Steve Rannazzisi: ‘Making It Up As We Go Along’

The seventh and final season of The League premiers September 9.

Wow. Seven years. How is that possible?

“Time flies when you’re having fun and making really inappropriate jokes,” actor Steve Rannazzisi said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “It’s been seven years. It’s crazy. When we first started the show, look, we knew the comedy was there. We made each other laugh. And then football is the most popular sport in America. I just think that with fantasy, with that element of it and people really being able to get hands on with teams, it’s only helped our show. It’s gone hand-in-hand and become more popular.”

The League, if you are somehow not familiar with it, is about a group of friends who play fantasy football together. Fantasy football has exploded in the last decade, with more than 40 million Americans playing each year.

Interestingly enough, Rannazzisi, who plays Kevin, was pretty much the only regular on the show who had played fantasy football prior to The League.

“We’re a little bit of everything,” he said. “We’re making it up as we go along, but we also are learning some stuff. I played before we started doing this show, so I knew a little bit about it. But the other guys on the show had not played, so we started a league amongst ourselves on the show. Of course I thought I was going to clean up in that league and I’ve never even won. So look, the ball is shaped strangely, as Tiki can tell you, and it bounced weird so you never know what’s going to happen.

“For fantasy football, look, we do the show about it, but I don’t go as crazy as real people do,” Rannazzisi continued. “They go nuts. They come up to me like, ‘Oh, we’re just like you guys on your show.’ I’m like, ‘That’s not a good thing. You should not be like us at all. We’re awful people on that show.’”

Rannazzisi has been in a league with high school friends for the last 13 years or so and has won that league in the past.

“I usually go running back-running back in my first two rounds,” he said. “I’m probably going to go maybe wide receiver-wide receiver or maybe just one running back (this year). I feel like you can get a steal later on in the later rounds with running back. I think there’s only five or six real elite ones. It kind of levels off after that.”

While seemingly every league has a “rogue” member with unorthodox draft strategies, Rannazzisi plays it pretty close to the vest.

“You now what? Let them do what they want to do,” he said of rogue league mates. “They may have a solution you don’t know about, but if I see a friend that isn’t picking quarterback real early, that means, in my mind, they’re going for Tom Brayd in a later round and that means I’m going to pick up Tom Brady before them and really put the screws to them. That’s my goal this year – to try to find a person to try to sniff out Tom Brady in the later rounds.”

Indeed, Rannazzisi wants to both win the league and screw a friend over.

“Why not?” he asked. “Two birds with one stone.”

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