Monday, October 23, 2006

My New Fantasy League

I’ve tried them all (except for hockey). I am either currently participating in or have at one time participated in fantasy football, basketball, baseball, tennis, and even golf. Ever since I was old enough to understand that “March Madness” was not a reference to the furor over my birthday, I’ve filled out a tourney bracket, as well.

Now I’m trying something different: Fantasy Congress. I signed up for a public league yesterday, and, yep, I’m waitin’ to watch some legislatin’.

Here’s how it works: I drafted a team of legislators (yes, real-life legislators) from the United States Congress.

My team is composed of:

2 senior Senators, called “upper Senators”;
2 junior Senators, called “lower Senators”;
4 senior Representatives, called “All-Stars”;
4 mid-range experience Representatives, called my “Supporting Lineup”; and
4 junior Representatives, called “Rookies”

According to the league’s blurb, Fantasy Congress offers me, a humble citizen, the power to “play politics.

I compete against other citizens in my league. The goal is to accrue points based upon the legislation passed by our respective Members of Congress (MCs). As the coach of my “team” of legislators, it’s my decision which MCs should be playing at any given time and which should be “benched”.

Every bill is supposed to represent an actual piece of legislation. My MCs have to push legislation through, from introduction in their respective chamber to approval by committee in the opposite chamber to the President’s signature. Point values are assigned to each stage in the legislative process. For example, I get a whopping 50 points if a bill sponsored by one of my MC’s is signed into law by President Bush.

Selecting my team was quite difficult. All current members of Congress are listed and there’s an election coming up. I regard myself as fairly politically savvy, so I avoided the obvious pitfalls. For example, I did not select Cynthia McKinney. I also steered clear of MCs who are locked in pitched battles for their seats. If they lose, I don’t want to get stuck with a “supplemental” selection.

Once I separated the wheat from the Chafee (heh-heh), I still found myself faced with some difficult choices. Should I go for a bunch of insiders or should I choose a group of idealists? Should I stick to my principles or should I cynically go solely with those politicos who I felt had the best chance to get legislation through? As much as I was tempted to select Zell Miller, it doesn't appear that "pistols at dawn" garners me any points. Sorry, Sen. Miller.

In the end, I balanced the two, though my line-up is extremely Democrat-heavy. I’m banking on the Dems winning both houses on November 7. So, if the mid-term elections do not see such a transition, several political pundits will be getting nasty e-mails from me on November 8.

Anyway, here’s oba’s starting lineup:

House of Representatives:


John Murtha; Barney Frank; Charles Rangel; Nancy Pelosi

Supporting Lineup:

Mary Bono; Spencer Bachus; Jesse L. Jackson; Patrick Kennedy


James Langevin; Rodney Alexander; Joe Wilson; Bobby Jindal

United States Senate:

Lower Senators:

Evan Bayh; Hillary Rodham Clinton

Upper Senators:

Joseph Biden; Edward Kennedy

So, that’s my team. Needless to say, I’ll be tuning into CSPAN on a far more regular basis.

Um, I feel almost guilty saying this (but, hey, I’m a very competitive person) if you’re reading this, and have no other reason to vote for or against any of the legislators on my team . . . well, I think you know where I’m going with that one.

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