By Amanda DK
I’ve never been a football fan. Not a real one at least. I mean, I grew up watching the Giants and Notre Dame with my family. I made it to the occasional football game at Northwestern to support my alma mater. Now I guess I’m an Eagles fan, because I generally like it when my boyfriend is in a good mood Sunday evenings. However, I’m also innately attracted to anything that brings people together. So you know how some people are “social smokers”? They will only have a cigarette when out with friends, or after a few drinks at a party. I’ll call myself a social football fan. I usually won’t elect to watch a game on my own, but I do enjoy it with a group. Especially if I can provide the appetizers and craft beer.
All of that said, I do love fantasy football. I don’t play it – as you might guess from reading the above, I would likely fail miserably, or scramble my brain trying to learn everything I possibly could all at once – but still I find it way more exciting to watch the points climb for my boyfriend’s fantasy team than any real one. A battle between him and his old roommate feels far more important than two collectives of people I have no personal connection with.
It also increases the social aspect of football. You can connect with coworkers, friends and even strangers on a new level; now there are double, triple or quadruple the teams to commiserate with them about (depending on how many leagues you are in). It’s another common thread to bond over, like a favorite band or obsession with Greek cuisine. Fantasy leagues also have the power to create and maintain friend groups that otherwise may not exist – it’s amazing the bond some aggressive trash-talking can forge.
Which brings me to The League. I am woman, I am not a football fan, and I believe this is one of the funniest shows on television. Possibly the funniest. Yes, it features a group of friends who are all in a fantasy football league, but it’s more about their friendship and hilarious fumbles (pun intended) trying to pass off as adults. It never gets old to observe lawyers, married couples, doctors or divorcees, act like complete assholes win a trophy that was named after a high school nerd, in fact, it’s compelling television. Whether laughing or cringing, good luck trying to keep a straight face while watching.
Several months ago, whoever operates the Twitter feed for The League challenged me to make a mixtape in exchange for DVDs.
@tadpoleaudio thanks. we’ll trade you dvd’s for a mix tape.
— The League on FX (@theleaguefx) November 4, 2011
As happens, the next couple months ran away from me, facilitated largely by the vortex that is the holiday season. Finally, in honor of the impending Super Bowl XLVI (46), I buckled down and executed.
I think it’s a touchdown.
Get it? I used a football word. I’m learning.
Kanye West “Dark Fantasy”
Every season the fantasy of winning the Shiva Bowl springs anew…of course the journey to get there is usually grotesque and corrupt. Plus, Kanye is a Chicago native.
The Black Keys “Run Right Back”
Fantasy football is a cruel mistress, and this group is definitely addicted.
Butch Walker and The Black Widows “Suckerpunch”
From obscene message boards, to vulturing points (and women), and chicken-milk stink bombs, these gentlemen (and lady) play dirty on and off the proverbial field.
Cloud Nothings “Hey Cool Kid”
I’m sure he’s a great guy, but I can’t help hearing a bratty kid when I listen to Cloud Nothings. The tone is perfectly appropriate for such juvenile adults, and the lyrics could easily be Andre singing to Ruxin.
The Features “Kids”
These adults may not be grown-up, but their kids seem to be taking after their wild parents. Baby Jeffrey is forever unclean, and Ellie tells her classmates to “take a ride on her suck stick.”
The Veils “Don’t Let The Same Bee Sting You Twice”
Even the “Patient Zero of Distrust” turning over a new leaf and initiating an eight-way trade designed to bring peace to the league couldn’t stop the backstabbing. Clearly, they will never learn.
Travis Barker “Let’s Go” (featuring Yelawolf, Twista, Busta Rhymes & Lil Jon)
But where does all this hostility come from? Healthy competition of course.
Born Ruffians “Sole Brother”
It can’t be easy to have Taco as a brother. I’m sure Kevin frequently wishes he was an only child…and had all his ties.
Those Darlins “Be Your Bro”
All Jenny wants is to be one of the dudes…even if it means standing naked in an alley for a minimum of two minutes.
The Fearless Vampire Killers “All Coked Up”
“I sat in gum!”
Gang of Four “I Party All The Time”
“I’m not innocent, I’m a phoney…and I party all the time” …The song is about owning up to irresponsibility and deviousness. You could write a paper on all the evil things Ruxin does, like join a cult to get insider fantasy tips.
Lyrics Born “Coulda Shoulda Woulda” ft. Sam Sparro (Party Ben remix)
It’s impossible not to have regrets when playing a game that’s so based on luck. You never know when a your kicker will whiff an easy field goal and send Ruxin to the finals.
Devo “Don’t Shoot (I’m A Man)”
“I’ve got a big dilemma, to punt or go for broke,” …Football reference aside, this is a silly song making a mockery of manhood. These men are dudes to a fault, except Andre, who would probably be the most likely to listen to Devo not ironically.
Of course, it’s not as though The League is unfamiliar with great music. Jon LaJoie (Taco) first gained attention by posting comedic songs on the Internet, and occasionally displays his talent on the show:
Also this wonderful moment:
Even El Cunado has good taste.
Special Thanks goes to Julia Betley, a fellow fan of the show and music aficionado who sent me a ton of great ideas for this.