In less than three hours time, a stingy baker's dozen of American mayors -- that'd be 11 -- begin an odyssey toward what could be the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat ... to an unnamed office worker. Yes, it's the Yahoo Fantasy Football Mayoral showdown we wrote about yesterday
. And 11 mayors is a fitting count as that's the number of players on the gridiron. But it doesn't work for a fantasy football league -- which requires an even number of teams so everyone can be paired off for a "game" a week. Since Yahoo couldn't land a 12th mayor for the league, some random San Francisco-based employee will take that slot and serve as "League Commissioner." Let's hope he or she doesn't harbor political aspirations: We'll see how 11 mayors handle being potentially upstaged on national stage by a guy who works in a cubicle.
Both San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums are in the league, which has more than just bragging rights as a prize: $30,000 goes to a charity in the winning mayor's hometown. But what if Cubicle Guy wins? The response we got back from Yahoo publicist Kiaran Locy: "Great question!"
Locally, it's a shame for Newsom that Yahoo is fielding a regular employee and not a higher-up. As a gubernatorial candidate, Newsom has fared well with Yahoo brass: Ousted CEO Jerry Yang lateraled $25,900 his way
Locy admitted to SF Weekly
that some of the 11 mayors had no clue whatsoever what fantasy football is and others are not particularly Web savvy. There is no truth to the rumor, however, that Dellums attempted to hit the return carriage on his laptop.
Newsom, meanwhile, seems to be making this into a team effort. His inner circle competed to come up with the best name for the squad (the winner: Barbary Coast Bombers). During today's live draft, Newsom will be "knee-deep in a press conference" according to spokesman Nathan Ballard. Selecting the team will be left to "a trusted aid." Ballard notes that this is Newsom's "first foray into fantasy sports that I know of." Considering the team will be named and drafted by someone else -- that's a debatable point.
We'll be back after today's 10:30 a.m. draft -- which you can watch here, live
-- with hard-hitting analysis.
Here, by the way, are the 11 mayors vying for the big prize (against Cubicle Guy): Byron Brown (Buffalo, N.Y.), Mark Funkhouser (Kansas City, Mo.), R.T. Rybak (Minneapolis), Ron Dellums (the town), Mick Crnett (Oklahoma City), Buddy Dyer (Orlando), Luker Ravenstahl (Pittsburgh), Kevin Johnson (Sacramento), Gavin Newsom (the city), and lone female Pam Iorio (Tampa Bay).
May the best mayor (or otherwise) win.