Fantasy Hockey League Takes One Step Closer to Reality
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HOUSE, NM Last year, brothers Steve and Randy Force of House, New Mexico decided to join a fantasy hockey league with some of their friends. But when the season was over, they realized that their league really wasn’t all that realistic.

“Our league just wasn’t challenging—or real—enough. We knew we could do better,” says Steve.

So the Force brothers created their own league: the Force Hockey League (FHL). Members of their league spend their days and nights checking player statistics, buying and selling players, and updating lineups—just like members of any other league. But their job is much more difficult because they have many more choices to make.

In addition to players, FHL members choose a number of other conditions, such as zamboni drivers. Says Randy, “A zamboni driver can really make a difference in the game. After all, he’s the guy who prepares the ice on which the game is played. If he’s in a bad mood—if he ate a bad burrito—it’s all over. Bad ice can make a serious difference in players’ performance.”

FHL members also select concessions at their games. “You never know,” Steve points out, “how much a brand of hot dog can alter the mood of the crowd. We all know that the crowd makes a huge difference in performance. And if that crowd’s eating bad hot dogs—or drinking skunky beer—your team’s gonna have a bad night.”

And speaking of the crowd, FHL members also select key members of their crowd. They choose from a list of over 500 possible spectators—a list that’s complete with all of the necessary biographical information, including family, educational and vocational background, and favorite snack foods. If the fans chosen by an FHL member are having a good day, their team does that much better. If one of the fans just lost his job, or his wife just left him, or he decided to have a little too much to drink on a given night, the league member’s team is in trouble.

In its first season, the FHL has over 500 members. In the next year, the Force brothers expect to add to their membership numbers as well as to their members’ options.

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