Fantasy Football's Ultimate Trophy
The title "Der Gral von Graf," loosely translated means, "The Cup of the Duke," in German. It is the name that was given to the official championship trophy of Die Steiniger Meisterschaft-Liga, which is our family's Fantasy Football League. Standing at 25 1/4 inches and weighing in at just over 27lbs, this traveling trophy chronicles past victors and their vanquished rivals.
I’ve been playing Fantasy Football since long before it was online. When I started in fantasy football, we converted statistics to fantasy points using the USA Today Monday and Tuesday editions by hand. Transactions were made by phone. As far as my friends were concerned, I might as well be casting 100 sided dies and flipping through the latest edition of the Dungeon Master’s Guide. It was the early nineties and nobody knew what Fantasy Football was back then.
My first league was set up by a group of brothers. Over the years I watched their sons grow into fantasy football players and eventually I wanted to set up my own family league. In 2009, Die Steiniger Meisterschaft-Liga (Steiniger Championship League) was born. The problem with our league (12 team, standard format) was that there was no real incentive to win. Many of our players were in other leagues and saw the family league as a developmental league … a great opportunity for the inexperienced players to get their feet wet. There was no trash talking. There was no friendly banter. This was not acceptable.
So in an attempt to bring some prestige to Die Steiniger Meisterschaft-Liga Championship Title, I decided we needed a traveling trophy, but not just any trophy, it would have to be an original, steeped in tradition with a connection to our German roots (translation, it needed to be something we could drink beer out of). So with that in mind, I took to an AutoCAD terminal and began designing “Der Gral von Graf” (the Cup of the Duke). Much like Lord Stanley’s Cup, Der Gral von Graf would be the type of trophy that men coveted. It would be lifted overhead by the League Champion each year and their name (and the name of the Fantasy Super Bowl loser) would be emblazoned on the Cup’s Oak Base for all to see. Year after year bragging rights and the Quest for Der Gral, would dominate family gatherings.
This is our story …
In “Der Gral von Graf” (the Cup of the Duke) we believe we’ve crafted fantasy football’s ultimate championship trophy. It’s a drinking vessel. It’s got family history. It catalogs each year’s winners and losers so the trash talking can continue year after year. But we don’t want to be presumptuous and claim the title of the most coveted championship trophy in all of fantasy football on our own, so we’re open for nominations for fantasy football’s ultimate trophy. We believe we’ve set the bar, now we’re interested to find out if anyone can surpass it. If you have a trophy that measures up to Der Gral von Graf, Submit your entry by e-mail including photos and a full description to
info @dergralvongraf.com. We'll setup a page on our website, dedicated to your entry.
Die Steiniger Meisterschaft-Liga
2012 League Champion Jacob Steiniger
to our League Champion, Jacob Steiniger, who's Fantasy Football Team,
Steiniger FC, crushed Sonoran Sandstorm, which is managed by his uncle
Matt Tiegel, by a score of 119 to 87 in the 2012 Fantasy Football Super Bowl.
Jacob led Steiniger FC to an impressive 13-3-0 record en route to a
dominant playoff performance that earned him his first Die Steiniger
Meisterschaft-Liga Championship title.