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What Is . . . Ching Chang Chong?

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Aug. 11th, 2006 | 07:00 am
Mood: Mission Statement-y
posted by: sauce1977 in ccc_ff

To start, Ching Chang Chong is fantasy american football.

For short, fantasy american football is played with a pool of players from the National Football League.

Fantasy sport, in general, works off a point total which is earned by the players based on what they did in the actual games they played.

Variants of the game are plentiful.

The idea for Ching Chang Chong started with earlier seasons with a close friend named Jim. We grew tired of standard football games played by ESPN. We wanted something different. Through experiments, we found ways which propelled the game's fun factor to the maximum.

In 2005, I decided to give a few minor tweaks to our system. Another friend, Kris, aka for_sutherland, formerly ladainiac/jetpropel, uttered the words, "Ching Chang Chong." I'm pretty sure it was him. We like words that have a rhyme to them.

I figured Ching Chang Chong was a catchy name for the fantasy leagues I wanted to start. I used it.

The meaning of the phrase "Ching Chang Chong" is rather unclear, even to me.

I used "Ching" to reference to what many try to get more of . . . money. It's ironic that no money is currently involved with playing the Ching Chang Chong leagues. Still, money, it's like sex, winning the big game . . . "Ching" implies the great feeling of ringing up another one of whatever that desire is. The society within which I live . . . consumerism rules. We're all trying for that next big score. We're trying for many big scores, whatever that score may be.

I used "Chang" to reference Timmy Chang, the former quarterback for the Hawai'i Warriors. The Warriors are a college american football team in the largest division of play within college athletics, which is called the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Chang, as it currently stands, holds the NCAA record for total passing yards. Chang was one of the greats of college football. Chang's offense, however, has been wildly dismissed as a gimmick. Something that isn't standard and pushes the applications to the limit tends to be called a gimmick.

Yet, Chang represents something more noble than a gimmick. He's a guy from his local area who went out and passed and passed and passed some more. His NCAA statistics are valid. He, like many in the college ranks, chased the dream of playing in the NFL. He pursues his dreams. As far as anyone knows, Timmy Chang is a nice guy.

In a way, many of us, on different levels, we enjoy the NFL. Some of us, well, if we could, we'd like to play in the NFL. Despite the inability of most of us to actually be a part of the NFL, we still dream. Owning a team in fantasy football is, in smallest part, like owning an actual professional football franchise. Organizing the players to 'start' on the team is, in smallest part, like being the coach of a pro football franchise. Like Chang's dream, we dream, and fantasy football may be the closest we'll get. Ching Chang Chong is not standard fantasy football, and some could call it a gimmick. It is, however, a valid variant of fantasy football.

If Chang ever turned out to be a total douchebag, we can all look back on this day and laugh at the "Chang." Hey, it'll still sound catchy.

I used "Chong" to reference Tommy Chong, the longtime artist and musician (and latter-day rebellious figure) within the pro-marijuana community. Chong's always been on the fringe, doing what he wanted to do, trying to be as unique as possible, going his own way. Right or wrong, it's Chong. Hey, that rhymes, too. Rhymes rule. As for smoking marijuana, I don't do that. I don't really enjoy the stuff or have much of an opinion about it. To each his own. It's the idea of Tommy Chong that's a part, ever so loosely, with Ching Chang Chong. Chong's semi-unique. Ching Chang Chong leagues are semi-unique. At least they have the catchy name.

The style of play in Ching Chang Chong is more than just a catchy name.

I never completely liked standard fantasy football. In particular, I had issues with certain features of standard fantasy football.

I played a bit of ESPN's standard fantasy football before the Ching Chang Chong leagues.

After every season, before Jim and I began to experiment with fantasy football, I'd look over the statistics. A couple things jumped out at me.

It seemed that the point totals heavily favored the running backs above all over fantasy players. If you think about running backs, the top backs in the NFL tend to run many more plays than the wide receivers. More plays equals more chances for the player to earn fantasy points. QBs ran the most plays, of course, but their point structures weren't enough to balance out with the backs. The league leaders in fantasy points always read like a NFL list of running backs.

It seemed to me that the draft, for the above reason, mattered very much to an owner's overall success in the league. One who was lucky enough to get the first pick and select the best running back in the NFL, well, they'd more than likely end up in the league championship. Those who selected a first pick who turned out to have a horrible season, well, they'd more than likely have a horrible year in the league. Everything seemed tied to that first draft pick, and not enough had to do with the choices one made for starting players during the season. There seemed to be little strategy and chance involved, in general, after fantasy draft day.

Ching Chang Chong (CCC) is an attempt to take the limits of fantasy football to the maximum, but it's also an attempt to balance out point structure. CCC is, of course, an attempt to make your strategy much more important than the fantasy draft that precedes everything that happens in a season.

