WAYNESVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) — For 30 years, one group has been on the forefront of fantasy football.
They call themselves the Crazy 8 League. For three decades, they’ve been holding a fantasy draft every year ahead of the NFL season.
They like to say they’ve been doing fantasy football even before it was a thing.
“It was new and not real common at that time. We all kind of learned to do it on our own as we went,” says the league commissioner Paul Delange.
He helped form the league in August 1993.
“It was just an idea. I’ve always liked football. I coached football for several years at the high school level right out of college, and it just sounded like something fun to do,” states Paul. “I started researching. I went to a bookstore here in Dayton, and I started looking to see if I could find a book on fantasy football. And at the time in 1993 I found one book that gave me the instructions on how to set up a league, how to start, how to set up your scoring.”
Paul then gathered a group of eight and formed the league, which is where the name the Crazy 8 League comes from.
“We will select a roster of players from the NFL and claim them as our team. And we’ve all made up a nickname for our teams. My team is the Micro Maniacs,” states Paul. “Usually we’ll actually draft twice what we need for a starting lineup. And then we just declare each week who our starting lineup is going to be.”
They first kept track of scores the old school way.
“We would all have to go out and buy a USA Today, and the box score was our official score book. So, each team would add up their score. We had a scoring system that I put into our paperwork,” says Paul.
Over time, their method has evolved.
“What we do is pretty much the same — other than the method of scoring and keeping track. It’s now — We have a website that we’re part of, and we just do all of our work on the website. As the commissioner, I don’t have all of that paperwork and processing that I used to do before,” says Paul.
With eight people still in the league, five of them have been there from the start.
“We were all football fanatics,” says Charlie Satterthwaite.
Charlie is one of the originals.
“Never would’ve imagined going 30 years. Now I can’t imagine not doing it. Just part of something you look forward to in the fall,” smiles Charlie.
Nick Kildal is the newest member of the league.
“I’ve been in the league for nine years. I took over after my dad. He moved out west so I took his spot after he left,” states Nick.
At the end of the season, the winner gets their team’s name on a trophy that’s been filling up fast for the last 30 years.
“On the little perpetual trophy we made, we ran out of space for our winning team plaque after about 10 years. And so now, I’m writing them on the back and keeping track of who’s winning each year,” says Paul.
Now 30 years strong, football and friendship continues bringing the group together.
“It’s always a lot of fun getting ready for the season. It’s one of my favorite nights of the year,” says Nick.
“These guys, they’re my brothers. This is probably the best part of the football season,” says Charlie.
The NFL regular season starts Thursday, Sept. 7, with the Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Detroit Lions. The Cincinnati Bengals start their season Sunday, Sept. 10, with a 1 p.m. kickoff at the Cleveland Browns.
“Are you ready for some football?!” shouts the Crazy 8 League.