The League S02E03: What a Beautiful Package for “The White Knuckler”

Episode 3 gets back to the heart of Ruxin’s dark heart and the trash-talk that makes this league tick. They even threw in a little love interest to remind us of the Shiva competition from last season. Who’s balls will she touch first? Let’s dive right in.

Episode 3 opens with Pete and Ruxin watching a basketball game at Kevin’s house and in the search for coasters. Isn’t it crazy that in a society that has 3D televisions and surround sound, we still use tables that need coasters?

Ruxin stumbles upon Kevin’s current coffee table reading: “Weight Training for Dummies.” Definitely not a best seller. I don’t think I’d even pick that up to flip through in line at Wal-Mart, but maybe that’s also because I took a two year hiatus from working out at one point in my adult life.

It gets sadder. Kevin has an entire collection of the “For Dummies” books on a massive garage bookshelf of broken dreams. Did someone sell him these books like those door-to-door encyclopedia salesmen used to do?

At Gibson’s (the bar), Kevin attacks Andre for not being a “real doctor” because he doesn’t save lives. He makes a valid point: plastics aren’t exactly life saving.

Just look at that “Dr. Dreamy” goofball on “Grey’s Anatomy.” Uh…damn. I just gave myself away a little there. But to make my point, Dr. Dreamy’s cases were never that scary or dangerous. It was always “Hey! Let’s make you attractive like me! Because my hands would never touch a person of your ugliness unless I could make you worthy of my hands, my beautiful, beautiful hands. Woohoo!” It was pretty weak. And to my credit, I stopped watching “Grey’s Anatomy” as soon as it stopped being socially beneficial to me.

In the midst of this “real doctor” conversation, we learn that Taco just thinks that Andre is a barber, which might have opened the door for a comment about how Rafi needs a haircut, but no Rafi this week.

Ruxin confesses that his only hope this week against Kevin is a big game from Josh Cribbs, but Pete won’t give him any advice. Ruxin also has to do community service with “Make A Wish” for his law firm. This can only end badly.

Andre tells the guys about the “class act” he wants to bring in as his partner in his plastic surgery practice, Dr. Maxwell, which gives us our fantasy football definition for the lexicon this week and a few more to grow on. Introducing, the racism handbook for sports commentary:

Class act: A term used by sports commentators and society to refer to the black coach, e.g., Tony Dungy.

Firecracker, spark plug: The Latino athlete, as referred to by the sports commentators or personalities

Gym rat, scrappy player: The white athlete, e.g., Wes Welker

Inscrutable player: The Asian athlete

Sad but true, a lot of commentators use these stereotypical descriptors. Well, everyone besides Jon Gruden, who simply calls everyone “JOKER!” or “This guy!” Also, Taco is half black.

Pete has a date with Brooke, one of Kevin’s former girlfriends, and since Pete is hooking up with her now, that makes Pete and Kevin Eskimo brothers. Creepy neat! Apparently, Brooke comes with a little bit of a reputation from high school. She was known as the “The White Knuckler” because of her strong grip when giving the job of the handy persuasion. I’m picturing really large forearms.

Taco also informs the league that he’s taking karate. That’s good. He might need some deadlier moves if he and Rafi have to fight to the death at some point this season.

On the date, Pete and Brooke’s conversation inevitably turns to Kevin, who they note used to be a really flabby guy. But Brooke does give him credit for having a “pretty cock.” That’s right! Apparently, Kevin has a really “pretty cock” and “cute balls.” I guess that’s better than saying “huge” but still date-killer material.

Dark Sith Lord Ruxin goes to visit his “Make A Wish” recipient, Colin, who reveals his wish: meeting Terrell Suggs, linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens.

But Ruxin is evil, remember? So he convinces Colin that he should, instead, ask to meet Josh Cribbs, wide receiver and kick returner for the Cleveland Browns, so that Ruxin can talk fantasy with Cribbs and motivate him to show up big this week for Ruxin’s fantasy team.

At least Ruxin notices Colin’s depressing artwork, which leads to a true moment of clarity for Ruxin: “You’re going through some shit, huh?”

So now Ruxin can rub in his upcoming victory to Kevin at the park. Taco shows up with what he calls his “Naginta” from karate, but the only thing I could find online is something called a “Naginata.” Gotta be the same thing, right? Well, the description is pretty good.

Here are the highlights (emphasis mine):

NAGINATA (reaping sword)

“During the Edo period (16001808), women of the samurai class were the primary wielders of the naginata for self-protection.”

