The League S02E06: Old Dude Causes a #Hardfall at “The Anniversary Party”

Ruxin seems to be a glutton for punishment this season, and this episode continued that trend as Taco tortured Ruxin by tricking him into throwing an anniversary party for his wife. But is Taco really that evil and smart? There’s no way to tell if he is just a completely oblivious of his actions or an evil genius.

My vote: evil genius. There’s room on the dark side for more than just Ruxin, and Taco’s brilliant in his simplicity. Someone get this man a white kitty to pet. (Don’t take that the wrong way.)

From the start, Taco’s in Ruxin’s business — and in his home. Ruxin comes in from work to find his wife, Sofia, with Taco. And no, not like that, even though it would be the first assumption when you find Taco with your wife, but Taco is just Ruxin’s teasing stallion.

Instead of doing the horizontal Macarena, Taco and Sofia are “girl talking” about Ruxin and Sofia’s wedding anniversary. Taco is collecting photos for a “very special gift” he’s planning and makes Ruxin look like the “anniversary grinch” for not having anything planned for the occasion.

By the end of Taco’s visit, whether by evil design or sheer luck, he’s forced Ruxin into promising a “surprise” anniversary party for Sofia with all their friends at the restaurant where he first proposed. Evil or idiot? Still can’t tell. You want to think the guy was planning this all along, but at the same time, he appears completely unaware that he is facing Ruxin’s fantasy football team that weekend — thinking he has a bye week.

Ruxin sends out the invites, immediately irritating Jenny because her birthday is the same day as the party, just as her birthday was the same day as the Ruxin wedding. Her birthday always gets passed over for subsequent wedding anniversaries, and she’s fed up with it. But this party won’t ruin her weekend. She’s not the type. Sofia’s the one who would slowly poison someone over a period of months without an ounce of remorse…Ruxin should really hire an official tester…

When the league gathers for lunch the next day for one of their many trash-talking gatherings, usually kept to the bar, Ruxin explains how sensitive his palate is. So maybe he can handle his own poison detection. He’s too snooty for the grub the rest of the gang is inhaling since his palate is much more refined than his league mates’ mere mortal taste. He’d rather hit up the gastropub for some “edamame foam.”

Andre’s rocking a bedazzled Kardashian of a Bluetooth in his ear. There are few ways to make a Bluetooth earpiece more ugly than most of them already are. I, myself, have tried and failed to find one that would work for me. I really only end up using them for conference calls because I don’t want to be that guy that roams around with a Bluetooth in his ear at all times, constantly challenging anyone around him to decide whether he is A) crazy B) talking to someone else or C) talking to the person right in front of him.

Come to find out, this Bluetooth is just one stage in a long line of boyfriend chameleoning for Andre. ANOTHER WORD FOR THE LEXICON. Let it be defined:

“Boyfriend chameleon” — A male so desperate for shared interests that he basically just adopts the hobbies of the woman he is dating

The blinged out ear accessory is his chameleon way of connecting with his new girlfriend, a techie deep Googler you’ll soon love to hate — or will you hate to love her?

Ruxin announces to the group that Meegan will be at the part-ay…WITH a plus one. Oh snap! Pete bout to get all mad up in this motha…wait, no?

He’s not mad. He’s fine with it. It’s like he’s a bigger man…but we know that isn’t the case.

Pete rushed back to the office to his up the bathroom, but at the threshold to the poop room, Pete is stuck debating what to do with his leftover sandwich from lunch: A) leave it outside the bathroom or B) take it inside, where poop particles are just waiting to jump on that baby and give him dysentery. Believe me, the potty mouth disease is a complete buzzkill, and unlike Oregon Trail, you don’t get to write a witty one-liner on a tombstone. You just have to tough it out.

Not wanting to lose his sandwich, Pete opts to bring it into the danger zone, and he pays the price. A burly fellow office worker hits the stall before Pete can dive on the grenade for his sandwich and get out of there, ruining the bathroom-tainted food forever.

