Thursday, August 30, 2007

The World's Least Funny Fantasy Draft Recap Ever

If Albuquerque Tribune writer Phil Parker's blog were a comic strip, it'd be Cathy.

The Sports Guy has been a boon and curse to the medium of online sports bloggers (and really Simmons efforts were, to borrow a Simmons phrase, a "homeless man's" online version of what Reilly was doing before him). The boon came in the way that he was (kinda) the first sports humor blogger to be picked up by a major media enterprise and because of his success every online sports site or newspaper has a blogger (or 200 in AOL's case) who tries to inject some humor and insight to sports coverage in blog form. He pretty much forged the trail. The curse (some would argue the Sports Guy himself is a curse) is that the Sports Guy has many imitators. I am not immune from this criticism. I freely admit that my writing style sometimes bears DISTINCT similarities to the Sports Guy's coarsely sardonic style. Though I would suggest that his (and my) style and humor is more the result of growing up in the Seinfeld / South Park / Will Ferrell era than anything. Regardless, people try and imitate the Sports Guy frequently and the results are most often disastrous. Which brings me to Phil Parker.

Phil Parker writes a blog for the Albuquerque Tribune (interestingly, the Tribune will no longer be in production in about two months and Phil Parker and his fellow Tribunites will be out of a job, which really sucks and made me consider not writing this. But this blog was too unfunny not to print. Sorry Phil.) He blogs about sports and whatnot and is sometimes funny and most times not but generally Phil does not pull any punches and is eminently readible (not that I've read him a ton. I only read a bunch of posts after I found this one). Anyhoo, recently Phil and his buddies had their annual Fantasy Football Draft. So Phil, much like the Sports Guy, decided to blog about it. Let's just say that while Simmons's tales about J-Bug, Hench, His Buddy Sal and Sully may not be the funniest couple of paragraphs ever posted, Phil Parker's recap was of his draft was almost criminally unfunny. And that would be fine if he didn't intend for it to be funny or actually comment about how hilarious some of the things that happened during the draft were! Let's take a look.

Phil describes his draft as "yuppified." Why? Well, because these guys had laptops. Several of them. They also had a projector for main laptop to allow the online draft (it was online but half the 14 guys were at one house) to be projected onto the screen with stats and flow charts and actual highlights from the upcoming regular season and some of them had what Parker referred to as "draft software." They also had a 32 sided die, they were dressed in cloaks and Phil's most exciting moment was when his Orc only lost 6 hit points after being struck by his buddy Nelson's emerald encrusted Sorcerer's wand (I'm taking some liberties with that last sentence). Now Phil, maybe you and I have a different definition of what a "yuppy" is (and maybe it's different out in New Mexico) but I thought Yuppies were people who live in the suburbs, own a dog and Range Rover, and eat a ton of Thai food. But where I come from people who connect projectors to their laptops and have draft software are called dorks.

Here is Phil's recap of the attendees:
There were also some dudes there. Seven of us. And three dogs, two girlfriends, one plasma TV tuned to "According to Jim," 32 beers and an $8 guide to making selections (which belonged to the one dude who showed up late - during the fifth round).
Ho-lee-shit. Seven dudes, Jim Belushi, two girlfriends and 4 beers a piece. How could zaniness not ensue? I'm surprised these guys didn't end up in jail.

But the real comedy comes from the actual draft. This stuff is unreal.

Quick disclaimer: I took Dominic Rhodes in the ninth round, even though he's suspended for the first four games. That was stupid, but not terrible.

My buddy Nelson, on the other hand, picked Adam Vinatieri in the fifth. We didn't even laugh at first, it was just so strange. Nelson doesn't know much about football, and was saying so all night, but a kicker in the fifth round is an incredible gaff. How incredible?
Umm... awfully incredible? Why would you invite a guy into your draft who would pick adam vinatieri in the 5th round? While that clearly is an indictment of that guy's intelligence, what does it say about the rest of you? You associate yourselves with this guy.