“Naginata-do (the way of the naginata) is still popular with Japanese women and is part of many academic athletic programs in Japan…Extremely strong wrists and forearms are necessary for this sport.

Leave it to Taco to find a weapon that allows him to leverage his strong wrists and forearms. If you want more learning, check out this sword-on-a-stick on Wikipedia.

TACO: “You were a worthy opponent, little one, but no one survives the wrath of my blade.”

Andre meets with his soul brotha, Dr. Maxwell, about a partnership, and the two seems to hit it off pretty well besides Andre’s awkward avoidance of anything that sounds remotely racist…and Andre’s awkwardness in general. Andre tells Dr. Maxwell that he wants to be the Halliburton of plastic surgery, but he keeps running into the “diversity” issue. His anecdote about his “black friend” Percy doesn’t help his case.

Kevin and Pete workout in Kevin’s new home gym, but Pete can’t stop looking at Kevin’s “PC.” When Pete refuses to accept Kevin as a spot, Kevin catches on: “Please look me in the eyes. I’m not a piece of meat.”

Back at the bar, coming face-to-face with Kevin’s PC throws Pete off his dart game with Ruxin and off his fantasy football game in the league. Pete confesses that he picked up Ryan Grant, and Ruxin has to inform him that Ryan Grant is injured.

And that’s actually very true. So did they slip this in post-filming? Did they make their own luck Tonya Harding-style? Or (more likely) did they just reveal “The League” curse, just as dangerous as the Madden curse but able to be cast on a different player in each of 13 episodes? I don’t have answers, but that’s dangerous.

Andre returns from his meeting, which went DOPE, and announces a P. Diddy party with Dr. Maxwell to celebrate.

With “Make A Wish” Colin, Ruxin gets to meet Josh Cribbs at the hospital, but, in an ultimate act of evil, he keeps interrupting Cribbs to talk fantasy football and try to steal Cribbs away from his visit with Colin.

Cribbs will have none of it and refuses to give Ruxin the time of day in front of Colin. The force is strong with this one. “You’re a real ‘class act’ Josh Cribbs.” But Ruxin does manage to ask Cribbs to score on a kick return and rack up the all-purpose yards…for Colin, of course.

We find the whole crew (minus Jenny?) at Andre’s “Whites Only” party, where Kevin reunites with Brooke when Pete and Brooke arrive. Brooke immediately lights up into her “White Knuckle” form seeing Kevin and Kevin’s PC again. Pete’s not taking that so well, but he is easily distracted by Andre’s “Whites Only” sign, offending all the “class acts” coming into the party. “Hey, sheriff from the Deep South!”

Ruxin arrives with Josh Cribbs…and Colin, but Kevin has a surprise for him. He wrote a letter to invite Terrell Suggs, Colin’s actual favorite player, to the party out of the kindness of his…oh? Kevin has the Baltimore D/ST? Well, that’s not quite as nice. And Kevin has his own scheme: “I think Colin would love if you sacked the quarterback like 3 or 4 times, and maybe even returned a fumble for a touchdown.”

Regardless of how petty Kevin is, Ruxin is more petty, and Cribbs wants no part of helping Ruxin win now that he realizes he was duped. Suggs and Cribbs take Colin away. And thus, Ruxin’s plan is foiled.

In the season’s second musical number, Taco gets the attention of the partygoers to perform with his Naginta, but no one knows what that is…and the “class act” guests take it the wrong way since it sounds strangely like another word in the context of the song.

Dr. Maxwell cancels the partnership on the spot, and the guests are out the door. But not before, in his final act, Taco throws his Naginta into the air and hits Kevin straight in his beautiful package.

And now folks, we’ve come full circle. Andre snaps into action saving Kevin’s life, but he needs someone to apply pressure to the wound (Kevin’s penis). Ruxin and Pete are both out. So that leaves only one who can come to save the day…

Yes, that’s right. The ultimate cock block: “You! White knuckle him!” And so Brooke has to grab onto Kevin’s PC to stop the bleeding and ruin Pete’s day. THIS was a good episode.

As a bonus, here’s an outtake from this episode in which Taco goes looking for his weapon.

Memorable Lines from Episode 3

RUXIN: “Is there a ‘How to Hide Your Glaring Lack of Knowledge from Your Friends For Dummies’? Because that’s the one you should’ve bought.”

ANDRE: “You guys might find this interesting.”
RUXIN: “Well, I think that’s an assumption.”

