Annual bipartisan fantasy football league is a way to 'bridge the gap' between politicians
An annual event since 2017, the good-natured competition was started by Rep. Matthew Ruby, R-Minot, and Rep. Corey Mock, D-Grand Forks.
BISMARCK — Walking into the North Dakota House chamber, one might notice amid stacks of paper and law books a large trophy sitting on the desk of Rep. Matthew Ruby, R-Minot.
Most valuable legislator? Best orator?
No, the trophy goes to the winner of a bipartisan fantasy football league.
An annual event since 2017, the good-natured competition was started by Ruby and Rep. Corey Mock, D-Grand Forks. “It’s a fun way to bridge the gap between politicians,” Ruby said in an interview.
Each year, the league is made up of 14 politicians from both sides of the aisle, including a few from the Executive Branch. Before the NFL season starts, the legislators draft players to build teams. “How many yards and points our players get in the NFL game correlates to how many points we get on our team,” Ruby said.
The winner of the season gets “bragging rights,” he said. “And a couple years ago we decided to get the trophy.”
A plaque on the trophy identifies the season’s winner -- and the player with the worst record for the year.
Anticipating some raised eyebrows among constituents, Ruby made a point of saying that the fantasy football season is over before the legislative session begins, so legislators are not focused on football as the session progresses.
Isabelle Ballalatak is a reporting intern with the North Dakota Newspaper Association.