When Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew took a knee at the Jets 1-yard line in Week 10 with 1:48 to go instead of walking in for the touchdown, he not only helped his team win the game by running the clock down until Josh Scobee‘s field goal, but also gained his own fantasy football radio show as a result of the heartfelt apology he gave to all the fantasy owners who had him on their rosters.
“I’ve been playing fantasy for the past five years so I know what it’s like to not get the points you need,” said Jones-Drew, whose show will air on Sirius every Friday (7 p.m. ET) starting next week and run through the season. “But if that never happened, I probably wouldn’t have gotten my own show, so thank you to the Jets for trying to let me score, and thank you to coach for telling me to take a knee instead.”
With more than 27 million fans picking their dream teams this month, Sirius launched a fantasy sports channel on July 1 to keep owners on top of match-ups and injury news with personalities like John Hansen, Chris Liss and Scott Engel, yet there’s no better insight than from the inside, although Jones-Drew says he will be cognizant of what’s off-limits.
“I have to feed my family first with my day job so I’m not going to come right out and say if a player’s hurt if it’s not out there already, but I might hint at something so you’ll have to read between the lines,” said Jones-Drew, who was on hand Wednesday afternoon at the Hard Rock Café in Times Square to pick his 2010 fantasy team with 11 other Sirius hosts.
For his roster, Jones-Drew traded up from the eighth spot to number three so he could pick himself first, followed by Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall, Ravens WR Anquan Boldin, Giants QB Eli Manning and Bears RB Matt Forte.
Former Raiders QB Rich Gannon, who also has his own show on Sirius called “The Blitz” (weekdays, 10 a.m. ET), was on hand to give analysis for each pick but has yet to partake in the fantasy fray.
“I started noticing it during my playing days when I would go out for warm-ups and fans would yell from the stands that I was on their fantasy squad,” said Gannon, who retired in 2005 and has been an analyst for the NFL on CBS since then. “It’s since evolved tenfold, but I travel so much I’ve never had the time to keep a team of my own.”
Yet when pressed as to what his top three hypothetical picks would be in different positions, he went with Titans back Chris Johnson “for his overall speed,” Texans receiver Andre Johnson “because they throw the ball a lot there and he’s become one of the elite wideouts in the league,” and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers “because he’s had back-to-back 4,000-yard seasons and should put up ridiculous numbers again this year.”
And while Jones-Drew takes fantasy seriously, he’s still a team player above all else.
“Anytime you win as a team, individual accolades and success come with it so all I’m worried about is getting the Jags to the playoffs this year,” said Jones-Drew. “As for fantasy, it’s just all in good fun.”
– Lisa Altobelli