TACO: “I’m black on the inside.”
RUXIN: “What are you in here?” [Points at head]
TACO: “A race car driver!”
KEVIN: “What lap are you on?”
TACO: “33.”

PETE: “I mean, it’s basically like a public bathroom. Do I know people have been in there? Sure. But I like to pretend I’m the first.”

RUXIN: “Yeah, well, my wish was for a house in Nantucket and the respect of my peers, but we get what we get!”

RUXIN: “So you’re saying Kevin’s beautiful cock is tearing you up inside?”

ANDRE: “You are looking at a man with a life partner.”

ANDRE: “The one thing you can’t fix: Ugly penis.”

Looking ahead at the next episode: I hope we get Jenny back in the mix, and I actually wouldn’t mind a little Rafi, as long as he doesn’t hijack the episode. At least I noticed his absence in this one. Episode 3 was great and hit all the highlights of what made Season 1 kick ass. We’re going to have a good season…as long as that “The League” curse doesn’t get us all…

And for the sake of hilariousness, I’m throwing in the “Crap and a Mint” scene from last week. Crap and a mint!

[ Jump to Episode 4: "The Kluneberg" ]

The League S02E02: Rafi Vom. That’s a shot, right, “Bro-Lo El Cuñado”?

What goes up must come down. That’s a law of marriage. In this week’s episode of “The League,” titled “Bro-Lo El Cuñado,” the married gents try to score points with the wives while Rafi begins to run amok throughout the league’s inner circle. Lots of vomit in this one so let’s get started with two fingers down the throat.

Kevin has Week 1 issues, but I really don’t understand them. He needs to know whether to start Ricky Williams or Toby Gerhart. Unless the writers predicted that the Vikings would trade Adrian Peterson for a receiver, that decision seems pretty cut and dry. Start Ricky Williams against the Buffalo Bills. (SPOILER: Ricky didn’t do that well, but neither did Gerhart.)

Maybe this is just a softball question for Jenny to see if she’s still pissed that Kevin wouldn’t let her in the league (SPOILER: She is), but rules be rules. Every commish knows that. He also knows how to end an argument in the bathroom: BM, or in this case “intimacy” while the wifey is in the bathroom. Jenny, well, she no likey: “Intimacy is spooning. This is like watching the Nature channel.”

This may be a little in the category of “things that I notice when I shouldn’t,” but did anyone else notice that Kevin looked tall enough to see himself in the bathroom mirror when he was sitting on the toilet. Does that mean…? I mean, do you look at yourself?

Now we’re at the bar. Sweetness. Kevin’s justifying his BM defense and says it’s “payback for the placenta” — “It looks like a Hefty bag that washed up on the shore.” Note to self: I don’t ever want to see a baby delivered.

Pete suggests the married guys figure out a way to make the Vegas trip up to their wives. No longer married but still thinking like a champion, that’s what I like about Pete.

Ruxin reveals his evil, maniacal way of making sure his hot wife stays happy: a grand gesture called “Terrific Lady Day.” But he gets cutoff when it comes to talking about sex with his wife. I have to agree with Pete on this one.

Once you put a ring on it, it’s just not worth sharing anymore. That’s your wife now, not some random you picked up at a bar. Dude stories no longer originate from your bedroom.

Ruxin kills the mood by telling everyone that Rafi is coming by for a drink. Buzzkill. But at least Taco isn’t here this time — no risk that the universe will collapse on itself. We find out that the gang calls Rafi “El Cuñado,” which means “brother-in-law” in Spanish but, as the league demonstrates, sounds dirty.

That’s true of a lot of Spanish words. Do you know what “cleanse” is in Spanish?

I feel justified in disliking Rafi as a character because the rest of the league does, but I’m afraid that as the season goes on, I’m going to start to like him, even if he is “a homeless, ethnic Santa Claus,” as Ruxin used to describe him.

After everyone recovers from the announcement that “El Cuñado” will not only be invading the league but also their social lives, Kevin sees Lily, a rival from work. Sounds like she’s better at rubbing elbows with the bossman than Kevin is. Anyone who uses “synergy” in daily work lingo probably is. They are also probably an asshole.

But as soon as she appears, Lily’s sucking face with Taco. Kevin goes over to them only to get the work-talk treatment.