Side note here: What exactly does Pete…do? I didn’t think he had an office. He always seems to be working from home. Is his job fantasy football? Is he…my hero? The office is the first thing to suggest otherwise.

At the anniversary party, we find Ruxin and Sofia greeting all the guests at the door. Jenny’s still pissed that the party is on her birthday, and she takes a few stabs at Sofia for still focusing on their anniversary rather than wishing Jenny “Happy birthday.”

Somehow both ladies come out without wrestling in oil or Jell-O. We all lose. But there’s always next time.

Pete shows up with an ice cream sandwich. Yes, it’s that random. But he does explain: “When do you ever see an ice cream truck anymore? I had to go for it.”

When the ice cream truck appears, it must be taken advantage of. The same rule applies to open bars and impressionable foreign supermodels.

But we’ve ignored the really important oddity in Pete’s other hand. Pete has invented a “bathroom cubby,” a cubby to store food outside of the bathroom until you emerge, clean and free of poop particles, to retrieve it.

I wondered when we’d advance as a culture beyond Everyone Poops. THIS is that day (and THIS is funny).

Ruxin, being the sophisticated gent that he is, loves the bathroom cubby: “I won’t even chew gum and go into the bathroom because I’ll end up chewing whatever it is I smell in there.” And so, Pete immediately installs it at the party.

Meegan arrives with her plus one, and it’s an old dude. Is this the 15-year gap they talk about in L.A.? Did they make in time for him to get his senior discount? ZING!

But this old guy, Ted, is actually a baller. He thanks Pete for letting him have his chance at Meegan (must be a fan of that finger trick) and upstages Pete’s bathroom cubby with a gift for Ruxin and Sofia, a Nepalese Dream Box from Nepal.

Everyone immediately falls in love with Ted’s George Clooney-like, grey-haired charm. But Pete is determined to embarrass Ted in front of all of Meegan’s friends, especially when Meegan insists that Ted can hang with even the best of Pete’s breed, the heavy drinking layabouts.

Filming for his blog on the way in (Did this just get meta?), Andre introduces his deep Googling techie girlfriend, Stacy. Somehow she page five-ed every member of the league and dug up plenty of Google dirt on them in the process. THIS IS WHY YOU SHOULD STOP SEXTING AND POSTING PARTY PICS, KIDS!

On an archived Prodigy page, she found (and read) Ruxin’s poetry. It seems he was expressing some homoerotic fan fiction: “Hernando rode the gallows of his love into my heart.” Stacy also brings up Sofia’s nose job, a sore spot for the self-absorbed hottie.

As they sit down to dinner, Ruxin wants to say a few words, but his speech is soon interrupted by Kevin, who claims to be so touched by the night’s events that he has to give an emotional salute to his own wife, Jenny, and thanks her for being his wife. Jenny eats it up and turns into putty. And that, my friends, is good husbandry (of the non-farm variety).

Pete (and Meegan’s prodding) pressure Ted into ordering bacon-wrapped steak instead of salmon. Ted one-ups the fantasy football league by revealing that he’s in an actual, no pads, football in the mud league “like Favre in those Wrangler ads” (Thanks, Kevin). But not like these ads. That’s some salt of the earth, Chuck Norris stuff right there. So they move on to shots and dancing.

Meanwhile, the ladies go all Sex and the City, and Meegan tells Jenny that Ted’s some powerfully tuned, Italian muscle car in comparison to Pete’s gas-guzzling Trans Am. If only Pete had heard that; those words be real fighting words.

Ruxin bumps into Andre and explains how Andre’s techie girl’s tweets about the party are getting him in trouble — his cousin, who wasn’t invited, happens to be one of her 831 followers. But Andre has more pertinent news to share: Cedric Benson has been ruled out for tomorrow’s game. Ruxin’s got to change his lineup.

But Taco sweeps in, again through dark side brilliance or ridiculously good timing, to enforce the “no phone” policy alongside Sofia. Still can’t tell whether he’s an evil genius or an “I love lamp.”

