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Commish's Corner - Setting the Tone with New Owners


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Every longstanding league deals with the issue of replacement owners eventually. Owners move on or move away. Once you’ve identified quality replacements, not just warm bodies, then comes the most important part: setting the tone early. Sure you could send them an invite, give them a basic rundown of the rules, and let them know when the draft is scheduled to take place. I’d like to suggest another strategy.

Fire the first shot. Rules and basic info are all fine and dandy, but they are not what turns “a league” into “The League.” It’s all about the trash that gets dumped on each other and the fun you can have at each other’s expense. Why wait until Week 3 before you throw your first haymaker? Come out swinging.

Serve notice

“Welcome boys and girls,

You are receiving this email because others have spoken up on your behalf. Before you stands an opportunity, one that is afforded to a limited few, a chance to join “The League.”

What you need to know:

This isn’t Disney World. We’re not skipping around arm-in-arm, singing showtunes, creating memories and snapping photos for a scrapbook. This is Vegas. What is said and done in The League will not only scar you emotionally, it will never see the light of day or be spoken of to outsiders. This is not a friendly, “wish upon a star” league, this is WAR! Things will be said. Your anatomy will be insulted or downright questioned time and time again. Doubt will be cast upon your ancestry and your upbringing. Not by some, but by all, regardless of occupation or position in society. Forget what you thought you knew.

In order to be better prepared, it would be good to familiarize yourself with Urban Dictionary. I’ve opened the door, pointed you in the right direction, now it’s up to you to learn what you can. Be prepared to return fire. No one wants to kick the dog with its tail already between its legs (actually, I do ... but I’m the worst … and I’m the commissioner).

Dedication is not an option, it’s a requirement. If you’re in, you’re IN!

Hazing may or may not take place. I cannot speak for all. But I will say this, if you cry for help or alert the authorities, your place in The League will be forfeited.

Understood?

This is but a taste of what’s to come. If you choose to accept, to take the next step, I will show you just how deep the rabbit hole goes. What awaits you there is not spoken of publicly, but it’s glorious.

So the question is, “Are you in?”

Let them determine their initial standing

Why randomize their initial draft position, robbing your league of free entertainment and a glimpse into the new owners’ level of dedication? Let them fight it out. The winner leads off the draft, the loser gets pushed to the back. If more than two are involved, stuff the other runner-ups just in front of the loser in the draft order. Failure of any kind is not rewarded.

Let the rest of the league determine the competition. Best costume for draft night (preferably in public)? Best mustache (not discriminative of gender)? Jalapeno or hardboiled egg eating competition? Whatever would give you joy.

What did my league decide? A full-grown Soap Box Derby (aka “The Death Race”).

“On the night of the draft, the first ever league Death Race will take place between ’Team A’ and ’Team B.’ The winner will be awarded the top overall pick in the 2012 Draft. The loser will receive the last overall pick in the 2012 Draft and be subject to league disgrace.

Stipulations:

1. Nonfunctional weighting systems will be disallowed. Meaning, if it’s part of the car, you’re good to go. But, objects such as sandbags and/or free-weights added to the car simply to gain an advantage will be confiscated … and possibly hurled at you during the race.

2. The car must have three wheels at a minimum, but there is no maximum. An 18-wheeler would not only be acceptable, it may even earn you an advantage ( see following stipulation).

3. The car that is voted to be the biggest B.A.M.F. ( if you don’t know, Google it) by the rest of the league will be awarded one car length advantage at the starting line. I’m not talking sporty pinstripes. I’m talking the type of stuff inappropriate for audiences under 18.

4. Fireworks plus one other additional item donated by the league must be incorporated into the design. As for the fireworks, I don’t care if it’s a sparkler for an antenna or a roman candle for a tailpipe, we’re going to light it. The additional item will be provided to you by the commissioner no later than one month prior to the race. The rest of the league will have the opportunity to contribute items for consideration.

It’s your choice. Either show up with one kick ass car or two different draft strategies. You make the call.

For the rest of the league:

1. Submit your plus-one as soon as possible for consideration.

2. Charge your smartphones and any other devices that could be used to record the event. It will be posted. It will go viral. ( Side note: no video recording will be allowed once we enter the war room for draft night. What happens in the league stays in the league. You know this).

Any additional questions, ask yourself, “What would Steve McQueen do?” If you still need further clarification, punch yourself … then ask me.”

These two examples are by no means exhaustive. What they are is a challenge to up the ante. No one wants to join a tea and crumpets league, they want something to challenge them and bring some excitement. If you want to one-up the examples I’ve provided, feel free. Just post about it, so I can kick it up a notch with my league next year.

Sweep the leg.