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The lineup for the new season of the Alice in Chains & Friends Fantasy Football Charity League has been shaken up, with six new owners joining four originals who remain from the first two years.
|Jerry Cantrell, right, and Duff McKagan return for their third consecutive seasons, still in search of a title.|
Alice in Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell, the ringleader of the charity project, has recruited rock pioneer Ann Wilson, actor Jay Ferguson ("Mad Men") and Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Randy Wolf to participate in the third annual fantasy football league that raises money for the eventual champion's charity of choice.
This year marks the first time that all four members of Alice in Chains are playing in the league, as lead singer William DuVall and drummer Sean Kinney embark on their rookie seasons by going up against Cantrell and bassist Mike Inez, another AIC&FFFCL veteran.
ESPN columnist Duff McKagan, the frontman for Loaded and former bassist for Guns N' Roses, and Hellyeah drummer Vinnie Paul round out the four original AIC&FFFCL participants.
The revamped lineup means a new winner will be crowned because 2010 champion Meat Loaf will not be back to defend his title. Matt Willig, who won the inaugural championship in 2009 but fell to last place in 2010, also isn't returning.
Each participant will put one valuable item up for auction by the end of the season. The league champion will get to designate which charity receives the net proceeds of the auction. More details on the auction will be announced in the coming weeks.
AIC&FFFCL owners had their live draft on Tuesday. By Friday, Wolf had already waived injured Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. Oh, the frustrations of relying on autopilot.
Cantrell, who lost to Meat Loaf in last season's finale, lobbed a greeting of "Good luck, everybody … I hope you all lose" to his rivals on the league message board along with photos and captions poking fun at everyone, including himself:
Is that me? Or a hobo wearing a trendy hat and an Affliction hoody? Last year I lost the Super Bowl to Meat Loaf. I went into the second game up by 40, count 'em … 40 points and still found a way to lose. … Typical.
Oh well, it's a new season and I'm so glad it's here. Mike and I would like to thank everyone involved for helping us do this three years in a row. I really appreciate the time and the items everybody has donated. It's a good time that, more importantly, raises some money for important causes.
Matt Willig was our first champ, Meat Loaf stole it from me last year. Who will it be in '11-12? Let's play some football. Good luck, everybody … I hope you all lose.
Weekly updates on the Alice in Chains & Friends Fantasy Football Charity League, trash talk and interviews with the owners will be published in ESPN.com's The Life and Music sections throughout the season. Members of the league also will drop by for occasional chats on SportsNation.
Here is a look at each of the owners and their teams: