Commissioner’s Corner: Fantasy Bocce on the Horizon



Brandon McMahon floated the Fantasy Bocce idea then promptly cut the legs off his jeans.

I think we’ve reached the point where we can start talking about a Monday Night Fantasy Bocce League. When Malortron veteran Brandon McMahon tossed the idea out at a focus group last summer it certainly got the wheels turning but mostly felt like a distant dream. The next day I wrote down why it wouldn’t work and what would have to change in order for it to work. After another warm and familiar opening night this past Monday, I interpreted some of that manic shorthand the best I could and scientifically concluded, “Holy shit, this is doable.” (Scribbled shorthand in bold.)


people not stars ———> consistent cast / rosters

This one was easy to recall. Our players don’t have their names on jerseys, their faces on trading cards, and their injury updates scrolling on the bottom of TV screens. How do you know who to pick first when you don’t even know the guy’s name? Furthermore, let’s say by the end of Season A you start to attach names to faces and faces to skill level. There is no guarantee that any of those name/faces will come back to your league the next season, right?

Right. Except that’s not happening. Your dedication to Monday nights has self-corrected this concern. Check this out! 20 out of 24 of this season’s teams played last season. 1 of the teams played in pretty much every season except for last season. 1 of them is a spinoff (Scott and Rick, you are the A Different World to Ben’s Cosby Show) and 2 just moved over 24 hours from our Sunday night Chop Shop League. Also, do trading cards even exist any more?

no way to research ———> maybe the site handles?

Yep, yep, yep. I got this one too. Fantasy sports diehards love to do their research. They hear a rumor that a Running Back caught a cold and they’re on the waiver wire picking up that practice squad goon who they had a good feeling about in preseason. It doesn’t necessarily translate to wins but it’s part of the culture. So how do you research Jeff from Accounting?

jeff from accounting

Jeff, from accounting.

We envisioned player profiles being a part of the American Bocce experience but at the time, we were nowhere near that. Thankfully, finally, the site is being dutiful and to answer my question from last August, yes maybe the site handle. What I didn’t anticipate at the time is keeping up on this weekly blog. And that, my friends, is the x factor. You have me! Can you imagine how much fun I would have tweeting to the Fantasy Rumor Mill each week? “2/4 from Boccekawowwow on vacay this week. Just sayin.”

500 + city 2 city ———> city specific grow make incentive

I think what I was trying to convey was that we’d need 500+ players in the cities that had Fantasy Bocce as an option. And that we’d make each fantasy league city-specific. And that we’d incentivize new markets to get to that level with the promise of a Fantasy Bocce league on the other side of it. And that in 2015 I didn’t know the word incentivize.

Well, if that is what I meant than I take it back. I think the 140 players in this league is the perfect amount to ‘pilot’ a Fantasy league with. Participants get a six-man roster and start four and sit two each Monday. You can’t start a player you’re playing against and you can’t have yourself on your own roster. Pretty tidy, right? Whether you know it or not, you are in our benchmark league. As we develop new leagues at new venues and in new cities, we point to you all and say “this is how it’s done.” Why not toss “and they play Fantasy Bocce!” into the conversation?

90’s Berlin ———> GET THERE!!

No fucking clue.

not a spectator sport ———> make it one FB will help

I’m glad I finished my jottings on a more decipherable note. One particular challenge we’ve faced on Mondays has been obtaining an audience. Whenever we do one-off and corporate events, the spectacle of the sport takes over and players are often surrounded by a crowd. Just last week aboard the Carnival Pride, our 1-hour long bocce tournament saw hundreds of spectators. For whatever reason, that has never resonated here. Maybe it’s simply because the bar and the seats are in the other room. Maybe it’s because you guys are used to it and those who don’t play in leagues aren’t.


Just keepin’ it real, baby.

I stared at this for five minutes trying to figure how Facebook would help until I realized that by FB, I meant Fantasy Bocce. If you’ve got some skin in the other games, you’re more inclined to watch. Fantasy Bocce won’t work because bocce isn’t a spectator sport but Fantasy Bocce makes bocce a spectator sport. There’s a riddle or a theorem or a principle there somewhere. The solution? Holy shit, this is doable.


Your Week 2 Preview FANTASY EDITION

Start ‘em

John Palys – Mr. Boccedere – Started the season with an epic 5-Halo performance in two games. After a disappoining 0-2 start, don’t expect John to roll over.

Tony Glover – Whiskey Balls – Tight matchups usually favor good bocce stats. Whiskey Balls faces two competitive teams and Tony always has the Fantasy upper hand by throwing first.

Craig Glover – Snakes on a Lane – Craig is always a PER machine but expect huge numbers this week. The Snakes play Bocce Has a Great Personality, who put almost every ball very close to the pallino. For most players this is a nightmare. But with Craig’s precision, he can rack up more bocces than normal against BHaGP.

Kevin McKibbonBoccekawowwow – Kevin shouldn’t show any signs of rust after missing week 1. He’ll welcome the laid-backness of a couple of week 2 regular season match-ups after his longwinded battles in the playoffs last season.


If the Money is Right

Ben Tudor – Bocc’ Don’t Kill My Vibe – Would you believe that this is technically Ben’s rookie season? He’s a money-game pro with a history of stepping it up in big games, but his season debut did not live up to his legacy. Expect him to figure things out quickly.

Fran Noyes – Hot Cheetos and Bocces – Despite the playoffs evading them the past few seasons, Hot Cheetos and Bocces are always a competitive team. Fran missed a lot of games two seasons ago when the ex-commissioner (who was that idiot, anyway?) biffed it and scheduled her games in the Early Bird divisions. Her bounce back season proved once again that homegirl can roll.

Simone Laborde – Joanie <3’s Bocce – Remember from like ’08 – ’10 when the New Orleans Saints put up such ridiculous fantasy numbers it didn’t really matter who you had as long as you had a Saints’ receiver? That’s this Joanie team. I know this is obscure, but think of Simone as the Robert Meachem of this team.

Chris Mathews – Deboccery – Much like Joanie, Debocery has a deep roster of PER aficionados. Chris lead his team in stats in week 1 and had we drafted, I imagine he wouldn’t have been the first player selected from Deboccery due to past lofty numbers put up by his teammates.

Statless Sleepers

Aaron Denning – del Bocce Vista – Aaron was very likely in the top 10 PER last season but without a player profile, accumulated no stats. If he somehow slipped through the fictional draft, he’d be the first free agent to go after.

Adam Michelman – Malortron – Another longtime vet with a hazy history according to the site. Adam is always a gamer who will likely coast under the radar for a few weeks after sitting out our first season with league-wide accessible stats. IMG_1676

Easy Like a Sunday Evenin’ Sleepers 

Both of these pairs threw lights out last week in their Monday debuts. After hearing all of the hype about how good the competition was on Monday nights, our two transfer teams steamrolled their competition thanks in large part to these dynamic duos.

Garrett Pappas and Dana Gudel – Stranger Danger

Sarah Aylward and Frank Perry – The Big Lebocces 

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