The draft board
Are you ready for some football?!
Hank Williams is, that's for sure. Approximately 35 million other people world wide are really excited for football as well, but for a slightly different reason than ol' Hank, and that's because of Fantasy Football. Maligned by girlfriends and wives and loved by men worldwide (besides Jason who hates it and calls it "fantasy f***ball"), it is about as prevalent of a hobby for American men as anything is. Well, with the exception of drinking beer, but the good news is that actually heightens your fantasy football experience!
With the football season right around the corner, my yearly league Suckout Central once again gathered to draft together, this time with a slightly larger group than usual (14) and in a new location. This league has mostly been comprised of the same group of pairs of friends and combined acquaintances for a long time now, but it's my third year and Colver's second so we are fixtures within the league at this point. Given that this is a group who only gets together when they want to select which football players will make their team better than every other team within the league, it's more than a bit competitive. That competitiveness comes out entirely within one liners from everyone at the draft about every pick made (when they are bad or suspect).
Example: league commissioner (and my former boss) Pat spent his first five to six rounds drafting older players. Really, really good players...don't get me wrong, but older players. This of course led almost everyone to making jokes about his gameplan, culminating in me casually suggesting that he change his team name to "The 2006 All-Pro Team." Hilarious if you're there, not so funny if you're not, but the point is fantasy football is all about friendly competition mixed with more than a little derision and jokes at others expenses.
This league is particularly awesome though as it is loaded with people who know a lot about sports and people who actually put in time to research (with a few exceptions: there is one or two horrible owners yearly without fail). You know it will always be competitive and fun, but that leads me into the bad part about fantasy sports - nothing ever compares to the draft.
Especially this year when we had a draft board (essentially a big board that you stick names to that guides you through the draft) and a clock making sure everyone wasn't taking forever. The whole draft was fast paced and a blast, plus the new location was loaded with delicious food that people cooked for the draft and ample amounts of beverages (beer!). As I said before, there is also the aspect of making jokes about everything, as every pick is analyzed with a Mystery Science Theater 3000 spin. It's always the one time everyone is together and the one time we really talk about the league besides message board posts, so the comraderie dwindles throughout the season.
Which is fine - almost none of these people are my friends, but it would be more fun and intense if we all got together from time to time to talk about the league. One person suggested that everyone gets together and gets drunk right before the trade deadline (my name is David Harper and I support this idea), but besides that there isn't a lot of discussion of interaction to improve the quality of the league.
The good news is I still have more drafts, with the first annual "Will Play for Beer" draft this Thursday, featuring actual friends of mine as my buddies Sobo, Erik, Colver, Marc, Tim, Ryan, Sam and a couple of Colver's coworkers will all be participating in what is hopefully a yearly league. This league will assuredly be full of trash talking and completely ridiculous overstatements of team quality (mostly by yours truly, I fear), which means it will be a blast. I'm glad we got it together, and am looking forward to future years in that league, but not nearly as much as I am looking forward to this year of football.
Are you ready for some football?
Hell yes I am Hank.