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Fantasy league revamps rock roster

9/10/2011

The lineup for the new season of the Alice in Chains & Friends Fantasy Football Charity League has been shaken up, with six new owners joining four originals who remain from the first two years.

Alice in Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell, the ringleader of the charity project, has recruited rock pioneer Ann Wilson, actor Jay Ferguson ("Mad Men") and Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Randy Wolf to participate in the third annual fantasy football league that raises money for the eventual champion's charity of choice.

This year marks the first time that all four members of Alice in Chains are playing in the league, as lead singer William DuVall and drummer Sean Kinney embark on their rookie seasons by going up against Cantrell and bassist Mike Inez, another AIC&FFFCL veteran.

ESPN columnist Duff McKagan, the frontman for Loaded and former bassist for Guns N' Roses, and Hellyeah drummer Vinnie Paul round out the four original AIC&FFFCL participants.

The revamped lineup means a new winner will be crowned because 2010 champion Meat Loaf will not be back to defend his title. Matt Willig, who won the inaugural championship in 2009 but fell to last place in 2010, also isn't returning.

Each participant will put one valuable item up for auction by the end of the season. The league champion will get to designate which charity receives the net proceeds of the auction. More details on the auction will be announced in the coming weeks.

AIC&FFFCL owners had their live draft on Tuesday. By Friday, Wolf had already waived injured Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. Oh, the frustrations of relying on autopilot.

Cantrell, who lost to Meat Loaf in last season's finale, lobbed a greeting of "Good luck, everybody … I hope you all lose" to his rivals on the league message board along with photos and captions poking fun at everyone, including himself:

Posted: Sept. 8, 6:28 a.m.
Jerry Cantrell
Aroma Of Tacoma

Is that me? Or a hobo wearing a trendy hat and an Affliction hoody? Last year I lost the Super Bowl to Meat Loaf. I went into the second game up by 40, count 'em … 40 points and still found a way to lose. … Typical.

Oh well, it's a new season and I'm so glad it's here. Mike and I would like to thank everyone involved for helping us do this three years in a row. I really appreciate the time and the items everybody has donated. It's a good time that, more importantly, raises some money for important causes.

Matt Willig was our first champ, Meat Loaf stole it from me last year. Who will it be in '11-12? Let's play some football. Good luck, everybody … I hope you all lose.
JC

Weekly updates on the Alice in Chains & Friends Fantasy Football Charity League, trash talk and interviews with the owners will be published in ESPN.com's The Life and Music sections throughout the season. Members of the league also will drop by for occasional chats on SportsNation.

Here is a look at each of the owners and their teams:

Alice in Chains & Friends Fantasy Football Charity League

  • William DuVall
    Place of birth: Washington, D.C. Age: 44 Fantasy football experience: Rookie Favorite team: 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers

    Personal: Joined Alice in Chains as its full-time lead singer in 2007, contributing to their 2009 comeback album, "Black Gives Way To Blue." DuVall previously had been in Comes With The Fall and recently produced MonstrO's debut album.



  • Jerry Cantrell

    Place of birth: Tacoma, Wash. Age: 45 Fantasy football experience: 7 years Favorite team: Seattle Seahawks/Pittsburgh Steelers

    Personal: Lead guitarist Cantrell's legacy with Alice In Chains includes 35 million albums sold worldwide, 21 Top 40 singles and eight Grammy nominations.



  • Randy Wolf

    Place of birth: Age: 35

    Personal: Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher who has also played for the Phillies, Dodgers, Padres and Astros.


  • Vinnie Paul

    Place of birth: Abilene, Texas Age: 47 Fantasy football experience: 12 years Favorite team: Dallas Cowboys

    Personal: Paul, who formed Pantera with his late brother Dimebag Darrell, plays drums for Hellyeah the way Ray Lewis hits people. In other words, hard.


  • Chris DeGarmo
    Place of birth: Wenatchee, Wash. Age: 48

    Personal: DeGarmo is a co-founder of heavy metal band Qeensryche, for whom he was lead guitarist. He is now a professional pilot.


  • Ann Wilson

    Place of birth: San DiegoAge: 61 Fantasy football experience:: Rookie Favorite team: New Orleans Saints

    Personal: Lead singer of Heart, the pioneering female hard rock band that has sold more than 30 million records.


  • Sean Kinney
    Place of birth: Renton, Wash. Age: 45 Fantasy football experience: Rookie Favorite team: Seattle Seahawks

    Personal: Kinney, who has been playing drums since he was 5, has been the only drummer for Alice in Chains and he has also played with the likes of Johnny Cash, Krist Novoselic and Kim Kim Thayil.


  • Duff McKagan
    Place of birth: Seattle Age: 47 Fantasy football experience: 2 years Favorite team: Seattle Seahawks

    Personal: Before playing bass for Velvet Revolver, McKagan spent 13 years with Guns N' Roses. Lead singer and rhythm guitarist for Loaded. McKagan began writing a sports column for ESPN Music in 2011.


  • Mike Inez
    Place of birth: San Fernando, Calif. Age: 45 Fantasy football experience: 8 years Favorite team: Oakland Raiders

    Personal: Before playing bass guitar for Alice In Chains, Inez was rocking arenas with Ozzy Osbourne.


  • Jay Ferguson
    Place of birth: Dallas Age: 37 Fantasy football experience: 6 years Favorite team: Dallas Cowboys

    Personal: Ferguson portrays Stan Rizzo on AMC's "Mad Men," and his other TV credits include "Burn Notice," "Judging Amy" and "Evening Shade."