Tooth & Nail Fantasy Football League 2011: Vol. 1


It was late September when I started working at Tooth & Nail. I’d just moved from Southern California and was immediately struck with rain, the turning of leaves and football season.

Having hailed from a college with a fairly notable program and growing up with a dad who spends his weekends flipping between games, I was well-versed enough in the sport of football – or so I thought. It was clear after only a few weeks in the office that I had absolutely nothing on the rest of the staff. I was dealing with a bunch of nerds…total football nerds.

I’d be lying if I said I knew much about fantasy football before my time at Tooth & Nail. I mean, I’d heard of it and knew of its existence, but anything more than that was a wash. All I really did know was that at the end of the workday on Mondays, there’d be a lot of strange yelling, running back and forth to computers, hitting the refresh button and then more strange yelling.

It was a mind-boggling ritual, to say the least. They were all in on something I didn’t understand – a part of some inner circle I could sense existed but couldn’t really pinpoint. Members of the exclusive and not-so clandestine club known as the Tooth & Nail Fantasy Football League.

That first season, it was hard not to learn via osmosis more than I ever thought I wanted to know about #2 receivers, goal line backs, special teams and bye weeks. By playoff time, I could actually follow the real-life and fantasy football conversations that were constantly taking place around me. And during the Super Bowl, I could actually contribute an opinion – granted, probably not a very good one, but an opinion nonetheless. In fact, by the time the season was over, I was actually looking forward to the next one.

So you can imagine my excitement that summer when I got The Call. The invitation to join the heralded Tooth & Nail Fantasy Football League.

In my excitement to accept the invitation I may have forgotten one minor detail: I had no idea how to actually play fantasy football. Knowing about a sport is one thing; being in a fantasy league for that sport is a whole other level.

Did I google “how to play fantasy football?” Yes.
Did I ask my dad for advice? Yes.
Did any of it actually help me? Eh.

This marks my third year in the inner circle. Beginners luck was never a factor for me – I’ve never won the league or even made it to the playoffs. But at least I’ve never been in last place? I will say though that being in the league has created a closer knit among a staff that already considers itself family, because what family doesn’t talk smack to each other or secretly hope another member forgets to pick up a kicker to put in on bye week?

I’m thinking about doing weekly blogs on the league? For those of you who have no interest in sports, maybe it will be a bunch of boring filler. But for those of you who enjoy some friendly competition and coworkers who like to beat up on each other, they should make for some good reads. And if anyone has any advice as to how I can weasel my way into the playoffs this year, I’ll take any tips you got.

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