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Thank you to Draft Answers (@DraftAnswers) for submitting the below Community Submission. This article has been subject to minor edits to the formatting, but the written content remains almost untouched.
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Community Submission: In Remembrance of The League
The USA is where NFL Draft Fantasy Football was born. It would have been a natural progression because so many of their real life sports also use a draft system.
But the last decade has seen a surge in Draft Fantasy players in countries worldwide. Countries that don’t have anything to do with a Draft. The Draft Society recently tweeted:
These were the locations where users had accessed their website within 4 hours of going live. While the USA had a big number of hits, you can see clearly see that Europe and specifically, the UK, is where the majority of these views came from. Given that The Draft Society is focused on the Draft game that we love, how have so many people picked up this US-style game?
I would guess that a big reason for this is the same reason that this writer started playing Draft. Since 2004 I, like many in the UK, only played the OFPL. While this satisfied my cravings at first, I was starting to tire after 10 years of mediocrity. A worldwide rank of 89,038 in 2011/12 is my ‘best season.’ I wanted more from my fantasy football experience.
That is when I discovered a series on Netflix: The League.
This show, spanning 7 short seasons, follows the lives of four friends, Pete, Ruxin, Andre and Kevin, as well as Kevin’s wife Jenny and his brother Taco. Together with a few ‘out-of-town friends,’ they have formed an 8-person NFL Draft league. Along the way, we also meet Rafi, Ruxin’s hilariously weird brother-in-law, as well as a few other returning characters, such as Russell and ‘Dirty Randy’ (played by Seth Rogen). From the very beginning, we are drawn in by the banter, forfeits, jokes, and pranks that ensue as a result of being in a Draft league. As a viewer and fantasy sports lover, I wanted a piece of that life!
I searched the web for a Draft game for the Premier League and stumbled upon Draft Fantasy Football. I founded my very own 8-team Draft league, created the Draft Answers Twitter account a year later, and become part of our Draft Community... all because of a TV show!
I have re-watched The League countless times over until 2019 when Netflix sadly dropped it from their UK service. It is up there as one of the best shows I have watched. This writer has spent hours trying to find a way to carry on watching it but alas, it is not available on European region DVD or free on any UK streaming service. European viewers would have to spend upwards of £100 to buy every season on a streaming service to watch this side-splittingly funny show.
It would not surprise me to learn that many others found Draft Fantasy Football because of this show. I know from my Twitter interactions that there are fans of The League in the Draft Community.
It is for this reason that I am writing this article. A love letter, if you will, to The League from all of us.
My Favourite Moments
Kevin, Jenny and their daughter Ellie are stuck in traffic. We are then given one of the most memorable scenes!
Yobagoya is now synonymous with going number 2... (apologies for the poor video quality).
Criminal Sentence Negotiation
Ruxin is a criminal defence lawyer and Kevin is a prosecution lawyer. In this scene they are pitted against each other over a man, Ernie, who is facing jail time.
The fact that they value Draft fantasy football so highly in their lives that they are willing to involve jail time for a man in their trade negotiations at work is why this scene goes down for me as one of the best.
Ruxin Trash Talk
The League teaches us how to trash talk our league mates from the best: Ruxin.
Kevin's Losing Rant
A scene that will resonate with all commissioners who feel they aren’t appreciated enough.
The gang try to right a wrong, but Ruxin smells collusion!
Kevin FINALLY wins the league, but for Ruxin it comes with a big asterisk because of the draft order shenanigans from earlier on in the season.
Unrelenting Reign of Ruxin
The League shows us the importance of getting a trophy, and how to gloat in our friends' faces when we win it!
As well as winning right, The League also does losing better than anyone else.
When Kevin Finally Learns How To Lie
Sometimes you have to lie to your friends, or your partner. Kevin sucked at this, so he turned to the one person who does it better than anyone: Ruxin.
The Best of Rafi
You can’t talk about The League without talking about Rafi. The craziest character I’ve ever seen on TV, some of his lines are beyond words. Take a look for yourself, or be reminded of some of his best quips.
Some of the best Quotes from The League
Jenny, talking about Russell, a self-proclaimed sex addict.
"There's no such thing as a sex addict. There's just guys."- Jenny
Ellie, ~8 years old, with every parent’s nightmare:
"Stop busting my balls."- Ellie
The Draft Idiot: Taco
"I get that you guys are skeptical. When Steve Jobs invented the first job, everyone thought he was an idiot, but today, everyone has jobs. And look how well Steve Jobs is doing."- Taco
American sports don’t do ties, but Draft Fantasy can often give you one. Here, Kevin sums up how we all feel about them, adding on a slam on his mate.
"A tie is like kissing your sister, which I think everyone at this table has done, Andre."- Kevin
Kevin with a modern-day comeback after being ridiculed for not doing enough work in his house:
"Who do you think resets the router? You think that just magically happens and everyone gets the wi-fi? No! Someone's got to pull the plug out the back, wait ten seconds and then put it back in. I do that once a month!"- Kevin
Throughout most of The League, Jenny is a more successful at Draft Fantasy Football than Kevin.
"I can't live in a house where I'm not respected as a fantasy football player."- Kevin
Andre: What do you mean, there are different levels of friendship?
Taco: Yeah, definitely.
Ruxin: Look, there's the United Nations, then there's the Security Council, okay? [Motions to the whole group of Pete, Kevin, Taco, Andre and himself] United Nations... [points to Pete and Kevin] Security Council. [Points to Andre] GHANA.
Pete: You don't ever think about divorce?
Ruxin: I've thought about it, but I'd never do it.
Pete: Why, do you have a moral stipulation...?
Ruxin: Nah. If Sophia and I split up, 50% of my time, I would have to spend 100% of my time with my kid. Right now, I'm rocking, like, 50% coverage 30% of my time. You cannot beat those numbers. Also, if we got a divorce, she would get half of my money, making me ostensibly poor, yet still paying her to just get pounded by other dudes, which will happen, because she is still smoking hot, whereas I look like a Nazi propaganda cartoon of a Jew.
Pete: Wow, you have crunched the numbers on this one, my friend.
Ruxin with a brilliant save only to blow it on a fumble at the goal line. Or in Football terms, a brilliant goal-line clearance which actually goes into his own net off the post:
Ruxin: [after being caught looking at an attractive female while at dinner with his wife] No, first of all, I couldn't see down her cleavage from this angle. Second of all, I was looking at her 'cuz I look at everyone, because I as you know am a keen observer of the human experience, right? I'm like a Ken Burns documentary. If anything I was checking her out to see how you stacked up and let me tell you, you just won. This is like the Final Four, ok? So you just passed through that bracket and now you're playing Syracuse, which is that surprisingly fit 40 year old a couple booths back.
All fans of The League can hear Ruxin deliver this last line!
Ruxin: [Ruxin washing his hands in what he believes is a sink, in walks an old man who begins urinating where Ruxin is washing his hands] Chinatown urinal, I'm forever unclean!
Are you a fan of The League? Have I missed your favourite scene or quote? Which character embodies your Draft performance the most?
Let me know by tagging me on Twitter so we can share our love for this TV program!
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