If I’m a bit melancholy this weekend, it’s because I failed to attend a live fantasy football draft for the first time since 2000. A few things have changed in my life in that time.
I already wrote about my mixed feelings on the league and my eventual departure. I finally handed off the trophy, freshly engraved with the names of the past three champions, including my own name. From second-hand sources I heard bits and pieces from what happened on Saturday as I was absent.
It oddly felt like the break up of a romantic relationship. Even in the worst of those broken situations there are good moments you look back with trying not to be overwhelmed with nostalgia. The annual draft was a highlight and it’s almost impossible to recreate how it was, especially in those early years. Alas we grew apart and I had to replace this league in my heart or in my somewhat limited free time so The League of Laws began.
I should rename that league since it started as a family league and there’s just me and my dad from the Law line. The League of Laws and Friends? In any case, as my low wattage of fantasy football celebrity remains, I was able to convince four members of that former league along with eight others to do a live draft on the last NFL-less Sunday of the calendar.
Here are the bios I wrote of each league member:
Team o’ Clutch: Bob Lung is the author of the 2016 Fantasy Football Consistency Guide and was on Going for 2 a few weeks ago. He lives around Cleveland and will probably have a beer during the draft.
FFMatrix: Connor Allen is the “thought leader” behind Fantasy Football Matrix @fantasy_matrix on Twitter. He reached out to me through Twitter. He and Don Funk will battle to overdraft Kevin White, as Connor resides in Chicago.
Mr Wizard’s Team: Mr Wizard is also known by his muggle name Jamal aka @jamalisms on Twitter. He’s the co-host of the Two Tone Crew, a Tennessee Titans podcast (bless his heart). He’s in Milwaukee for some reason and may drink two Diet Cokes during the draft.
Legion of Whom: Keith is a two-time guest on Going for Two and is @myersnfl on Twitter. He’s the managing editor at 12th Man Rising, a Seahawks blog for Fansided. He’s still annoyed that I could get Full Sail Nut Brown Ale cheaper in Atlanta than in Seattle.
Stupid Sexy Flanders: Jennifer Eakins writes for 4for4.com and Mile High Sports Magazine, and find her themondaymommy on Twitter. She probably won’t forgive me for that one time Missouri beat Georgia.
Old Bob’s Folks: OBL (old Bob Law) is my father. Invited into my local keeper league for the sole purpose of being my ride home because of something called the “penalty shot”, OBL used that sobriety to win three championships, including riding Blake Bortles and Tim Hightower to last year’s title, dropping the mic and retiring from the league. He’s back for more and promises to set his lineup after this nap.
Don’s Detention Team: When not teaching the future of America, Don is grumbling about Jay Cutler with a glass of wine in his hand. Don only drinks a glass a night, and the glass is the size of a bottle. Don’s still mad that I spent one offseason talking him into trading me Daunte Culpepper. He holds a grudge a long time. Don’s a Bears fan (this league is one big Factory of Sadness).
Sharona’s Swell Team: Sharona and I are the only podcast in human recorded history that’s been going on so long that we forget as we don’t number episodes and usually are drunker than Tony LaRussa by the time the show is over. We’ve been on Going for 2 so long that I actually was optimistic about the Titans when it started. She’s a Vols fan trying to recover from almost losing to a Sun Belt team. She will overdraft Derrick Henry and Tajae Sharpe, so be prepared. Find Sharona @sportsbysharona, on her Back Talk show and writing for about 12 sites.
Jen’s Team: Jen Ryan writes for Football Diehards and she’s bought me wine therefore friend for life. She is an MFL10 ninja and her @ffdejenerate Twitter handle is well deserved. She’s a Cowboys fan in New Jersey, and now I’ve seen everything. We also did a one-shot youtube show talking about the TV show Oz.
Kent’s Optimal Team: When not writing for “imnotthatimportant.com”, Kent Dougall is a Texans fan. Wait, how did a Texans fan get in here? He’s on Twitter @kent99d.
