Rock 'n' roll fantasy football
Some hard rockers have teamed up to form a fantasy football league on ESPN.com, all for a good cause and bragging rights.
Hard-core NFL fan Jerry Cantrell of Alice In Chains has recruited some fellow heavy metal musicians and friends to take part in his other passion, fantasy football.
The full lineup, which is listed below with each owner's bio information, includes Duff McKagan of Guns 'N' Roses and Velvet Revolver, Mike Inez of Alice In Chains, Scott Ian of Anthrax, former NFL player Matt Willig and ESPN's own Talented Mr. Roto, Matthew Berry.
Later this season, each participant will put up an item for an online auction and all of the proceeds will go to the charity chosen by the champion of the Alice In Chains & Friends fantasy football league. Examples of the items that will be up for bidding later include a Scott Ian signature Washburn guitar and a G&L guitar autographed by the members of Alice In Chains. More details about the auction will be published later this season in The Life.
As most fantasy sports owners can relate, the live draft was not without controversy on Aug. 23. Inez had been listed first but then the randomly drawn draft order shuffled things around and gave Kenny Wayne Shepherd the top pick an hour before the start.
These are some of the comments we can repeat from the draft room:
"Inez got screwed," Zakk Wylde typed.
Shepherd drafted Minnesota's Adrian Peterson first overall to start the trend for running backs, and here's the rest of the first round:
Ian: Falcons running back Michael Turner
Vinnie Paul: Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald
Berry: Bears running back Matt Forte
Wylde: Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams
Cantrell: Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew
Kenny Aronoff: Rams running back Steven Jackson
Willig: Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson
Inez: Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson
McKagan: Titans running back Chris Johnson
We won't list each round of the draft, but here are a few comments and exchanges from the draft room:
"I hate mjd (Maurice Jones-Drew) but couldn't pass on him." -- Cantrell
"That sukd." -- Willig after drafting 49ers running back Frank Gore in the second round.
"Gore not sitting well with you?" -- Cantrell
"Gore is a gamer. Lotta carries." -- Inez
"But he's got a pretty crappy O-line." -- McKagan
"No love for your Niners, Matt?" -- Cantrell
"Haha." -- Inez
"Not really" -- Willig (a former Niner)
"Housh in Seattle" -- Inez, after he drafted Seahawks wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh in the fourth round.
"Should do pretty good if Hasselbeck stays healthy." -- McKagan
"Walter Jones just went down and so did the center ... not looking good." -- Cantrell
"Ouch. This is going to be Walter's last year, right?" -- McKagan
"I think so ... could be another long year ... no O line." -- Cantrell
We won't pass judgment on their draft picks and lineups, but you can by ranking the teams in the order you believe they stack up.
Weekly updates on the Alice In Chains & Friends Fantasy Football League, trash talk and interviews with the owners will be published on ESPN.com's The Life section throughout the season. Members of the league will also drop by for occasional chats on SportsNation. So check back to see which metal maven is king of the league.
As Inez said, "This is gonna rock."
Alice in Chains & Friends Fantasy Football Charity League Teams
|Jerry Cantrell||JC Aroma of Tacoma|
Place of birth: Tacoma, Wash. Age: 43 Fantasy football experience: 5 years Favorite team: Seattle Seahawks/Pittsburgh Steelers Most memorable NFL game or moment: "NFC Championship Game between the Seahawks and Panthers in 2006. ... To see the city so electrified and watch the home team deliver such a crushing defeat was amazing, only to be topped two weeks later by watching my two favorite teams play each other in the Super Bowl. It was the best and worst thing I have ever experienced as a fan. I was there with Duff McKagan and Seattle's D really showed up in the first half. Unfortunately, bad officiating played such a huge part in that game it was hard to feel good about Pittsburgh winning. It didn't feel like the game was allowed to be what it could have been. Still an amazing experience.
