Expect lots of NFL cameos in this season of The League

The League returns to FX tonight at 10:30 p.m. EST. I’m going to try to once again recap each episode this season, but to get ready for the greatness that is The League, here’s a rundown of just a few of the guest appearances they have lined up for this season.

Robert Griffin III

Trent Richardson

DeSean Jackson

Ryan and Matt Kalil

Ryan Fitzpatrick

Please contain your anticiperections.

Own your very own Kluneberg from The League

If you watched The League, you probably imagined which character you were most like in your own fantasy football league.

Are you a Kevin? Married to an awesome wife? Generally happy about things? Slightly frustrated with the way your team turns out every year?

Or are you the Pete? Nonchalant? A master of the fantasy football puns? Divorced? Always wanted to drive a Crown Vic?

A Taco? Are you high right now? Or do you wish you were? Yeah, you’re probably a Taco.

And you’ll never get to see those vinegar strokes you dream about seeing.

We all know, deep down, you really just don’t want to be an Andre.

But that’s not the way to be. We should embrace our Andre-ism. Don’t you have a stupid hat in your closet that would look great with your new jacket if only your friends wouldn’t mock you for it?

Never fear. Be the Andre.

And what better way to announce your Andre-ism than with your own Kluneberg, straight out of Andre’s apartment decorating in Season 2.

Well, technically, it’s not straight out of Andre’s apartment. It’s on Ebay. But it’s the same difference. You’d be living the dream if you had it.

5 Ways to Replace Monday Night Football During the NFL Lockout

The draft is over. The lockout continues. As of right now, we got no football. I’m getting cold sweats just thinking about it. But there’s another group that stands to lose if there’s no football this fall besides the coaches, players, and NFL fans — TV networks.

Without football, they’ll have to find someway to fill time on Sundays and Monday nights, and “Two and a Half Men” marathons just won’t cut it.

So where are our options? I dove into the talented depths of YouTube to find what could be our 2011 replacement for football. Here’s what you could expect to see on the airwaves instead of your beloved Week 1 matchup.

1. Sloths doing human things

I’ll admit, it doesn’t sound that interesting at first, but once you see a sloth holding an umbrella like it’s expecting rain and looking at you with those slothy sloth eyes, you get it. And they can follow it up with a “Real Sloths of Orange County” or “Real Sloths of Dallas” once the first season has run its course. People love watching animals do things that humans do.

2. Babies who fear normal human behavior

Blowing your nose can sometimes be an uncomfortable experience. I’ve almost launched a lung through my nose on at least one occasion. So I get this baby’s irrational fear of his mother’s nose-blowing. But they’re going to have to do better than that if they want to carry the 18-45 male demo in this time slot.

3. Extreme Cooking with Epic Meal Time

Speaking of that 18-45 male demographic, here’s your real winner. Take a little bit from the Iron Chef playbook, a little bit from the fat man’s guide to continuing to be fat, and alcohol, and you get Epic Meal Time, a YouTube experience that just reminds you of the way momma used to cook. You know, before she stopped drinking…

4. Slow-motion modeling

I think we can safely say that they wouldn’t lose any viewership replacing football with this. Female fans would easily be replaced by an influx of former NFL fans who felt that TV never showed the cheerleaders enough.

5. The UFL

While it is the most logical replacement for true, NFL football, would you be satisfied by the UFL? Would Daunte Culpepper and Brooks Bollinger excite you as much as a Tom Brady and Peyton Manning showdown?

We can only hope. Until the lockout is over, these are some of our best options from the world of entertainment. Could we build a fantasy game on top of these? Of course! And if it was fantasy extreme cooking, I’m taking bacon first overall ten out of ten times.

Pick your poison. Which of these options would you choose to replace our beloved NFL football this season?

FX’s The League returns TONIGHT

Just a reminder for fans of “The League” out there. Tonight, “The League” returns to TV on FX at 10:30 p.m. EST (9:30 p.m. CST) with the premiere of Season 2.

Tonight’s premiere combines two things we love: fantasy football and Vegas. That pretty much guarantees it will be greatness. And at last, this season we get a full slate of 13 episodes instead of the six FX dangled in front of us last year.

“The League” will now take us all the way through the regular season, which will make our addiction so much more bearable, especially for roommates and spouses who don’t play. They finally get an insider glimpse at a fantasy football league.

If they’re gullible enough, tell them that it’s a documentary. That will make you tame by comparison.