The real kicker of the party is Taco’s movie premiere. Tacos shot behind-the-scenes footage of Ruxin and Sofia’s wedding in secret, and he debuts his creation, finally edited, for the party as his wedding/anniversary present. What’s just a few years late, right?

Highlights include Sofia prancing around in lingerie before the wedding, Pete and Meegan sneaking away to handle some bidness in the coat closet, Andre chameleoning into an African themed suit for his date, and Ruxin’s cold feet rant about how Sofia’s “conquistador” family will pillage and plunder his Jewish relatives.

Kevin calms down Ruxin by passing down a trick he’d obviously perfected and refined like some kind of relationship guru. Strangely similar to Kevin’s exact speech tonight, he instructs Ruxin on the art of emotional word porn: “Love is a [insert any noun you want, any noun you want!]”

Oh, we are all so busted.

By the end of the video, every couple is in a fight besides Andre and Stacy, who were probably live tweeting the video anyway. #GreatEvent!

Ruxin believes the only thing that can save him from Sofia’s wrath is the top of the original wedding cake, but he takes a detour when he sees Andre’s iPad in the bathroom cubby.

He takes it into the bathroom to finally change his lineup, but Andre retaliates by bringing the precious top of the cake into the bathroom as well. When Ted comes flying in, falling apart at the seams in his competition with Pete, he bumps Andre, who drops the cake onto the floor. URINAL CAKE!

Without another alternative, Ruxin does the unthinkable. He salvages the cake, takes it into the main room, and presents it to Sofia. He attempts to kill it by dropping it to the ground in front of Sofia, but Taco, in an impeccably timed flash of dexterity, saves it Spider-Man-style before it hits the ground.

Ruxin has no choice but to bite the bullet. In this case, the bullet is a dirty bathroom floor cake. So Ruxin has a gutter palate after all.

Ruxin, still crying a little, gets hoisted into the air on a chair along with Sofia, but the competition has started to wear Ted down. His old Brett Favre-ian body can’t take this abuse. He eventually suffers a heart attack, falling to the floor and causing a domino effect that takes Sofia and Ruxin out as well. #Hardfall!

At the end of the night, we end as we began with Kevin and Jenny.

Kevin apologizes for gaming the system with his love speech, but by now, Jenny is over it. She actually enjoyed the “train wreck” excitement of the party’s complete collapse.

I felt the same way, Jenny. The same way.

The one-liners you know and love from Episode 6

KEVIN: “You look like gay Iron Man.”

KEVIN: “You’re being selfishly selfless.” PETE: “I prefer the term altruistically self-serving”

RUXIN: “You look like a Russian figure skater.”

PETE: “Thanks for being emotionally above board and awesome, Ted!”

STACY: “How many times do I have to poke you before you accept my friend request on
Facebook?”

SOFIA: “Shits natural, bitch!”

MEEGAN: “A 30-year-old sloth is far less useful to me than a 60-year-old, finely tuned machine.”

ANDRE: “That’s what you get when you live your life on the net.” RUXIN: “You know, your life on the Net is even sadder than your life on Earth.”

KEVIN: “You look great, Dr. Huxtable”

ANDRE: “Hashtag #Hardfall!”

TACO: “Meegan, is your dad okay?”

Looking to the next episode: I hope we get to find out whether Taco’s smart or not. Someday. But really, I hope there’s more fantasy football talk. Isn’t it time for somebody to trade? Or trade rape?

[ Jump to Episode 7: "Ghost Monkey" ]

The League S02E05: This ain’t no sprint. It’s “The Marathon”

NOTARIZER! This fifth episode of Season 2 was one of the funniest yet. Pete’s back to plotting against Andre as Andre vainly tries to prove his superiority to the league, Kevin’s having issues at home with Jenny, Ruxin’s taking on “charity terrorism” like only the most sinister office dweller could, and Taco’s off on a mission to make a quick buck…or is it to hit on women? The two usually go hand in hand with him.