If there’s one thing that is inappropriate for bar talk, it’s work talk when people you don’t work with are around. Sure, you can say you hate your job or “What day is it?” or “Man, the boss won’t like where I am at 10 a.m. on a Monday” in a bar, but don’t bring up the work talk at happy hour or at night in front of others. Just don’t. *Jumps off soapbox to return to writing recap*

Taco plays the cool card by explaining that he only “humors” Kevin and the league by playing fantasy football. Stab me in the eye.

Anyone who plays fantasy football knows that you can’t play just to humor someone. It takes dedication, and whether you like it or not, it eventually leads to a complete obsession. It’s inevitable. You start out just wanting to learn a few more things about football, maybe follow it in the offseason. Then BAM! You’re scratching at your neckbeard like a crackhead outside of a Best Buy squinting through the glass to see the latest SportsCenter update on Beanie Wells’ injury at 2 a.m. There is no middle ground.

Andre uses the “unblinking eye of Sauron” trash-talk. A classic line–some would even say legendary–but too easily countered by a “Frodo Baggins” reference, but before that can happen…Oh, Rafi’s back. Get him off the screen! What’s he got going on? Oh, he’s bragging about how much he is “killing it” in his fantasy football league? Before Week 1? What? Oh, he’s talking about soccer? And he calls it real football? Soccer is what assholes call it?

If Rafi never appears in another episode, I wouldn’t even question the writing. The league hates him, he takes another man’s beer as his own (Who does that?), and he is terrible at fantasy football. I get that he adds a little to the dynamic to the group, but if we had to eat one cast member to stay alive on an island, I know who we’d choose.

Ruxin, in the dick move of dick moves, tells Rafi that Pete and Andre are going to a party this weekend, but Pete is quick enough on his feet to convince Rafi that it’s his turn to be the designated driver…in Andre’s car. At least it’s almost the weekend.

Kevin decides to turn his work fundraiser dinner into an “adult weekend” with Jenny to win some points on his fantasy marriage team. I’ve never actually seen Ben Bernanke get a woman hot before…and I’m still trying to understand. It’s the stache, right?

At the fundraiser, Jenny’s pimping new earrings, scored as a gift from her mom and passed down from her grandmother. Obviously, she doesn’t bring the grandkid around enough because those earrings are straight bribery. I know how parents work.

Taco’s at the work function bar rockin’ an Uncle Frank suit for Lily, Kevin’s co-worker who is all over Taco’s junk. For a slacker, he certainly knows how to work those Type-A ladies. Jenny and Kevin make smalltalk, and somehow that gives Jenny the Ben Barnanke feeling (gotta be the stache), so the two of them head up to the room.

Maybe this deleted scene explains where Jenny found the inspiration…and then again, maybe not. At least it’s clear that Taco is in love.

Party time! Rafi, Andre, and Pete arrive at a house party complaining about how crappy Andre’s Porsche Cayenne drives. I’m guessing that’s very Porsche, but I wouldn’t know because I’m a Lambo man. Andre immediately begins the search for Molly, the chick he is there to see, but first, he has to give Rafi his number in case they get separated. Too clingy, that Rafi.

Pete discovers that Rafi is flasking it. Clearly, he doesn’t really get what a DD is, but it did give us a new definition to add to the fantasy football lexicon.

Designated Driver: “When you need somebody to drive, I do it.”

And we got this priceless exchange:

RAFI: “Like 30 minutes before we’re gonna leave, you give me the heads up. I’ll go to the bathroom, I’ll crap the booze out, have a mint, good to go.”
PETE: “Crap and a mint?”
RAFI: “Crap the booze out.”
PETE: “It works?”
RAFI: “Sorta. Yeah!”

Sorta Braylon Edwards!

At long last, we finally get a report from “Terrific Lady Day.” Looks like they had a nice little Saturday — a little Farmer’s Market, a little Pottery Barn, I’m sure. Ruxin also won points for getting Rafi into the fantasy football league. Ah-ha, now we see what evil hath Ruxin wrought. That’s so dick…but who can blame him?

Back at the party, Rafi’s swooping in on Andre’s girl. He even uses Andre’s car to his advantage, not unlike the way Taco used Andre’s ATM receipts to his advantage back in Season 1 — another Rafi-Taco similarity. You know, I just realized their names both have only four letters. I think Rafi-Taco is the new Lincoln-Kennedy. Maybe Rafi had a secretary named Taco, and Taco had a secretary named Rafi. This is getting too weird.

