Replacements On Deck!
Posted Jul. 31 at 11:48 AM
Last week I talked about owners doing the right thing and letting a league know if they're not going to participate, giving them plenty of time to find a quality replacement. Ideally, everyone would do that and each league would start every year with a full complement of enthusiastic owners.
But as we all know, that's a pipe dream. While some owners will do the right thing -- or at least try -- too many will simply wait (sometimes until after the draft is supposed to start, as we read in the comments section last week). You can get angry and complain, but that won't help you when you need to find a replacement immediately. If you're a commissioner, or a just a good owner who cares about your league, it's time to start thinking about replacement owners right now...before you actually need them.
So which owners in your league are candidates to drop out? You might not think you have any, but there are warning signs we can all recognize:
- The owner who is always late paying their entry fee, but the first one to complain about not getting paid if they're owed money.
- The owner who doesn't answer e-mails, texts or calls during the season, ignores trade proposals and sets their lineup minutes before the games start each week -- assuming they don't forget.
- The owner who, because of life events and changes, has lost interest in football.
Owners who fit the above categories won't necessarily drop out, of course. But if someone loses interest or can't pay their entry fees on time, they might just decide it's not worth the trouble this year. And they probably won't race to the phone or computer to let you know.
It's in your best interest to create a short list of potential owners who would be a good fit for your league, based on the criteria that's important to you. But whomever you choose should be able to meet some minimum standards:
They have to be a good personality fit for your league. This is the most important factor in having successful ownership, not how long you've known them or what college they attended or whether they work in the cubicle next to yours.
Regardless of your scoring system, number of teams or anything else, your league is different than any other league. It has its own personality, which is a reflection of its long-standing owners. So if there's a lot of trash talk, a person with thin skin won't be a good addition. If you're a bunch of late-night partiers where every league function needs its own keg, an owner who brings their children to events might not be the best choice. And if you're a bit lax on league rules in favor of a more laid-back atmosphere, a rules-lawyer (you know the type. They want a 1500-page rule book and contest every word) isn't going to enjoy themselves.
There's no right or wrong way to play, but there are right and wrong ownership decisions. Make sure the candidate is someone who would feel at home in your league.
They have the time and/or money to participate. Look, some people don't know how to say "no." They're gung-ho about every new league they join...until about week 3, when they realize that 11 leagues might be too many. You don't have to be their only league, but you can't just be another draft on their schedule, either. Make sure they're prepared to be an active owner.
Money can be an issue, too. Some leagues don't play for any money at all (don't laugh -- my most competitive league is one of those and features life-long friends who want nothing more than to claim bragging rights that never seem to expire), some leagues play for a token amount of cash, and others make winning a financial windfall. Those latter leagues have steep entry fees. It's not your place to tell someone what they can afford, but all prospective owners need to know the true cost of competing. Sometimes the transaction fees alone can end up higher than the original entry fee, and someone who doesn't have the bankroll to keep up should probably play in a different league. That's not always a big factor, but if you play in one of those leagues, keep it in mind.
They can participate like most league owners. Is your league based online with members around the country? Is it a local league where friends see each other from time to time? Or is it a league that gets together for games every weekend? Attendance won't be mandatory, but it would be good for the league to have someone who can handle the level of social interaction you maintain during the season and beyond.
There might be other things you want to add, but I'd like to suggest that you eliminate one factor that many league use: How "good" someone is at fantasy football. Give absolutely no weight to that meaningless gauge. You might think you're bringing in better competition...but are you? What does "three-time defending champion of the Mario Kart League of Greater Iowa" really mean, anyway? How can you even tell how impressive a "fantasy resume" is? It's much better to skip it entirely and focus on the important characteristics that match up great owners with great leagues.
In fact, after reading this column you might have some people in mind. That's great. You might even be tempted to boot an owner in favor of one of them. That's not so great. Unless they're hurting the league by not paying or participating, leave them be. Some people use fantasy leagues to keep in touch with old friends, or maintain a sliver of who they used to be before life's responsibilities took over. Even if they can't attend all the events or friendships have grown apart, if they're active and want to play, let them. Always encourage more participation, but let your established owners maintain the status they've earned. It might be more important to them than you realize.
Youtube Clip of the Week: You might want to kick this guy out of your league, but he's too entertaining to let go.
What criteria do you use for new owners? Share your thoughts below:
Add a Comment
Already a registered user? Please sign in to add comments.
To add comments, you must become a registered user of our site. To register, please click here.