Season 1 of “The League” set the bar pretty high for raunchy comedy, and I think it’s taken a few episodes for “The League” to really hit its stride again. I thought last week’s episode had finally reestablished the spiteful, insane plots that made Season 1 so hilarious, but this week topped it. I don’t think I’m alone in saying that.

But now we need to get on to the episode. You don’t come here to read what I have to say, amirite?

Wait, really?

This week, we begin with Andre announcing that he is running the marathon for charity in a video to the league.

But as is required when Andre does something without concern for his own reputation, Pete takes his little humanitarian mission and morphs it into a journey in the wayback machine through all of Andre’s sordid past exercise crazes, including a stripper pole and anal kegels. Yes, anal kegels.

This video led me to two thoughts: 1) The Internet was invented to make fun of people like Andre. And 2) All fantasy football league hosting sites (You listening, ESPN? Yahoo!? Fleaflicker?) need to get on this video trash-talking feature from “The League.”

I was entertained by it when it appeared throughout Season 1, but now I’m jealous of it after seeing the joy it brings to Season 2. And yes, I realize it’s largely a writer device to save us from screenshots of message board bashing within the league site. I STILL WANT IT!

If you’ve maintained a responsible level of sobriety through the first four episodes, you’ll remember that Jenny is now a member of the league. A lady has joined the crew. So she comes out to the bar for the weekly night of trash-talk, but she doesn’t bring much talk. Instead, Kevin and Jenny get all lovey-dovey in the bar even though they are head-to-head this week. Blasphemy.

“There is no love in the league.” Roll clip.

This love, of course, creates concern that they will cheat their way to victory in the league, and Ruxin is having none of that.

But wait, Andre’s got something in his mouth: Sports Performance Utility Nutrition Kick, AKA (that’s right) S.P.U.N.K.

Many a priceless thing could be said here, and the league did a pretty good job of covering all of them. See the one-liners below for the brilliance.

After SPUNK-ing himself, Andre attempts to use his marathon running as a pick-up line on the waitress, but Pete makes sure that doesn’t happen by using the same line, declaring that he also is running the marathon and stealing Andre’s thunder. So establishes the Andre struggle for this week.

Post-bar, Jenny and Kevin are having a little of the sexy time, but her trash-talking kills the mood. No one wants to hear about Frank Gore when they are about to have sex. No one but maybe Frank Gore. The following morning, Kevin and Jenny make a pact to not let the league come between them and their marriage, which is a great idea that will never work, just like a combined line at the express checkout counters at the grocery store. Some idiot always picks one like he’s the first person to think of it. (No one likes you, guy. We had a great system here.) Kevin also realizes, for the very first time, that Hotel Rwanda was based on a true story — truly one of the best moments of this episode.

Meanwhile, Pete stayed out all night with the waitress and runs into Andre training for his big run. They decide to wager $2000 on who will have the better run time. This can only end well.

And back at the office, Ruxin takes on Team Twila, the “charity terrorist” who is raising money for her own entry into the marathon. You can always tell an argument went well when it ends with “I can’t believe I work in an office full of hungry, hungry hippos.”

At Kevin’s house, the gang is all together. Andre runs there and smells like teen spirit, but he’s still game for a “hydrating” (read: chugging) contest with Pete. Pete plays with beer and wins (by reaching the bottom of bottle). Andre plays with water and loses (by tears, tears always mean lose).

A conversation with Jenny leaves the guys abuzz about how Kevin and Jenny’s marriage is like “awkward Wimbledon” now that they are going head to head in the league. When Kevin sees an alert pop up about Frank Gore’s turf toe, he has a tough decision. Dick move: pick up the backup to Frank Gore and block Jenny from having a great matchup this week. Husband move: tell his wife that Frank Gore is injured. The guys all encourage him to finish her off. Ruxin even throws out the vintage “SWEEP THE LEAGUE, JOHNNY!” but Kevin is torn. SPOILER: He chooses to be a dick!

And by the way, if “The League” curse strikes again and Gore is injured this week, I’m sending hate mail.

