Indulge me for a moment as I share with you an example of how not to schedule a fantasy football draft.
I hate group text messages almost as much 55 mph drivers in the left-hand lane. They veer off topic almost instantaneously, confining half of the unlucky recipients to cellular purgatory. Good luck trying to conduct a professional phone call with a cell that keeps vibrating crucial information such as the defending champion’s recent weight gain.
In an effort to eliminate this nuisance from a summer spent managing the latest of several sunburns, I always agree to the first date and time offered. Living thousands of miles from the majority of leagues in which I play, virtually all of my drafts are conducted over the phone or via computer.
This approach has had several drawbacks over the last few years. In 2012 I conducted a three-hour draft from the LVH sports book because I didn’t have enough time to race home from a bet I had just placed (it lost). Two years ago I put my Old Man behind the wheel of our Las Vegas-bound automobile in Iowa while I rode shotgun, orchestrating two drafts simultaneously.
I don’t want you to be like me. Put the time into getting the perfect draft date set up and be willing to compromise with the other knuckleheads you call friends. Draft day is special. Embrace the chaos and follow these rules to make the most out of the big day.
Rule No. 1: Sacrifice whatever is necessary for the best possible date. Friday night and Saturday afternoon/evening are the optimal options.
Rule No. 2: Everybody brings something. You want this shindig stocked from top to bottom with food (ribs, steak, sausage, burgers).
Rule No. 3: Provide ancillary entertainment. This is how fantasy championships are won. I recommend a beer pong tournament, although cornhole and pool meet Rule No. 3’s requirements as well.
Rule No. 4: Leave the significant others and kids at home. For this one day a year, I do not want to set an example. I want to get inside everybody else’s head and mess with their draft strategies.
Rule No. 5: Establish an “On the Clock” rule and stick to it.
On average, fantasy owners have anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes between each selection. I suggest a clock limit of one minute, but I’m impatient. Two or three minutes is plenty of time to make a selection.
Rule No. 6: Engage in post-draft reflection. Message boards exist in fantasy football leagues to encourage trash talking, but the vitriol shouldn’t be limited to in-season Internet postings. Face to face slander is even more enjoyable.
Rule No. 7: Don’t drive home drunk. This one speaks for itself and should never be an issue.
Rule No. 8: Apologize to your significant other for getting too drunk at the draft party. Also self-explanatory.
Joe Fortenbaugh, worked as an NFL Agent from 2003-2006 at JB Sports, Inc. Follow Joe on Twitter @joefortenbaugh, and check out his website at NationalFootballPost.com. You can reach him at [email protected].