Fantasy football, obviously, has been a hugely popular hobby for a lot of years now. But what used to be primarily an activity for huge NFL fans has now spread into casual or even disinterested fans of the NFL. Fantasy leagues are like the office NCAA brackets. Everyone is in them, whether they know a damn thing about the sport or not. Part of the growing popularity of fantasy football is a product of FX’s The League. Like Friday Night Lights, it’s one of those shows where everyone says, “You don’t have to like football (or in this case, fantasy football) to enjoy it.” It’s true, but, The League has prompted a lot of people who were not interested in fantasy before to join fantasy leagues. Now, everyone’s in a league, and practically every league has its own Taco. In some leagues, there are managers competing over who is the biggest Taco.
The show has also had a profound effect on league names. In fact, a guy from Reddit, darenw, compiled a spreadsheet listing the top 5,000 fantasy league names over on ESPN. You probably won’t be surprised to see how many team names were inspired by The League.
Here were the ten most popular The League inspired names (ignoring the many variations on the same name with the addition of “The”), and the number of teams using that name.
#44. Password is Taco (2,414)
#89. Vinegar Strokes (1,612)
#142. Fear Boners (1,214)
#244. Mr. McGibblets (870)
#265. Chalupa Batman (828)
#444. Team Taco (589)
#580. The Vinegar Strokes (499)
#860. Shivakamini Somakandarkram (357)
#1021. El Cunado (316)
#1428. Shiva Blast (242)
#4233 Taco Corp (96)
#4414 Bobbum Man (93)
In addition, there are 2,393 Leagues called The Shiva Bowl; 1,136 called The Shiva, and 143 leagues called The Sacko Bowl. Surprisingly, there are no team names in the top 5,000 called “Dick Punch,” “Rafi Bombs,” “The Dre Tones,” or “The Lady MacArthurs.”
You can check out the entire list here (it’s a Google Docs spreadsheet) and find out how original (or unoriginal) your fantasy team name is. If it’s “Ben There, Raped That,” for instance, you share your name in common with 3,020 other people. My fantasy team name, The Reavers, did not break the top 5,000; I guess there aren’t a lot of Firefly fans playing fantasy.