Sports. A subject in trivia night that always left unanswered; a Jeopardy category that would make me sink into my chair; a topic of small talk that would go absolutely nowhere. Only in the cases of the Olympics or World Cup could I really tolerate watching sports. Here at least smack talking foreign friends was entertaining and fun, and there was a little more identity associated with national teams. Still, for many sports it was a case of dissociation and general ignorance. I had always lived in an area where there was never a professional team playing to identify with; not to mention my own ideas of the value of having such massive amounts of money being spent on sports. All of that aside, if I truly had anything to back up my own words, it would all be meaningless opinion unless I explored the world of sports more than I ever have, and what better way than to do so with fantasy football.
As the NFL pre-season closes and fantasy footballers are setting up their leagues, my friend approached me about joining his league for a bit of fun on the side. What better time than now to jump into the action and figure out what all the sports hype was all about. So with a 20 dollar buy in and the chance to win some extra cash, a healthy knowledge of stats, and advice from a friend I joined a leagued in the local area with some along with a few friend in what is appropriately named: The Battle of the Neon Valley.
As soon as I registered I was already entered into a large roster of individuals all looking to win with their choice of draft picks, all of them ready to drop some smack talk and get into the competitive spirit of fantasy football. Now, the culture of fantasy football has always been something fascinating to me, and something that seemed to have a real charm that made it seem fun. After all there are the entertaining names such as the Tijuana Taco Ticklers next to the Spoopy Spectors and Le’Veon A Prayer. In some sort of The Leasgue-esque way, this fantasy football league seems to take the hilarity and humor of ridiculous competitiveness to create something entertaining for even the most non-sports versed people. In the same spirits and making fun of the now number one greatest terrorist threat according to the FBI, I entered the team name The Fetter-Free Freemen and saw my first scheduled face off with Taste My Rainbow.
“The draft begins at 3:30EST” a little blurb popped up on my e-mail. It was time for it all to begin, and for this novice to see how drafting players really worked. This was the all or nothing, go big or go home, sort of situation, and one that would really affect performance at the beginning of the season.
My friend who had invited me into the league had me over at his house, along with other players in person and on call via Skype, all ready to talk about whom we were going to pick while simultaneously crying over other people snatching your dream team up before your eyes. As the clock ticked nearer and nearer to the start time, I received my draft order: Number 3. Not too bad.
We began going down the list of players, looking at whom to pick. Luckily, the service we were using provided by ESPN gave a basic idea of projected score counts and ranked players out the door. On top of that, websites built by people far more dedicated toward the game than myself have compiled relevant data together for choosing available players and drafting them based on their average scores, current health status, and how prone they are to injury. Taking those states into account it was time to get started.
With that information at hand opened my laptop and ran the draft aside various tabs of statistics to gather my players. In what might be an unfair advantage of non-bias toward players or teams, I slowly gathered up players, cursed others, and joined into the fun until the draft had slowly wound down. At the close, I had drafted a pretty solid team to kick off the season. With the draft closed and players slowly walking away, some rejoicing in their teams and others left worrisome, it was time to sit back and wait for the official NFL season to start. Maybe soon I'll be the guy in the sports bar cursing both teams pinned up against one another for not performing their best.
To be continued...