Some people were raised by parents. Other people were raised by wolves. I was raised by fantasy football.
My career began at age 6 when I joined forces with my grandmom to form the “Dynamic Duo”. My first boneheaded personnel decision came in 1997, when I drafted Bobby Hoying with the first overall pick. At age 13, I received the nickname “Sippycup” after spilling several cans of soda all over the draft table. I’ve won five championships, acted as commissioner of a league for over 11 years, and never dated throughout high school. It has been a good run.
My start in fantasy sports came before the game really became a fad with my generation. I have to admit, I miss those days. Things have really gotten out of hand. Fantasy sports has joined Reality TV and Nickelback as cliché things that American’s love.
So before fantasy sports “jump the shark”, I am going to share with you a list of he biggest threats to our beloved game and a few guidelines on how to save it.
1) Internet drafts should only be conducted as an absolute last resort. Internet drafts are the fantasy football equivalent of a lecture class. Lecture classes are mind-numbingly boring by nature. The only positive is rooted in your ability to A) sleep through an entire lecture class without being caught and B) not show up for the lecture class without anyone really knowing or caring about your absence. Both of these rules also apply to online drafts.
2) If a draft is hosted online, it should never last more than an hour. Don’t you ever sign onto AOL and pop into the chat rooms to meet new people and discuss exciting topics? No? Oh right, it isn’t 1998 and chatting online for hours on end is no longer fun. If I am going to be stuck in front of a computer for two hours, it sure as hell won’t be because I am anxiously waiting to see which back-up kicker you will select in round 14.
3) When drafting in person, no one should be allowed to participate over the phone. No exceptions. No single person is important enough that the rest of the room should have to suffer through hours of “Has Drew Brees been picked yet?” questions from some clown who couldn’t find the time to attend the event in person. Unless this person saved your life, is serving overseas, or is Christopher Walken there is no excuse for dealing with the nonsense.
4) Snacks will be served during the draft. Pizza will be made available after the draft.
5) If the TV is on, then it shall be showing a sporting event and the volume will be set to a low level. The other day, I attended a draft that featured a cooking show blaring in the background. It was like visiting a strip club with Wham! music playing.
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1) If you have more than three fantasy teams you need a new hobby. Be warned, talking to me about your three fantasy teams does not count as a hobby. Honestly, everyone and their mother runs a fantasy team these days. So no, it is not interesting to us that you unfortunately had to face Drew Brees in five of your eight leagues this week. This doesn’t make you unique. This makes you like 170,000 other people from around the world.
2) When watching a game, real sports take precedence over fantasy sports. The only acceptable time to talk about fantasy scoring is after the game or possibly during halftime. In the mean time, try enjoying a football game for what it is: a team sport centering around wins and loses rather than a collection of individuals striving for personal statistics.
3) Don’t ask me for my opinions of a trade you are considering in a league I know nothing and care nothing about. My old roommate Wakelee used to do this all the time. “In my public yahoo league number 16, I am thinking about unloading Steven Jackson for Steve Slaton and Ochocinco. What do you think?” Do you really want to know what I think? I think there are literally three million different annoying questions you could have asked me that would be no where near as annoying than what just came out of your mouth. The only trade I can think about right now is one for new friends.
4) If you are not playing for money, take a long, hard look in the mirror and consider exactly what you are doing with your life.
5) Don’t you dare tell me about your “hot sleeper”. Never use that phrase ever again. Instead, you will now tell me about your “player that Matthew Berry told me would be awesome this year”. As far as I am concerned, passing off an analysis’s prediction as your own is the same as plagiarism, and as a writer this offends me more than the fact that you think Beanie Wells is “your sleeper”.
Now you will have to excuse me. I have to check the NFL match-ups for week 2.