Steve Rannazzisi Talks March Madness, Ending The League
He also has a pretty compelling argument for how The League should end.
Steve Rannazzisi is best known for playing Kevin, the fantasy football-losing family man on FXX’s The League. So it’s only natural that he was selected to be the face of obsessive sports fandom for the Buffalo Wild Wings March Madness ad campaign. It’s a relatable face. It’s a face we can all sympathize with.
Now that the tournament is upon us, Steve is all about hoops. He spoke to MAXIM about his pools and his incredible vision for how The League should end.
Who’s your team?
I’m a big basketball fan, both professional and college. I grew up in New York, so I’m a St. John’s fan – that’s who I rooted for when I was a kid. In the late 80’s, early 90’s, Mark Jackson and Chris Mullin were the guys to watch. So yeah, I still follow St. John’s college basketball. It’s beyond sports, it’s pop culture as well. Everyone gets involved, everyone gets crazy about it, but that’s basketball.
Are you going to compete in someone’s tournament pool this year?
I always do. I’m going to do one with my dad so I can talk a lot of smack. I do one with him, a couple of his close friends, and a couple of my friends. Then I’ll do one for charity with celebrities. You have to be in couple.
So how heated do you get at the games? Are you the guy going nuts, yelling at the TVs?
No, no, no. These guys, when you think about it, they’re like 18 years old and they’re making these tremendous decisions on the spot on national TV, and I’m amazed when they score. I’m amazed that they can accomplish anything. I remember myself at 18 and what a disaster I was. These guys are amazing. That’s why I watch: The competition is high and most of them are never going to play basketball again. I don’t go crazy; I don’t throw things; I don’t gamble. I take it for what it is: Unbelievable to watch.
Who are your top picks this year?
I watched Kentucky beat UCLA earlier this year – I think UCLA scored 8 points in the first half and Kentucky had 50. To me, it’s the rest of the field and Kentucky. There will be a final four, and they’ll be competitive great game, but I don’t think anyone steps up to beat Kentucky this year.
No one can take them down?
They’re going to cruise because they were built to win.
Onto another sport – let’s talk about The League. Are you guys filming right now or just getting prepared for Season 7?
We’re writing Season 7, and then we’ll start filming early July once football starts to pick up and camps start going. We have access to some football players early on. We’ve always done what we wanted to do, but we get to end it the way we want and go on our own terms.
I was sad to hear that it’s ending, but am also excited to see what you’ll all come up with this season.
Yeah, I don’t even know how you would even end a show like this. In my mind, Rafi kills everyone and saves me and we just ride out into the sunset.
That would be incredible. What kind of basketball fan do you think Kevin would be?
Kevin would probably be exactly like he is for football: Trying to figure out every angle, every possible move, coming up with his thoughts which are usually wrong. Kevin would probably be very similar – and you know what, in real life, I think I’m better at real life.
Do you think that Jenny would be helping him out?
Yeah of course, Jenny would need to help Kevin out. Especially brackets – forget it.You have to pick from the left to the right, and that’s not Kevin’s forte.
Do you get unlimited Buffalo Wild Wings for life now?
You know what, I’m pushing for it. I’ll be honest with you. It has not been offered yet but I would love if you can maybe get the word out there.
I’ll get petition going for you. We’ll have to dream up a hashtag for this.
Yeah, #wingsforlife. We’ll figure it out.
Photos by Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP