The Origins Of The Steve Raynes Bowl

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Twitter and social media in general can be a dark and horrible place at times. However every now and then you come across a gem, a real gem! I’ve been very lucky in this regards, I’ve become friends with some great people through social media, Jamie, Tim, Liz, Bharat, Allan and Steve to name a few there’s many more.

In March 2018 I decided to start a podcast, Kickers Matter Fantasy Football Podcast. [Kickers Don’t Matter by the way] Little did I know what was coming my way. I started as a one man band getting my old school pal on Jason Wilkinson for the first episode [he now does KM Devy]. I mean as first episodes go it was OK but I was raw and all very new to it. I knew it was raw and I wanted to do better so I put a tweet up, ‘All Feedback Welcome ‘ 10 minutes later a private DM came through from @SteveRaynes. At first I was like who is this? I’d not had much interaction with Steve up till this point but I read the message and it was exactly what I was looking for, constructive criticism. Steve from that moment joined the podcast as a co-host followed by Jamie and Tim down the line.

I wouldn’t have to wait long before getting into a fantasy league with Steve, it would be 2 months after his first message to me. The Butt Fumblers dynasty league my first ever and home dynasty league. Someone dropped out and commish Jason asked me if I knew anyone so I suggested Steve. This would be followed with the start up of the very first kickers matter dynasty, a 16 man league, now the Steve Raynes Dynasty League. Then we made the Scott Fish Bowl, Steve getting in on the last day. You all know the story on how many leagues we ended up in after tho ha.

I wouldn’t wait long to meet Steve face to face, he joined me for the Seahawks Raiders game at Wembley where we decided to get another friend Nev on the Jägerbombs before he had to be flag bearer for the game. I knew Steve was on my level from this point, a childish sense of humour, I mean what friends get there other mate on Jäger shots before he has to carry the Union Jack out at Wembley [Me and my partner in crime Steve]. I wouldn’t wait long to meet Steve face to face again, May 2019 for our home league rookie draft in Nottingham. They say the best nights you don’t remember but I will challenge that. I remember everything except who I had drafted haha. Chicken wings, Cocktails, an inflatable rubber ring and a German bar.

Little did I know this was the last time I would ever get to go out with my brother as he had now become. Steve was sadly taken from us in November after a very short battle with cancer. A loving Husband, father and friend. He is and always will be my brother. Me and Jamie made a pact after Steve’s passing, what would he wanted us to do? Complete the fantasy season we said. So we did, we took the task on of taking over all of Steve’s teams finishing seasons and winning him a championship! We did the latter by the way.

January 2020 rolled around and my brother was still on my mind. I said to Jamie and Tim I want the NFL community to remember Steve, I want his name mentioned every year from here on out. Steve like myself found it a huge honour to get into the Scott Fish Bowl, a massive league with some of the fantasy big guns, all for the great Fantasy Cares. So we said to each other lets make a league like the Scott Fish Bowl in memory of Steve, so we came up with the Steve Raynes Bowl. We as a group didn’t want this to be another big league, we want it to be an honour to get into. So we have tweaked with the format since January, and now found a happy ground. 80 teams with Tight End bonus scoring. [ I forgot to mention Steve loved Tight Ends]. Massive shout out to Richard King.

The aim of this league is to keep alive our brothers memory year in, year out. Anyone can play, we want fantasy to be open as Steve would have. We don’t ask for donations all tho I’m sure we can all agree any donations to cancer research can only be good for all of us. Steve loved fantasy and loved its community. Leagues like this bring the community together something I know Steve would be very proud off.

Dear Steve, you came into my life through a Twitter DM, you are my brother and always will be. Love Jack x

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