Ask The Commish: No Political Team Names in My League!

By Reginald James
Reginald James

Advice please! I’m sure because of the election, someone in the league changed their name to F**** The Dems. It’s caused a little stir. To be honest, I think it’s because we didn’t know he was anti-Dem, but I don’t really care. I don’t want stupid politics to be part of our league. It’s never been a thing with us. Part of me wants to tell him to change his name back. But if I do, what if they say no? The other part of me thinks if I let it go, maybe they’ll change it back on their own. We don’t have rules on team names, and yeah sometimes we’ll have some that have a double meaning referring to sex or whatever, but nothing like this has ever come up before.


Funny, I don’t have a rule for team names either. I’ve never had to address it. Also, in my league, I’ve never had anyone go the double entendre route, and have a stupid name referring to their private parts, something crude referirng to women, or to sex and such. Personally, I think that kind of stuff is dumb, and I’m glad I’ve never had to think about it or deal with it.


That said, if I thought something was really crude, I would say something. In your case, someone has decided to politically vent. I understand your dilemma. I would say something. I would try to not say anything that would make them get defensive. For example, I wouldn’t even bring up the topic of the political parties or the election itself. I would just try to appeal to the idea of keeping league peace. Suggest to them that the league is a place to have fun, a sanctuary of sorts. The one place where you all can get away from the otherwise grind and unhappiness of the world. That sounds really dramatic, huh? “Unhappiness of the world”? Hey, whatever it takes, man. Ask them to help you keep it that way. See if that matters to them in the larger sense.


What you don’t want is for someone, or a number of league members to change their team name in response with something like, F*** the GOP, prompting an all-out name skirmish. What if they refuse to change the name back? I’m not sure what else you can do, other than let them be, and hope things don’t escalate. They’re not breaking a rule, and to me, this isn’t an offense that would warrant kicking them out of the league. Some folks might disagree with that, and might’ve already done that. That’s their call of course, but you don’t seem to want to do that, so try your best to convince them to do the league a solid and help finish the season on a good note.



You have something against people saying they should include being a fantasy commissioner on their resume, don’t you?


Ha-ha! Nope, but I am tired of seeing people tweeting it all the time - every year. It’s not original or clever. Surely they’ve seen other people post the same thing. I can’t be the only one. I mean, on the irritation scale from 1-10, those tweets register at a 2, but still, time to come up with something else.



I’ve had an issue with managers not removing players from injured reserve when they’re supposed to. I routinely monitor the rosters to make sure they do and this year, it’s been happening a lot. I’m not sure what’s going this year, but it’s been 4 to 5 people I’ve had to say something to. It’s never been like this. Yahoo! will bar people from doing waiver work if someone has a player on IR who isn’t supposed to be there, but nothing happens if they don’t, so a player can remain there illegally for a while. I try to be hands-off as commish, but I’m feeling a league letter is in order. Would that be too much coming off as a boss?


Absolutely not. I think a general league letter is the best tool to use when trying to make a point to one person, or even a couple of people, especially when you don’t want to call them out publicly. In this case, you have more than one offender. Send out a message stating you’re just reminding folks to tend to their IR slot like they’re supposed to and manage their rosters accordingly. The offenders will understand you mean them, and the people who have kept their rosters on point, will be like, “ Yeah, okay. Whatever.” You will have done your job and made your point. The only reason someone might take issue, is if you go overboard and sound, well, bossy. Keep your language simple and to the point and you’ll be fine.


You could also include the reminder with some other general reminders you come up with so it doesn’t seem like a one-item directive. I don’t have a problem with that myself, but let’s say for example, if you run a playoff, then include a note reminding the league what week it begins. Come up with some other generic item and you’re good.




Send your questions to The Commish: