“Show me someone who
never gossips, and I’ll show you someone who isn’t interested in people.”
As much as it pains me to quote Barbara Walters (don’t even
ask me where I heard this), this is as close as it gets to a perceived problem
resounding in just about any fantasy football league.
For some reason, I’ve yet to read anything
Let me rephrase this
quote in fantasy terms:
“Show me someone who
never gossips about fantasy football, and I’ll show you someone who isn’t
interested in fantasy football.” ~Joe Bungo
Where can the line be drawn in regards to gossip within
fantasy football managers, away from the on-line league page itself?
Consider the following two scenarios, which
happen quite frequently in most leagues:
: Manager A and
manager B are out at happy hour one day, and Manager A says, “Man, I think
James Hardy is a beast!”.
: Manager A is
fighting for a playoff spot, and needs Manager B to beat Manager C in order him
to make the playoffs.
Manager A notices
that Manager B is starting
a player on
bye, or notices that Manager B can replace someone in his lineup with a player
that would more likely allow Manager B to win.
So, manager A drops manager B an email, gives him a call, or mentions it
while out at happy hour.
Now, consider a third scenario.
the entire season, manager A (who is quite knowledgeable) dispenses advice to
every manager he wants to see win for whatever reason.
Of course, most reasonable people wouldn’t consider Scenario
1 to be cheating or unsportsmanlike.
It’s casual chit-chat.
Some would consider Scenario 2 to be cheating
or unsportsmanlike, and from my experience, most people would consider Scenario
3 to be cheating or unsportsmanlike, especially if Manager A knows his
So, where do you draw the line
in this fantasy whispering?
What if Scenario
2 was the case, but instead of an email, instant message, or phone call, the
message was subtly delivered as in Scenario 1?
What convolutes this even more is the fact that some managers (usually
the commissioner) are good friends with every manager in the league, while
other managers aren’t friends with anyone in the league.
The answer is still quite simple: you cannot draw a line
when it comes to these whispers, so long as every manager’s contact information
(email and phone) are posted to the on-line league page.
How can you draw a line?
I can come up with an infinite number of scenarios, and reasonable
people will have different opinions on all of them.
You have to let the gossip go, and fight fire
with fire if you feel the need to do so.
For starters, the managers making these suggestions are
trying harder and putting more time into it.
As with most things, the harder you try, the better your odds are at
Ultimately, it will always be
up to the manager in regards to who to put into their own starting lineup.
Would you consider it cheating or
unsportsmanlike if you tried to dupe your opponent into starting Samkon Gado
over Marion Barber?
Of course not.
Managers should decide for themselves if they
want to take anyone’s advice or not.
This is especially evident when leagues implement trade veto
In reality, everyone has it in
their best interest to vote against a trade or not.
If veto voting is in effect, managers can
vote against trades for any reason they want, can’t they (this is a timeless
debate as well)?
During the voting
period, is it cheating to give your opinion to another manager, or say
“Man, I think James Hardy
is a beast!” if James Hardy is involved in the trade?
Where do you draw the line?
You can’t, and that can easily create
alliances during a trade period.
easiest solution to this is to not implement trade veto voting (assuming your
commissioner isn’t corrupt).
But you can’t stop people from talking about fantasy football, even if they are
If you can, they aren’t
interested in playing anyway, and your league is probably no fun.