During the 1983-1984 NFL season, the TFL or Toumi Football League was born. I say born because at the time fantasy football was not mainstream, unlike it is today. There were very few organized leagues and even fewer resources to pull from, outside of the Street & Smith guide, which, by draft day was months old. The Internet was still in its infancy and all we knew about football came from watching it on network television and seeing highlights on the cable channel, ESPN. We got to know the weekend “insiders” and take their word as gold before madly dialing the commissioner’s phone number to submit a line up. Jimmy the Greek, anyone? Better yet, “Kaz the Sheik?”
I must backtrack just a bit, our league when it originated consisted of 6 owners; Doug Beach, Chris Beeman, Andy Dolled, Brian Phillips, Todd Sawyer and myself, Steve Toumi. Some in the pool like to refer to the some of the surviving original members as the “wise men” and maybe they are. Hell one of them even thought his ownership was “The Dynasty.” But that’s a story for another time.Our league followed in the footsteps of my father, Reg who began his own fantasy football league in 1981 (or 1982). Yet it seemed to be creative drafting of Doug, Brian and myself that saw the relief on the “old men” when we set up our own league and got out from behind their shadows.
The original league was a much simpler league than many established leagues. Scoring was based on performance of individual offensive players. A touchdown scored 6 points, a touchdown pass 3 points, yardage was only rewarded with a running back or wide receiver when at/over 100 yards, while a quarterback was rewarded at 250 yards. Then there was the place kicker, the coveted boot of the pigskin, or so I thought. I guess my idea of a place kicker being the “most important” based on hearsay by Dad Toumi turned out to be incorrect the year I selected Ali Haji Shiekh…yes, in the first round. Da horror! I don’t believe I have lived it down to this day. On the flip side, Chris Beeman selected rookie Louie Lipps because, “I liked his name” said Chris, rewarded him handsomely.
The draft was usually the best day of the year, as sons and fathers would come together for 2…3…4 hours or more and go through hundreds of players looking for that “sleeper” in the 12th round that was going to secure your chances at finishing “in the money.” During the early years “cheat sheets” were hand written or generated using a computer, but put together by each owner. These were the years you, as the owner did the legwork and in some way was more rewarding than how it is done today, by subscribing to a service that crunches numbers and moves all the data to create cheat sheets tailored to our league and scoring.
All recording keeping was done using an Apple][ Computer, as the commissioner manually entered each player from team rosters after the draft. Teams were then checked for completeness and rechecked in order to ensure no player was left off a roster or one team had one too many players. My record keeping left a bit to be desired at times as well.
Weekly, after lineups were submitted a player worksheet was printed with all 60 of the starting players broken down by team and position. It was from this worksheet tick marks were made and points were recorded by hand before being entered manually into the computer on a team-by-team basis. Total points of each NFL team were then crosschecked with points awarded during the fantasy in order to confirm all points were accounted for.
At the conclusion of each week (after MNF), points would be calculated and a summary of each team would be printed of players who scored that week. These sheets were then, photocopied and mailed to each owner. If we were lucky, the sheets would get to the owner by Friday. If at all!As I said, fantasy football has come a long way since those early days, as has the TFL. While the league continues to undergo changes with rules being updated, scoring being modified, the basic premise of the game has not. It still requires an owner to come prepared to a draft and be smart (not liquored up, which rarely happens…) and put together a well rounded, quality fantasy team. That does not mean stockpiling nine running backs before considering a starting quarterback, but to each their own.
Owners have come and gone over the years, but many of the friendships in the league continue. Many owners grew up together and played sports in the local community and on into high school. We have been lucky with the continued support of the TFL since its inception and hope to continue on for many more years.
In staying with tradition, we continue to pay the top three places for total points in the season, as well as our H2H winner and runner-up. CBS Sportsline is set up to track all information as it relates to H2H, the commissioner manually updates the total points, which are transcribed from the Overall Standings and listed on the main page of the TFL under the heading, “FROM THE COMMISSIONER.”
HEAD-TO-HEAD MATCH UPS (H2H)
Currently there are 13 weeks to the H2H season, week 14, 15 and 16 are the playoffs and the TFL H2H Championship. Ties can occur and will end that way. Teams continue to accumulated points, even if they do not make the playoffs. Currently the TFL is divided into two divisions, Odd Division and Even Division, based on your position during the draft. This determines which division you play in. If you win either division you get an automatic berth to the playoffs. The remaining playoff spots (total of 4) are based on overall record, but do not necessarily have to come from each division, they can be from the same division. In order to alleviate any H2H ties here are the determining tie breakers:
1. H2H record against the other team(s).
2. Divisional record.
3. Total points.
4. Coin flip.
These four teams will be seeded based on record with 1v4 and 2v3. The winners of each game will play in the TFL H2H Championship. In case of a tie during a semifinal match ups, here are the determining tie breakers:
1. Bench scoring.
2. Total points.
3. Coin flip.
Unlike the weekly Total Points winner, there is no weekly payout for teams that claim victory over their opponent. The only payouts for H2H are the champion and runner up at the end of the H2H season.
