“You say this every year. I can’t even muster the strength to half-heartedly reassure you.”
That was my commissioner’s response to this year’s post-draft social media rant, and he’s right: if there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that I will lose faith in the men I hand-picked to be on my fantasy football team immediately after hand-picking them.
Actually, I lose faith a few seconds before drafting them. I scan players, curse to myself (sometimes I type it), make my selection, and curse to myself again (sometimes I type it a second time). I like to compare it to driving, when you make a wrong turn and realize it immediately after committing — only, with fantasy football, I think “This isn’t right” and make the turn anyhow.
Disclaimer: I won this league two years ago and finished third last year. That technically makes me the most successful active owner in this league’s history.
I also like to compare fantasy football to the hiring of a dominatrix, one who dishes out disappointment instead of actual physical pain.
Imagine that: a disappointrix. Imagine being strapped down to … I don’t know, whatever they strap you down to … and, instead of whipping and paddling, she pulls up a chair and reads off the names of every state representative who voted against Sunday liquor sales this year. Maybe she turns on the first Super Mario Bros. and sucks at it for an hour. Not only are you being held there, you’re paying to be held there.
That’s what drafting in fantasy football feels like to me.
This year, I drafted 11th … and you wouldn’t believe who fell to me at 11.
I drafted Patriots tight end and America’s party boy Rob Gronkowski. My buddy Masseur is drafting a few feet away from me, and cusses me out for it. That’s the only satisfaction I get from that pick, that and having Rob Gronkowski.
When the snake comes back around two seconds later, I invest in Jaguars garbage-time touchdowns by calling up wide receiver Allen Robinson.
Mark Ingram is chosen 20th overall. If you’re reading this: was he even drafted in your league? Serious question.
Meanwhile, Masseur announces “I’m picking people who are gonna fucking SCORE!” as he selects Washington tight end Jordan Reed. “Tight ends score!”
Speaking of garbage-time touchdowns, my Dolphins money finally goes where my Dolphins mouth is when I click DRAFT on wide receiver Jarvis Landry. That’s the highest I’ve ever chosen one of my beloved, goddamned Dolphins. A wide receiver plays quarterback for the Dolphins, but Landry can catch anything that comes within a mile of him so I’m oddly confident.
I make my confidence known by saying “Fuck me” in the chat room before drafting.
Round four is where I really shine, taking Raiders running back Latavius Murray second in a round that sees Russell Wilson, Tom Brady, Thomas Rawls, Doug Baldwin, Drew Brees, and … yeah, every other choice in that round was more logical than Latavius Murray. Except Donte Moncrief.
Fun fact: when I checked my phone the next morning, Selena Gomez was the last thing played on my Spotify. I don’t know how this is related to that Latavius pick, but I’m relatively certain it is. UPDATE: They’re related because they’re equally embarrassing.
Pretty much everyone else took quarterbacks in that round, but that’s okay! I double-down on my Jaguars garbage-time investment and pick up their quarterback, misfit Pokemon Blake Bortles.
Right after that, I pick Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart in the sixth. The next two running backs taken were Frank Gore and Reshad Jennings, so I’m not upset about that pick.
Ooh, it gets neat again! Round seven:
First, I need to tell you that I lost in last year’s semifinals because Arizona wide receiver John Brown dropped what would have been a 200-yard touchdown reception. I lost that match by 8 points.
Notice John Brown is in bold. That means … yep!
Let’s have a more pleasant thought, though: two years ago, in the Thirsty Pagan Brewing taproom, I watched on my phone as Bengals running back Giovani Bernard scored a touchdown that secured my Super Bowl victory. I bought everybody at the bar a round when that happened, then spent the winnings on a Duluth Pack bag.
Bernard’s name is also in bold.
The rest of the draft included Ol’ Trusty (Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, R9), a rookie who looked sharp for two seconds one time when I was looking up at a bar’s TV screen (Titans receiver Tajae Sharpe, R10), one “Why not?” (Falcons receiver Mohamed Sanu, R11), a defense I’m going to waive, a kicker I’ll likely waive also, and Pierre Garcon because I think his mouthguard looks cool.
Masseur takes blog fantasy football legend JIMMY @#$%ING GRAHAM in the 15th round out of pity. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
Add it all up, and yeah: I’d say I’m stacked.
(Thanks for this, Tweak)