Lead guitarist Cantrell's legacy with Alice In Chains includes 14 million albums sold, 19 Top 40 singles and six Grammy nominations.
|Mike Inez||M.I. Evil? Yes I Am|
Place of birth: San Fernando, Calif. Age: 43
Before playing bass guitar for Alice In Chains, Inez was rocking arenas with Ozzy Osbourne.
|Matt Willig||Calabasas Clueless|
Place of birth: Whittier, Calif. Age: 40 Fantasy football experience: 0 years Favorite team: No favorite, but "I do like to watch the Carolina Panthers every Sunday, especially to watch my boy, Jordan Gross (left tackle), play." Most memorable NFL game or moment: No. 1: Coming in, after not starting, and playing the whole second half for the 49ers in their 2002 divisional playoff victory over the Giants. No. 2: Carolina Panthers' Super Bowl season in 2003. Great games and great times with a great bunch of teammates all the way 'til the bitter end.
One of two non-musicians in the league, Willig spent 12 years in the NFL with six different teams.
|Kenny Aronoff||Team 9|
Place of birth: Albany, N.Y. Age: 56 Fantasy football experience: 3 years Favorite team: Indianapolis Colts Most memorable NFL game or moment: Watching St. Louis stop the Tennessee Titans on the 1-yard line to prevent the winning touchdown on the last play and preserve the Rams' Super Bowl XXXIV victory in 2000 ... "I was on the 50-yard line."
Aronoff has played drums for a who's who of rock legends, including Elton John, The Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd and many more.
|Duff McKagan||Team McKagan D|
Place of birth: Seattle Age: 45 Fantasy football experience: Rookie Favorite team: Seattle Seahawks Most memorable NFL game or moment: "My favorite NFL moment was playing Gil Dobie football (age 13-14) at halftime in the Kingdome during the Seahawks' inaugural season (1976). That, and going to the Hawks-Steelers Super Bowl with Jerry Cantrell a few years back."
Before playing bass for Velvet Revolver, McKagen spent 13 years with Guns 'N' Roses, so he's ready for anything.
|Matthew Berry||Team Berry|
Place of birth: Denver Age: "Late 30s" Fantasy football experience: 17 years Favorite team: Washington Redskins Most memorable NFL game or moment: Redskins RB John Riggins, fourth-and-1 ... runs for a 43-yard touchdown to win Super Bowl XVII over the Dolphins.
Berry is ESPN.com's resident fantasy expert and a five-time award winner from the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.
|Scott Ian||Scott Ian Mean Machine|
Place of birth: New York Age: 45 Fantasy football experience: "I'm a virgin." Favorite team: New York Giants Most memorable NFL game or moment: Super Bowl XXI in 1987 -- Giants 39, Broncos 20
When Ian isn't playing guitar for Anthrax, he's schooling amateurs at the poker table.
|Kenny Wayne Shepherd||KWS Domination|
Place of birth: Shreveport, La. Age: 32 Fantasy football experience: Rookie Favorite team: Indianapolis Colts Most memorable NFL game or moment: Watching the Colts win Super Bowl XLI in 2007 in Miami. "I was there with the team!!!"
Shepherd cut his musical teeth opening for The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Bob Dylan, The Eagles and Van Halen.
|Vinnie Paul||The Brickwall|
Place of birth: Abilene, Texas Age: 45 Fantasy football experience: 10 years Favorite team: Dallas Cowboys Most memorable NFL game or moment: "Going to the Super Bowl in Atlanta to watch my Cowboys destroy the Bills for the second year in a row! Hellyeah."
Paul, who formed Pantera with his late brother Dimebag Darrell, plays drums the way Ray Lewis hits people. In other words, hard.
|Zakk Wylde||Doom Crew Inc.|
Place of birth: Bayonne, N.J. Age: 42
Wylde landed the job of lead guitarist and co-writer for Ozzy Osbourne at the age of 19 and later founded Black Label Society.
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