Live draft time

I need to discuss the total draft experience that I had this weekend. By Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m., our draft’s start time, most of us had been at it since Thursday night. One of our owners courageously hosted our motley crew. Each owner had a batch of papers and/or magazines. Many also carried bottles of liquor.

To determine draft order our host put stickers on the bottom of 12 paper cups. Each sticker had a number from one to twelve and was covered by another sticker to discourage draft slot cheating. All owners concocted a beverage within said cup and there was a toast to get things started. I pulled the six slot. Due to my amazing drafting prowess, or my league mates lack thereof, I generally have picked toward the end of the first round. The previous year’s champion usually drafts on the ‘turn’ at the end of the first round, but we started from scratch so we did the random order. We drafted serpentine, so the last pick in the first round earned the first pick in the second.

I burned a CD full of entrance music for each owner. The owners of the first pick started with Madonna. Tell me how many fantasy drafts started with Madonna.

Naturally I have to give a blow-by-blow of my draft picks. It’s an indulgence, but this is my space and I can fill it how I choose. So here goes.

1.06: Edgerrin James: By this time I had finished one very large buttery nipple (the drink), one shot of vodka and I had a full Mimosa in front of me. The two picks in front of me were Stephen Jackson and Willis McGahee. James was number three on my list. He’s going to get some of those touchdowns that Manning doesn’t throw.

2.07: Julius Jones: Let’s see, I’m probably up to two shots of vodka and everything I mentioned in the previous pick. Someone drunker than me took Ricky Williams in this round. I probably have Jones in too many leagues but I had to take him over the likes of Clinton Portis and Ahman Green.

3.06: JJ Arrington: There’s another shot on the board and I’ve opened my first beer. There’s probably no good reason to take a running back here, but the top three quarterbacks are long gone and the next 15 wide receivers are very similar. He could be trade bait. I get a penalty shot for drafting a Cardinal. I deserve it.

4.07: Joe Horn: He was a top scorer last year so naturally he’ll tank this year. I’m still on that first beer.

5.06: Trent Green: Since this is a keeper league Green may be slightly less valuable. With those receivers it’s hard to believe that he threw for 4600 yards last year, but it’s true.

6.07: Ashley Lelie: Talk about a boom or bust pick. He’ll catch some deep balls but will he go across the middle?

7.06: Ravens D: Will I suffer in fantasy-football purgatory for this pick? First of all, I hate the Ravens. Second of all, drafting the first team defense is never a value pick. Third of all, I hate the Ravens.

7.10: LJ Smith: I like this pick more every day. Owens will come back, but there isn’t much else in Philly.

8.07: Jake Plummer: He’ll throw three touchdowns and three picks one week. He’s younger in case Trent Green retires. Plus those AFC West pass defenses blow.

9.06: Travis Henry: I really like this pick. Henry will get a ton of carries this year. Drink update: I’ve had a few shots, a couple of beers, and my pal next to me has discovered the Absolut Raspberry.

10.07: Charles Rogers: This is the ultimate boom or bust pick in my draft. I needed someone to take over in case Lelie doesn’t improve this year and I take a guy who’s played five games in two years. I’d love to blame the alcohol but I targeted Rogers from the start.

11.06: J.P. Losman: Here’s my young QB. There’s a .001% chance that he becomes Daunte Culpepper. The weapons are there.

12.07: Eddie Kennison: Talk about an unsexy pick. Kennison put up solid numbers in KC, although this isn’t exactly a wide receiver hotbed. By the way, my Absolut buddy is sprawled out in the driveway by now.

13.06: Ben Troupe: My second Titan! He may or may not start the year on the active roster. I see him as the best bet for a Jason Witten/Antonio Gates rise to the top this year.

14.07: Josh Brown: Yep, I went for a kicker.

15.06: Eric Shelton: We only roster four running backs so it’s likely that I drop Shelton by the season opener. No one has much faith in DeShaun Foster’s health.

16.07: Cardinals D: They’ll be OK this year. I know, second Cardinals player.

17.06: Neil Rackers: The draft room is utter chaos at this point. Ok, most everyone is either drunk, tired, or bored. I’ve probably consumed a dozen beverages. Once I arrive at home I sleep for nearly four hours and barely notice. My tally for drinks at the party that night? Zero.

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