Everyone wants to win their Fantasy league, but the odds are always stacked against you. After all, there can only be one champion, and you need a lot to go right just to get to the championship — where your Dalvin Cook and Derrick Henry-led juggernaut may totally flame out anyway. Taking him a title is the goal, but it's hard to do for a reason.
However, almost as important as winning is avoiding losing. The glory of taking him the trophy is great but avoiding the dishonor of being in last place is pretty nice, too. Especially if your league enacts some sort of punishment for the team that brings up the rear at season's end.
It doesn't have to be anything too extreme, of course: In one of my leagues with my friends from college, the last-place team simply has to wear a dog cone for the duration of the following year's draft. It's a minor inconvenience — it's harder to eat chicken wings and drink beer — but it's mostly there to emphasize the shame of your performance.
We reached out to our readers and podcast listeners to find out what your league punishments are, and Fantasy Football Today podcast producer Ben Schragger compiled a list of the best. Here's some motivation to draft better in 2020:
One For Every Month
Zach DeYoung's league goes with a classic: The calendar photoshoot:
Calender photoshoot. Outfits for each month provided by the rest of the guys.— Zach DeYoung (@ZDeYoung) December 18, 2019
Paul, of the aptly named Dad Bod Fantasy League, sent us some examples of the photoshoot, and, well …
@Brian_Milly's league likes to create an air of classiness around their draft, with the loser pressed into service:'
Wear tux to next year’s live draft and serve drinks to other league members— stonk daddy (@Brian_Milly) December 18, 2019
Don't forget to tip!
See America Right
In this league, losing means you're going on the road:
Wife’s co-worker has one of best I’ve heard..they looked at bus schedules had to make farthest roundtrip possible start Fri night return Sun. He leaves Sioux Falls, SD 1230 PM Friday, gets to Dallas, TX 1105AM Sat. and then Leaves Dallas at 1230 PM get back to SD 9:55AM Sun— GregH (@GHSD605) December 18, 2019
That's a 1,640-mile round trip, stuck in a bus seat for close to 48 hours. That sounds agonizing, but here's a guide to some roadside attractions you can stop by on your way there. Don't miss your chance to see such roadside marvels as "tiny jail" or "Truckhenge." You say "punishment," but all I see here is opportunity.
Put a Ring On It
That is an absolutely lovely little Lions pendant, but it does raise a couple of important questions: How long do you have to keep it in? And what happens if you lose multiple years? You're going to run out of room, eventually, right?
Pick Your Poison
Michael Graffman's league is nice enough to give you a choice of your punishment:
I actually gave this one a lot of thought, and I think I'm going with the ACT. Sure, you'd have to wake up early on a Saturday morning, sit in a too-small desk, surrounded by surly teenagers and take a test on subjects you haven't even thought about in a decade-plus, but I'm just not sure how many Waffle House waffles I can take down in one sitting. A standard Waffle House waffle is 410 calories, so even without counting butter or syrup, you're looking at five waffles to hit the average daily recommended calorie total — and you've still got 19 hours left in a Waffle House! That just can't be healthy.
I Don't Wanna Grow Up …
I can't quite explain why I find this so funny, but I am absolutely cackling at this image. Where does one even find a Geoffrey the Giraffe costume in 2019? And what do you do if the costume rental place doesn't have one available for your draft weekend? Do you have to check with the costume shop before scheduling your draft?
The Beer Mile
@MoreyFrog wants to make sure the league loser is staying active:
Last place in our league has to run a beer mile— Reject Horned Frog (@MoreyFrog) December 18, 2019
I'm not sure exactly what a "beer mile" is. Do you have to finish one beer while running a mile? If so, that seems pretty easy — well for me, at least the beer drinking part would be.
A Point of Clarification
Beer Mile. 4 different beers. Drink one, run 1/4 mile. Repeat 4 times. 🤮🤮🤮— GarbageCan Jesus (@thejuseman) December 18, 2019
Ah. I see.
Beer Mile:— Fightertown Geese (@Goose_FF) December 18, 2019
Loser of the Sacko Series (Best of 3 series between bottom 2 teams) has to race against the previous year's loser. Whoever loses the Beer Mile race (chug/shotgun a beer for every quarter mile), has to do it again the following year against next year's last place team
Apparently, I am the last person in the world to hear of the beer mile, and I am absolutely certain I would be the person losing this every season. Maybe it's time to start training, just in case.
Jim's league opts for a simple, straightforward punishment, but there's nothing wrong with simple:
At least it looks like this league is based somewhere with a more temperate climate. Imagine if our friend from Sioux Falls had to do this one.
Put On a Show
One twitter user, @stayCurrant, has his league's loser participate in the time-honored American tradition of busking:
Play the recorder in public until you earn $10 from strangers— x - mad about the sabres (@stayCurrant) December 18, 2019
Hope you remembered your elementary school lessons!
The Toilet Bowl
Stephanie's league invested in a nice little last-place trophy:
Gotta be honest, though, it's a little weak. Such a tiny, tiny trophy for such a big failure. I hope there's a stipulation that it has to be displayed in a place of prominence. Really make them feel their shame.