This piece isn’t about fantasy football. It’s about fantasy fantasy football. What if Voldemort were in a fantasy football league with the Lestranges, Malfoys, Snape, and a few other trusted Death Eaters? That’s what this piece is about.

An Email Delivered by Owl

To: [email protected]
From: You-Know-Who
Subject: Domination

To Whom It May Concern:

Hello. I discovered your business via “The Internet.” I wish to exploit your services. I can’t compensate you with muggle currency, although I assure you that not helping me will result in payment you’d rather not accept.

Perhaps I should introduce myself, as I doubt we’ve met. If we had, you’d probably be dead. I also doubt you know who I am. Among muggles, I’m regrettably unknown — for now. One day, though, you might have the honor of telling your grandchildren — if you’re lucky — that you talked about your silly game with the Dark Lord. That’s me, by the way: The Dark Lord. My given name is Tom Marvolo Riddle, in case you need it for documentation: I’m not sure how your world works. I’ve made it a point not to know. I should mention that some people refer to me as Voldemort, in case you ever hear that word whispered by people in robes, but it might be best not to use that name in this context. It would be like someone from your industry entering my world and saying, “Hi, I’m Peter Jennings, but you can call me CSURAM88.” It makes no sense.

Also, the “t” at the end of Voldemort is silent — but most people don’t know that. It really displeases me when my name is mispronounced. It’s my name. I chose it deliberately. I contemplated it for years before taking it as my own. I considered and discarded thousands of names before anointing myself Lord Voldemort. I take pride in both my name and my ability to create names. If one wants to be known as the greatest dark wizard of all time — by the way, I’m in the magic industry — it’s not enough to conceive of a name that sounds ominous. The name itself must be ominous. Take “Voldemort,” for example. It translates in French to “Flight of Death,” but with the latinate meaning of the “vol” root it also has the sense of “Death Wish,” which . . . becomes me, so to speak. If people can’t say my name correctly, they shouldn’t try to say it at all — a lesson many have learned. That’s why most refer to me as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Of course the truth is that I am named. I named myself — and I chose Voldemort.

While this preamble might seem extraneous, I want to impress upon you how important names are to me. They are matters of life and death — usually death.

And that’s why I’ve sent you this email via owl.

The League That Must Not Be Named

A friend of mine — a servant, really — has suggested that in order to rule our non-magical enemies with the utmost potency in the future we should first learn more about them now: We should study their beliefs, rituals, habits, customs, and games. As a result, Severus has created a fantasy football league and invited me to be in it. He thinks that by learning about the non-broom sport of football, we will gain insight into the lower levels of humanity. I must say, I dismiss Snape’s premise entirely. Even if he’s correct that playing fantasy football will illuminate the muggle existence, his assumptions are wrong. I don’t need to understand muggles to know how to dominate them. Of all Snape’s half-blood hooked-nose greasy-haired potion-induced pseudo-intellectual ideas, this is the worst.

Still . . . why would I forego the opportunity to show 11 other people how superior to them I am?

And that’s why I’ve contacted you.

I don’t doubt that I have the capacity to master your simple game. And you will likely prove most useful in this respect. I’ve been impressed by what I’ve seen so far on your electronic scrolls. Your fantasy team previews are insightful (although I must say that Freedman’s British accent disappoints; if he were my servant, I’d show him the green — and I’m not talking about $500). The Tools and Models are easy to use and deceptively advanced. Your proprietary Plus/Minus metric is brilliant, and your Trends tool works like a charm.

Your NFL Matchups Dashboard allows me to see how offenses and defenses compare to each other, and your NFL News feed is updated with fantasy-relevant information faster than I can apparate. (Don’t share that with anyone.) Your Correlations Matrix is the best I’ve ever seen, and for people who play fantasy sports on a daily basis your DFS Ownership DashboardDFS Contests Dashboard, and Vegas Dashboard provide ample reason to subscribe to FantasyLabs. When the time comes for me to build my first guaranteed prize pool lineups, I shall use your Lineup Builder. Your tools are killer — murderous, even.

