Chairman bans unlit managers from Kenna auction

THE Kenna League chairman will exile some managers from next month’s fantasy football auction unless they meet certain drinking targets.

The Lokomotiv Leeds manager (pictured) says the chairman has told the league to embrace beer, shots and “heavy drinking”.

“They don’t have to be completely tanked, but I want my managers tipsy,” said the chairman of the self-proclaimed world’s leading London pub-based fantasy football league.

“Drunkenness is so important. When you are under the influence, Titus Bramble is coming. You’re not fast enough or quick enough in the head. That’s why you need to be pissed.”

The Lokomotiv Leeds manager says he is fully behind the chairman’s approach.

“For my part, it’s the first time any fantasy football chairman has really done it,” added the Yorkshireman. “And we have a few managers who are not boozing enough with the league yet.

“If your abstemiousness is too high, you’re not in the spirit of the auction. You have to know that if your blood/alcohol content is too low, then you cannot enter the auction.

“Some people think that’s normal but, in truth, it’s not always like this. I know because I’ve been in the Kenna League for a long time. It’s really crisp, cool and refreshing, and very exciting.”

The Kenna League auction is due to take place in the Hoop & Grapes pub, Farringdon Road, on Saturday 13 August.

It’s not the first time the chairman has called for compulsory boozing at auctions.

This story has been stolen from BBC Sport.

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What can English fantasy football learn from USA Today?

ANTICIPATION is high both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

For whether you spell it ‘colour’ or ‘color’ the fantasy football season is almost upon us.

Next month will see the 12th annual Kenna League fantasy football auction in London, the capital of ‘Merrie Olde England’.

Kenna HQ is always on the lookout for fresh ideas to inject into our preferred format, so when we spotted Make these 8 improvements to your fantasy football league on the USA Today website we immediately cancelled our high tea appointment with the Queen to find out more.

Fundamental differences between our two codes of football aside, I’m sure with a basic knowledge of gridiron and having watched two seasons of The League (or at least until the writers ran out of ideas) we can learn a thing or two from our American counterparts.

Let’s take fantasy sports writer Tim Heaney’s points one by one and see how we get on.

1. Eliminate head-to-head. Go with total points or all-play.

I get it. You want your league to resemble the NFL as much as possible, and that comes with the drama and trash talk related to competing with friends every Thursday through Monday.

But for fantasy, head-to-head doesn’t always tell the right story — a freak injury or strategy flaw in real-life play can ruin your week or season.

Playing your entire league every weekend (using head-to-head record or straight point totals) gives a clearer reflection of the best and worst squads. In this setup, the highest-scoring clubs will not miss the playoffs. (How often has that happened to you?)

You could even skip the traditional playoff format and just play this way through the final weekend, the way that other football does in the English Premier League.

‘Other football.’ I like this. It’s much preferable to the ‘S’ word, which upon hearing an Englishman must immediately repeat back in a faux-American accent.

Yes, we do run a straight points league in England, but over the last couple of years the weekly head-to-head has gained much traction, particularly in the official Fantasy Premier League game. I have tens of thousands of Whatsapp messages to prove this.

In the Kenna, the honour is definitely in straight points.

2. Eliminate the kicker.

Don’t kickers get points by putting it through the posts? Taco in The League always buys kickers and he gets laid a lot. Although he’s also a bit simple. There’s something I’m not getting here. Laid, perhaps.

3. Add at least one extra flex (running back-wide receiver-tight end) position.

Flex? Is that like a substitute?

I’m assuming by their job titles running backs and wide receivers are the ones that score the most points – like strikers in ‘other football’ – so it seems sensible to add more of these.

Not sure what a tight end is. Sounds like something former Sunderland winger Adam Johnson would experience behind a Chinese takeaway.

4. Perhaps a superflex, adding a quarterback.

I enjoyed the first two being used in the recent Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio Independence Day Invitational, which took things to the extreme with no kicker, no team defense, an extra tight end and an extra RB-WR-TE flex.

