I don’t take on many custom trophy request but this particular one caught my interest. I was asked to sculpt a trophy with the likeness of a league commissioner’s late Grandfather. He also wondered if I could have him holding a giant cigar in one hand and have a few coins in the other. After receiving a few photo references I got to work. The beauty of doing some of these custom trophies is the customer usually wants one of my existing designs altered a bit to fit their desired idea. This trophy was no different. He loved the Armchair Quarterback and asked if I could add the new features to the existing sculpture. No problem, I said. Magi-Sculpt is the perfect material to use for a project like this because it gives me a decent amount of sculpting time and it dries as hard as a rock. It also takes paint extremely well and allows me to finish the trophy with the same bronze coating I use for all of my designs.
After grinding off the parts of the original Armchair Quarterback that were no longer needed, it was time to work on the new face, shirt, hands, and pants. Each custom trophy I do has it’s own set of challenges but this one was particularly unique because I had to capture a likeness of someone on a very small scale. Overall I was really pleased with how it turned out and I can’t wait to hear from the commissioner and the guys in his league.
Thanks for your interest.
My buddy Jim texted me today with the news that my beloved Browns traded the second overall pick in next week’s NFL Draft to the Eagles. He wasn’t pleased. I, on the other hand, was thrilled once I heard the details of the deal. The specifics include the Browns getting this year’s #8 pick along with a 3rd round and 4th round pick. They also acquired the Eagles 1st round pick next year and a second round pick in 2018. I’d say that’a nice haul for a team in desperate need of a ton of help. The Browns have been in “rebuilding mode” since they returned to Cleveland in 1999 and this trade will hopefully be what propels them to actually start on the foundation of that rebuild. I was hoping Carson Wentz was going to be the selection if the Browns stayed at #2 but with the Rams jumping ahead of them it assured that one of the two top QBs were going to be selected before them. That put a lot of pressure on teams like the Eagles and 49ers to really consider trading with the Browns if they were in love with both QBs. The Eagles apparently are. This trade, like all others, will be evaluated a few years from now to see who made out. If the Browns blow their selections like those of years past then this trade will be another crack in the never ending “rebuild.” I for one think it’s the beginning of a concrete footer. You gotta believe!
Browns fans everywhere breathed a huge sigh of relief when the organization finally hired Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. I know I did. My fears of another first time head coach were real considering the Browns history. Since the franchise returned in 1999, only Eric Mangini had prior head coaching experience before being hired. It seems so obvious that a team that has been in the basement of the NFL for so long would look for a guy that has proven he can handle the pressure and can develop a culture of winning. Yet the Browns continued to screw even that up. Granted, Hue Jackson only had one year in Oakland to get his head coaching feet wet, but we are talking about the Raiders here people. Another franchise that has been closer to the Browns in culture and winning games than a team on the verge of the Super Bowl. If not for the death of Al Davis during the season, many believe Jackson not only would’ve survived in Oakland but flourished. He has shown he can not only put together a great offensive game plan but develop quarterbacks along the way. Now the big question will be can they get the right signal caller? I guess I’ll start holding my breathe.
I’ve engraved my fair share of fantasy football trophies over the years and I’m always intrigued by some of the names leagues come up with. Lot’s of leagues go for just a standard title that states the name of the league with an established date underneath. I gotta say, I’m not a big fan of these. On the creativity scale I’m going to give it a 1.9 outta 10. I mean really, let’s spend a little more time and think of a name for the trophy. Memorable trophies are often referred to by a single word and not by what they represent. You don’t call the Heisman the “Best Player In College Football Award” or the Lombardi the “Super Bowl Championship Trophy.” Likewise, a fantasy football trophy should have a unique name, that when referred to, is synonymous with your league. Think “The Shiva” trophy from the television show “The League.”
My league’s trophy is named “The Fedele” after a memorable individual who would drink an entire can of Genny Cream Ale, in one pour, while lying down on his back and never lifting his head off the ground. Give it a try and I think you’d see he was deserving of a fantasy football trophy being named in his honor. It’s practically water boarding with beer. Every time we refer to our trophy we think of ol’ Bill and his amazing talent. Not to mention his epic love for tailgating and the Cleveland Browns. The guy was, and still is, a true legend deserving of our lasting tribute.
So when it’s finally time to come up with a name for your trophy, think long and hard. Don’t go the easy route but instead think of something that will add some humor and history. Believe me, you’ll be happy you didn’t name it the “FFL Championship Trophy, Est. 2015.”
My buddies Bill and Dan with “The Fedele” fantasy football trophy.
