By Paul Deeds aka bobreaker50
Fantasy football is one of the most popular games around the United States. Since its’ inception in 1962, Fantasy football has taken on many forms. It began innocently enough at the Milford Plaza Hotel with three Oakland California football minds; Wilfred “Bill” Winkenbach, Bill Tunnel, and Scotty Starling. One (Winkenbach) was a minority owner of the Raiders, Tunnel worked in the Raiders Public Relations department, and Starling wrote for the Oakland Tribune. The three developed a system of rules to govern the game with the intent “to bring together some of Oakland’s finest Saturday morning gridiron forecasters to pit their respective brains (and cash) against each other” in the hope that it would lead to “closer coverage of daily happenings in professional football” [ref]. From these humble beginnings it has morphed into the game played online in almost every 20-40 year old male’s man cave. There are free leagues that exist simply for enjoyment and there are leagues with million dollar payouts. One can participate in snake drafts, auction leagues, and even start his or her own miniature dynasty by keeping players from year to year. With so many variations in existence it may be difficult to believe new twists can be made to this popular contest. I have come up with an amazing new concept for sportscardforum.com users!
One of the most popular forums on sportscardforum.com gives members comprehensive coverage of all things autograph. This happens to be a favorite of mine and a perfect place to combine forces with fantasy football to provide sportscardforum.com members with the ultimate fantasy autograph contest! This new contest would allow autograph hounds the opportunity to combine all aspects of their sports knowledge into one amazing test. Many details will need to be smoothed out, but the basic concept is simple. League owners will be required to sign their players to fantasy contracts by requesting their signatures through the mail. Only signatures on “official” league contracts will count towards team ownership. For simplicities sake the contracts will not contain any verbiage all that needs to be included are the team name and the year. This sounds simple enough, but at the same time it raises many questions. The following paragraphs will explain further details and attempt to answer some obvious questions about the contest.
Teams would begin accumulating points as soon as they sign players. Starting rosters would be limited to one quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, one tight end, one kicker, and one defense. In order to sign a defense an owner would simply need to have one defender from said team sign a contract. Teams can sign as many bench players as they wish, but may not start any players beyond the starting lineups. All contracts must be scanned and posted in a team thread. Due to the difficulty of signing players not all roster spots need to be filled each week. In the interest of saving time this league will be strictly a scoring league. This means teams will only receive points when their players score points on the scoreboard. Six points for all touchdowns this includes passing, rushing, receiving, and defensive touchdowns. Kickers receive one point for PATs and three points for each field goal. The team with the most total points at the end of the season would win the contest. Prizes could include cards or card cash.
Anyone who has sent autograph requests through the mail knows how difficult it can be to have players sign the exact item you request. Some players have pre signed or pre printed photos that are sent out in order to save themselves time. Some players will not sign blank index cards. This is where knowledge comes into play. Peyton Manning is a great QB and a pretty consistent through the mail signer, but lately he’s been sending out pre signed photos much like Kurt Warner has done in the past. Manning may not be the best Fantasy Quarterback for this league. Many players disregard their fan mail altogether so it may be difficult to fill out a roster especially with many owners competing against one another. To remedy this problem the sportscardforum league will have no limit on the number of teams that can sign a player. Michael Vick could potentially be the quarterback on every team if he was willing to sign league contracts. There could be many other potential potholes along the way if this idea does become an official contest, but for now this should be enough to get a discussion rolling.
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