Andre tasks Pete with removing Rafi from the situation, and Pete promises to “do to him what I do to you.” Pete tells Rafi that a Matt Forte-lookalike across the room is, in fact, Matt Forte (worked on Andre with Anquan). The Matt Forte doppelgänger is getting tanked, so Rafi needs to trade him before the game tomorrow.

Rafi suggests he kill him first, but yeah, not the best of plans. I’ve seen “CSI.” A guy that hairy would never get away with it.

So Rafi decides to rush off to an Internet café to make a trade. Hold on there, and welcome to the 21st century, bud. We have smartphones, and you’re at a house party. There’s not a single computer or Internet-ready device there for you to use to log in to your fantasy team? TVs can manage your fantasy roster for you now, and Rafi has to go to an Internet café? I thought those were just so homeless people could access porn, as is their right as Americans.

The scheme works. Rafi bolts, but, unfortunately for Andre, he takes the girl and the car with him on his quest to find an “Internet café” late at night in Chicago. They have no hope of calling him because Andre gave him a fake number.

Kevin and Jenny just finished their Bernanke time. To cure his post-coital dry mouth, Kevin chugs a glass of water that just happened to contain Jenny’s brand new grandmother-inherited earrings. Time to join the bulimia team. Binge and purge!

Jenny and Kevin play doctor, but he won’t puke with the medicine-induced vomiting or the sucker punch to the stomach. Time for Phase 2: Jenny-monitored poop-n-sift. But before we get to that, they have to go back downstairs to hear the boss’ speech, and, of course, that’s when the medicine strikes.

We’ll call this Vomit Phase 3: the puke in front of your boss and co-workers phase. Now, not only is Kevin pegged as the character most likely to be killed off this season, he’s also probably the most likely character to join Taco’s ringtone business when he’s out of a job.

Ruxin checks out of “Terrific Lady Day” and finds a trade waiting for him. He’s a true player–laptop logged in and ready to go at all times.

Rafi’s just offered him Matt Forte, and he doesn’t know why. So he ties up his wife, Sofia, and blindfolds her, using his dirty talk delay to check the latest updates on Forte. Ruxin is the weakest spanker ever.

Pete and Andre show up to try and track down Rafi, but instead, they find Ruxin accepting the trade and about to dominate Andre on Sunday. Andre demands he drop Forte, and Pete and Andre follow him back into the bedroom to make it happen.

In the confusion of the silent argument over a half-naked, tied-up woman, Sofia mistakes Pete for Ruxin and starts given him the foot jibber treatment, which forces Ruxin’s hand. He makes the drop, and Pete and Andre vanish into the night.

But won’t the league now have to fight over who gets to claim Matt Forte off waivers as soon as Week 1 games are over?

Rafi shows up in Andre’s car and storms right into the bedroom to thank Ruxin for the trade, shutting “Terrific Lady Day” down for good. And as we close, we come full circle when Rafi comes down with Vomit Phase 1, caused by all the vanilla-scented candles.

Memorable “Might Be His Last Episode” Rafi One-Liners from Episode 2

RAFI: “I am going to have non-consensual sex with your face and your butt, and then I’m coming for your wife and your kid. I’m just kidding, man…”

RAFI: “Jukebox! I’m gonna put $7 worth a Hoobastank in it, and I’m coming back to hang with you, bros!”

RAFI: “Let’s all get the same girl pregnant tonight.”

ANDRE: “This is our 9/11.” [about Rafi]

RAFI: “Relax, man. You don’t have to cover her up. We shared a room until we were 18.”

Looking ahead at the next episode: Okay, okay, I get that Rafi is here to stay. He’s even growing on me a little. Just get us some fantasy football talk in there and school him up a bit. I’m hoping a Week 1 loss will give him a little drive to achieve.

[ Jump to Episode 3: "The White Knuckler" ]

The League S02E01: What Happens in “Vegas Draft”

Yes. This season, in honor of fantasy football’s only sitcom…and really, fantasy football’s only TV show outside of ESPN, I’ve decided to recap each episode of “The League,” which comes on Thursday nights at 10:30 p.m. EST on FX, in case you missed the announcement.

This recap for Episode 1 ran a bit behind because I just decided to do this, but expect future editions to be on Fantasy Football Fools the same week that the episode airs, maybe next day. Who know? Am I supposed to…?

In case it’s not immediately obvious, these recaps will contain spoilers so make sure you’ve caught up on your DVR before you check these out each week if you want to be surprised.

First, a quick refresher course from Hulu on Season 1, a six-episode teaser that got us interested in “The League.”

