It's time to rock out to some fantasy football with Year 2 of the Alice in Chains & Friends Fantasy Football Charity League.
Alice in Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell has again assembled an impressive list of rock stars and other celebrities to battle each other in fantasy football and raise money for a worthy charity.
Last season, actor Matt Willig's NFL experience paid off along with some rookie luck as he beat out the heavy metal heroes to win the AIC & Friends league championship. As a result, Willig's charity, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital earned more than $10,000 from the proceeds of the auction of items donated by the league owners.
Eight owners from last season return while two newcomers have joined the ranks. Singer and actor Meat Loaf brings many years of fantasy football experience to the league, while "SportsCenter" anchor Jay Harris represents ESPN and tries to improve upon fantasy guru Matthew Berry's poor showing last season.
The league owners drafted their teams Tuesday, and they've been busy fine-tuning their lineups.
Cantrell, whose JC Aroma Of Tacoma faces Meat Loaf's Hell In A Handbasket in the first week, issued this message to his fellow owners:
"Well, folks, here we are in Season 2 of the AIC charity league. Mike [Inez] and I would like to thank ESPN for hosting us again and of course all our friends for joining us. I have a serious challenge the first week, Mr. Aday is a fantasy football pro but I think he might be a little worried as this pic would indicate. Can the Aroma of Tacoma overwhelm the 'Loaf'?!?! We shall see. Good luck everybody, I hope you all lose … JC"
Everyone made it for some or all of the live draft, which featured a fair bit of ribbing for Scott Ian, who happens to be Meat Loaf's son-in-law. Here are some highlights of the draft chatter, or at least what's safe to publish:
I don't know what the big deal is … IT'S NOT THAT HARD TO WIN THIS THING!!!!!
Scott you know your pick, I gave him to you
-- Meat Loaf
He teach ya how to ride a bike too Scott? lol
Yeah he also told me to draft him 1
Couldn't teach to ride a trike !!
-- Meat Loaf
Who is going to do the ass whipping?
Let me think, I had 52 teams last year and won 38 !!!!
-- Meat Loaf
Hey, glad you could make it harris
Can't stay long … gotta do Sportscenter at 6 …
All right that's a legitimate excuse
Good pick !!!
Smarter than the avg. bear
-- Meat Loaf, after Ian drafted Texans WR Jacoby Jones in the 13th round
Scott I told , take my pick I'll run you over !!
-- Meat Loaf
Glad to have you in the league man, and to all of you as well. gonna be a great year
Participants in the Alice in Chains & Friends Fantasy Football Charity League will each be putting up one valuable item for auction by the end of the season. The league champion will get to designate which charity gets the proceeds of the auction. More details on the auction will be announced in the coming weeks.
Weekly updates on the Alice in Chains & Friends Fantasy Football Charity League, trash talk and interviews with the owners will be published on ESPN.com's The Life and Music sections throughout the season. Members of the league also will drop by for occasional chats on SportsNation.
Here is a full list of the participants and the Week 1 matchups:
Alice in Chains & Friends Fantasy Football Charity League
Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Place of birth: Shreveport, La. Age: 33 Fantasy football experience: 1 year Favorite team: Indianapolis Colts
Personal: Shepherd cut his musical teeth opening for The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Bob Dylan, The Eagles and Van Halen.
Place of birth: Tacoma, Wash. Age: 44 Fantasy football experience: 6 years Favorite team: Seattle Seahawks/Pittsburgh Steelers
Personal: Lead guitarist Cantrell's legacy with Alice In Chains includes 16 million albums sold, 21 Top 40 singles and seven Grammy nominations.
Place of birth: New York Age: 46 Fantasy football experience: 1 year Favorite team: New York Giants
Personal: When Ian isn't playing guitar for Anthrax, he's schooling amateurs at the poker table.
Place of birth: Abilene, Texas Age: 46 Fantasy football experience: 11 years Favorite team: Dallas Cowboys
Personal: Paul, who formed Pantera with his late brother Dimebag Darrell, plays drums for Hellyeah the way Ray Lewis hits people. In other words, hard.
Place of birth: Bayonne, N.J. Age: 43 Fantasy football experience: 1 year Favorite team: New York Giants
Personal: Wylde landed the job of lead guitarist and co-songwriter for Ozzy Osbourne at the age of 19 and later founded Black Label Society.
Place of birth: Dallas Age: 62
Personal: Legendary singer, a.k.a. Michael Aday, has been just as successful on your TV and film screens as your radio.
Place of birth: Whittier, Calif. Age: 41 Fantasy football experience: 1 year, and the AIC&FFFCL reigning champ Favorite team: No favorite, but "I do like to watch the Carolina Panthers every Sunday, especially to watch my boy, Jordan Gross [left tackle], play."
Personal: One of two non-musicians in the league, Willig spent 12 years in the NFL with six different teams.
Place of birth: Seattle Age: 46 Fantasy football experience: 1 year Favorite team: Seattle Seahawks
Personal: Before playing bass for Velvet Revolver, McKagen spent 13 years with Guns 'N' Roses, so he's ready for anything.
Place of birth: San Fernando, Calif. Age: 44 Fantasy football experience: 7 years Favorite team: Oakland Raiders
Personal: Before playing bass guitar for Alice In Chains, Inez was rocking arenas with Ozzy Osbourne.
Place of birth: Norfolk, Va. Age: 45
Personal: Harris is the weekday co-host of the 6 p.m. ET "SportsCenter" and has been with ESPN since 2003.