Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy) | Tampa Bay Times
Sorting out the truth in politics

No tax money will fund Air Force's fantasy football league

The statement

The Air Force wants taxpayers to fund a fantasy football league.

Bloggers, in Web posts

The ruling

On blogs and on Twitter last week, people buzzed that the Air Force was preparing to spend precious taxpayer funds as it faces sequester-driven budget cuts on a fantasy football league.

"What sequester? Air Force wants taxpayers to fund fantasy football league," read a headline at

"Spared by the Sequester, So Far: Air Force Fantasy Football Program," said another at

Bloggers had noticed a March 19 "request for information" from an Air Force contracting office "seeking sources for providing the Air Force installations a Fantasy Football Program."

The Air Force's original request for information included some clues that taxpayers might not be involved.

It mentioned the personnel center services division, which runs recreation and leisure programs for Air Force members and their families around the world, including clubs, bowling, golf, fitness, arts and crafts, and recreational shooting. It also manages the Air Force's "nonappropriated funds" — money that comes from fees collected from airmen and their families.

That is to say: Money that doesn't come from Congress. It's not taxpayer money and not subject to cuts under the sequester.

The goal of all these programs, sometimes called "MWR" for morale, welfare and recreation, is just what it sounds like: to boost troop morale.

And, for 17 years, they've included an annual program called the "Football Frenzy," said Air Force spokesperson Laurel Tingley. This year, the personnel center services division wanted to find out what it would take to add fantasy football.

Thus, the request for "information and pricing on providing product branding, hosting, managing, and delivering all programs and materials related to running a Fantasy Football League," that would serve airmen, civilians and family members at "over 100 installations worldwide."

"What we're looking at doing is enhancing a program that airmen have enjoyed for 17 years," Tingley said. "And the entire program is funded through (nonappropriated funds)."

On March 21, the Air Force updated its request to say:

"This RFI is issued by the Air Force Nonappropriated Fund Purchasing Office (AFNAFPO). … THEY ARE NOT APPROPRIATIONS FROM CONGRESS OR 'TAXPAYER' DOLLARS." A day later, it canceled the request.

We rate this claim False.

Edited for print. Read the full version at

No tax money will fund Air Force's fantasy football league 03/27/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 9:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays morning after: Wilson Ramos showing glimpses of what's possible in 2018


    The real payoff for the Rays signing C Wilson Ramos last off-season will come in 2018, when he can play a full season fully recovered from right knee surgery.

    And Ramos is giving the Rays a pretty good glimpse of what that can be like.

    In Friday's 8-3 win over the Orioles, he hit a grand slam - …

  2. Buccaneers-Vikings Scouting Report: Watching Kyle Rudolph, Adam Thielen and Everson Griffen


    No matter how much film we study, no matter how much data we parse, we just don't know how an NFL season will unfold.

  3. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  4. Sue Carlton: Job or family when a hurricane's coming — a very Florida conundrum


    It must seem as foreign to Northerners as shoveling snow is to those of us raised in the Sunshine State: The very-Florida conundrum of having to choose between work and family — between paycheck and personal safety — when a hurricane comes.

    A hurricane helps the rest of us acknowledge the police officers, paramedics, hospital personnel, public works employees and others who stay on the job despite the storm. 
  5. After Tampa concert, Arcade Fire members party, preach politics at Crowbar


    After waiting more than a decade for Arcade Fire’s first appearance in Tampa, fans didn’t have to wait long for their second.

    DJ Windows 98, a.k.a. singer Win Butler of Arcade Fire, performed at a "Disco Town Hall" at Crowbar following the band's concert at the USF Sun Dome on Sept. 22, 2017.