this is a really old article, but i think it's amazing. especially since football is about to start up.
this is from "the sports guy," bill simmons. it was his article in the May 22 issue of ESPN the magazine...from a few years ago.
"I need to win my AL-only fantasy league this season. It's one of the most crucial things happening in my life right now -- not top-five, but definitely top-10. I wish I were making this up.
So does my wife. When she hears me discussing trades with my co-owner, Hench, or sees me silently swearing in front of my laptop because Torii Hunter took another 0-for-4, it makes her angry. Like, really angry. Like, we-might-be-getting-divorced-soon angry. She doesn't know (or care) that Hench and I were favored to win this season, or that we're currently floundering in fifth place with a cast of underachievers.
........I will skip ahead to the good stuff......
"You have a problem," she decided.
"You don't understand the fantasy thing," I countered.
"Well, come up with a league I'd enjoy. Then maybe I'll understand."
Now that sounded like a challenge. And I never turn down a challenge. So I racked my brain, contemplating all the dopey things she likes.
And then it hit me.
The Sports Gal loves Us Weekly. It's her bible. She devours it religiously each week. She examines every picture, reads every story and mutters stuff like, "My God, she's too skinny!" and "I just don't get why they're together!" If I've begun to thumb through the mail on the day the magazine arrives, she walks over and rips it out of my hands. She likes seeing what everyone is wearing. She likes the gossip. She out-and-out loves the "Fashion Police" and the "Stars--They're Just Like Us" sections (Because, after all, stars are just like us! They go to Starbucks! They take out the trash!) There is nothing about Us Weekly she doesn't appreciate.
So I'm going to create an Us Weekly fantasy league just for her. It's a million-dollar idea that could make me rich, if I weren't too dumb to figure out how to trademark it. More important, it will save my marriage. I can't afford to get divorced, it's way too expensive.
Here's how it works: 10 teams, auction format, $200 cap, five male and five female celebs per roster. Scoring is head-to-head for 22 weeks, playoffs over the last three (so you can have two seasons per year). Ok, let's say you pay $55 for that chain-smoking tramp Lindsay Lohan. If she makes the cover of Us, you get 10 points (three for the inset photo). Every other Lohan picture inside is worth one. If she appears in the "Fashion Police," you're docked three. That's it. Simple. You can add or drop your celebs each Monday. Like maybe you want to dump Jake Gyllenhaal (because the whole "Brokeback" thing has played out) and grab Josh Hartnett (because he's dating Scarlett Johansson). Then again, you might want to hang on to Gyllenhaal. He's single and his number might be up in the Lohan deli line.
Here's the beauty of my new league. Let's say you took a $5 flier on Denise Richards a while back, hoping she and Charlie Sheen would patch things up. But when, out of nowhere, she lands in a love triangle with Richie Sambora and Heather Locklear, she suddenly becomes Chris Shelton or Jonny Gomes, a bona fide sleeper! On the downside, I could easily see someone overpaying for Nicole Richie, thinking she might start to date Diddy or seek help for an eating disorder, and when she doesn't you're playing catch-up for five months. See? The possibilities are endless.
When I described the concept to the Sports Gal, she was confused, then intrigued, then enthralled. "I'd win that league!" she ultimately decided. Now she wants me to organize it. And I just might. I want our whole house to be as crazy as I am. I want her swearing at Mariah Carey like I swear at Rocco Baldelli. I want her to sneak out of bed to change her lineup at 2 on Monday morning, or complain about her team on Friday when the magazine arrives. Then, she'd finally understand the whole fantasy thing, and we'd live happily ever after.
At least until the first time we tried to work out a trade."