Fantasy Football: The teams aren’t real, but the punishments are


Photo courtesy of Ryan Pisarra

WHS senior Peter Meixner came in last place in his Fantasy Football league last year. His punishment: Eat 10 blazin’ wings from Buffalo Wild Wings with no beverage in 5 minutes

With the NFL season coming to an end, Fantasy winners are being crowned, and, more importantly, the unfortunate last-place finishers are being tasked with various punishments. The obsession of keeping up-to-date with your lineup, and tuning in to game day every Sunday is, of course, in pursuit to win the league, but is also done by fantasy managers all over the country in order to avoid the often merciless punishment given by the league commissioner. 

Despite valiant efforts, someone has to finish last. With that, comes arguably the most entertaining part of any Fantasy Football season, that is for everyone but one of the league members: The spectacle of watching the last place finisher complete their obligatory punishment. 

The popularity of these punishments has stormed social media platforms recently. From having to stay in a Waffle House for 24 hours to having to retake the SATs, these punishments are often more hyped up by league members than the first place prize. Kids and adults of all ages across the country take great pride in selecting a punishment that perfectly mixes creativity, humiliation and sometimes physical pain. 

WHS senior Ethan Stack said, “The main purpose of the punishments is to make sure everyone is trying [throughout] the end of the season. It’s the worst when the league falls apart [after] people’s teams get eliminated from the playoffs, so this is one extra layer.” 

The last place punishment is a multifaceted aspect of most leagues. Not only does the punishment force every team owner to pay attention to their roster until the very end, but it also allows the members of the league to exercise their creativity when deciding on a punishment. 

After a great deal of brainstorming, Stack and his fellow members decided that “the loser would have to sit in a dark closet and solve a 100-piece puzzle with nothing but a strobe light.”

And while Stack and his league opted for more of a mental challenge rather than a physical one, many leagues take a more classic approach to their last-place penalty. One that often comes up is a challenge that goes by “The Milk Mile.” Here, the loser must  run a mile, during which a gallon of milk must also be finished. No time limit, and no fancy rules. Just a gallon of milk, a track and the person that was unlucky enough to finish last. A very simple punishment, but a brutal one to be tasked with. WHS senior Ryan Bertsch noted that this is, “one of the worst punishments to do,” but “probably the most fun to watch.” 

The most humorous part of these punishments is the range of creativity that some display. While nobody would willingly opt to sit in a Waffle House for 24 hours, the experience can result in some stories that will last a lifetime. 

At the end of the day, no matter how hard the punishment was, and no matter how humiliated the recipient felt, these amusing and often hilarious penalties are given out in the name of fun and competition. No malice is ever behind it; it’s just another way to create joy around a beautiful aspect of our modern society: Fantasy Football.