Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Rocky Top Scam Artists

Thank goodness, it's almost football season. Unfortunately, for many of us football fans in Tennessee who are also fantasy football players, football season won't be the same this year, and you know what .... The Sheepdog called it.
Flag-map of Tennessee
Flag-map of Tennessee (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Back in the spring, I was all over the Tennessee Legislature for their consideration of and passage of the Tennessee Fantasy Sports Act. If you missed those articles, you can read them here, here, and here in chronological order so that you will be up-to-date before reading the rest of this article.

Despite objections by myself and other fantasy sports players, the legislature ramrodded the legislation through due in part by this seemingly harmless claim hidden in one of the bill's fiscal memorandum's:
Due to a number of unknown factors, the impact to participation cannot be quantified but it is reasonably assumed the net impact will not be significant.
You may also remember that I disputed the above claim in my March 28, 2016 post by predicting:
Because of this and other restrictions, I could see fantasy sports companies saying, "The heck with it", and not offering their products, whether free or fee-based, to Tennesseans anymore. They may not want to fool with the new, asinine, nanny-state guidelines that this bill will put in place. This bill could in essence turn into a fantasy sports ban in Tennessee.
Well, wanna guess who told you the truth? Yes, it was The Sheepdog and not the scam artists in the Tennessee legislature. Just like with the decongestant regulatory bill, which we were told would not cause any undue hardship on Tennessee's allergy sufferers, the GOP-led legislature lied to us ... again and my prediction was right on. I nailed it. Allow me to explain.

In 2014, I played a free fantasy football league on I had a great year going 10-4 in the regular season, earning the #1 overall seed for the playoffs, and winning the championship to finish 12-4. It was my 1st title on that site, but my 3rd overall as I previously won 2 on So, in 2015, I decided to play there again, but instead I would compete in one of's "Ultimate Experience Leagues" where you can win a prize if you win your league's championship.

The new NFL logo went into use at the 2008 draft.
The new NFL logo went into use at the 2008 draft. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So, I joined one of the championship ring leagues. The fee was $10.99 and the prize was, of course, an actual championship ring. I had a good year and once again went 10-4 in the regular season earning the #2 overall seed for the playoffs. Unfortunately, I lost in the championship game due to bad luck. I had ridden Cam Newton's MVP numbers to win after win for 10 weeks, but it just so happened that the league championship was the week his Panthers lost their first game of the year to the Falcons. Cam only scored about half the number of fantasy points he had been getting for me in the previous 10 weeks, and it cost me a win and the championship and ring that went with it. An 11-5 season and a runner-up spot was nice, but it wasn't what I had wanted. It left me hungry - hungry for a championship ring.

In two years on, my overall record is 23-9, with 2 championship game visits. I had been pretty successful. So, my plan for 2016 was to give one of the championship ring leagues another try. After waiting all summer for the leagues to become available for entry, in late July, they finally opened. The entry fee had gone up to $19.99, but I didn't care - I wanted a ring. When I dug into the legal restrictions (here), though, I found this:
I was pissed, but not surprised. After all, I had predicted this would happen. The legislature had once again stuck their nose into something they knew nothing about, instead of dealing with issues more important to Tennesseans, and it had led to unintended consequences. It's what ALWAYS happens with government overreach. So, no championship ring for me in 2016 or ever.

You see this bill was never about "protecting consumers". It was all about control and more tax revenue, and, as I predicted, the NFL apparently decided not to fool with the additional paperwork, taxes, and fees that accompanied Tennessee's newest regulatory headache. As always, the consumers pay the price, not the ones being "regulated", particularly in Tennessee.

The legislature has screwed us again with unneeded, overreaching, nanny state regulation which has carried collateral damage with it. They've become nothing but scam artists with the Republican supermajority acting like and deceiving us as if they were Democrats. I'll bet Hillary Clinton would be proud of them ..... cough, cough, puke.

Since this is an election year, let me remind my fellow Tennesseans that 88% of the legislature NEVER voiced any opposition to this bill. You can see the list of who makes up that 88% and felt that wasting their time regulating fantasy football was more important than taking care of other, more important state business by clicking here.

If the Tennessee legislature had a fantasy football team, it's name would be The Rocky Top Scam Artists. They're great at running scams on us, regulating us, and generally screwing stuff up in the process.