Fantasy baseball drafts are rapidly approaching and many leagues are going to decide to play for a trophy. The guys of “Stealing Signals” of Chicago are one such league. Mike, the commissioner of the league, reached out to me and had a few questions regarding the Armchair Ace. He admitted that his call was really just to pacify other league members who were on the fence over playing for a trophy. Mike also informed me that he’s in a fantasy football league that plays for The Throwback so he understands what a trophy can do for a league. I have no doubt that they’re going to experience the same excitement once the Armchair Ace shows up and represents their league for years to come. As Mike said, “It all boils down to getting your name on the trophy. The money is just gravy.” Good luck Mike. I’m pulling for you. – Dave
Today was spent prepping the Throwback Fireman fantasy football trophy so that it could receive a brush-on coat of silicone. It’s somewhat a tedious process but one that needs to be done in order to insure every detail of the original sculpture is present in the final cast. You can see in the photo that the brush-on coat is very thin. We do this on purpose so that very few air bubbles appear on the surface of the sculpture and if they do we can easily pop them. We’ll let this cure for 24 hours and then tomorrow the remainder of the silicone will be poured.
A fantasy football trophy as a cake? Yes, that is what one lucky couple decided to have for the groom on their lucky day. Hopefully the little frosted guy made it through the night and is now sitting in a frozen recliner in their freezer for one year in order to bring them some good luck. Well probably more for the groom’s fantasy team to have good luck, but that’s neither here nor there.
As I sit in a campground in Moab, Utah, getting ready to skydive, I, for some bizarre reason, started thinking about how FantasyTrophies.com came to be. Fantasy Trophies started way back in 1993 when I was going to art school at Kent State University and decided I’d sculpt a trophy for my fantasy football league. I was taking all kinds of classes that emphasized looking at naked people all day so that I could learn about human anatomy. One of those classes was life sculpture. Even though I was a painting major, life sculpture turned out to be one of my favorite classes. Anyone that has ever taken a sculpture class knows the demands of trying to capture a likeness or the subtleties of the human form. I thrived on this challenge.
It was in this class that the idea came to me to sculpt a figure that would become my fantasy football league’s crown jewel- The Fedele Trophy. I grabbed some clay and went to work sculpting a figure based off of my cousin Johnny. Talk about an uncomfortable phone conversation when I asked him to model. My cousin was all in though and loved the idea. After some preliminary sketches, I went to work. The figure was probably completed in about a month or so and then I had to make a soft plaster mold and pour the trophy using a much harder casting plaster. After it came out I painted it and then mounted it on a pine base.
Looking back now I realize what a piece of crap it was. However, that fantasy football trophy turned out to be the impetus for what would later become a business run first out of my parent’s garage and now out of a shop in Brooklyn, NY.
You never know when a great idea will strike. I’m just glad I had one while going to college. One in 4 years isn’t so bad I guess. I’m not sure the idea to skydive will go down as one of those great ideas. We shall see. Photos to come later.
Zachary L. could be the youngest fantasy football champion in the history of the sport. This five year old won his uncle’s league, The Big Sky Moonlighter’s League, and captured the coveted Throwback Mini trophy you see here. Even better is that he did it in the league’s inaugural season. Bragging rights are clearly his and I’m sure his league is in for some serious trash talking from young Zachary for years to come.
Great job Zachary!
Since the TV show, “The League” has been on air and gained incredible popularity I can’t help but wonder if the increase in sales I’ve seen is in some way related to the “Shiva Trophy.” If you’re not familiar with the television show it’s about a group of fantasy football fanatics who eat, drink, and sleep fantasy football. They play for a trophy called “The Shiva” which is named after a girl the characters liked in high school. The trophy even has a photograph of her as part of the overall design.
I gotta say, the show is a bit corny for me and I never really got into watching it. However, I definitely want to thank the writers for including the idea of playing for a fantasy football trophy. It no doubt has helped to plant a seed in the head’s of commissioners all over the country that playing for more than just cash is the way to go.
Maybe I’ll have to give the show another shot as a show of gratitude.
It’s been pretty hectic at FantasyTrophies.com lately. Mainly because I recently decided to take part in the Fantasy Football Fest in Atlantic City. Even though it’s not until August 18th and 19th, I’ve had to start building the backdrop for my booth along with putting together some material to handout. Make sure if you’re planning on going you stop by and say hello.
This is also the time of year though that I really try to build up some inventory for the start of the fantasy football season. I’m trying my best to have trophies ready to go so that when your league needs their trophy ASAP I’ll have it packaged up and out my doors within a few days. That’s the plan. Now back to work so that I can make that happen. – Dave
Today I was able to meet and thank someone who has really helped in the evolution of FantasyTrophies.com. The thing is, Gary Vaynerchuk had no way of knowing just how influential he’s been in developing my business. How could he? He’s been busy writing two best selling books called “Crush It” and “The Thank You Economy” along with running his social media consulting company, Vaynermedia, while also doing speaking engagements all over the globe. I guess I’ll give him a pass this time on not seeing the progress of FantasyTrophies.com and keeping up with it’s rapid rise in the incredibly competitive world of fantasy sports trophies.
All kidding aside, it felt great to hand deliver Armchair Ace trophies to Gary at Vaynermedia in Midtown Manhattan and to say thanks for helping to explain how someone can take a hobby or a passion of theirs and turn it into a money making career.
Thanks again Gary and good luck winning that Shifrin Trophy back! I have a feeling your brother AJ won’t be giving it up without a strong fight.
Check out the video Gary shot of me with his brother AJ holding the Shifrin Trophy.
It happens all the time. I go on Twitter and see a guy post something about his league receiving his fantasy football trophy. It’s almost always accompanied by a twitpic or some instagram photo, so I can’t help but see if it’s one of my hand made trophies. After all, the excitement in the tweet is obvious and I’m confident that a trophy of mine would produce such a response. But when I click on the link I’m blown away by the piece of CRAP the guy is bragging about. It’s literally a pee-wee football trophy with some lame plaque on the front that says “fantasy football championship trophy.” If you don’t believe me, go to Twitter and search “fantasy football trophy”. You’re pretty much guaranteed to see one.
I guess what amazes me the most is that after spending hundreds of hours a season researching what players to draft, start, and trade– leagues then decide that they’ll have some cheap, lame trophy represent their fantasy football league. It really makes no sense to me.
The first trophy I sculpted, The Armchair Quarterback, was because I wanted something that truly represented fantasy football and the insane amount of time I was dedicating (my wife says wasting) to it. No pee-wee trophy or golden Lombardi knockoff was going to cut it.
So please guys, I beg of you– before you make that fatal mistake of so many other leagues out there, think for one second and realize your league deserves more. It deserves the best. Don’t those endless hours you obsess over fantasy football mean more to you than that “trophy” you can buy for $69.99?
And don’t even get me going on the fact they’re made in China.