Saturday, February 22, 2014

Last Place

By Julie Rahm

A ten-member Fantasy Football league in Omaha, Nebraska has a unique twist. He who finishes last gets tattooed! The intent of the loser’s tattoo is to make the fantasy footballers play as hard as humanly possible every week. The fear of getting tattooed is a tremendous motivator. League members devote large amounts of time to reading scouting reports. They do extensive research on their players. The smallest details of a player’s potential performance are scrutinized. The difference between getting tattooed, or not tattooed, might be a dropped pass or an inadvertent injury to a key player. The young men who participate in this tattoo league are “over-the-top” involved. Nobody wants to sport a losing tattoo for the rest of their lives. And, to make finishing last even more punishing, the winner gets to choose the loser’s tattoo! To say the tattoos are heinous is an understatement. The losing tattoos are quite large and awful. The one bright spot for the last place finisher is that he gets to place the tattoo on his body. Most try to conceal the heinous body art within their underwear. Still, these reminders of a last place finish will be with these men even in their graves! (Yikes!)

Ironically, in 2010 the founder of the league, “Spud” Mann lost. He now sports the loser’s tattoo on his upper thigh. It is a sparkly-horned, red-mane unicorn leaping to kick a football over a rainbow. A little red heart adorns the unicorn's haunch. Beneath the fanciful scene, Mann's thigh reads, “FANTASY LOSER”.

Mann will wear this tattoo his whole life. As for explaining it to a potential future wife, he said, “If a unicorn on my leg is a reason you wouldn't want to be around me, there's probably other problems.” Of course, there is regret. Mann wishes he would have had Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick on his team. “For the rest of my life,” Mann said, “I'm going to look down at the tattoo and say, I should've drafted Vick.”

This year's Tattoo League winner designed the perfect pop culture tattoo that would make any loser miserable. The losing tattoo is fantasy expert Matthew Berry's face on Miley Cyrus' body swinging on a wrecking ball made in the image of Jay Leno's face. Miley Cyrus is holding a sign that reads “Fantasy Twerker Loser”. Twerker is crossed out. Yes, it is as disturbing as it sounds! Grown men! Some with college degrees! Anyway, I tell you about the last place finisher in the tattoo league so I can tell you about this “last”.
This is my last column in Pamlico News, at least for a while. I have enjoyed writing and greatly appreciate all the accolades. However, after three plus years of required weekly creativity, I’d like a respite. My thanks go out to editor, Maureen. She has been super-accommodating and simply wonderful. Thank you readers! And, as always, you can find me through my web site at and
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