All-Pro Tight End Antonio Gates, ESPN Fantasy Football Expert
Matthew Berry Lead Expert Panel of Judges; Winner to Receive Trip to
2011 NFL Draft
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
As fantasy football teams across the country load up for a playoff push,
owners in five elite leagues will square off to determine which league
reigns supreme. Papa John's, the Official Pizza Sponsor of the NFL,
today announced the selection of five finalists for its "Fantasy to
Reality" contest, a competition to find the fantasy football league
that's "better than the rest," with the winner claiming ultimate
bragging rights and a trip to the 2011 NFL Draft in New York City.
Consumers can review the finalists and cast their votes now through Dec.
12 at Papa John's Facebook page. America's vote will be included in
selection of the winner, who also will be judged by an expert panel led
by six-time All-Pro tight end Antonio Gates and ESPN Senior Fantasy
Analyst Matthew Berry. The winner will be announced the week of Dec. 13
as many fantasy football playoffs kick off.
"In fantasy football, just like in the National Football League, you
have to bring your ‘A' game every season, every week, every game," Gates
said. "These five finalists have done just that, competing and managing
their leagues to perfection and providing the ultimate fantasy
experience — from draft day blowouts, entertaining smack talk, strategic
roster moves and great competition. But only one of these leagues can
take home the title of the fantasy league that's ‘better than the rest'."
The five finalists are:
Excessive Celebration — Brent Johnson
leads this 12-team, Atlanta-based league with an iron fist, even
drafting up a Constitution with league rules and bylaws. This
well-oiled machine of a league holds league votes to approve incoming
owners and awards virtual trophies each week for some added motivation.
The Dude Abides — This long-standing
league, spearheaded by Hunt Meacham of Charlotte, N.C., consists of
best friends dating back to elementary school, all coming back every
year for a shot at the title. But these friendships make way for
fierce rivalries as each owner strives for a chance to wear the
coveted league championship belt.
Southern Illinois Fantasy Football — Not
content with standard 10- or 12-team leagues, this league consists of
32 teams split in four divisions. League Commissioner Donald Basta
from Carterville, Ill., and his league managers are so dedicated to
their league that they hold an annual owners meeting each April to
discuss all potential rule changes to improve the league.
The Coaches Poll — Peter LaBauve from
Columbus, Ohio takes his league so seriously that he created a website
featuring league updates, manger profiles, photos and The Coaches Poll
record books. The dedication is all worth it for a chance to win the
3-foot-tall Trueman Trophy.
The AFFL — Each year, 12 team owners
battle it out for the coveted AFFL Championship Ring, which bears the
league's creed: "Survival of the Luckiest." League Commissioner Raffi
Lalazarian of Los Angeles manages the league's website, which features
customized team pages and weekly articles and podcast interviews with
"The quality of the responses in our search for the fantasy football
league that's better than the rest is a true testament to the passion
and dedication that exists for fantasy football," said Andrew Varga,
Papa John's chief marketing officer. "And we knew that in order to
choose between these five deserving leagues, we needed to get input from
America, as well as some fantasy football experts. Who better to help
determine the fantasy league that's ‘better than the rest' than the best
tight end in fantasy and reality, Antonio Gates, and ESPN's Matthew
Berry, the expert fantasy owners turn to for advice on how to bring home
the championship for their fantasy team?"
"Between the hundreds of leagues I've played in over the past 25 years
as well as the millions of leagues I have seen in my 10 years writing
for ESPN.com, I definitely know firsthand the creativity, hard work,
friendship and banter it takes to make a league great," said Berry, a
charter member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of
Fame. "I'm looking forward to helping choose the league that's better
than the rest and stealing some of their ideas for leagues of my own."
Known for "Better Ingredients, Better Pizza," Papa John's is in the
first year of a multi-year sponsorship with the NFL and Papa John's is
also the Official Pizza of the Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons,
Baltimore Ravens, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts,
Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles,
Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Tennessee Titans and Washington
Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, Papa John's International, Inc.
(NASDAQ: PZZA) is the world's third largest pizza company. For 10 of the
past 11 years, consumers have rated Papa John's No. 1 in customer
satisfaction among all national pizza chains in the American Customer
Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Papa John's also was honored by Restaurants &
Institutions Magazine (R&I) with the 2009 Gold Award for Consumers'
Choice in Chains in the pizza segment. Papa John's is the Official Pizza
Sponsor of the National Football League and Super Bowl XLV, XLVI and
XLVII. For more information about the company or to order pizza online,
visit Papa John's at www.papajohns.com.
© 2010 NFL Properties LLC. Team names/logos/indicia are trademarks of
the teams indicated. All other NFL-related trademarks are trademarks of
the National Football League.
No purchase necessary. For Official Rules, go to www.papajohns.com.
Papa John's International, Inc.
Tish Muldoon, Senior Director,
Source: Papa John's International, Inc.
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