Fantasy Football

2013 Fantasy Football name advice

I like Brandon Marshall. I like Forgetting Sarah Marshall. No need to combine the two.
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Joel Beall

Joel Beall is a writer for FOXSports.com and WhatIfSports.com. He lives with a Golden Tee machine and a jump shot that’s currently broken. Reach Joel on Twitter @FOXSportsBeall.

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The draft is often cited as the most vital day in one’s fantasy football season, as the process lays the framework for the upcoming fall. Others contend that, although a year can be torpedoed by flawed selections, a league can’t be won on draft day, rendering the monitor of the waiver wire as the most important aspect of a rotisserie campaign. There’s even a contingent that claims a blockbuster trade is the fundamental variable to the winning formula.

While these contentions hold varying degrees of accuracy and validity, they fall short of the true axiom of fantasy football…naming your team!

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Hey, this isn’t opinion; multiple studies suggest the epithets of people, businesses, places, etc., are imperative to that entity’s perception and outcome. It’s science.

Similar to other fantasy-related endeavors, we here at FOXSports have you covered. Keep these tips in minding when choosing a handle for your squad:

Briefness over bluster

FOXSports.com fantasy football leagues offer managers 24 characters for their team names. But like ordering Taco Bell late night and wearing jorts, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.

Bill Shakespeare once noted, “Brevity is the soul of wit.” Who are we to turn down such astute counsel from a man who inspired the great 10 Things I Hate About You? As a majority of owners use their club’s moniker in an (intended) entertaining manner, shooting for succinctness will help achieve this goal.

Beware the limits and banality of topical events

As I type this masterpiece of a column, it is the final week of July. In today’s now-now-NOW news cycle, events from a week ago seem like months. (That Royal Baby is in kindergarten, right?) With that the case, bestowing a title based on contemporary events in August will seem stale by September and archaic by December. That means a no-go to any allusions to Eddie Lacy’s weight or Ohio State’s frequent run-ins with local law enforcement. Manti Te'o jokes were worn-out by February. Furthermore, similar to the Michael Vick-Bad Newz Kennels references in 2007, please don’t be “That Guy” who drops Aaron Hernandez innuendos. Yeah, a guy’s on trial for murder. How hilarious.

This last part coincides with...

Avoid the predictable or unimaginative

Almost as bad as Hernandez or Te’o quips are sobriquets emitting from auto-generating name websites. Oh, “The Beer-Belly Busters,” that’s original. C’mon, I know testing creative bounds can be a struggle, but this godforsaken practice basically boils down to stealing someone’s trite idea.

Stick with one team name

You know who else goes through designations like turnstiles? Professional wrestlers and Puff Daddy. Not exactly a celebrated group. Nothing lamer than altering your name week in and week out.

Aggravation of other owners is allowed and encouraged

Targets include your buddies’ alma maters, personal shortcomings and any significant other or family member. Three areas that are off limits:

- Children

- Exes

- Ridiculing a seemingly-platonic relationship where one party is secretly infatuated with the other but has lacked the temerity to bring this sentiment to light

That last caveat seem a little specific? Let’s just say I’ve seen fisticuffs derive from the above situation. And I gotta tell ya...it was a sight to behold.

Subtlety is your friend

The written word is a powerful tool, as the perfectly-placed phrase or verbalization packs a potent blow. Why spell things out when certain overtones can transform an ostensibly harmless expression into a jab at an opponent? Moreover, when you’re caught having your fantasy roster on your screen at work, you don’t want to double this mortification with a blatant inappropriate team name. Intricacy is an elegant dance, compadre.

However, if you want your discernment a tad more illustrated, the logo option under team info provides a suitable canvas. Let’s just say this couples extremely well with the “provocation of other managers” item from above.

Puns: The Great Debate

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Fantasy editor Ryan Fowler hosts his MLB and NFL podcasts weekly on iTunes and SoundCloud.

If it’s in reference to your personal name or that of another owner, I’m ok with letting it ride. Using a football player’s name? Can’t get down with that beat. What if that player gets hurt or severely underwhelms? All of the sudden, “I Pitta the Fool!” looks pretty idiotic. Likewise, do you know how many teams across the country are named, “Forgetting Brandon Marshall” or “Corn on the Randall Cobb”? A lot.

Conversely, I know I’m in the minority in this regard and that many of you will employ “Stafford and Son,” “Double Dwayne Bowe,” “What You Talkin’ Bout Hillis?” and “The Garden of Weeden” to some extent. I get it. In general, puns are sharp, clever and, most importantly, endorsed by Charles Barkley. All I ask is if you go this route, pick something off the grid. If I see one more “Blair Walsh Project,” I’m going to snap.

Private jokes-digs are permissible as long as more people are “in” than “out”

It’s ok to keep some league members in the dark, but if the collective response to your name is, “Dude, I don’t get it,” sorry friend, you’ve dropped the ball.

And finally…

Don’t replicate actual NFL team names

It’s bad enough the Cleveland Browns exist in reality. No need to venerate their actuality in the fantasy realm as well.

Finally, here’s a list of the most common team names from the past two seasons in FOXSports.com fantasy football leagues:

Bulldogs, Steel Curtain, Da Bears, Show Me Your TDs, Mean Machine, Warriors, Victorious Secret, Cowboys, Wildcats, Dream Team, Multiple Scoregasms, Orange Crush, Mustangs, Big Blue, Knights, Steelers, Eagles

Don’t become a statistic. Use our advice to, ahem, make a name for yourself.

Sign up today for your free fantasy football season at FOXSports.com, and test your draft preparation by entering our mock draft lobby. Our fantasy experts will provide you with all the 2013 fantasy football news you’ll need to push for your league’s championship.

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