Of all the DFS sites I’ve researched, yours is the best — and I don’t give compliments lightly.

But that’s not why I’ve written to you.

My Top 27 Fantasy Football Team Names

As I hope I’ve made clear, dominance begins with a name. I have no doubt I will win this league: My strategy is to draft the best players — which is what I do in my own world: Select the best, destroy the rest. I’m an insightful judge of people and a keen evaluator of talent. Football is a simple game. I’ll just pick the best players, starting with a quarterback in Round 1.

My only question is this: What should I call my team?

I’d like your advice on these 27 fantasy football team names. Why 27? It’s one of the most magical of numbers: Three to the third power. Plus it’s the number of people I’ve cursed today. That’s a good omen.

I’ve included some brief notes with the team names, which are listed in no particular order.

1. SlytherPigskins

This might be the frontrunner — although I dislike the idea of a half-breed mascot.

2. Volde4th&short

Sometimes I’m too clever for my own good.

3. Mudblood Bowl

Once I return to full power, I’ll force mudbloods once per year to compete in a gladiatorial sporting event for my pleasure. I’ll call it the Mudblood Bowl.

4. Death Eat-up-the-Clockers

If you want to win in the NFL, you have to start eating up the clock with your running backs right when the game starts. It’s the only way to win . . .

5. 3rd & Wand, Eldar

. . . unless you have the Eldar Wand.

6. Take It to the House-Elf

This is Ballatrix’s favorite. Speaking of which . . .

7. Bellatrix Play

The child is cursed.

8. Dark Marc Sessler

Of the four Around the NFL hosts, he’s the darkest in a room filled with heroes.

9. Unicorn Blood Doping

This one holds a special place in my heart.

10. Roughing the Muggle

Subtlety is subtle, and I’m not subtle.

11. The Mad-Eye Formation is Dead

I prefer the Power T.

12. My Anacanda Don’t Want None Unless You’ve Got Bubble Juice Hun

You probably don’t appreciate how popular bubble juice is in my world.

13. ProphesE Gap

“I need that prophesE Gap”: I knew Harry would fall for that trick.

14. Avada KeDVOA

It looks better than it sounds.

15. Horcrux-Perkins Offense

The greatest system of all time.

16. Deathly Shallow Cross

I have tremendous respect for Bobby Petrino.

17. Take a Knee, Crucio!

You don’t need to tell me. I know this one’s delicious.

18. Run to Green Light

After Vince Lombardi’s phenomenal Run to Daylight. I like the Packers’ Slytherin colors.

19. DarkLordi Trophy

Lombardi is sort of the NFL’s Salazar Slytherin.

20. I Killed Your Parents

It’s bold and probably true.

21. Silent Death Count

Only the best quarterbacks use a silent count.

22. New England Patroni

Bill Belichick is a wizard. He’d be a great Minister of Magic. I’d vote for him.

23. HoneyDukes Johnson

I have a sweet tooth, and it craves Duke Johnson.

24. 1st & Nine and Three-Quarters

Is this too obvious?

25. Run and Shoot (to Kill)

Should I remove the parenthetical marks?

26. Squib, Kick

Whenever I see a squib, I kick him. Of course, to me everyone looks like a squib.

27. Fenrir Halfback: Eatin’

Feed him.

One Final Question

Is it OK to impact the outcome of NFL games via the Imperius Curse? Asking for a friend.

Don’t take too long to respond. I wouldn’t want to think that something unfortunate happened to you.



The Labyrinthian: 2017.60, 155

This is the 155th installment of The Labyrinthian, a series dedicated to exploring random fields of knowledge in order to give you unordinary theoretical, philosophical, strategic, and/or often rambling guidance on daily fantasy sports. Consult the introductory piece to the series for further explanation.

Previous installments can be accessed via my author page or the series archive.