After all these years we still covet total points in the TFL, as this was our foundation when the league was instituted. Everyone wants to win the total points championship or at least finish in the top three, which all pay at the end of the season and provide them bragging rights for the upcoming season. Philly seems to talk a lot of shit. Dynasty? What dynasty?Total points are based on the 10 players that are started on a weekly basis. Starting players must be decided on by their kick off time. For example if you do not have anyone playing on Thursday night, you do not need to set a lineup. If you start a player on Thursday that player cannot be changed until the following week. If the web site is down or cannot be accessed call the Commish (preferred) or another owner to have them record your starting player(s).
Recently the yearly draft is has been organized by ‘DJ Kaz & Club Kremers featuring BA’ and held poolside, in a cabana at The Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas. Owners are requested to make a weekend of it, flying in Friday afternoon and departing Sunday in order to partake in all the draft festivities. The draft is held approximately one week prior the start of the NFL season, which usually corresponds to the last week in August. Dates and times are subject to change and confirmed as the new NFL season draws near. For the 2012-2013 TFL season the draft date is August 17-19, 2012.
PULLING OF THE ACE
While at The N9NE Steakhouse on Saturday evening after hors d’oeuvres and a few rounds of adult beverages, owners draw playing cards based on their total points finishing from the previous year. New owners draw their cards prior to the last place finisher drawing their card. The owner who draws “The Ace” can pick their position in the draft. Trading of draft slots are allowed and highly encouraged, especially if an owner is under the influence and offering cash on the table for a higher draft pick.
TIDY BOWL WINNER
If you are not fortunate enough to finish in the top three spots, you should be thankful you do not finish last, where you inherit the coveted, “Tidy Bowl Award.” This award is handed out to the last place finisher of the TFL season. Previous years would see the previous winner (loser) hand over an actual wood toilet seat. Not sure where the award actually ended up, but the Tidy Bowl Award has continued on in the TFL and is now tradition.
The following day starts the draft process, as the Commish setups the draft board, which is manned by the “beer bitch,” “Tidy Bowl Winner” or whatever you want to call the last place team from the previous year. This honor requires you to find each player called out by the owners and placed them on the draft board. Thanks to CBS Sports they sponsor the draft and have made the task simple by providing each NFL player on a label that is then affixed to the draft board when they are called.
The draft consists of 18 rounds of serpentine drafting, starting with the #1 position through #10 and then reversing order from #10 position through #1. Of these 18 slots, owners are free to draft any offensive player from any NFL team. Each team is allowed to carry 20 players, the final two slots are for potential trades during the season. These slots cannot be used to stockpile talent from the waiver wire.
Any new or returning owners have a chance to pull a playing card for their draft position prior to the reverse order of the previous year’s standings. If there are two new owners in a single year, a coin flip will decide who pulls their card first. A returning owner will have the opportunity to pull their draft card before any new owner to the league.
Once the draft is over, the commissioner enters each team into the TFL on CBS Sports web site. Owners are encouraged and asked to check their team for completeness, as the commissioner has been known to make a typing mistake or two…or three. Prior to each NFL game owners must submit a starting lineup of 10 players. Bye week players should be taken into account during the draft, but if you have no substitute player for a bye week player, then you must play that bye week player. The web site will let you know if you have an incomplete or illegal lineup and will not allow you to submit it. Illegal rosters will score zero points. If you have questions call the Commissioner or Philly Cream, as both have access to the lineups.The starting lineup consists of 10 NFL players:
1 – place kicker (max 2)
1 – quarterback (max 2)
2 – running backs (max 4)
2 – wide receivers (max 4)
1 – tight end (max 3)
2 – flex (WR/TE/RB/QB/K)
There is quite a bit of flexibility in your starting lineup based on the requirements at each position. You can take this into consideration during the draft. Any player that is not starting is considered a reserve and will be noted so on the web site.
Any player who is injured during the season can be replaced via the wavier wire. This includes a player who ends up on the injured reserve list. Prior to the start of the season if you lose a player due to a season ending injury (listed as IR) that player can be replaced. If multiple teams lose players, the selecting of new players will be based on draft position.
