Seen & Heard

August 27, 2006

LunaticFringe

People will docrazy things to play and to win fantasy football. Here's proof

THERE IS noshortage of megastaked fantasy football leagues catering to fancy-pants highrollers. These leagues pit thousands of strangers--over the Internet--againstthousands of other strangers and typically pay out millions of dollars. Moreoften, though, fantasy is not about ultrahigh stakes, but about dedication,fanaticism, rule book idiosyncrasies and winnings that are relative chumpchange (especially when considered on a per-hour basis). Here are five leagueswhose spirit takes fantasy football to our kinds of extremes.

HJ's Fantasy

FootballLeague

Could it be longbefore "full fantasy disclosure" becomes a wedding-vow standard? In2005 five HJFFL members gathered to watch Super Bowl XXXIX with their betterhalves. Talk quickly turned to the just-ended fantasy season and its $12,000payout. One opponent asked the champion, "How did you spend yourmoney?" The answer came from the champ's wife, who until then hadn't beenprivy to the league's high stakes. The cash, she declared, would go toward aViking stove and granite kitchen countertops--and the champ would never playagain.

Quince FootballLeague

How did you spendyour summer? In 1999 Quince brethren (all Phi Kappa Psis from GeorgeWashington) spent theirs concocting what they've come to call The Constitution.Seven years later their rule book is a monstrous 81 pages. Some elements:franchise and transition tags, practice squads and a two-round rookie draft.Not surprisingly, three members of the league became lawyers.

The Fat BoyFantasy

FootballLeague

In 2002 a 10-mancollective of rugby chums, in search of a twist for their head-to-head league,came up with the idea of drafting coaches in addition to players. Fivepoints--the equivalent of a passing TD--would be awarded for any coach whoseteam beat the point spread. Bill Parcells was taken first. Bill Belichick wentlast. (The rationale: The Patriots play too many close games.) In Week 3, afterthe outcome of a league game was decided by coaching points, the idea was,mercifully, canned.

Republic ofTexas

Fantasy FootballLeague

In 1998 oneROTFFL team owner nearly had his draft day derailed when his employer, anunidentified Big Six consulting firm, sent him to the U.K. on assignment.Instead of folding, he placed an international call (to Texas) and drafted overthe phone, waiting as long as 20 minutes between picks. The call lasted 3 1/2hours and cost several hundred dollars--which was ultimately expensed to hiscompany. Probably of no consolation to his employers: He won the league.

STUDS & DUDS

Get regular updates on who's hot and who's not everyday at SI.com/fantasy.

K.C. FANTASY LEAGUE

Old news: Hackers are everywhere. Even in fantasyfootball, as employees at a Kansas City technology info company will tell you.In 1991 they became suspicious when an owner made a waiver claim for widereceiver Don Beebe. Slight problem: No one had yet put Beebe on waivers. Theshady team owner, who had designed the company's internal e-mail system, wasbusted for hacking into and peeking at e-mails detailing upcoming transactions.Oddly, his fellow owners let him finish out the season, and he won the leaguetitle. His only punishment: 15 years' (and counting) worth of verbalhazing.

ILLUSTRATIONILLUSTRATION BY GARY LOCKE

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)