Now on to the goods…

Episode 1: “Vegas Draft”

Just to make sure we’re all on the same page, here’s the cast of characters once again: Kevin’s married to Jenny, who is the brains behind his team, Ruxin’s the Mike Martz-esque evil mad scientist of the league, Pete’s almost “The Dude” if the “The Dude” played fantasy football, Andre dresses like a woman and talks like a prepubescent boy, and Taco lives a vagabond lifestyle while surviving off ringtone sales and Eskimo brothers. The only reason we really know that Taco still “walks the Earth” is that he sets his lineup every week.

This season begins with the “verbal game” at what appears to be a post-work (post-bong for Taco, I’m sure) happy hour. Ruxin has no idea how to play, and Pete and Kevin plan to torture him until he figures it out. [SPOILER: Find out how to play the game.]

UPDATE: It seems the powers that be have removed the video from YouTube with Pete and Kevin explaining the word game. Instead, here’s a general explanation of the verbal game, also known as “snaps.” Thanks, eHow.

Andre shows up just in time to rub in his championship victory and to name the draft location for this coming season, his right as last champion. Unfortunately for Andre, Pete cuts him off, offers up the idea to go to Las Vegas, the home of strippers, gambling, and ultimate happiness, just before Andre can get the words out and steals Andre’s thunder.

So begins Andre’s slow freefall back to the bottom.

While packing for the trip, Kevin is confronted by Jenny, who wants to join the league this year. She calls out those three “out-of-town dudes” who were mysteriously never really named in the first season and who never seem to win. That’s a good point.

It made sense with just six episodes in the first season to limit the number of characters, but I do hope, given a full slate of 13 episodes, we hear about at least one of these long-distance competitors winning a game against the show’s stars. Otherwise, I don’t see how this can be a very entertaining eight-man league.

Back to Jennygate, Kevin won’t go for it, even when she cuts him deep by calling out his skills as a team manager. Even her help and sleepers can’t prevent Kevin from screwing up his chance at a championship every season, which is true. Kevin explains that “No one drops out. It’s like the Supreme Court. People just die on the bench.” Poor example. As Jenny points out, the Supreme Court has nine judges…

Oh well. Too bad. So sad. OFF TO VEGAS!

At the airport, we finally learn how Kevin plans to set the draft order this season: Homeland Security. He tells the league that they’ll decide who gets the first pick by racing through the metal detector at airport security.

To rig the game, he’s given Ruxin a belated birthday present, AKA a fake bomb. “It’s a joke bomb!” (Never works. Believe me.)

Every league member has a scheme, but none of them are very successful. Andre tries the “I’m a doctor” excuse but fails when his outfit (designed by Santana) gets called out for being un-doctorish.

It comes down to Pete and Kevin, but Pete drives for the hard yardage with a granny in a wheelchair running blocker through the security line to secure Chris Johnson and guarantee at least three people will feel around inside his anal cavity before takeoff. *Shivers*

Why is it that the season always starts with someone invading Pete’s asshole? Seriously, why? Moving on…

The league members arrive in their suite, which Andre has put together, and discover that Chad Ochocinco will be the guest commissioner. Ochocinco’s going into the fake calves business with Andre, and this appearance is part of the deal.

Andre ends up clearly destroying the cool factor of Chad’s signature line, “Child Please.” Even rookies know you shouldn’t do that.

When tasked with coming up with his own line, all Andre can muster is “Try the veal!” That’s just creepy enough to work in a “It rubs the lotion on its skin” sort of way, but no one buys it. Best line award goes to Ruxin, who offered: “I’m an adult virgin!”

After talking to Ochocinco, the guys move to another room in the suite, only to find that Andre has converted the Shiva into the “Dre.” If you remember, Shiva didn’t quite make it through Season 1 in the best of shape, but they pieced her back together and made do. Andre’s defiled the classic league emblem with a Heisman-esque image of himself in wrestling/dancer gear at the top. Douche move, for sure, but hey, what are you going to do?

Why not give it a silly name to undermine his bragging rights? And so, the “ShiDre” was born, a name that works for both the trophy and Andre himself.

The guys go out to a strip club, where, lo and behold, one of the strippers happens to be Ms. Adam Schefter — so named because, as a stripper, she has insider knowledge from NFL players who stop through for a lap dance and to tell her everything they know. Hopefully, they don’t give her the full Big Ben treatment. That’ll just ruin it for me.

Kevin and Pete fight over who gets to take her back to the champagne room and talk about sleepers — that almost sounds like some suave way of saying “bang her” unless you read it in context.