Now that Twila is on a mission to ruin Ruxin, she gives him a hard time when he needs documents notarized for a big trial — the BP defense against the Gulf Coast fishermen (I would expect no less from Ruxin). But luckily, his mention of the “cu-notary” earlier in the week has convinced Taco that he has a future as a notarizer. “El Notario” even sends out a video to the league advertising his services. You may remember him as the premiere dealer of three-penis wine.

The business has Taco itching to burn money since he’s not one to have a bank account. So he’s buying rounds. Andre shows up with his number, 1729, and, as Ruxin says, “dressing like the fifth member of Color Me Bad.”

A women strikes up a conversation with Taco for urgent notary services, and he takes her away to his office in the men’s bathroom to do business. But the situation soon turns ugly when Taco notarizes not only her document but also her ass (for free!). On her way out the door, with Taco in tow, they bump into Andre, which sends him to the floor with turf toe. I guess it really is that easy to get injured. No marathon for Andre.

Ruxin pays a visit to Taco in an attempt to get his documents notarized before his trial. A Sizzler gift card gets Taco out of retirement, which he had entered into after “the life” wore him out in just one week.

Fast-forward to Sunday, and Jenny shows up at some kind of sports bar (a new place?) to meet the guys and watch the games. She picked up Anthony Dixon instead of Frank Gore’s backup, which Kevin had stashed, and the third-stringer ends up getting all the points in Gore’s stead. Kevin’s dick move backfired, and once again, “The League” is pretty spot on about which players would benefit from an injury. Even with Glen Coffee retired, which surprised everyone, Brian Westbrook is now the backup to Frank Gore, but he would probably only play a small role while Dixon did most of the heavy lifting if Gore was to miss time. Either they do some brilliant work in editing or “The League” has an inside source better than Adam Schefter himself.

Twila shows up and interrupts Taco’s notarizing of Ruxin’s documents to reveal that “El Notario” doesn’t even have a valid notary license. His stamp is from Venezuela. You should have known that Taco wouldn’t do it the hard way, Ruxin. And so, Taco hangs up his notary spurs…err, stamp, and Ruxin has to make a deal with Twila to get her to notarize his documents.

Jenny points out how fun it is to watch games when you actually have something on the line, but…she soon realizes that Kevin and her neglected to get Ellie over to a friend’s house after gymnastics. They rush off to be parents.

Andre’s confronted by Pete, who claims to have run the marathon and demands his money, and as Andre chases Pete off on his turf toe, Ruxin tries S.P.U.N.K. (and seems to like it).

To wrap the episode, we go back to the bedroom with Kevin and Jenny, only this time, Kevin’s talking dirty about how well Jenny’s team did against him. What a freaky fetish.

Best of the one-liner quotes from Episode 5

ANDRE: “Spunk is amazing.” “I love spunk” “I like the black kind” (Really, everything Andre said about S.P.U.N.K.)

KEVIN: “I don’t want to talk smack when I’m about to enter you.” and “I just basically have to tie a stick to it to get it in now.”

RUXIN: “It’s almost a jihad against my wallet.”

RUXIN: “I also love The Country’s Best Yogurt, but I don’t expect you to pay me to go on the elliptical to work it off.”

RUXIN: “Andre, you smell like eighth grade kids who haven’t learned to use deodorant yet.”

PETE: “This women’s basketball game…this is like the ‘Heartbreak Hill’ of channel surfing.”

RUXIN: “Think of me as your University of Phoenix.”

JENNY: “There is absolutely no love in the league.”

Looking to the next episode: Let’s hope for more Taco employment options and more Ruxin at work. I think that’s where he shines.

But wait, wouldn’t you love to ask your pals from “The League” all your pressing fantasy football questions? Well, you can. Fantasy Football Nerd is currently taking questions for the cast of the “The League” that will be answered before Week 8. Get on over there and enter your questions.