These three alterations would throw an electrifying wrench into an ever-evolving player pool. Kickers were already frustrating, and with the revised extra-point rules, it’s Stephen Gostkowski, Justin Tucker, or … dart board.

Why not get more fantasy fun out of a roster spot? Especially when you institute the wild card of the option to start another QB. Heck, go nuts, make it a two-QB lineup.

I have no idea what a superflex is either. By now it should also be fairly certain I would be out of my depth at the Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio Independence Day Invitational.

5. Use incentives to keep lower-ranked teams competitive late into the year.

Make the No. 1 pick next year the highest-ranked non-playoff team. Put money aside for weekly contests (most receiving yards, etc.) so teams can win even if they’re not going to take the full-year crown.

Force the last-place team to pay for a league dinner or perform an embarrassing dare (viral video? tattoo? viral video of the loser getting a Justin Bieber tattoo?).

Now here’s an area I understand. After one season of the Kenna we knew Manager of the Month awards alone were not enough to keep lower-ranked managers interested.

In 2006, we introduced a knockout tournament as a side competition to keep the rest of the league interested: the Canesten Combi Cup.

In certain weeks of the season teams are pitched against each other in a UEFA Champions League format. Group stages in Autumn, knockouts in Winter and Spring.

The Canesten, as it became known, has since produced winners from all over the league. Sadly, pharmaceutical giant Bayer pulled sponsorship last year. The competition is now called The Narcozep Cup.

As for last place punishments, the thought of frogmarching the season’s worst manager to a tattoo parlour is an amusing one.

All of a sudden it feels very British, but in the Kenna our only demand on relegated managers is they return next season with a new team name. And of course they have the stigma of relegation, living with the contempt of the rest of the league.

It’s unlikely an English manager would return to the Kenna next season if we pinned him down for a tattoo of Jimmy Savile. But it’s worth running past the Kenna committee.

Let’s stretch the boundaries further with these final three suggestions:

6. Install at least two spots for individual defensive players.

IDPs bring a new vision of fantasy — who’s going to make the most plays on the other side of the ball? It’ll help improve your league’s overall knowledge of football even more than your basic league does.

Does American fantasy football only reward attacking players? If you do, you’re like the English guy in the pub wearing a Real Madrid Ronaldo shirt ‘because I only support winners, yeah’.

Defence is more important to us than a dentist. A dentist’s chair, on the other hand…

7. Award a bonus if an owner’s quarterback throws a touchdown to a teammate also on that fantasy club.

It’d be cool to find a software that could deploy a Stack Bonus, if you will. Nailing a stat-sheet-stuffing QB-WR connection is one of the most rewarding feelings in daily fantasy football, so why not embrace the thrill of Ben Roethlisberger-to-Antonio Brown every week?

You can just about throw average draft position out the window if that happens — another dynamic twist.

I guess this would be the equivalent of Riyad Mahrez assisting a Jamie Vardy goal.

A sticking point here for the Kenna since managers can only sign one player from each Premier League club.

Also because the championship Leicester team looks like getting carved up by the transfer window deadline.

8. Hold a live free-agent auction every Tuesday or Wednesday night.

OK, probably a pipe dream. But imagine how high that Week 1 wonder’s price can climb in Week 2.

Blind bids are cool, but not as fun as an active bidding war. Limit it to one or two rounds, then kick off first-come, first-serve pickups the morning after.

But would fantasy league widows allow this?

Here’s where it’s difficult to maintain enthusiasm and diaries for a 10-month season.

The Kenna holds two transfer windows – in October and February – where managers sign available form players for exorbitant sums.

Released players are sold on the open market, so you only get what another manager is prepared to pay.

Tough if most of your team are injured, have moved abroad or just plain rubbish. But not to worry, it’s another marathon session in the pub and you’ll leave up to date on all the best current affairs jokes in the worst possible taste.

Any other suggestions?


Panini stickers – I’m sure the US must have Panini sticker books or an equivalent, the ones where you have to collect all the players.

