Eagles’ Celek Challenges Fans in Fantasy

Eddie Royal isn’t the only NFL player using social media to gather a fantasy football league.

Eagles tight end Brent Celek — a rising fantasy commodity himself — has spent the summer recruiting 11 fans to compete against him in fantasy this season.

The initial post back on July 24 makes it appear the idea just kind of cropped up rather than being the product of any particular planning. It also, however, aimed to engage his followers on Facebook and Twitter right from the start.

“I’m thinking of having u all submit videos on here explaining why i should pick u to be in my league.. any other ideas?” Celek posted.

He did follow other ideas, adding his first leaguemate the same way Royal did — the simple method of “Who can respond to this message first?” Celek did start to have a bit more fun after that, though, offering the next spot to the first person to post a photo of the subject wearing Celek’s No. 87 jersey and standing by a stop sign. The winner managed to be selected just 8 minutes later … just in case we didn’t know that the public hangs on the words of athletes/celebrities (scoffs the guy writing an article about some football player filling a fantasy league).

Spot 3 was uninspiringly awarded to another fan who posted a photo of himself in an Eagles jersey (though he at least got a bit creative).

The next two apparently went to fans who successfully bored Celek to death with videos.

Position 6 called for commenters to describe why it will be the Eagles’ year, eliciting 336 comments. The winner (Rishi Sugla) posted three different times and appeared to finally win by presenting a quick Celek biography from Wikipedia info. (Tough to say he didn’t actually win for his name, though.)

Spot 7 went to a groom wearing an Eagles vest and singing the team’s fight song at his wedding.

The eighth guy somehow failed to annoy Celek enough with his fight-song rendition to be eliminated.

And that’s where Celek’s league stands, more than three weeks after his last selection. The tight end did promise Monday night, however, to fill the remaining three slots on Tuesday. Royal, of course, went to an eBay auction to raise $810 for charity in filling his final spot.

A similar method would seem an obvious choice for Celek, who already has his own foundation. Brent Celek’s Take Flight Foundation seeks to “provide seriously ill and physically challenged children throughout Greater Philadelphia with daily support and life changing experiences,” with an admirable goal of helping 2 million children by 2013.

Celek provides yet another example of the willingness of some athletes to engage fans directly via the still relatively new social-media channels now available. The fact that he chose fantasy also shows once again the prominence of our games at the highest level of the sports scene that drives them.

No matter how silly the resulting Facebook videos or how excruciatingly long the summarizing FSB.com posts, here’s hoping we see more examples of this kind of interaction. It can be fun and rewarding for all involved.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.