There are only a handful of things that are more fun for me than a live fantasy sports draft. I purposely play in as many leagues as possible just for the drafts. Also, I’m pretty good at fantasy sports (football, baseball, basketball, golf), winning multiple championships in my career.
Sunday, August 1 marked the kickoff for my Fantasy Football season. This league, compiled of twitter friends, has twelve teams participating. In a random drawing for draft positioning, I earned pick eleven of twelve. With that, I will have pick 14, meaning I should get two top tier players.
Here’s my in depth recap of this leagues draft:
5:59 – one minute before we begin the draft. I am at pick eleven, which means I will have some time before the draft. All twelve owners are present in the chat room, eliminating anyone from complaining about auto-picking. Hope the internet connection holds up!
6:00 – And we’re off! First pick made: Chris Johnson. Second: AP. No surprises yet.
6:05 – Already time for me to pick. All the top ten pre-ranked players go almost in order. I grab Steven Jackson at pick eleven, and Larry Fitzgerald at pick fourteen. I’m satisfied with those two. It will be very interesting who is available in the late 3rd and early 4th round. I wish more people were smack-talking.
6:09 – This draft is moving way too quickly. People are not using their full 1:30 time limit. We are already at pick 22.
6:13 – Surprised that at pick 28, Reggie Wayne is still available. Is there something wrong with him?
6:17 – a lot of my sleepers are already gone. Interested to see how it plays out for them. Three players ranked ahead of my pick remain. One being Knowshon Moreno, who just was injured in camp.
6:19 – My 3rd round pick: Sidney Rice. I think I took him a little too high. I need another RB. 4th round pick: Brett Favre. This makes it official that Favre is coming back… to the ‘Fantasy Guru’s’! It will be feast or famine with the Favre-Rice combo.
6:33 – Teams are taking their time more in picking. the 5th and 6th rounds are where you start using your knowledge to get the hidden gems. My 5th round pick: Brandon Jacobs; 6th round pick: Marion Barber. I now have three RB’s and feeling pretty good about that. Jacobs will be the wild-card.
6:51: Pace has slowed even more. I’m happy with my 7th round pick of Tony Gonzalez and 8th round pick of Clinton Portis. He’s a sleeper, and possibly could have grabbed him later. I will wait to get a kicker and defense with my last two picks.
7:03 – Tough to choose who I want at this point. Most of my people I wanted are gone. Round 9 pick: Fred Jackson; round 10: Jericho Cotchery. In other news, I’m watching the catfight on Big Brother between Kristin and Rachel. Yes, it’s a secret goal of mine to be on this show someday.
7:16 – Very happy with my 11th and 12th round picks: Malcom Floyd and Tim Hightower. We’re getting close to kicker and defense time!
7:29 – At this point, you’re looking at 2nd, 3rd, and 4th string guys. Round 13: Roy Williams; Round 14: Willis McGahee. I need one of my late picks to become an impact player.
7:39 – I finally break down and grab a kicker: Dan Carpenter, in round 15. Round 16 gives me the New England Patriots defense.
7:50 – pick 203, one away from Mr. Irrelevant. I guess that makes my pick, Jeremy Shockey, the last relevant player. Yes, I let the timer go and Shockey was auto-picked for me.
Overall, I am very happy with my team. I would consider me taking Favre a risk if I did not have insider information about Favre coming back. But, I do 🙂 I am looking forward to a fun season in this league. I have one more draft later this month. I’ll use the blog to chronicle my successes this season. I hope you enjoy the ride!
Sunday afternoon brought me Downtown Minneapolis to the Minnesota Vikings vs. Philadelphia Eagles Wild-Card playoff game. This was the first football playoff game in Minnesota in eight years, and the first for me as a season ticket holder.
I met Bury and Iggy at Sneaky Pete’s much later than originally planned, but knowing I wasn’t drinking, there wasn’t a lot of motivation to arrive at 11am to be around a ton of drunk people; I had three hours of that to look forward to at the dome. Both myself and Brian were lucky enough to find parking on the street for free, saving a minimum of $20 each. We left SP early with hopes of beating the masses to the dome. One comment: as useful as the Metro Transit Light Rail is, during peak times (ex: sporting events), entering and exiting the rail is a complete mess. Any small kid or small adult has little chance against people my size or larger. However, it is worth the $1 you spend to get a 6-hour ticket which covers you round trip.
My analysis of the game: the Vikings offensive minds, Coach Brad Childress and Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell, did not use quarterback Tavaris Jackson how they should have. He is not a pocket passer; he’s mobile and has the ability to keep defenses on their heels with a combination of his legs and arm. He misfired on 18 of his first 29 passes, most of which came within the hash marks. The Vikings offensive minds also showed very little amount of ‘new’ in their scheme. Other than one breakout run by Adrian Peterson, and one drive of substance, the Vikings offense was unimpressive. Another odd moment occurred at the end of the first half; the Vikings had just intercepted Donovan McNabb, and with 1:08 left, the ball on the Vikings 10 yard line, there wasn’t much to do there other than kill the clock and go into halftime with a two-point deficit. They chose to run the ball on first down for a 2 yard gain, then inexplicably pass the ball incomplete to stop the clock, then ran the ball on 3rd down for no gain allowing the Eagles to call time out before the punt to give themselves an opportunity to move the ball in field goal range. Fortunately, the Vikings stopped the Eagles from scoring before halftime.
The Vikings defense was ‘bendy’ for a lot of the game, but did have a nice interception by Cedric Griffin, a sack and caused fumble by Jared Allen. The Vikings line sorely missed DE Ray Edwards and DT Pat Williams, rarely getting any pressure on McNabb; he was able to slice and dice the Vikings defense throughout the game, converting on at least three 3rd down plays longer than 8 yards.
The big difference in this game were the big plays and capitalizing on them. The Eagles had the 44 yard interception for a touchdown by Asante Samuel; the 71 yard touchdown pass by McNabb to Brian Westbrook, a 62 yard punt return which led to a field goal and a 34 yard reception on another key 3rd down which led to a field goal, both by DeSean Jackson. The Vikings had the 40 yard run by Peterson, the interception by Griffin (which they did not capitalize on), and the fumble recovery by Fred Evans (which they did not capitalize on).
Overall, the game was entertaining, and not in doubt until the middle stages of the 4th quarter. I’m glad I’m not the type of fan that requires facepaint, or my body painted (which Bury saw a guy getting painted in one of the bathrooms… weird) to feel like a real fan. Sure, I’m a little bummed about the outcome, but this won’t effect my mood. Remember, it’s just a game and entertainment.
It was a different experience for me for a couple reasons: it was a playoff game; the intensity was there, the crowd was as loud as I’ve ever heard it, and I was sober throughout the whole game. The 09 resolution to attempt sobriety has been somewhat easy to do, and this weekend was a huge test to see if I could actually do this sobriety thing. So far, so good.
This caps the sports weekend extravaganza. There won’t be another opportunity to see three different professional sporting events in three nights in Minnesota for a long while. To be in the position to have the opportunity to do something like this is quite remarkable; I’m a very lucky person.
I go back to reality tomorrow, working for the first time since December 24th, and that was a half-day with a two-hour lunch. I’m very interested to see what will happen in the next couple weeks in the office.