Helping you play-fake your way through fantasy football season.
Some sources estimate that as many as 15 million Americans play fantasy football, frequently during work hours. This leaves only people in comas, your wife and me in the non-players group. Don’t feel left out at your office because you think a Rotisserie League is a nautical measurement invented by Jacques Cousteau. Strap Zam’s Fantasy Fantasy Football Playbook to your forearm or armchair, quarterback, and you’ll be play-faking it with the big boys.
And Lori. The wife comment above was specifically inserted to provoke my friend Lori, who not only bucks the manly man football stereotype by regularly leading her fantasy league, but can also tell you who played third-string Gatorade Jug Thrower on the Super Bowl XXXVII winner. I don’t even know which teams played in that game. I’m the kind of casual football fan one might find reading Football for Dummies. However, I want to be able to converse with Lori, and the other 14 million plus, without looking like a tackling dummy. If you don’t want to be emasculated by Real Man Howie Long and his Real Truck Chevy Trucking Man’s Truck Truck either, do what I do: lie.
Why admit that you don’t spend three quarters of each game in front of the TV and three fourths of each workday evaluating your roster performance? Simply use my guidelines to bullshit your way through next season without jeopardizing your smashmouth reputation.
I’ll contain my fallacy football lesson to the NFL, since I’ve been writing humor columns for more than four years and mocking the BCS would be an NCAA eligibility violation. Also, if your wildest college fantasy involved Field Goals Allowed By Team In Inclement Weather, you went to the wrong school, playa.
Leagues pick their players at the beginning of each season. It’s important to draft well, but it’s more important to provide well drafts. Foisting extra yardage of cheap draft beer upon your opponents can guarantee “Roto” victory for weeks to come. A friend of mine once watched an inebriated opponent draft Emmitt Smith. Not a bad pick, outside of the fact that Smith had been retired for two years. To kick off next season with a good false start, make up a story about the raucous time you had at your commissioner’s house. Your co-workers will probably get so wasted at their own draft party they’ll think you were with them.
There is an inverse relationship between athletic ability and trash talking. The more of a sedentary dweeb you are, the more profanity-laden smack you should distribute. On Monday morning, be first to enthusiastically recap the weekend, preferably via instant message or text so as not to strain yourself rolling over to the next cubicle.
Holy shit, dude, I beat ass this weekend! You got debacled!
The only thing more embarrassing than drafting a retired player is using the word debacled as verb, which Emmitt Smith did on national television after last year’s Super Bowl. Maybe he should retire again.
To maintain credibility, pretend to lose every few weeks. Complain loudly, but finish with an optimistic look at Monday night’s games. Chances are you don’t even know what teams are playing, so genericize the comment:
No worries. My boyz are gonna get it done tonight! T-Boz is on fire!
T-Boz was actually a member of the hip-hop group TLC, not an NFL player, but say it convincingly enough and nobody will question you. It’s all about confidence.
Use more statistics, percentages and acronyms than you can fit in the Thanksgiving Day game horn o’ plenty:
If my TPS numbers don’t get out of the 400′s, my defense is definitely going to suffer in the ERISA department.
ERISA, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, has absolutely nothing to do with football, but if the guys at the water cooler dare to question this, simply talk about your TLC again to deflect the conversation.
Run and Shoot
Name names. There may only be 22 legal players on the field, but you’ll never get called for Too Many Men on the Fictional Football Bench. Go deep into your roster by peppering your conversation with any of the following names:
- Tony Madretti
- Ali Majik Farouk
- A.C. McCaskill
- Plingflex Ruppert
- Manning J. Manning
- Luke Brumske
- Jefferson Dupree
- Brock Wojofercziniak
- Tyler Johnson/Johnson Tyler/Tyjohn Lerston
None of these names are real, of course, which is why I recommend Shooting your mouth off first and then Running before anyone notices.
Stick with me like a Velcro cornerback here, because this is the most important rule of all: anything said by a professional broadcaster becomes your own independent thought.
Never, ever start a conversation with, “I heard Ed Werder say that…” or “I was watching NFL Countdown and….” For maximum effectiveness, listen to sports radio at work so you don’t plagiarize something from the same SportsCenter your co-workers watched last night. Like a lame cover band, your game breakdown won’t sound as good as the original, but at least you don’t have to pay royalties.
Okay, team, get out there and show me what ya got! Whether you take the defensive end or become an offensive lie-man, you should be able to walk into work proudly and win one for the Zammer. Save yourself some embarrassment, though – stay away from Lori’s cube.
If I were a betting man, I’d wager you’d find some more laughs at www.billzam.com.
 The “Rotisserie” name is derived from the restaurant at which Rotisserie League Baseball inventor Daniel Okrent and his pals developed the game. Okrent also invented the vegetable Okra (the first of many bald-faced, boldfaced lies in this article).
 i.e., fat guys.
 Oh, Piss On Ford Window Decal! Your cerebral comic genius cannot be outdone!
 As for gambling huge sums of money on the games, I think that’s permissible.
 I admit this attack on his grammar seems petty, but I guess I’m still bitter that he broke my record for All-Time NFL Rushing, narrowly eking past me by 18,355 yards.
 For you pop culture enthusiasts, the irony of mentioning TLC, NFL players, and fire in the same paragraph is not lost on me.
 Pepper your conversation, but do not Pepper your Johnson.
 I’ll warn you, this may occasionally require you to break into a slow trot.