Last year, in Ching Chang Chong #3, I selected Daunte Culpepper with the first pick of the Mustachioed Banditos.

I didn't want to do it. I don't care for Culpepper, but he was the highest-rated player on the board, based on the league's projections. Against my gut feeling, I picked him. He proceeded to have one of his worst years in the NFL in 2005.

My team, however, went on to win the championship. Through strategy, careful selections at QB every week, and a little bit of luck, my Banditos did in CCC's first year what I don't think would have ever been likely in a standard league. I had a bad first pick, and I won the league.

How is this possible?

Ching Chang Chong uses as many starting slots on offense, defense, and special teams as I could possibly construct. There are 20 starting spots on a team for each week of play. Point structure also varies from a standard ESPN league. The running backs still rack up the points, but the sum of the offense against the defense and special teams tend to be equal, in theory. There's so many players each week that earn points on your team that it's pretty unlikely that one player will let you dominate the league. You'll have a better chance if your top three picks turn out to be fantasy supermen, but you still have to make sure to start the right players each week.

CCC competes in the head-to-head style of fantasy play. For the unfamiliar, your team matches against the team of another owner. Of this match, the team with the most points at the end of the week is the winner. Your team racks up wins and losses, just like the teams in reality. Toward the end of the season, the wins and losses determine whether or not your team makes the bonus rounds, which are the fantasy playoffs. The winner of the league is the last team standing, meaning, the one who wins each round of fantasy playoffs.

There's plenty of chance involved in your success beyond the luck of the draft. I can't count the number of games in the first year of CCC and the prototype years that were decided by a handful of points. To add to the emphasis of making the right decisions for starters, a number of decisions have come down to the difference of less than a touchdown.

In Week 1 of 2005 in Ching Chang Chong #3, No Effing Way played at Nebraska North. The final score was 163 to 158.5, North over Way. There's a little point box on North's line that reads "Home Field Advantage." In this case, the winner seemingly came down to a handful of points given to the team that was the "home team" that week.

Another close match happened in Week 16 of 2005, in the Ching Chang Chong #1 Playoffs. The New Orleans Pirates defeated For You T.O. by a score of 239-234. In this case, T.O. was the home team, but it was the difference of one player having another big play. Or, you could say that it was several players and the difference of one point between them. The Pirates, by the way, had a mediocre regular season, but with careful decisions in the playoffs, the Pirates won Ching Chang Chong #1.

By now, you should notice that the Ching Chang Chong style of play earns many more fantasy points than standard leagues.

Point totals range on the low end of 100 to almost 250 in some cases by week. They seem, in rough estimate, to balance on average of 150-200 points. This is why strategy is much more important in Ching Chang Chong. So many more players are earning so many more points than usual. The benefit of so many players and so many points, of course, is that if you make a mistake and start a player or two who end up not playing in reality that week, it won't usually destroy your chances of winning. After all, there's 18 more starters that balance out your attack.

CCC means more starting slots, more points, more balance, more chance, and more fun.

Ching Chang Chong is best suited for fantasy owners who've experienced a couple of seasons. However, you can walk into it cold, and if you follow the NFL and check a news source or two on game days, you'll be able to do well. In terms of play, as long as you set your starters every week, and you have fun, win or lose, that's what matters.

A somewhat-new bonus feature of Ching Chang Chong is the league history, as demonstrated by this link to Ching Chang Chong #1. If you check Ching Chang Chong leagues 1-4, there's information that is kept from the first season of play. It allows the owners to reference prior seasons, which is a nice feature that I haven't yet found from many fantasy football hosts. This is a relatively new development in fantasy football. If ESPN continues this feature, years down the road, it might be fun to spend a weekend looking back over the history of a CCC league. I hope ESPN expands the feature to include league records for points by a player, points for a team in a week, and many more.

I hope to perpetuate the leagues into many seasons of fun.

Ching Chang Chong means a lot, in sum, to me.

For you, Ching Chang Chong is what you make of it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


Dr. Christopher sauce1977 Strangelove, Ching Chang Chong Commissioner, Founder, Mad Scientist, Esquire.

Mad Scientists Are Funny.

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Comments {2}

We play this way, too!

from: Anonymous
date: Oct. 2nd, 2007 09:30 pm (UTC)

I'm in a couple of leagues this year, and one of them plays a lot like Ching Chang Chong. We play 18 positions, and it's not uncommon for a team to score over half of their points on defense.

I think it makes the season much more enjoyable. The other league plays a "team defense", and it's much more skewed towards RBs. This is just not as fun.

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Re: We play this way, too!

from: sauce1977
date: Oct. 2nd, 2007 09:39 pm (UTC)

I agree. Balance is the key. Points do reflect how well or poor an individual player affected whatever game he played that day. There are skews (Terrence McGee is a fantasy beast but I'd argue more so due to extra points from returns), but for the most part, if they're not racking stats in the game, then they're not trying in reality.

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