It’s been about 7 years since I last participated in fantasy football. All my “fantasy” time has been dominated by baseball since then. Well, baseball and Diora Baird. But for some reason or another, I finally decided it was high-time to throw my helmet back onto the field. Fortunately, my pals in Pittsburgh decided to expand their 8-man league to a 12-man league this season, thus throwing back all of their keepers into the mix and starting anew. And wouldn’t you know, they extended the olive branch my way and offered me a spot. And after all, who am I to refuse free money?
Before getting into our draft (scheduled for Saturday @ 7:30 pm), my good pal Chuck proposed he and I play some tennis that afternoon. What’s more, Chuck and I have a tendency to put little side bets on our matches whenever we square off. The great thing, though, is that we don’t play for money; rather, we play for humiliation. In the past, we’ve bet everything from “Loser has to eat a dozen of the hottest wings on the menu while drinking only Zima” to “Loser has to eat six cream-filled donuts in 30 minutes” to “Loser has to order a drink of the winner’s choice” (and, no, I did notenjoy my appletini, thank you). My track record against Chuck in these types of wagers has been pretty solid to this point, so I reluctantly agreed to his wager: “Loser must wear an outfit of the winner’s choosing for the remainder of the day.” Because I didn’t have access to my wardrobe, we agreed that the outfit could cost no more than $10 from the local A. J. Wright, a sort of T. J. Maxx knock-off.
Final score? 6-2, 6-3. Winner? Not Chuck.
This is what $8.99 buys you these days.
For a total of $8.99, I managed to secure a pair of tapered jean shorts ($3) and a smooth Michael Jackson t-shirt ($5.99) with “Remember the Time” across the top, several pictures of MJ in the middle, and his dates of birth and death at the bottom. Too soon? Nah, not when it comes to humiliating one of your best friends.
Following tennis and Chuck’s wardrobe change, we took a ride over to the East End Brewing Company so our pal, Jeff, could fill a couple growlers, and so the rest of us could sample free beer for an hour. This place not only makes some swell beer, but it’s one of the cooler “breweries” I’ve visited. Why? Because it’s not a stinkin’ brewpub! It’s an actual brewery with eight taps located in the warehouse section of the joint, manned by two guys who couldn’t have been happier to hand out free beer to us drunks. (And by the way, the best part of my trip to East End wasn’t the free beer, nor commenting on how nice Chuck’s jean shorts looked all the while. Rather, the experience was topped off by the guy with the shaved head and cheesy, Don Johnson circa Miami Vice beard who walked in to get his growler filled — while wearing jean shorts! Oh, thank you, irony. You’ve once again made life worth living.)
After a few more belts, we headed to our buddy Cooper’s house in the sleepy town of Aspinwall. Seriously, it’s right out of a Norman Rockwell painting, and even comes with its very own porch-dwelling geriatrics who know every member of the community by name. A little creepy, really. About thirty minutes passed before our pal, Dave, showed up, having just driven in from Philadelphia. With that, the six of us — me, Chuck, Cooper, Dave, Jeff and Mark — walked three blocks to the neighborhood courts for a little 3-on-3 basketball. And for the record, at 5’10” I was far and away the shortest guy on the court. What’s more, I was the only Jew of the bunch, so that was two quick strikes against me.
Chuck (left) and Jeff prepare to get schooled.
Sadly, we were forced to abide by the court rules.
Jeff, Cooper and I made up Team A, while Chuck, Mark and Dave comprised Team B. We played 3 games to 11, and somehow we managed to take 2 of them. Did I mention that I’m short, Jewish and incapable of hitting an open jumper with a rim the circumference of a hula hoop? And despite that, yes, we took the rubber match and walked off with the series victory. (And by the way, that put me up 2-0 on Chuck in the day’s events. He wasn’t happy.)
Mark and Jeff keep it light before the carnage ensues.
Chuck sans Jacko shirt brings the ball up court.
Despite his windedness, Dave can still muster the Double Deuce.
Following the whooping we handed down, we headed back to Cooper’s to prepare for the draft. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t do a lick of prep, save the 30 minutes I spent in the car on the drive to Pittsburgh trying to figure out how there could be so many players in the NFL with the last name “Johnson.” Still, I figured out a pretty simple strategy that I intended to utilize: draft wide receivers and watch my competition fuck up. Done and done. Now, I know that fantasy football typically dictates that you take running backs, running backs and running backs. However, in the ridiculous rules determined by my fellow owners, we start only one running back and two wide receivers, thus prompting me to think, “Hey, Brandon, you should draft receivers!” Yeah, I’m smart that way.
