Before football season started, Dan invited me to his fantasy football draft party. I'm in a fantasy league and was curious to see how others ran theirs. I checked out their website -- "Williams World Fantasy Football -- Dominating your Sunday since 1993" -- and then headed to O.B. for hot dogs, chili, and trash talk.
Since draft order is important (everyone in every league picks LaDainian Tomlinson first), it was funny when someone suggested, "The draft order should be the order we showed up here." Someone else joked that they would've camped out the day before. Yes, that's how serious people are about fantasy football.
Dan's wife prepared food, and another guy's wife brought brownies. We joked about whether there was pot in them, and someone said the brownies were smuggled from TJ.
A few guys wore 49ers jerseys. I asked one of them if he drafted Niners. He said that he didn't. It's common for fans of a team to draft productive players on that team. For the 2007 Niners, that would be running back Frank Gore. "I don't usually wear jerseys," the guy said. "It's not how I roll. But I wear this on draft day to make a statement." I told him that in my league there's a guy who drafts Chargers, and other than Antonio Gates, it usually hurts him. He said, "Yeah. You can't draft with your heart."
As we talked, he knocked over a drink. Everyone gave him a hard time about that.
Dan leaned in and said, "We have a guy who gets drunk but still drafts well." Someone overheard him and said, "There are lots of things drinking doesn't affect. I can do anything drunk that I can when I'm sober." He thought about this for a second and then said, "Well, maybe not driving...or working. But everything else."
One guy brought his daughter and said, "Here's Vanna White." She was brought to work the board that showed the players who were drafted. The guy in the Niners jersey was saying flirtatious things to her, which I thought was odd in front of her dad. And she looked to be about 20 years younger than the guy.
This league awards cash each week. I was told that Bill didn't win a single week last year. He was presented a bottle of Smart Water and told that maybe it would make him smarter and he'd draft a better team this year.
Dan asked everyone to hand over their checks. He told me that it's easier to have everyone pay in advance. "It's funny, some of these guys are attorneys and think nothing of owing me $5 or $10." When it was pointed out that it was difficult to get checks from one of the guys when he was married, that guy said, "Well, I'm not married now!" I asked one of the attorneys if the seed money was tax deductible.
Marsalis brought his lap top. I told him that he looked organized, like an NFL scout. A heavy-set guy sitting across from him said, "It's not even plugged in."
That big guy was humorous. Anytime someone opened their mouth, he had a quick dig for them that drew laughs.
When the hat was passed around for draft order, the first person grabbed the number one pick. A few guys yelled that he looked into the hat and the controversies began.
There was talk about Marsalis's weight loss. One guy said, "He was huge. He looks like Vin Diesel now, doesn't he?" The big guy said, "Hey, you're no babe magnet!"
The big guy and I talked about how we both drafted Randy Moss the past few years and how Moss killed us with poor performance. He told me that Moss was the reason he came in second instead of first place last season. I said, "I'll try to take him this year, though. With the Patriots...and Brady throwing to him, I expect good things." He said, "I won't touch the guy." I tried to talk him into it: "I think he's going to give 110 percent this year. He'll give 20 percent the first game. Maybe 30 percent the next game. By the third game, he'll give 15 percent. By the end of the 16-game season, he will have given 110 percent."
When someone drafted running back Marshawn Lynch, the big guy said, "You'd be better off with Merrill Lynch."
In my league, if someone drafts a player who is injured, we inform them. When I asked these guys about this, they all said, "Oh, no! If you don't do your homework, you're screwed." They shared stories of people drafting players who had retired.
Dan's in a band, and I figured I'd switch the topic away from football. I asked him if his wife suggests songs for him to play. "Yeah, sometimes. She likes when we do 'All Along the Watchtower.'"
When someone drafted Randy Moss, I just heard the last name. "Was that Santana Moss or Randy?" I asked. When I was told it was Randy, I replied, "Can you believe he's slipped so much that Santana Moss could be picked before him?" The big guy said, "He was crazy to take him."
The guy who drafted Moss said, "He'll get 16 TDs this year. I guarantee it." (As I write this, Moss leads the NFL in yards and TDs.)
When someone drafted Todd Heap, the big guy said, "He is a heap." Big guy threw a few pills into his mouth and someone asked, "Is that Viagra?" He said it was for a kidney infection.
At one point, the lights outside flickered. Someone said, "It's your computer. It's taking too much power."
When someone picked Shawn Merriman, I got confused. I'd never heard of leagues drafting defensive players. I was handed a sheet of rules. This league awards points for everything possible in a football game.
It was starting to get cold, and I wished I had brought a jacket. I wondered why Vanna White wasn't getting cold. Someone said, "Hey, Vanna, do you want a beer?" Her dad said, "She doesn't drink."
I wondered how many fathers thought their daughters didn't drink.
Crash your party? Call 619-235-3000 x421 and leave an invitation for Josh Board.