Since Pete has the No. 1 overall pick, Ruxin sacrifices his own money to screw him over and pays for Kevin to have dibs on the stripper. So Kevin takes her back to the champagne room to pick her brain about taking Felix Jones in the second round. So wrong…about Felix Jones…not the champagne room.

The sickest part of this whole scene is that “The League” has now further perpetuated the stereotype that smokin’ hot strippers who know everything about fantasy football exist. It’s really a crime against humanity. How many young men will spend sleepless nights searching for this hottie that rarely, if ever, appears in the wild? Why “The League”? WHY?!!?

For their own sake, I hope the viewing public realizes the truth sooner rather than later.

The next day, we find the guys getting ready to draft around the pool. Unlike last season, when they drafted in the middle of a party at Andre’s place, only Kevin brings any kind of notes to the draft. Pretty impressive if you asked me, pretty impressive indeed. But maybe that’s the reason their draft seems a little…off. More on that later.

Ruxin drops a bomb on the rest of the crew by revealing that “Vince,” one of the mysterious out-of-towners, isn’t going to make it to Vegas and quit the league. That punishable by death in five states, and it leaves a big hole in an already small league. Even if a league member is comatose, he should still find a way to draft his team and set his starting lineup each week. I recommend using the “verbal game” and a system of twitches and blinks to draft and manage your team. Totally works.

To fill the hole in the league roster, Ruxin has secretly invited his brother, Rafi, to be in the league and has him waiting in the wings to drop his “penis beard” on them.

This guy seems like a very, very hairy and constantly intoxicated version of Taco, which is hard for me to take. I mean, when they come into contact, will the world end? Isn’t he Taco’s evil twin from another, hairier and more corny galaxy?

But before he’s confirmed in the league, another problem arises. Bikini-clad Jenny shows up to nominate herself for inclusion in the league this year. Time for a vote on who gets in and who gets left out.

Unfortunately for Kevin, as commish, he has to break the news to his own wife after the vote that Rafi is the newest member of the league, which probably guarantees Kevin will be slowly poisoned throughout the season. This confirms that if they are going to kill off a character this season, it’ll be Kevin.

But this betrayal also forces Jenny over to the dark side of the force, and she joins Ruxin to draft the perfect team.

TIME TO DRAFT! At last!

Rafi drafts a kicker in the first round. This guy isn’t winning any points with me, and that’s before they move the draft to the pool, which is awesome but also means they’re all drafting without notes or rankings. Risky bidness.

Now about those draft picks…I know they film this show months in advance, and they have to guess who is actually going to be a first round pick, but Miles Austin in the fifth round? Really? Who would have let that happen? He went in the first or second round in all of my drafts. The fifth round seems impossible.

Ruxin and Jenny complete their draft with what appears to be one badass team, and the league provides us with a great new word for the fantasy football lexicon: “Rosterbate.”

Rosterbate is the act of masturbating (moaning and muttering sweet nothings to yourself) over your lineup in the midst of or after the draft.

Post-draft, the guys head out to a club, where Taco’s on the hunt for more ringtones, and Ruxin continues his cynical approach to the Vegas experience by insisting his wife is hotter than everyone there and reiterating that he has no reason to say “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.”

The gang finds Jenny in the VIP with Ochocinco, where she refuses to let Kevin into the party until Pete intervenes. But after that confrontation, the party rolls on…

In an attempt to impress Ms. Adam Schefter, the stripper who knows fantasy football, shows up to party with her clients in a hot dress, and does not exist in the real world, Rafi tries to bump “stuff” with Andre, which is apparently sexy in the bizarro world from which he came. This non-sanctioned league move causes Andre to fall backwards and Tiger Woods cocktail his own backdoor with his “ShiDre.” Yes, he brought the trophy to the club. Who wouldn’t?

To bring things to a wrap for Episode 1, the show jumps the shark a bit with a remix of Andre’s “I’m Inside Me” wail, as performed by Ochocinco and Taco. The musical stylings of Taco, while much appreciated, were slightly over the top, but hey, it’s Vegas. Go big or go home, which it looks like they will for Episode 2.

We’re only one episode in and we’ve already had two anal violations, and one blackmail photo op involving Ruxin. I won’t give it away, but it’s looking like Season 2 won’t disappoint.

Memorable One-Liners from Episode 1

RUXIN: “Oh and by the way, the term ‘What happens in Vegas…’ that should be like buried in a graveyard of overused expressions along with ‘You go girl!’ and ‘Show me the money.’”