Why not auction off a packet of stickers first. The winning bidder doesn’t know who they’re buying, but can choose from the five players in there. We trialled this successfully at the Jean-Alain Boumsong Euros auction last month.

Forfeits – what happens if someone tries to buy a player they shouldn’t have? Either because they’ve run out of money or they already have player in that position?

This became a common problem early on the Kenna. Usually after several rounds of ale.

We stamped it out fairly quickly introducing the Titus Bramble ruling. Anyone buying an illegal player, or sometimes just attempting to buy one, is given a player instead so bad no one else wants them.

You can see where we tried to formalise the Titus Bramble ruling from page seven of this document.

Be careful with this though. It almost came to blows once.

More booze – the Kenna would never condone irresponsible drinking, but it’s important to keep things loose for what can be a six-hour pub session.

Surprise managers with a compulsory cocktail upon arrival (raise the entry fee to cover it) or introduce random shots of Jagermeister if certain players are drawn. Whatever you do, get managers to mix their drinks.

As a chairman – or commissioner – you’ve failed unless half the league wakes up the day after the auction with a three-day hangover and half a team of chaff they don’t remember signing.

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Bargains and flops of the Boumsong Euro 2016

What better way to predict an international football tournament than hold a fantasy football auction?

Just over a month ago, 11 Englishmen, three Welshmen, two Spaniards and a Somali walked into a pub with a £100m budget and a first eleven on their shopping lists.

English players, as they do on these occasions, attract exorbitant value. The heady mix of alcohol, football and hope proves too much.

Germans, Spaniards, Italians and French were the order of the day.

Icelandic and Welsh players (with the exception of one) were barely given a thought.

So how did that all pan out?

Bargain basement XI

Points: 287
Total cost: £22m

Poland, Wales and Portugal were the dark horses, making up more than half of the side. How on earth did anyone sign a first-choice Italian defender for point five?

At the time, £5m on Ramsey was seen as a Gunner’s folly.

Lloris, 28, £2m, Two Goals One Cup

Glik, 34, £5m, Up Yours Delors
Geurreiro, 32, £0.5m, FYR Leeds
Barzagli, 29, £0.5m, Dulwich Red Sox
Schar, 26, £2m, Barco FC
Ashley Williams, 25, £5m, Sporting Lesbian

Blaszczykowski, 25, £0.5m, DR Young Boys
Nainggolan, 22, £0.5m, Wandsworth Window Lickers
Ramsey, 28, £5m, Le Horn d’Afrique
Renato Sanches, 19, £0.5m, Dulwich Red Sox

Sigthorsson, 19, £0.5m, Sporting Lesbian

Pampered headphones XI

Points: 101
Total cost: £219m

Hardly a surprise to find four Englishmen here. A combined £59m for Kane and Rooney!

It was a disappointing four weeks for most-expensive signing Thomas Muller. Ozil’s form of the second half of the domestic season followed him into the tournament. Gotze’s World Cup winning performance didn’t.

Hart, 12, £9m, Napoleon Dynarod

Stones, 0, £9m, Le Horn d’Afrique
Darmian, 7, £11m, FYR Leeds
Ramos, 13, £16m, FYR Leeds

Ozil, 14, £25m, Blame Canada
Gotze, 7, £16m, Asturias FC
Mertens, 6, £12m, Sporting Lesbian
David Silva, 10, £22m, Dulwich Red Sox

Rooney, 12, £29m, DR Young Boys
Kane, 7, £30m, Cowley Caliphate
Muller, 13, £40m, Sporting Lesbian

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Tactical Brambler adds to bulging cabinet

WORLD champions FC Testiculadewland added to their already bulging trophy cabinet on Sunday with success in the 2016 Jean-Alain Boumsong Euros.

Antoine Griezemann was wasteful in front of goal, but two appearance points was enough to defend the 12-point gap over Two Goals One Cup going into the final.

“Fools!” said the FCT manager famed for his ‘Tactical Brambling‘ stunt in the last Euros, “You think you can beat me? I am the dark lord of the fantasy football. Your shrivelled tactical knowledge and inability to spot an auction bargain have been your undoing yet again.

