|It's the most wonderful time of the year. The Philadelphia 76ers have been eliminated from the postseason, the Phillies are pretty much mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, and the NHL playoffs begin tomorrow night. Both the Flyers and the Rangers made the postseason, and both teams will face some stiff (heh, heh, "stiff") competition. Ice hockey is far and away my favorite sport, but I haven't talked it up as much this year, because my FHL team stunk on ice.|
As Deathlok explained the other day, the FHL is the fantasy league my friends spend all of their free time on. Deathlok, Badger, Vinnie, Butchie, and a few others are in the league of 11 teams. In September, we all meet over someone's house, drink a lot of beer, have the draft, then rip on each other's picks. (Oh, and Badger usually has brutal gas.) Teams consist of 12 total players (6 forwards, 4 defensemen, and 2 goaltenders), and the points for the top 3 forwards, 2 defensemen, and goaltender count in the standings. The league was established in the early 90's, and we've hovered around ten players every year.
Deathlok keeps track of the stats via the internet, and his Excel spreadsheet is a wonder to behold. (I'd love to show it here, but I can't find a way to show an XL spreadsheet on Blogger.) It shows every team, player, and logo. The logo is determined by the Commish (Deathlok) and reflects the general mood of the GM or team. For example, my team usually has a "fat theme," with logos of Chief Wiggum or The Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons. Vinnie usually gets something akin to vodka gimlets, etc.
This year, I thought I had the best team coming out of the draft, including Tomas Vokoun in goal, Markus Naslund, Henrik Zetterberg, and Paul Kariya at forward, and Ed Jovanovski at defense. Unfortunately, this ragtag bunch of scrubs had my team hovering near the back of the pack. A late season trade got my Jaromir Jagr, which bumped me up the chain, only to miss 5th place by 2 lousy points. Payouts are at the end of the season, and they are determined by a sliding scale. The winner gets the bulk of the money, second place gets less, third place does not pay/win any. Places 4-11 pay $25-$60 in increments of $5 each. I finished 6th, so I owe $35 plus any sidebets.
Has everyone tuned out yet?
Sidebets are stupid (sometimes drunken) wagers between GM's that range from Who will score the first goal of the season, to When will Grimjack be out of the running. Trash talking is a must, and on any given day in the season, I can have 20-30 e-mails of the league ripping each other. It's bliss.
Here's Where Hockey Fans Pay Attention
The season ends before the playoffs, and Deathlok begins his annual NHL Playoff Pool. Each entry costs $5, and folks rank the sixteen teams in order of how many games you think they'll win. For example, if you think the Flyers will bow out in the first round (which is entirely possible) , they will be ranked much lower than the team you think will win the Stanley Cup. Anyone can enter - as long as you don't be a deadbeat on the money - and the payout for the winner is always huge. Deathlok's pool usually involves 100 or so entries.
So, if anyone out there wants to put forth an entry, e-mail me or leave a comment on Deathlok's blog, and we'll send you the entry form. All entries must be sent to Deathlok's e-mail by Friday, 7pm, but the money does not have to be in right away. Good luck!