Making the Listener League Better

Last week Andy, Mike and Jason sent out an email titled “3 ways to improve your fantasy league…”. In it the guys gave several suggestions on ways to improve your league in three categories:

  1. Communication, Communication, Communication
  2. [Remember] It’s Fantasy Football
  3. Ditch the Dead Weight

In topic #2, they remind us that fantasy football is a game and that we should “embrace all the nerd that comes with it” and to do “things that are exceptionally fun and immersive”. In this post, I want to share two of the things we have done along those lines in this year’s Listener League.

The Listener Manifesto. As anyone who listens to the Podcast knows, Jason is the back-to-back champion of the 14-team Listener League, and he reminds everyone in the league about that every chance he gets. This provided a great opportunity for the 12 listeners in the league to band together against a common foil (one team is co-owned, hence there are 12 of us). Using the magic of the Listener League Slack channel, we were able to coordinate and put together a short manifesto where we committed to doing everything in our power, short of collusion, to overthrow Jason and bring the #FootClanTitle back to the listener community. We also pledged to be active owners that would trade, talk trash, and try to make this year’s Listener League the best ever. We embedded digital pictures of everyone’s signature on the bottom of the document to make it official, then sent a framed copy to Jason at the studio where he no doubt looks upon it and quivers with fear daily.

Besides putting Jason on notice that his tyrannical reign was about to end, doing this gave 12 strangers the opportunity to bond over something fun while setting the tone for the league. Our situation in the Listener League was unique, but a lot of us join new leagues each year like the ones that can be found at where many of the participants are strangers, at least initially. So, while a manifesto like ours might not make sense, writing a league constitution and having everyone sign it as the guys suggest in their email could be a great icebreaker.

Power Rankings. Right after the Listener League draft, I started writing my own weekly power rankings and publishing them to the Slack channel. I give each team my own subjective ranking along with analysis of the roster and recent roster moves. The content is heavy on sarcasm and shade, but entirely accurate IMHO. Even though the other members of the league didn’t know me well or have any reason to give my opinions much weight, the rankings generate a lot of chatter and agreement / disagreement each week. I believe the power rankings have also been the impetus behind at least a few big roster moves, though none of the others are likely to admit to this :blush:. I initially wrote the rankings myself, but before the week 1 games I reached out and asked another listener to partner with me on them, and she happily agreed. The resulting rankings and trash talk are much better with a second person’s input, and I was excited to get another member of the league involved. Oh, and one little nugget from the week 3 rankings we posted yesterday: @JasonFFL has gotten off to a rough start and is currently ranked #14. #PowerToTheListeners

I titled this post “Making the Listener League Better” to make a point. Fantasy football is great, and if ever there was a league that would be a lot of fun even if we didn’t do any of these things, it’s The Fantasy Footballers Listener League. However, even the best leagues can benefit from things like this, and there is little doubt that the Listener League is more active and enjoyable as a result of us doing the Listener Manifesto and weekly power rankings.

I hope you found this interesting. Even better, I hope it helps motivate you to do more things like this to raise the fun quotient in your leagues. Comments? Questions? Please share them below, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

What an amazing post! You raise such great points! Adding things like power rankings, the manifesto, etc, are what make a league fun and build the comraderey for sure! Thank you for asking me to help with the power rankings, as it has allowed me to participate better in the chats and I feel
like it made everyone get to know each other better. Like who can take what joke, and who you shouldn’t mess with as much! I have met a few people in the league and know what they are about, but it helped to get to know others quicker and so far has been such a fun league!!! You’re awesome! Thanks for helping make things even extra fun!!

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This sounds really fun.

Can you share one of your power ranking statements?

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Let me see if I can quickly do a scrubbed copy with the other players names taken out. Leave an email and I’ll send it out if it’s doesn’t become a major rewrite.