I was pleasantly surprised by how true-to-life and funny the first season of the series was. If you missed out, catch the first and last episode of Season 1 on Hulu here and get up to speed. (Why only first and last episode? I have no idea.)

“The League” has now become part of the fantasy football zeitgeist, which makes it a must-watch series for all fantasy football addicts, just like “The Golden Girls.”

Where else would we get such brilliant examples of trash-talking, trade raping and underhanded dealings? Let’s be honest, people: Our leagues are not morally upstanding societies of men and women who deal in fair and balanced ways. We’re a bunch of swindlers playing a cruel game of skill with NFL players and bragging rights as our only weapons. “The League” is the first series that has really captured that and put in on-screen for all our family and friends to enjoy…and be ashamed of us at the same time.

In fact, it sort of makes me reflective about my own leagues, my own trickery. It almost makes me even a little remorseful for all the personal attacks and defamations I’ve posted to the league message boards…or is that pride?

I’m going to say it’s pride. And I look forward to seeing how the writers of “The League” will make me proud this season.

Here’s a preview of Season 2 of “The League” from Hulu to hold you over until it comes on tonight, right after the season premiere of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” which also has some parallels to my actual life if I owned a bar with some of the guys in my fantasy football league.

What? No awesome watch party to go to so that you can enjoy “The League” with other fantasy football addicts? Well, I wish I could help, but…oh, who am I kidding?

Watch the Season 2 premiere of “The League” alongside me tonight by following my tweets @FantasyFools. We can revel in the similarities between our own leagues and the one TV says is purely fictional…but eerily similar.

Gary Busey should be in every commercial. Ever.

No, seriously. Gary Busey should just pitch every product that wants to advertise on TV, especially when it comes to fantasy football. Just look at this series of ads he did for vitaminwater. I saw the first of these when it ran on ESPN last night during the SportsCenter Fantasy Draft Special.

I don’t even think he knows he’s in a commercial right now. I bet he thinks he really is Tugwater. He’s shouting “REMEMBER THE ALAMO” in a bathroom mirror somewhere while a fantasy football owner cries in pain.

This one actually strikes fear in me.

And if you really don’t want to sleep at night…

Thank you, Gary Busey, err…I mean, Norman Tugwater. You make commercials worth watching.

The Football Fan’s Manifesto: A Foolish Book Review

When it comes to product reviews and book reviews in particular, I’ve been pretty bad about getting to them in a timely manner. Exhibit A: This review. I read plenty…online, but this review required me to put down the laptop and pick up a book this offseason. I have to say that it was worth it.

If you’re going to play in the big leagues, you better know the ropes…or carry a very large, very scary stick around with you at all times. Michael Tunison knows what he is doing, and he has taken the time to share his wealth of knowledge with the world.

In The Football Fan’s Manifesto, Tunison tells it like it is. A literal “survival guide” of NFL stadiums and fantasy football drafts, his book even suggests a trial by fire for any potential wife. Take notes. And if you try it, please tell me. I feel like that would be entertaining.

Section by section, the manifesto takes you through the ropes of being an NFL fan: how to pick a favorite team, how to represent that team to the best of your ability, how to find a husband/wife who will also cheer for that team, and how to attend and survive a football game. It’s really everything you ever needed to know about football…and life.

My favorite section defined the most popular (and worthless) football clichés and explained how to make use of them in your everyday life. At the end of the day, it is what it is. It looks like Tunison is just having fun out there, running downhill and imposing his will on his readers. See what I did there?

I enjoy reading Tunison’s work on  Kissing Suzy Kolber on a regular basis, so The Football Fan’s Manifesto wasn’t far off the reservation for me. Tunison keeps some of the same jokes rolling that are frequent on KSK, but do not fear, non-KSKers. If you are a football fan at heart, you’ll probably like this book. Just be aware that actually doing everything this book recommends could easily get you arrested, divorced and/or deported. At the very least, you’ll find out what it’s like to be on The No Fly List.

In just over 300 pages, Tunison manages to insult every NFL franchise, teach you how to trash talk and walk you through your first marriage (and, more than likely, divorce). It’s a respectable way to fill the lull between now and the first kickoff of football season.

As  Will Leitch,  author and founder of Deadspin, described it, “If you think football is the only thing that matters on Earth, this is your book.”

If you’ve read The Football Fan’s Manifesto, feel free to share your own review in the comments below.