Commish HQ: Dear Santa, a Fantasy Wish List

By Reginald James
Reginald James

Dear Santa,


I know right about now things are probably getting pretty busy up there in the North Pole. I hope that this letter finds you well. I have a small wish list for you, that I hope you take time to consider. I’ve been nice, and I’m certainly not as naughty as I used to be, so hopefully it’s okay for me to present the following wish list on behalf of all fantasy football commissioners. So please, kind sir, would you consider stuffing our fantasy stockings this holiday season with the following:


1) Complimentary services from the Yahoo Collection Agency (YCA) - Okay, I know Yahoo doesn’t have a collection agency, but it would be great if they did, right? You’re legendary for doing magical things with all that Christmas spirit you wield, so maybe you can make it happen. You see, there are some fantasy commissioners who have a hard time asking people for money. They love playing in a league to win money, but they have a problem when it comes to asking for it. It also doesn’t help when people try to avoid paying, or disregard the pay deadline.


I like to suggest that commissioners have a ”No Pay, No Play” policy, where players are simply not allowed to draft, and can lose their option to declare keepers if they don’t pay their league fees by the deadline. Fantasy "commissioning" would be so much easier if the YCA stepped in and helped commissioners out.


2) Season-long mediation services from Judge Judy - I hear you and Judge Judy are pretty tight. Maybe you can call her up on our behalf. Do you think she’d do some pro bono work for us fantasy commissioners? I love Judge Judy, she doesn’t take any nonsense. It's her job to mediate disputes, and to resolve conflicts. She never fails to call people out on their crap when necessary.


In some leagues, new commissioners quickly learn they aren’t so good dealing with conflict, especially when it comes to trying to intervene in inter-league squabbles. I like to suggest that commissioners learn to create very clear and distinct boundaries when it comes to rules. They should be upfront in citing what behavior is acceptable by league managers. Granted, some leagues require more handling than others.


I also think commissioners should stay above bulletin board and chat room smack talk, for example. There was a time perhaps when they weren’t commissioner, when they could join in, but now that they’re commissioner, the same behavior may be viewed in a different light. That’s a hard tight rope for some folks to navigate. Sometimes stupid smack talk escalates and a commissioner will find themselves in the middle. Some commissioners will purposefully insert themselves in situations that have nothing to do with them. The better they are at establishing rules for league conduct (if needed), and the better they are at avoiding blurred lines when it comes to determining when they are serving officially as commissioner and when they are just one of the gang, the better.


Judge Judy would be great for tamping down a bunch of league nonsense, and helping maintain order. Let me know if she’s free, a lot of fantasy commissioners would be most grateful for her help.


3) Cellino & Barnes for rules documentation - Okay, I know they aren’t together anymore. I heard that it was a really bad breakup. I'm pretty sure they actually ended up suing each other. They’re injury attorneys and may not be the approprate choice for devising fantasy rules, but hey, that commercial jingle works. “Call 800-888-8888!” I guess what I really want for my fellow fantasy commissioners, is a lawyer, maybe a team of them to write up iron-clad rules to help commissioners out.


You see Santa, sometimes commissioners have to deal with a player in their league who is always looking to circumvent the rules. You know, they’re looking for the loop holes. Often, this player will find something in the rules that allows them to do something, that usually common sense or common decency, would deter them from doing. However, these types are a different breed. They like to say, “Well, there’s nothing in the rules that says I can’t …” And, while that may be true, usually what they’re doing usually isn’t that cool. “It’s bush-league, but it’s not illegal!” This scenario leaves some commissioners in a bind. They really can’t do anything to keep the Loop Hole Jumper in line because, technically they aren’t breaking any rules.


I like to tell commissioners to put any modifications or changes to the platform rules in writing. They need to make sure that they play the role of the Loop Hole Jumper themselves when crafting league rules. Try to find rules that can be exploited, and rewrite them. Close those loop holes. I also suggest being generous with examples so it’s harder for people to say, “I was confused.” I imagine a legal team would craft a glorious tome with hundreds of pages of rules! Havnig to navigate with varying international rules and regulations, I'm sure you've sorted through your share of legal documents, Santa. You know that every detail, down to the most specfic instance is covered.


What commissioners really need in their rules is language that is simple, clear, and specific. Upon second thought, maybe acquiring the services of a firm to craft fantasy league rules, with all the “heretofores,” “Ab initios,” addendums and such, might not be a good idea after all. The rules might be iron-clad, but more lawyers would be needed to explain what they wrote. That would hinder more than help. Hold up on this, Santa. I’ll get back to you on this one.


I hope I’m not asking for too much Santa. I'm open to negotiate. Stay safe and healthy. Please give my regards to Ms. Claus and to Rudolph. If a spot ever opens up in your league, let me know!


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