There is an art to naming your fantasy football team and, sadly, not everyone can do it. If you are in a 12-team league, there are probably three guys who have great team names. Six have average team names and the other three have named their teams with the same level of incoherent logic with which Gwyneth Paltrow names her children. So, by my math, there is a three-in-four chance you need help. I can’t come up with the perfect fantasy football team name for you, but I can give you some guidance with these 10 suggestions for naming your fantasy football team.
1. Naming your team after an off-season player crime is perfectly acceptable and encouraged. The league I’m in with my college buddies is home to Big Ben’s Bathroom Hijinks and Milledgeville Police Department. In past years the same league has had the teams Ray Lewis’s Bloody Knife and Ron Mexico’s Rape Stand. The Cincinnati Bengals naturally provide three to four such incidents per off-season.
2. If you must name your team after a movie reference, make sure it is a comedy everyone knows. A list of comedies everyone knows: Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, any Mel Brooks movie, The Hangover, Stripes, South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut, Anchorman, Animal House, Beverly Hills Cop, Trading Places, Groundhog Day, The Big Lebowski, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, National Lampoon’s Vacation, This Is Spinal Tap, Monty Python and The Holy Grail and Airplane! That list is not complete, but you get the picture. Don’t name your team after an Annie Hall reference, unless you want every trade offer sent to you to start, “Hey, Faggot…”
4. If you are not the clever type, you can use your favorite team as the base. For instance, you can take your favorite team (Cleveland Browns) and with a slight twist create a super-fan version such as the Cleveland Brawns. Or you can do the deprecating thing and with another slight twist you have the Cleveland Clowns. Or you can keep the city name and change the team name to something clever, like the Cleveland Tourism Videos. (That one combines suggestions 3 and 4.) Or you can swap out the city and keep the team name and go with something vulgar like Moving the Browns. The possibilities are limitless.
5. Cramming as many swear words into as small a space as possible is perfectly fine and highly entertaining. Example: The Fucktaint Choding Ballsharts.
6. You can never go wrong with referencing a player from your youth. The perfect guy for this is a player such as Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Bubby Brister. The player you name your team after has to have stood out for some reason, but not have been a great player. The Bubster completed fewer career passes than Tony Banks, and no one remembers Tony Backs, but everyone remembers Brister. Bubby is perfect because he has that one thing, his name, which makes him ridiculous.
7. Don’t brag about your team in the team name. If your team name is Patriots Effing Rule!, I guarantee you that no one will ever forget to start their kicker against you, because everyone will want to pound the crap out of you.
8. The Wire is a deep mine from which to pluck team names. A few off the top of my head: Omar’s Coming, Sheeee-itt!, Cool Lester Smooth, Bubble’s Red Hat, All In the Game, Hamsterdamn, Brother Mouzone’s Angry Tie and Gotta Have My Honeynuts. Characters and references from other TV shows are always good too, especially any fake alias from Seinfeld (Art Vandelay) or Seinfeld character who never appeared on screen (Bob Sacamano).
9. Try to avoid doing the whole self-deprecating thing. This is a personal preference. Don’t name your team Bye Week, or Your Win Here. It’s not that funny. It’s pathetic. Fantasy Football leagues are for bragging and ball-busting. You will be rendered pathetic through your actions during the season. No need to bring it on yourself.
10. Openly express hatred towards your least-favorite players and teams. The first fantasy football team was probably named something like Y.A Tittle Sucks or Y.A.’s Titties. Hatred is a classic. Nothing wrong with turning to it in desperation.
(Joe Donatelli is a proud former champion of both the Scripps and WycheNollHeimer fantasy football leagues.)