Sky Blue Beefaronis: Not soon after I met Charles Hoey, Esquire, he handed me a “penalty shot” of pepper vodka because I was rooting for the Tennessee Titans against his then-St. Louis Rams in the Super Bowl. A frenemy was born. He is another member of our semi-defunct local league, of which he, Don, OBL and myself won 10 of the 16 championships. Yeah, they’re pretty bad. Chuck now fancies himself an Atlanta Falcons fan so we know he can’t have that big of an ego. He’s the most likely member of the league to quote Monty Python.
Tajae’s Flat: I’m the three-time champ of the local keeper league, the zero-time champ of my decade old dynasty league, cat daddy, never award winning writer at zachlawonline.com (my mom thinks it’s great), co-host of Going for 2, beer aficianado, semi retired Titans fan and general misanthrope. I wanted a redraft and I got a redraft. I am glad that you are in for the ride. I will attempt to entertain you with my words and more likely, my draft ‘strategery’. I’m @zach_law and you non-Twitter people are missing out.
Did I have a plan? You betcha. My plan was to get really sweaty and produce two homemade pizzas, the second of which was complete about 20 minutes before the draft started. There were two bombers consumed, of which I will write later. I even commenced one of those Yahoo mock drafts, and the only thing I got out of it was getting slightly more familiar with the draft software.
I earned the 10th pick in the first round. As someone who believes in “value”, you can get players to fall to you at that pick. This doesn’t mean you win, it just feels good to get a player a few picks below his perceived value.
1.10: A.J. Green — Bring on the 200 targets (didn’t have a second option)
2.03: Rob Gronkowski — Will he get that “angry Brady” boost? (Mike Evans was second option)
3.10: CJ Anderson — My #zerorb colleagues will be so upset. (Randall Cobb was second option)
4.03: Donte Moncrief — I hope he’s #good. (Jamaal Charles was second option)
5.10: Larry Fitzgerald — Old wide receivers rule (probably drinking too much to recall my second option)
6.03: Tyler Lockett — Yes, I’m blaming Matt Harmon for this one.
7.10: Frank Gore — I don’t have 100% ownership of him in my leagues but it’s close.
8.03: Willie Snead — Felt early but ADP was out the window.
9.10: Isaiah Crowell — Cheap starting RB
10.03: Ameer Abdullah — Really cheap starting RB
11.10: Eric Ebron — Wanted a potential flex TE and here we go
12.03: Michael Thomas — I’ll take a much cheaper shot than your Sterling Shepards and Tajaes
13.10: Ryan Fitzpatrick — Probably early and I’m all but streaming QBs
14.03: Ted Ginn Jr — Another player I can’t quit
15.10: Rob Kelley — Either he starts or it’s to the waiver wire
16.03: Ryan Tannehill — Seriously, guys like this and Matt Ryan were available for free
17.10: Green Bay D — We start a defense?
18.03: Blair Walsh — Hey, it’s a kicker
Important picks of the draft:
First team D: Denver went at 7.06 (this is why I included team D)
First kicker: Stephen Gostkowski at 10.09
First team to take a backup kicker: Don (our favorite fan of the show) with Steven Hauschka in the 12th round (Don took three kickers in a row, pretty sure he fell asleep)
First player drafted who wasn’t on a roster but now is back on a roster: Justin Forsett with pick 12.09
First Dak: Pick 14.05
Where did Sharona take Derrick Henry? Pick 6.05
Where did Sharona take Tajae Sharpe? She didn’t. My dad sniped him at 8.11.
Where did Sharona take Marcus Mariota? Again, sniped by my dad at pick 12.11.
Who got the best rating by Yahoo? Colin of FF Matrix. He predrafted.
The #1 surprise of the draft was the speed. We took four long drunken hours to complete the auction on Wednesday. On Sunday we were done in 86 minutes, and that’s 204 draft picks. Bully to us.
Oh, if you want to see the auction show for Going for 2, a tradition like none other, it starts at about the 45 minute point of last week’s record long show.
Beers consumed last night: Wild Heaven’s Dionysus, a glorious sour mixed in with a quad, followed by Southern Brewing Company’s Foeder, a wild ale aged in their homemade oak foeder. It was quite tasty as well.