[ Jump to Episode 6: "The Anniversary Party" ]

The League S02E04: “The Kluneberg” cannot be unseen

Rafi’s back and so is the hate! Oh, sweet, intolerant hate! I know I said I liked Rafi. I know I said we could use some more of him, but I swear that it was a moment of weakness. This week, he proved why we should all dislike him…and cherish him, just for one last time. But I don’t want to keep you hanging. Let’s do this thing.

First, a warning: this episode definitely contained things that cannot be unseen…but you’ll really want to see them (at least once). So forget I said anything. This warning is not a warning. Carry on.

Episode 4 begins with the league at Andre’s. He’s showing off his Kluneberg, a new, expensive painting of bird rape…or some kind of a hairy-umbrella-shocker sexual fetish.

It kind of looks like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. Is that a hoo? I’m not really sure, but I was all but completely distracted by the talking TV-MA ratings box that FX covered Kevin’s head and the painting with for almost the entire scene.

Talking TV-MA box from "The League" S02E04

TV-MA frowns on you.

There’s a voiceover AND a written warning before the episode starts. That black box can’t go in a corner?

But forget the painting. Rafi is over to watch some football, and Rafi is back with a vengeance.

I’ll give Rafi one thing. He’s damn efficient.

He soon peaces out to go hook up with Molly, the girl Andre originally wanted to see at the party in Episode 2, and Taco takes a stand. He doesn’t like Rafi. Shockingly, neither does anyone else.

HATEFEST TIME!

Ruxin breaks down. He wants Rafi out, too, but he can’t get rid of family. So Pete hatches an idea: fake a fight to make Rafi thing the league has broken up and then put the league back together without him. I love the schemes. Covert ops are the best, amirite?

Kevin and Jenny take Taco for a walk. I think you have to do that from time to time with pets, but I was puzzled they weren’t following the leash law. They’ll regret that soon.

At the sight of a dumpster, Taco becomes a dumpster diver — YAY for loose crack needles! — and Kevin and Jenny bump into Russell, played by Rob Huebel, who is a friend of Andre’s.

Russell churns out some great one-liners about Andre’s fashion sense while Taco pillages the dumpster for a bunch of random crap. The only Taco discovery that really matters is a toilet seat. The man didn’t even have one before. Oh, Taco.

At the bar, Andre reveals to the gang that Russell is a sex addict, which they point out is totally a fake disease. Is it really an addiction if you just have no self-control?

Although, did you ever read the Deadspin dispatches from a sex addict? That sounded pretty serious with the chafing and all.

Andre and Pete start prepping for their fake fight to trick Rafi, and Taco takes off to get back to his toilet since he is tweaking without his toilet seat. When Rafi arrives, Pete and Andre take it outside and engage in one of the worst slap fights I’ve ever seen. That was Jerry Springer cutting floor material. Seriously.

Rafi gets into it at least and throws in a butter knife. This isn’t a hardcore match though. And then they take it too far when Andre calls out Pete for being divorced and unloved. Pete counters by calling out Andre’s fashion sense and ugly painting, which causes an Andre BULL RUSH!

Now THIS is a fight…but it’s soon over when Andre calls out the safety word, “Fidelio” (like oral sex with Castro?), and quits the league for real.

It’s couple talk time with Kevin and Jenny. Kevin bashes Rafi and confesses that Jenny should have been in the league. True statement, but that’s just asking for a fight. Jenny reveals that she’s going to be in Russell’s league, which is drafting tonight. How would you feel about your wife playing with a sex addict? What’s a sex addict draft like? Jenny doesn’t get Kevin’s warning that he’s a sex addict because, to her, sex addict = man. Hard to argue with that.

Meanwhile, Ruxin checks in on Taco to discuss a trade and finds him on his toilet having an “A Beautiful Mind” moment.

Pete, Kevin, and Ruxin try to figure out how to fix the damage they’ve done. Pete has to apologize. They can’t take the league down to six — eight is already pretty bad, guys. Teams of all-stars in that league.

And Ruxin reveals that Taco has gone batshit insane, which Kevin realizes is tied to a case he’s working (he’s an assistant DA, remember?). Coke smugglers have been using toilet seats to hide their drugs. That toilet seat Taco found in the dumpster is just one giant butt pad of cocaine. It’s like sitting on Mary-Kate Olsen.