WAIVER WIRE (NEW FOR 2010-2011)
The weekly waiver wire order is determined by the reverse order of the total points standings. The order could change every week, depending on the standing. This allows those owners in the cellar a chance to pick up the hot talent on the wire and a chance to improve their team. From Sunday, 10:00AM through Tuesday 12:00AM (midnight), you put in your request for a waiver wire player. If no one else requests the same player you are awarded that player requested. If more than one person requests the same player during the waiver wire period, Sunday through Tuesday, the player is awarded to the owner who is highest on the waiver wire that week.
The waiver wire is activated at the conclusion of Week 1 of the TFL season. Any moves prior to this will solely be based on an owner loosing a player for the year who is playing on IR. No other players can be claimed prior to the start of the season.
On Wednesday 12:01AM all remaining players are considered to be free agents. They can be picked up on a first come, first served basis. If you pick one up you have to then drop a current player. You have to stay at or lower than the max players allowed.
Every waiver wire move or free agency move will incur a transaction fee of $10.00. That is $5.00 for dropping a player and $5.00 for adding a new player. All the fees collected during the season will be applied to your total at the end of the year.
Trading in the TFL is welcomed and encouraged. All trades require the Commissioner’s (or Philly Cream) approval. No trade is ever denied, it is just a housekeeping item. Owners can wheel and deal as they see fit, but please trade fair. There are also NO temporary trades (ie: 2 weeks, etc).
Any time during the season you can view the FINANCES (League Home -> Finances) to see where you stand in terms of your finances in the TFL. The page is updated weekly based on weeks won and number of transactions through waiver wire of free agency moves.
Over the years the scoring system has been modified to include points for performance as well as touchdowns. Scoring only allowed for offensive players in the NFL. Recently (2008-2009) we adopted a more performance based scoring system. Players now start receiving points at 50 yards (RB/WR) and 150 yards (QB) as opposed to 100 yards and 250 yards respectively. While our league scoring does not reward mediocrity, it does allow for more overall scoring on a weekly basis.
XP – Extra Points = 1 point
FG – Field Goals = 3 points
Plus 2 points for a FG of 50 to 54 Yds
Plus 4 points for a FG of 55+ Yds
IKRTD – Individual Kick Return TD = 6 points
IPRTD – Individual Punt Return TD = 6 points
Pa2P – Passing Two-point Conversion = 2 points
PaTD – Passing TD = 4 points
PaYd – Passing Yards
0+ PaYds = 1 point for every 25 PaYds
Plus a 3 point bonus @ 300+ PaYd
Plus a 3 point bonus @ 400+ PaYd
Plus a 3 point bonus @ 500+ PaYd
Ru2P – Rushing Two-point Conversion = 2 points
RuTD – Rushing TD = 6 points
RuYd – Rushing Yards
0+ RuYds = 1 point for every 10 RuYds
Re2P – Receiving Two-point Conversion = 2 points
ReTD – Receiving TD = 6 points
ReYd – Receiving Yards
101+ ReYds = 1 point for every 10 ReYds
Entry into the TFL will cost an owner $350 and is required to be paid on draft day. Kaz acts as the central bank, holding the fees until the end of the season, when begin payout procedures for those winning owners to be paid. This $350 fee covers the entire regular season; playoffs are a separate fee and usually run by one of the other TFL owners at the conclusion of the regular NFL season. History has dictated we pony up money owed or won after the regular season has concluded, but recently there has been a delay in providing the winning owners they due money. There is a running total of how much money you have won on the website listed under the link, ‘League Home -> Finances‘. Each week I this update this page based on weeks won, players who are dropped and picked up using the wavier wire.
The weekly total points winner wins $25, this money is not paid out during the regular season, but usually goes towards your entry fee when we settle the finances at the end of the season. There is no weekly Head-2-Head payout for defeating your opponent.
As mentioned earlier in the TFL Rules, the league was founded on total points, so that is the main pool and is paid so. We pay the top three spots based on total points over the course of the regular season. At the end of the season the payout is:
First Place $1000
Second Place $800
Third Place $600
In addition to the total points winner, second and third place we also pay the H2H Champion and runner-up. The payout for H2H is:
Runner Up $225
WAIVER WIRE MONEY
All additional money added through the waiver wire and free agency will be collected and saved for the draft the following year (new for 2011). The money will help offset the total cost of the the cabana and poolside festivities at The Palms during the draft. For 2011-2012 draft we have $700 from the 2010-2011 TFL waiver wire to use.
There is also a $150 administration fee, which helps to offset the price to run the league using CBS Sports software online.