It’s here, it’s here, it’s really, really here!  I know you’ve been waiting with bated breath since my teaser last Friday and lucky you, the wait is over.  This is your opportunity to prove to the world that not only do you know a junk in the trunk-load about fantasy football but you have the wiles of a snake charmer in your use of the English language.  Yes your write up has to be in English; sorry Quebec readers.  So as not to make the winner from last year feel left out, we are giving out the same goodies this year in conjunction with FanDuel Insider.  For those unfamiliar or who can’t remember, the winner gets 300 dollars cash, which is just as good as money.  That’s a good chunk o’ bills there.  You could buy like ten bottles of bronzing tan spray with that and impress your friends with your Jersey Shore impersonations.  Just imagine it!  To go along with all that upfront moola, FanDuel will also deposit $20 into your FanDuel account for each week of the regular football season.  You do the math on that – and for the love of all that is holy, don’t divide by zero when you do – and you’re getting well over your initial $300 prize.  But wait, there’s more!  Not more money, mind you, but you do get to post your fantasy football thoughts on both Razzball and FanDuel.  That’s twice the links you get to rub in your friends faces via the internet.  Besides getting a WaveRunner, what more could you want?

Now for some disclaimers: outside of the $300 and FanDuel account deposits, your work will be unpaid except for in happiness of knowing you are doing something you love.  Any attempts to sell your work to other websites will result in hysterical laughter from them as they wonder why you’re trying to hawk your wares.  We both know that in the long run you aren’t doing this for the money anyway.  Just come see me on the corner of your local Starbucks with my cardboard sign that says ‘Will Write Fantasy Football For A Macchiato’ for proof.  We do this for the vanity, the privilege, nay the glory that is being recognized as someone who knows the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ and who writes about fantasy football with that knowledge.

Here’s how this all works: we’ll have 5 rounds leading up to the start of the season with the first round starting today. We’ll review all submissions through the 22nd and determine the first round winner by June 29th.  All topics will be posted on the Razzball site so make sure and check in often.  Your write-up should be less than 1500 words.  If it’s 1501, my head might explode from the extra reading and that’s not good for anyone.

Before we let you run wild with imaginative abandon, we’d like to lay some knowledge on ya.  First off, we’d like to let you know who the main judges will be.  Besides myself, we will have last year’s winner and current ‘how many ping pong balls can a Razzball writer fit in his mouth’ champion, Josh Vitale.  Besides us, last year’s co-MC Mark St. Amant – famed author of “Committed: Confessions of a Fantasy Football Junkie” and former rotoworld and NY times.com writer – and Sigmund Bloom will chime in on your writings as well.  We may even have some guest judges along the way.  We’ve tried contacting David Hasselhoff’s agent but were told he was too busy drunkenly scraping a burger off the carpet.  Anywho, just like last year, your work will be scored based on the following forms of scientific analysis:

Originality – We know the internet is full of original thoughts.  Wait, no it’s not, that’s why we plagiarize the crunk out of them when they do come along.  Look, we don’t expect you to reinvent the wheel here.  Heck, half my column is a reprise of what Mark did last year.  What I’m saying is whatever you do, do it in your voice.  Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery but reading the same argument over and over is the most fragrant form of mental flatulence.  We wanna know what you think and how you think it so provide that for us, wouldja?

Football Knowledge, Both Real and Fantasy – If you’re a Harvard English professor sitting there saying to yourself ‘heck, I can write circles around these kids for a sweet $300 check’, I have two things to ask you.  One, do you know anything about fantasy football and two, why in the world do you care about $300?  Seriously, you should be making plenty already.  All this to say, bring your writing ability AND your knowledge of the subject to the table.

Humor – I don’t know if you’ve noticed it or not, but Razzball has a lot of writers who think they are funny.  We want you to know the facts and stats of fantasy football just as much as we want to guffaw when we read about it from you.  I don’t need you to tell me the YAC of every wide receiver for the Jacksonville Jaguars unless it leads to a joke…well a joke that is somehow not just the YAC itself.  I became a Razzball reader looking for an edge on others in my fantasy leagues but stayed because the yucks over those YACs were so good.

Grammar – I will start this off with a preface that I am not extremely scrupulous on this particular subject – especially by comparison to Mark from last year – but I do require being able to read a sentence without wanting to murder my eye sockets with a rusted soup spoon.  For example, ‘there’ and ‘their’ are two different words and have entirely different meanings.  We expect you to know the difference and use those two words appropriately, m’kay?  In this age of text and twitter language, the ability to formulate something tangible to a cohesive thought has somehow slipped through the grasp of most people.  Go on, make your high school English teacher proud and craft well-structured sentences.

After we judges are done judging you, we’ll determine the winner.  The writer with the most weekly wins/best win-loss record by the end of round five will be declared ‘The Next Great Fantasy Football Writer’ and showered with adulation and internet envy.  And just to repeat myself because I love the sound of my typed voice, the winner also gets:

– $300 Cash and $20 weekly deposits during the fantasy football season in their FanDuel account.

– A weekly writing gig with their articles posted on both Razzball and FanDuel.

Now without further ado, we give to you the topic for round one: Three Rookies Who Fail It & Three Rookies Who Nail It

Send all first submissions, along with a short bio of yourself/your background/your writing aspirations to:

sky[at]razzball.com & joshv1991[at]snet.net