In Arizona The Only Fantasy About Football is Avoiding Jail Time

Arizona Sports News online

stevens_aug13_fantasyfootball_postWhat you’re doing right now on your computer could be illegal according to the state of Arizona.

No, not that. The other thing.

America’s favorite pass time — after eating ourselves close to Marlon Brando sized levels — is playing fantasy football and if you participate in it here in the beautiful Grand Canyon state, you’re most likely breaking the law.

That’s right, the state that brought you an embarrassing battle over Martin Luther King Jr. day, the law allowing people in bars imbibing adult beverages to carry concealed weapons and pink boxers for prisoners in Tent City would like you to know the office fantasy league you’re participating in is just too damaging to the state’s fine reputation to let you continue participating. That is if you’re paying to play.

Sure, if you’re like me and are the fantasy equivalent of a Seth Rogan movie character you’re too lazy to set up a league and run it, you’re probably in the clear. But to all those commissioners out there who collected entrance fees, look out the Fantasy 5-0 could be showing up at your front door any minute. And be proud, it’s something that could only happen in a total of five states in the union, Arizona being one.

All fantasy games fall under the “game of chance” provision in Arizona gambling laws. A law that says fantasy games and fantasy advice that is paid for is a Class 5 felony. Yep, you got it, it’s a crime that at minimum is supposed to carry a jail sentence for non-violent offenses. Which, depending on whether or not throwing things at the TV counts as violence, may or may not be the case in this situation. That means drafting Carson Palmer as your starting quarterback and paying for the privilege of doing it is the same as being a pimp in the eyes of the state. In the eyes of a fantasy football experts, it’s much worse. (Editors Note: Please don’t pay me for the previous advice.)

If you’re anything like me though, this might not be a bad thing. Having a legal reason to keep from participating in fantasy sports may be just what the doctor ordered. Instead of donating my league entrance fees to my friends and foes, I can keep it and instead spend it on things like novelty pink boxers, drinks for the guy asking if that’s a gun in my pocket or if I’m just happy to see him or on something else that is less frowned upon in the state.

Just remember on Sunday, what you’re doing may just be illegal in the eyes of the state. Unfortunately, it isn’t the fact that for 22 of the last 25 years you’ve paid good money to watch losing football.