Today is the best day of the year. It is my Fantasy Football Draft day and I have been waiting months for this. It is the start of everything I look forward to. The waiver claims, the crappy Thursday night games, listening to your friends smack talk and ultimately trying to prove your dominance amongst your life long friends. So with this, I want to talk about the only show dedicated to fantasy football.
FX’s The League started in 2009 and had a cast full of some of the greatest improv comedians(Nick Kroll and Paul Scheer), a great stand up comedian (Steve Rannazzisi), a youtube comedy star (Jon Lajoie), an actress known for her independent movie films (Katie Astelton) and a standout independent director (THE Mark Duplass). This group of people lead to one of the funniest shows of this generation. And it doesn’t get the appreciation it deserves. People have discredited this show several times because they assume that it only deals with fantasy football, but once you get into the heart of the show, football is just a setting. It is a reason for these characters to interact with one another. The characters have stated on multiple times that if they weren’t in a league together, they probably wouldn’t talk at all. Thank god they are in a league together.
The jokes that this show has produced are some of the most laugh out loud funniest jokes in a sitcom since Seinfeld. I was going to make a list of some of the best, but I am not exaggerating that the list would take hours to compile. From Andre being a master witness; the marathon (a what?); THE SHIVA!! I can go on forever.
One of the best parts this show was able to do was to forge a relationship with the NFL players. This helped give credibility to the football hardo’s that wouldn’t tune into a comedy show in the first place. Landing legit stars like Chad Johnson, Marshawn Lynch, JJ Watt and more helped grow the show from a comedy show into a comedy show that football fans would love.
There was a trending topic on twitter a few weeks ago talking about the best characters that were introduced after the first season of a show. I think The League takes the title on that one. Seinfeld had Newman, Parks and Rec had Ben Wyatt, The Office had Andy Bernard and Cheers had Woody. But The League had Raffi. The brother of Ruxin’s wife, he was a loose cannon wild card. He was a criminal, sleaze bag pervert, but if an episode had Raffi on it; we were in for a treat. Jason Mantzoukas played this character so well that we even got a couple solo episodes of just him and his friend Dirty Randy (Seth Rogen). Raffi gave us some classics like toilet kitchen, pocket dog and so many more things that I feel gross typing.
While the show ended two years ago, it is still a great show to rewatch when you need a laugh. And if you draft today, I suggest watching some of the season premieres to help you get in the mood and take some of that draft day stress off your back