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Local fantasy football league stronger than ever

We are down to the last two weeks of the NFL season, and it’s probably championship weekend for those involved in fantasy football.

Fantasy football has really evolved the last 20 years as more and more people are playing. With online sites like FanDual and Draft Kings, along with technology and the NFL’s popularity, it's huge.

However, it wasn’t quite this popular and the access wasn’t as easy 19 years ago when 12 local guys started the Summerside Smashmouth Football League, perhaps P.E.I.’s oldest fantasy football league. There was no such thing as the Internet, cell phones, email, etc.

This league continues today with all technology’s bells and whistles, with 11 of the original 12 owners: The Freak, Peter Connick, Tommy Schurman, Paul Power, Brian Francouer, Mark Francouer, Brian Goguan, Doug Doyle, Tony Gallant, Jamie MacKenzie, Shawn MacCormack and Jason Cameron (replaced Ian Power).

Back then, you had to rely on the Globe and Mail’s injury report, there was no waiver wire and no last-minute lineup changes as lineups had to handed in, called in or faxed.

Owners did not know who won the game until Wednesday. We had to wait unit Monday’s USA Today arrived on Tuesday at Mac’s in the Waterfront Mall.

Stats of the games were done by hand, and owners waited for results at the old Big Foot Video, by phone or fax for off-Island guys.

This league is so old the first round of the inaugural draft included Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith, Curtis Martin, John Elway, Steve Young, Barry Sanders and Jerry Rice. Also drafted were Shannon Sharpe, Cris Carter, Marshall Faulk, Dan Marino, Michael Irvin, Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed, Marcus Allen, Troy Aikman, Warren Moon and the first pick overall Brett Favre.

It’s hard to believe one original player from this draft is still playing – kicker Adam Vinatieri. One other note, Jim Harbaugh was also drafted on a team.

Everyone in this league has won a ring expect Peter and Tommy. Ironically, they’re in this season’s final, so one of them will finally get the gorilla off their back. Finally, not only has fantasy football kept us all up on our knowledge, but has allowed the gang to stay in touch over the last 19 years.

Cheers to our league!

Stat of the week

The Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr. became the first rookie receiver in NFL history to have 12 receptions for 140 yards and three touchdowns in a game.

Are you kidding me?

At the end of the half between the Redskins and Giants, Washington was assessed two unsportsmanlike penalties after a RGIII touchdown was reversed. Therefore, the second-half kickoff was from Washington’s 35-yard line, and the Giants recovered the onside kick. It’s the first time The Freak has witnessed an obvious onside kick to start a half.

Sure thing

Pats and the Jets in New York, the chant will sound like this: “P-A-T-S, Pats, Pats, Pats.”

Guarantee the Packers will not lose two games in a row, especially to a team like the Bucs. Pack wins in Tampa.

The Eagles, after a tough loss to the Cowboys, now need to win out and get some help to make the playoffs. Washington is struggling, Philly is desperate for a win and will beat the Redskins.

Don’t mortgage the house picks

Dallas controls its own destiny if they win its last two games. They host Indianapolis and may be without Demarco Murray (broken hand). Remember, this is the organization that let Tony Romo play with bone fractures in his back. Murray will play and the Cowboys desperately need this victory more than Indy, which has clinched a playoff spot. Cowboys win.

The Ravens visit Houston, which is down to its third-string quarterback. It’s tough winning in the NFL with QB1, let alone trying with QB3. Baltimore’s in a fight for its playoff lives. Ravens win.

Regardless who starts at quarterback for Carolina, the visiting Browns have no chance on the road with quarterback “Johnny Knows No Football.” Manziel looked like a college quarterback on Sunday. The hype got Cleveland just like Tebow got the Broncos. Panthers stay in playoff hunt.

Upset special

To please all Raider fans out there, The Freak is going to finally pick the Raiders this season to win.

Oakland has won two straight games at home, and the visiting Bills may have a letdown after just beating the Packers.

The Black Hole faithful will make it look like Halloween is coming rather than Christmas. Raiders upset the Bills.

John Turner is a Summerside schoolteacher. His column appears every Saturday during the NFL season. Feel free to e-mail questions and comments to

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