“Look at my bulging trophy cabinet. Look at it hard! Now touch it…No, further down…”

The Boumsong trophy joins the Dr Khumalo 2014 World Cup title and two domestic Kenna League championships on the manager’s groaning shelf.

Other Boumsong managers were only too happy to reflect widespread comments this was a tournament low on quality, as exemplified by Real Brexit.

“It hasn’t been a memorable tournament,” ruminated the chairman, who watched an alcohol and tear gas-soaked match in Marseille and saw his side Napoleon Dynarod end up midtable.

“But we have made one learning of absolute importance: even with two organised shots of moody spirit during the auction we only got two Brambles.”

Managers looking to next month’s Kenna auction have been forewarned.

Boumsong – final table

Full scores available from The Rub.

Boumsong - final table
Boumsong – final table

Boumsong team of the tournament – Bramble Rules (nationality)

Only one player per country is allowed. Bonucci and Schar are preferred in defence to Chiellini and Rodriguez since they offer better value.

Neuer, FCT, 41, £16m, Germany

Glik, Up Yours Delors, 34, £5m, Poland
Bonucci, Democratic Republic of Young Boys, 30, £15m, Italy
Schar, Barco FC, 26, £2m, Switzerland

Nani, Up Yours Delors, 43, £13m, Portugal
Bale, Two Goals One Cup, 32, £19m, Wales
Hazard, Sporting Lesbian, 27, £29m, Belgium
Perisic, Two Goals One Cup, 20, £15m, Croatia

Griezemann, FCT, 49, £19m, France
Morata, I Can Be Your Euro Baby, 23, £20m, Spain
Sigthorsson, Sporting Lesbian, 19, £0.5m, Iceland

Total points: 344

Total value: £153.5


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THE manager of Real Brexit has claimed the Liverpool Echo is responsible for his humiliating performance in the Jean-Alain Boumsong Euros.

A ‘Moneyball’ guide to fantasy football at the Euros – suggesting less-fashionable players who could perform well in the tournament – was used by the Real Brexit manager to pick his team at the Boumsong auction on 12 June.

After the quarter final stage of the competition, the only team keeping Real Brexit from the bottom of the Boumsong table is Le Fadge Qui Rit (Balkan Fadge). The latter’s manager didn’t turn up to the auction and his side was automatically generated from leftover players.

“In good faith I followed the Liverpool Echo’s guide to the letter and it’s been my downfall,” said the manager who signed Romanian goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu, Turkish midfielder Selcuk Inan and Northern Irish striker Kyle Lafferty all based on the guide’s advice.

The Liverpool Echo has distanced itself from Real Brexit’s plight.

Moneyball article author Paul Philbin said: “We clearly stated ‘using this philosophy won’t mean that the tournamnet’s star players will fill your side, but there is room for some.’ Where’s his Griezemann? Where’s his Bale?”

Real Brexit’s top performing players so far are Swiss defender Ricardo Rodriguez with 26 points and Gylfi Sigurdsson (23).

The manager is now trying to negotiate a reduction in Boumsong entry fees due to the result of the EU referendum.

In an email to unamused bailiffs from Boumsong headquarters, the manager said:

“These post-Brexit times are full of economic uncertainty, perhaps we could negotiate some short of rebate? Otherwise I may have to threaten to spend it on the NHS.

“Also have you investigated last year’s Kenna to see if the Spaniards were receiving a state subsidy? It’s surely the only explanation for my otherwise inexplicable relegation [from the domestic Kenna League in May].”

At the other end of the Boumsong, World Champions FC Testiculadewland eased into first place.

Manuel Neuer (40) and Antoine Griezemann (35) have led performances at FCT, assisted by Łukasz Piszczek (20) and Romelu Lukaku (20).

“It was only a matter of time before this happened,” said the rest of the league in unison reaching for the gin.

Boumsong table – 4 July 2016

For full scores and tables visit The Rub.

Boumsong table - 4 July 2016
Boumsong table – 4 July 2016
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