Pete visits Andre to apologize and bring him back into the fold. All it took was a compliment on the painting. Easy.

Now on to problem No. 2: the guys host an intervention for Taco the cokehead (or I guess it should be cokebutt?), but Taco doesn’t want to give up his toilet seat. He says it makes him feel like the most powerful person in the bathroom. He caves after one last sit.

At Russell’s, Jenny shows up for the draft, but no one else has arrived. Sex addict talk leads Russell to explain that he’s not turned on by her in any way, but he turns himself on with a strawberry. Other turn ons: Birthday parties for old people, fresh-bought corn, a room full of marbles, tiny tomatoes…this guy is a strange dude. Jenny leaves before he gets out any peanut butter.

Back at the intervention, a drunken Rafi shows up with Ruxin and goes to the can for his patent pending “crap the booze out” cure for intoxication. This is all part of Ruxin’s evil plan: to get Rafi blackout drunk and then tell him he did horrible things and is out of the league.

But Rafi gets a hit off the coke toilet seat that Taco installed on Andre’s toilet in secret, which leads to a coke-fueled episode of dude banter and running that would put Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears to shame. Rafi grabs Andre’s painting and vows to protect Jenny from Russell. Then he punches it and runs away. BOOM!

The league has to go look for him, and when they get outside, they find Russell’s car a-rocking. This couldn’t be Jenny, could it? (It’s soooo not. If you’re pure of heart, earmuffs for this next part. Just skip to the quotes.)

Kevin opens door to find…last chance to run away…Rafi getting it from behind from Russell. Yeah, baby! As Russell says, “I found a new trigger! It’s cocaine in a man’s beard.” It’s horrifying, and yet, with mixed emotions about Rafi, it’s hilarious. It’s just one of those things you can’t stop watching.

Luckily, this guy-on-guy lovemaking solves the Rafi problem entirely. Russell has a 12-man league, and Rafi’s all over it rather than playing in the eight-man league the guys have. Twelve is where it’s at. I would have to agree.

So Rafi tells the guys he’s leaving the league…while still getting it from behind.

The league needs one more player, and they decide to do the right thing by bringing in Jenny to manage Rafi’s team. She walks all over the candlelit, Skulls-esque initiation procedures and revives Andre’s old hazing nickname, “Dickcream,” when he protests. Veteran move.

Hate? Schemes? Drug abuse? This episode was a complete success. Right? Yeah. Right? Yeah. Right? Yeah. GOODBYE, RAFI! And now that I said that…he’ll be back.

Memorable One-liners from Episode 4

KEVIN: “Which part do you think is the dick?”

ANDRE: “This is just like Ocean’s 12.”

RUSSELL: “No, no, I’m all good on cat parts.”

TACO: “How much sex do you need to have before you know if you’re an addict?”

RUXIN: “My wife doesn’t let me do the serious stuff at home so I do it at the office. The weekends are the hardest.”

KEVIN: “He’s like a cockroach with a beard.”

RUXIN: “Well, I’m gonna leave. I’m never gonna come back, and I’m going to burn these clothes.”

KEVIN: “I got a sex addict trying to plow my wife, and my brother’s Pablo Escobutt.”

RAFI: “I am not going to let that dirty sex addict do to Jenny what this penis bird has done to butt mountain.”

ANDRE: “You guys hazed me for two weeks. I’m still finding pieces of squid all over my apartment.”

JENNY: ” I will take this donkey of a team, and I’m going to turn it into a champion, Dickcream.” (Have to point out the excellent girl-on-girl trash-talk.)

Looking ahead at the next episode: I’m really glad that Rafi’s out. I’m also really glad that Jenny’s in. The league needed more Jenny. That’s enough to be glad about. I bet she’s going to win her game next week.

What are you looking forward to in next week’s episode?

[ Jump to Episode 5: "The Marathon" ]

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.