Madar preps the draft board.
We were greeted at Cooper’s by a quarter keg of Magic Hat #9 (ugh), cheese dip, and a shit-ton of marinated chicken legs ready for the grill. By this point more owners began funneling in, and after an hour of talking shit, eating, tossing a football around, and slugging beers, draft time had arrived.
Cooper (right) and Chuck’s swamp-ass working the grill.
Chuck gets (re-)dressed for the draft.
Mark, Dave, Chuck and Madar gnaw on some pre-draft chicken.
Santa got milk and cookies, we got the LenDale White diet…
We did a traditional snake draft with 16 rounds in all. I had the 9th pick overall, which meant I also had the 16th pick. Knowing guys like Peterson, Turner, and Jones-Drew would all be off the board, I knew beforehand I would happily take one player and one player only with my first pick: Drew Brees. Sure enough, Peterson went first, followed by a few more running backs and the Johnsons, Calvin and Andre.
Swennson selects Peterson, then flips him off for good measure.
Jeff watches a Steeler championship DVD while awaiting his turn.
And wouldn’t you know it, things worked exactly as planned. Ladies and gentlemen, the starting quarterback of the 2009 The Fuckin Jews, it’s Super-Mole himself, Drew Brees! (And, yeah, that’s a picture of him with Carlton.)
As the draft progressed (and the beers continued down my throat in a more rapid manner), I started to realize something: these guys were clueless. Granted, I’m not saying that all of them were without some type of strategy that will inevitably pay off to some degree. Rather, I just noticed too many players with “potential” go off the board entirely too early. What’s more, some owners drafted two defenses. Ummm, huh? And worst of all, Cooper — the man whose house we used as draft central — drafted two kickers. TWO KICKERS!! “Holy shit,” I thought, “this is going to be a piece of cake.”
Dave looks at me with contempt while Amish tries to figure out why Lancaster doesn’t have a pro team.
I sneak a peek at Kashak’s cheat sheet. (Lots of long “e’s” in there.)
After Brees, I’d say I put together a strong collection of veteran receivers with a couple of younger backs mixed in. In total, here’s how my raster shaped out:
QB: Brees, Hasselbeck
RB: R. Brown, L. White, B. Wells, J. Lewis
WR: R. Moss, Boldin, T.O., H. Ward, I. Bruce, J. Maclin, P. Crayton
TE: Dallas Clark
K: Who cares. Kidding, I got Neil Rackers from Arizona.
My reward for drafting LenDale White.
My reaction to my reward for drafting LenDale White.
By the way, the award for the worst pick in the draft goes to my buddy John, who selected David Garrard as his starting quarterback. Look, Garrard is a bad pick anytime, but when he’s your first pick in the fourth round, that’s saying something. What’s more, when he’s your first pick in the fourth round and Cutler, Hasselbeck, Favre and half the league’s quarterbacks are still on the board, that’s saying something else entirely. Sorry, John, but you win the What the Fuck? Award. And speaking of Favre, he was drafted. Granted, he was drafted as a back-up to McNabb, but drafted nonetheless. I can’t say the same for Vick, but once McNabb starts throwing at his receivers’ feet again, well, who knows. Granted, he’ll have to get unhinged from the Grey Goose and Grapefruit first.
He who selects Favre shall wear the Viking helmet.
I hear you, Oldshak. I’m excited about my team, too.
The draft board, in its entirety.
All in all, I’d say it was a pretty successful day in the great city of Pittsburgh. Sure, some guy drove past us while we were playing basketball and yelled, from the highway, “You guys suck,” but otherwise a success. (And by the way, when I responded, “So does your mother,” he then came back with, “Fuck you, man!” Sorry, but how do you heckle me for responding to your heckle? I mean, that’s not right, right? I think I’m entitled at that point.) What’s more, The Fuckin Jews are poised to strike and absolutely demolish the other owners in this league.
And, hey, should that not happen, I blame T.O. in advance.
Until next time, have at it, you vultures.