- DJ Gallo, ESPN.com
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It’s fantasy football draft season. While you have no control over what your players do on the field, you have complete control over the most important aspect of fantasy football: picking a team name.
Here are the 12 kinds of fantasy team names in every league.
The current pop culture reference -- BOOM! You nailed that joke about Pussy Riot, the Russian punk band that was just convicted of hooliganism in Russia. Unfortunately, by Week 2 you’ll start wishing you had gone with something a bit more evergreen -- a Ryan Lochte joke maybe? No, wait. It’s September. No one is still making Ryan Lochte jokes. And what is my team name about again? Is that the band that sang “Call Me Maybe”?
“Seriously, this is the best name I’ve ever come up with for my fantasy team. I’m so happy with it.”
The dated pop culture reference -- BOOM! You nailed that joke about Charlie Sheen that everyone else did a few years ago or whenever that was, and in doing so established yourself as the biggest lame among your group of friends. Nice dad jeans, by the way.
“Really? Nobody is still doing the Duh Winning thing? Well, I think it’s funny.”
The attempt at impressing people -- What is that name? A reference to a French art house film? Guy, it’s a fantasy football draft. Get over yourself.
“I meant to prepare more for the draft, but I’m just so into reading Gore Vidal these last few weeks.”
The extremely crude/offensive name -- Ages 14 to 24: Your extremely crude/offensive fantasy team name will be appreciated by all, because everyone in the league is immature. Ages 25 to 30: Some league members will hope their wives never look at their league page and discover they are friends with such a crude and offensive person. Ages 31 to 35: Most league members will make a mental note to never let you near their wife or kids. Ages 35 to 49: Some league members will discuss not having you in the league anymore because you are so crude and offensive. Ages 50-plus: Your extremely crude/offensive fantasy team name will be appreciated by all, because now you are the hilariously dirty old man.
“Shhh. Come on. Don’t say that so loud. Our waitress could kick us out. Even sports bars have some standards.”
The favorite NFL team reference -- A name like “Rams Forever” or “Raven Maniac” shows your love of your favorite team. It’s also a sure sign that you will stack your team with way, way, way too many players from that favorite team and can easily be fleeced in trades.
“Ah, crap. How did I wind up with Sam Bradford as my backup quarterback? No big deal. I’ll just trade him to Rams Forever for Tom Brady.”
The self-deprecating team name -- “My Team Sucks” is your team name? Don’t be so hard on yourself. Your team can’t be nearly as bad as you are at picking a fantasy team name.
“No wonder your team always sucks with that kind of support from management.”
The favorite college team reference -- This is the only person in the league who will keep the favorite NFL team reference guy out of last. He doesn’t follow the NFL very closely and makes most of his moves off of what he saw from players in college, leaving his team with a deadly mix of marginal NFL starters and NFL backups from his alma mater.
“No, I don’t think it’s too early to pick Christian Ponder in the third round. You obviously didn’t see the 5-TD game he had against Georgia Tech in 2010.”
The tried too hard name -- Sometimes the first idea is the best idea. You spent weeks thinking of a fantasy team name idea, jotting down ideas at work, lying awake in bed brainstorming, mentally checking out of dates and you can up with Ryansplosion?
“What does it mean? Well, it’s a reference to all the Ryans right now. Rex and Rob Ryan, Matt Ryan. Paul Ryan. I thought of it the night Ryan Mathews got hurt. And it rhymes with Mayan, which works because it’s 2012 and damnit. I over-thought this.”
The niche joke name -- You came up with a hilarious team name, but it’s referencing something a bit too obscure for most people in the league to get it. You’ll leave the draft upset not with the roster you drafted, but over the fact so few people appreciated your team name.
“Really? None of you guys watch ‘Archer’ on FX? Oh. Well, you should watch it. My team name is about in Season 2 when never mind.”
The couple name -- Steve and Heather’s Team. Ahh, good for you. You guys are in love. So in love that you didn’t even take a break from staring into each other’s eyes for the 10 seconds it takes to think up a non-lame name.
“Steve and Heather, it’s your pick again.”
“OK, we want to take Maurice ”
“ Jones "
“Wasn’t it cute how we alternated saying his name?”
The default name -- Whatever default name the league gave you at sign up is the name you kept. You will never set your lineup or even sign into the league page all season.
“Kevin said he couldn’t make it to the draft. He’s really busy at work or something. So we’re just supposed to pick whoever for him and he’ll take it from there. I hope he doesn’t blank on the league again like last year.”
The Tim Tebow joke/reference -- Congratulations. You are among the 98 percent of the 2012 fantasy football-playing population who made a Tim Tebow joke in your fantasy football team name and/or are a working member of the sports media.
“Get it? Because he can’t throw spirals very well.”