High School Fantasy Football League Pushes the Boundaries of High Stakes


Joseph Meola, Writer

Come every September, 41 million people across the country come together with their friends and family for another season of Fantasy Football. Weather you use ESPN, CBS Sports, or anything in between, the goal remains the same, either win the first place prize …. or don’t come in last. For many devoted leagues coming in last comes with a punishment, an amusing way to shame the person who bears the worst team.

This is where one group of eight Cranford High School seniors goes above and beyond in their very own, intense fantasy league. The punishment: having your precious head of hair buzzed off with a one blade, in front of the rest of the league.

However if you find yourself in last place at the end of the regular season, there is still hope for your sacred locks. At the conclusion of Week 13 of the NFL season the team which is in last faces off against the team who claims second to last in a one week showdown to keep their hair, named the buzz bowl. Last year the much anticipated buzz bowl was occupied by a 4-9 Colin Jaros and a 2-11 Luke Pachkowski.

When asking Luke how nerves affected him once he knew he would be competing in the bowl, he stated, “nerves are an understatement, I literally lost sleep over the thought of having to possibly shave my head”.  

In a hard fought battle of the worst, Luke Pachkowski came out on the bottom, mostly due to an absolutely heart crushing 55 point performance by newly signed Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper. As Luke was 

deemed official loser of the league and summoned to a hair buzzing, living with the buzz would not be a painless journey, “I would often get yelled at in class for not taking my hat off. Also girls didn’t seem to like me as much.”

When asked about fear of punishment, league member Parker Melchiorre claims, “The fear is real and everyone experiences it”. On the other hand though, he mentions “it makes the league more serious and business like, not like a normal friendly league”. As one can tell how serious this league is a positive perspective of competition is given. 

However, this is all in the past and on the horizon is the dawn of a new, competitive year for the all-or-nothing league. The teams may be different, but the goal remains the same.