That "Other" Football: Ben Zemanski and Portland Timbers teammates compete in fantasy football league
By their very nature, professional soccer players are incredibly competitive. But competition isn’t always restricted to the field. In the case of several players, that means a highly—but friendly—competitive fantasy football league.
As in, that “other” football.
Timbers players Steven Evans, Michael Harrington, David Horst, Jack Jewsbury, Ryan Johnson, Rauwshan McKenzie, Ryan Miller, Brent Richards, Ben Zemanski and Sal Zizzo have joined millions of fans across the country in the very popular task of attempting to put together a winning NFL fantasty football team.
“I think our official commissioner is Brent,” said Timbers midfielder Ben Zemanski.
Though the NFL season is just underway, the group still trying to figure out who has the been the most savvy with their selections and who might have wasted some picks.
“It’s tough to say because it’s only week one,” said Zemanski following the season openers last week. “I thought I might have had the steal of the draft with [New England Patriots tight end] Zach Sudfeld, but he put up a dud for me. I would say [Philadelphia Eagles running back] LeSean McCoy is looking pretty nice.”
It was a tough first week overall for Zemanski. His fantasy football team and his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers both started off the season with a loss.
“I’m sitting 0-1, but I’m still feeling confident about my team,” he said last week.
Forgive the other guys in the fantasy league, however, if they’re not so quick to give Zemanski a break. After only one game into the season, the trash talk had already begun.
“Yeah, before practice and after practice it gets pretty heated,” explained Zemanski. “A lot of fantasy football talk. The biggest talker has to be Mikey Harrington, by far.”
According to Zemanski, Harrington’s team is looking strong, as are the teams drafted by Jewsbury and Miller.
But a strong draft isn’t the only component of a great team. A truly great fantasy football team needs a clever name. For Zemanski, it all came down to on who he has on his team.
“I have [Indianapolis Colts wide receiver] T.Y. Hilton, so it’s ‘Suit & T.Y.’ right now.”
With trades, free agent pickups and more still left to be decided, the guys will certainly be reassessing their strategies and making changes—as natural competitors, they’re all in it to win it.
When asked what was at stake, Zemanski had a simple answer:
“A lot of pride.”