KEVIN: “Why do you look like a backup dancer from ‘This Is It’?” (to Andre, of course)

RUXIN: “And then I snuck a little Eli Manning in there. That goddamn mouth-breathing dummy.”

Looking ahead at the next episode: I hope we see the guys return to trash-talking in their natural environment. They were good together there. And I hope we see less of the Ruxin brother, who reminds me of a hairy Taco, which is never tasty or enjoyable. Interpret that as you will.

[ Jump straight to Episode 2: "Bro-Lo El Cuñado" ]

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.

Friends don’t let friends draft Ben Tate

It happens in almost every draft. It’s the magazine curse. Some league member — let’s call him Pete — is convinced that Ben Tate is going to be the next superstar after they read a profile of him that was written in June. Pete is excited. Pete gets busy with other things until draft day. And then…the unspeakable happens.

It’s kind of like watching a slow-speed accident — like watching two cars back into each other in a parking lot. Nobody wants to see that, but it’s also impossible to stop.

Approaching the draft board, Pete pulls a player sticker and slaps it up on the wall. As he turn around, he’s a little confused that he didn’t hear the gasps and sighs of a thousand voices as he took a “steal” in the mid-rounds. He was sure everyone was waiting for Ben Tate to fall to their next pick, but instead of sighs and complaints, all he gets are a few shocked faces, laughter, and a hand to the forehead.

“Ben Tate is out for the year.” Someone had to say it. Then you just feel bad for Pete. Really bad. It’s hard to watch that happen.

Sometimes in life you can save a buddy from this kind of shame and humiliation. You can take him away from the dance floor when he’s starting to think every girl in the room is attractive. You can warn him not to take that class with the crazy dictator of a professor. You can tell him when he has spinach stuck in his teeth.

That is, you have the option if you so desire, not that you HAVE to take that road. You still have the ability to jump in there and take them out of that situation. But when it’s a missed draft pick? He’s screwed. He just burned a mid-round pick on a guy that won’t play a single down in 2010. With the exception of this being a keeper or dynasty league, he just wasted a pick.

Depending on your league, you may get a chance to make amends. They may let you pick again over that “Ben Tate” you just burned, but in all fairness, you really shouldn’t get another chance. You struck out. Just sit down.

So don’t be that guy. I witnessed it firsthand in my draft this past weekend, and it’s not cool for anyone involved.

Here’s a list of other IR players you don’t want on your team this season unless you’re tucking them away in a dynasty league.

  • Ben Tate, RB, Houston Texans — Fractured right fibula AND torn right ankle ligaments, which sounds as serious as it is.
  • Sinorice Moss, WR, New York Giants — Groin injury
  • Jim Sorgi, QB, Indianapolis Colts — Apparently, patting Peyton/Eli Manning as they come off the field can get you a shoulder injury
  • Donnie Avery, WR, St. Louis Rams — Knee injury, and a general lack of the ability to stay on the field
  • Malcolm Kelly, WR, Washington Redskins — Hamstring injury from McNabb’s “Hell Week” will put him on IR, which, on the plus side for him, keeps him on the roster *technically* since he was on the bubble at the beginning of the preseason
  • Leigh Bodden, CB, New England Patriots — If you play IDP or if you were considering drafting the Patriots D/ST, which isn’t quite as good without its best corner

And some cautionary warnings…

  • Sidney Rice, WR, Minnesota Vikings — Out for at least half the season with a hip injury. Draft accordingly.
  • Vincent Jackson, WR, San Diego Chargers — Missing at least three games as of now and at least six if he doesn’t show up to sign and play by this Saturday
  • Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers — For generally being a creeper and getting himself suspended for four to six games to start 2010
  • Knowshon Moreno, RB, Denver Broncos — Some reports have him suiting up; others have him nowhere close. Either way, he’s not going anywhere quick with a hamstring injury.
  • New York Jets D/ST — Without Darrelle Revis and without Calvin Pace to start the sesason, this defense may not be the No. 1 unit everyone thinks it’s cracked up to be. I am not on this bandwagon without those two.
  • Brett Favre, QB, Minnesota Vikings — You probably like him less already with an ankle injury and without Sidney Rice, but hearing that the Vikings are going to “manage the pain” on a bone spur they recently discovered as well makes Favre even less safe as a QB1 this season.

Consider yourself warned. Don’t be that guy.