues from The Dark Knight Rises. The South Park Cows, the Tom Landry Cowboys, the Night Vale Scorpions. There’s a whole list on Wikipedia of fictional sports teams — go nuts. You won’t get points for originality, but at least you put some effort in.
And commissioners? I’m looking at you here as well. If you run divisions (and you should), you need to have great names there as well. East and West doesn’t cut it, unless you’ve meticulously mapped out where everyone lives and made it make sense. No NHL “Atlantic” shenanigans here. Hey, I hear the Big Ten isn’t using “Leaders” and “Legends” anymore, I don’t think they’ll mind if you borrow it.
Don’t be “Team Culbreath”. Don’t be “To Be Determined”. Be great. A great fantasy team starts with a great name. Get in that extra bit of research, dig deep, and find the right moniker. Your season may depend on it.
Matt “Shaggy” Culbreath is sports director for NewsRadio 1370-WSPD.
Tags: Aaron Rodgers, Big Ten, Clear Channel, coach, Cowboys, fantasy football, Friday Night Lights, Gotham, Gotham Rogues, NFL, NHL, Night Vale, Orlando, Orlando Breakers, Scorpions, South Park Cows, Team Culbreath, The Dark Knight Rises, Tom Landry, Wikipedia