If someone would’ve told me that Lisa Ann, the #1 ranked adult film star in the world according to the NY Post, would one day be holding one of my trophies, I definitely would’ve said to please tell me the rest of the story. The recently retired actress and star of such films as “Who’s Nailin’ Paylin?,” “Milf Revolution,” and “My Sister’s Hot Friend” (which also stars Nicole Aniston and Jessica James by the way) has now joined the world of fantasy football. An avid sports fanatic is the voice of “Lisa Ann Does Fantasy” on SiriusXM. And believe me, she knows what she’s talking about. All the proof you really need is the fact that she won the SiriusXM Fantasy Football League last year and will now be immortalized with an engraved plate on the front of the Throwback trophy. Congratulations Lisa Ann and good luck this season defending your title.
Made in New York still has a nice ring to it for many people. Count the Japanese in that category. The Japanese television show, “Made In New York,” decided to stop by my shop the other day and do a feature on FantasyTrophies.com. I was initially contacted over a month ago and they asked me if I’d be interested in giving their viewers a taste of how I go about creating my trophies. I was all in. A member of their team, along with a translator, showed up at my studio shortly after to do a preliminary interview and see if everything would work out. After trying to explain what fantasy sports are I was then able to show them some of my process. Both agreed that Fantasy Trophies would make for a perfect segment and that their viewers definitely haven’t seen anything like it.
When the film crew arrived I had all of my trophies laid out. I gotta say, seeing all of them at one time is pretty impressive. It’s easy to forget how many variations I have and how each trophy captures the essence of the sport. The film crew seemed to agree. I gave them a brief history of how Fantasy Trophies came to be including how my cousin Johnny became my model and how I even designed and drew the logo. Then I went through a few parts of the process before they filmed each trophy and wrapped things up. It was great experience and I look forward to seeing the finished episode. And who knows, maybe fantasy sports will become huge in Japan as well.
Exciting times here at the shop as the Armchair Quarterback Policeman, fantasy football trophy, moves onto the mold making stage. The sculpting process is completed and now a silicone mold is made so that multiple casts can be taken. The first step, which you see in the photo below, is a brush on coat of silicone. The brush on coat is to insure that no air bubbles form in the silicone that will come in direct contact with the sculpture. An air bubble would transfer to the mold and thus the final cast resulting in less detail. Something that just wouldn’t be acceptable here at FantasyTrophies.com.
Having a fantasy football trophy specifically designed for firemen has always been something that I’ve thought about. This year it became a reality. A few weeks ago I was contacted by a fireman down in Florida who was wondering if I could add a firefighter’s helmet to the Throwback with his engine companies number on it. I decided to give it a shot. When it was finally completed, I was so pleased with the result that I knew I needed to add a similar helmet to the Armchair Quarterback. Fate pushed my hand. It was only a few days after finishing the Throwback that I received and order from a firehouse in NYC for a regular large Armchair Quarterback. I knew it was for a firehouse because of the name they wanted engraved on the main plate. It had both the engine and ladder company numbers. I gave Dan, a fireman at the station, a call and asked if they’d be interested in having an Armchair Quarterback trophy with a fireman’s helmet instead of the customary leather one. Dan was thrilled with the idea and said he’d was going to surprise his league with the new trophy. A perk for me was the fact that I was able to arrange a day that I could hand deliver it myself to the guys at the station. Let’s face it, who doesn’t want to visit a NYC firehouse?
It’s rare that I feel short in an environment, being that i’m 6’2″, but this was definitely one of those rare times. Dan and a bunch of the other guys towered over me. Dan unveiled the trophy and the guys couldn’t have been happier with the result. The fireman’s axe next to the recliner was a small detail that they really seemed to like. Overall the entire experience was just as rewarding for me as it was for them.
Now I just need to get both trophies up on the site. Thanks for the photo guys.
If you’re a firefighter and interested in either trophy contact me at Dave at FantasyTrophies.com
PS- Thanks for the photo guys.
Recently I was asked if I could sculpt a fantasy football trophy for a group of firemen in Florida. I knew that sculpting a trophy from scratch would be way too expensive so the idea was floated to just put a firefighter’s helmet on The Throwback. I’ve done a few other small alterations to both The Throwback and The Armchair Quarterback in the past so I knew this idea could work. I soon got to work and added a helmet to a large Throwback by sculpting it out of Magic Sculpt. Magic Sculpt is a two part paste that, when mixed together in equal parts, hardens after a few hours. It’s perfect because it gives you a good amount of time to sculpt what you want and it’s paintable. Once it was done, I liked it so much that I decided to have my buddy James make a mold of the head so that I could cast more in the future. The pictures below are of the sculpture during the mold making process. I’ll have more photos in the near future and we’ll see how it turns out. Stay tuned. – Dave
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.