Commish HQ: Dear Santa, I'm Back With Another List!

By Reginald James
Reginald James

Dear Santa,


I’m not really big on traditions, but my yearly letter to you is one tradition I aim to hold on to as long as I’m writing this column. I’m back for a third year, with three items on my wish list for you to gift my fellow commissioners, especially the prospective ones in the cue who have decided that they’re going to do it for the very first time next year. I have a feeling you might be busier this year than in year’s past, so I’ll try not ramble and stay on topic. I hope you’re doing well. I heard you’ve taken up Pilates. I hope that’s working out for ya. Okay Santa, no rambling for me. Here we go.



1) Legend is, that you have a magical book of sorts, that tells you who has been naughty or nice. Apparently, you just open it up, and all the info is sitting right there. It’s 2023 so I’m pretty sure the information adjusts in real time now, or did it always do that? Do you think you can hit up all new commissioners with a fantasy version of your book for their rules? Maybe you can work out a partnership deal with Amazon AWS, or SAP? This might be a good branding opportunity for you.


Without a book like this, commissioners have to be sure they put in writing any rules that they want for their league that isn’t supported by the platform they are using. They are also responsible for looking for any loopholes that can be exploited by a member of their league. If a commissioner doesn’t take the time to be their own devil’s advocate, looking for weak areas in their rules, it’s not long before some rogue member does something that they shouldn’t necessarily be doing, but they can get away with it because as they see it, “there’s nothing in the rules that say I can’t.” You get the idea, Santa. A magic book that can adapt as a league grows and changes would be really awesome. For example, if a commissioner decides to add a new scoring item, but neglects to understand or notice how the change might affect another aspect in the existing scoring setup, the book will catch the discrepancy and automatically create the appropriate language needed. Cool, huh? Your book could pull that off, right?



2) I’ve made this request before, and while I’d like to ask for something new this year, I’m asking once again, for you to deliver the breakdown of a “No Pay, No Play” policy to all commissioners who had to deal with league members not paying their league dues this season. This is one of the biggest issues that commissioners deal with every year. I would say it’s primarily their fault. I don’t say this accusatorially. I understand that some commissioners don’t really like to ask for money, or talk about money. Some commissioners feel that they are creating conflict just by asking someone for money who is late in paying. I get that. League members often will put their commissioners in uncomfortable situations by not doing what they’re supposed to. So when I say it’s a commissioner’s fault, all I’m saying is that they can put a policy in place that will solve this issue and make their life much easier once and for all. If they don’t do this, then yup, it’s their fault. They can make it right, so they should.


You’ve heard me talk about this before, Santa. The policy is pretty straight-forward. Commissioners need to:


• Declare the date of their draft as early as possible

• Declare all other deadlines i.e., when dues are due, when Keeper selections are due, etc.

• Declare if the dues aren’t paid by the deadline, managers can/will be replaced



Commissioners have to be able and willing to enforce these rules. In my league, if a manager doesn’t pay on time, they automatically lose their Keeper selection. Because I also have the option of replacing a manager, I give myself 12 days between the dues deadline and draft day to replace them. For example, the top choice on my replacement list, might decline. It may take me some time to get a new manager, and I don’t like being pressed for time. I’m trying to fix a situation, a problem, someone else created and I want ample time, to do as I said earlier, to make it right. There have been times in my league’s history, where I have replaced people. There have also been times where they paid late, and while they only lost their Keeper selection (we only have one), they still got to draft. The point is: if you don’t pay in my league, you’re not even making it to draft day. I’ve given myself the grounds for removing someone, and I’ve set myself up to be able to do that successfully without a lot of angst and hand-wringing. The policy is in writing for all to see, so there are no surprises to the league, or excuses that come flying my way.


I have one last request for this item, Santa. Can you make the policy available in PDF form, and deliver the policy simultaneously via text and email? Your magic book of names probably has everyone’s current email and social media info, right?



3) When I was a kid, I was told that you can do almost anything. I mean, if going up and down chimneys wasn’t enough, being able to hit every house in the world in one night is a feat that just boggles the mind. I only mention this because this request might take some extra Santa mojo. Is it possible to make fantasy commissioners incapable from uttering, typing, writing, signing, even morse coding the following:



• “Being a fantasy commissioner is a thankless job”


• “I should be able to put fantasy commissioner on my resume”



Could you make it physically impossible for anyone to assemble those words together? We’ve heard this enough. Santa, why do they feel they have to be thanked? Is that why they’re running a league? If they really need expressions of gratitude or recognition from members for running a fantasy league, I think they need to reflect on why they are doing it in the first place. If running a league is not fun anymore, and if they need recognition to make it worthwhile, then I don’t think they should do it. What do you think, Santa? Maybe they should go do charity work instead, like volunteering to work in a soup kitchen, for example. People will earnestly thank them for doing something much more important than running a fantasy league.


Next, about the whole “on my resume” talk: to me it wasn’t funny the first time I read it. People say this every year, over and over. Okay, we get it. They’re joking that they can put “fantasy commissioner” on their resume because it’s like a job - a thankless one, right? Enough already. Santa, when you fiddle with their synapses, can you inspire those commissioners to come up with something new and creative?


Now there might be some tricky civil liberty issues you might have to navigate, tweaking with people’s minds and all, but I’m sure you’ve got that covered. I don’t recall Spock ever having to get anyone to sign a release form when he ran around mind-melding everyone.



Be safe in your travels, Santa. Say hi to the wife and the crew for me please. Tell Rudolph he still owes me money for losing that Russell Wilson prop bet we made last year. I haven’t forgotten about that. Anyway Santa, I feel like this year’s new requests might be a tall order, but I have faith in you. Tis’ the season for it, right? Peace.





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