But there's so much more:
One of the two girlfriends who sat annoyed just 10 feet away all night came to talk to us later. When I made casual mention of Nelson's selection (as in: "Can you believe this crazy mofo took a kicker in the fifth round?! AAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!") she said "Don't you know you're not supposed to take a kicker until the last round?" Cue more laughs.
Gimme a minute. I'm laughing on cue.... AAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!! Wait... I mean, can you believe that crazy mofo Nelson took a kicker... in... the... fifth round?!?! And can you believe Phil admitted to calling someone a "crazy mofo"? To me, that's funnier than picking Vinatieri. But the real question is why someone's girlfriend was hanging around the entire draft? Phil has an explanation for that:
Kelly was there because... uh... because... She wanted to be? She's Felix's girlfriend... My other friend Randy brought his girlfriend to the last draft, and she at least had the courtesy to sit quietly in the corner doing homework.
So this is the second time in this league's history that someone brought their girlfriend to the draft for no reason. I have nothing against girls hanging out at drafts if they have a reason to be there (maybe they are friends with the host's wife and those two are hanging out or maybe they are even in the league or whatever) but why would she possibly want to be there? Drafts are long. Like 4+ hours long in some cases. If you limit picks to 3 minutes a pop in a 14 team league with even just 12 players per team, that's about 4 and a half hours. And there's no way it will go that quickly. Lame on top of lame.

Here's some of the good stuff from the draft picks:
There were only seven of us there, but the league is enormous. There's 14 teams. One dude was drafting by cell phone, which was annoying except for the moment when Daniel, his cousin and middleman, asked at the 11th pick if "L.J." had been selected. "L.J." would be Larry Johnson, pick No. 3.

I was looking at Randy Moss in the fifth for what seemed like an hour, waiting and waiting. Of course, he got snatched up well before me. Kitna was on his way into my roster too, but I missed him (which may be for the best. I don't care who's catching his passes - he's still Kitna).

I tried to make solid picks and ended up with this team: Maroney, Chad Johnson, Thomas Jones, Andre Johnson, Coles, Vernon Davis (huge sleeper), Jay Cutler (not sure about this one), Dominic Rhodes (d'oh!), Muhsin Muhammed, Jason Campbell, Nate Kaeding and ....

And... Couldn't tell you. That's the thing about a 14-squad leave. Several guys who weren't there were just letting the powerful draft software make their selections. By the time you get to late rounds in a league that big, everyone's using the computer because we have no idea who any of the players left are. I have a guy named Herron from Green Bay on my team.
You mean Noah Herron (btw, Herron may be out for the year after last night, not that you ever should have drafted him anyway)? Listen, I don't mean to sound like a football know-it-all or anything, but if you have a guy who thinks he can get Larry Johnson at the 11th pick and guy who takes a kicker in the 5th round and you're calling a TE a "huge sleeper," you might want to work a lot harder to find competitive team owners. Including yourself.

But here's my favorite part and the part that emulates Simmons the most. The self-described hilarity of the evening. Things started to get a little wacky about midway through the draft. And by wacky I mean really unfunny:
The jokes (other than merciless trash talking) came at the expense of a certain incarcerated professional dog fighter. Vick's name came up every time someone took too long to select. "Michael Vick!" we'd all yell every time someone was squinting at the projection, trying to make up his mind.
What? Why is that in anyway funny? Does Michael Vick have bad vision? Did Vick take too long to do things? Maybe it's funny to yell at people to tell them to pick Michael Vick, but not really. If that was the running joke of the evening, I'd hate to hear what the "merciless" trash talking was. Here's my guess as to what that sounded like:

Nelson: I'll take Willis McGahee.

Phil: Uh oh! That pick may not work out so great! Your running back did not have a super pre-season. That is risky. I would not be so confident with that pick if I were you, Nelson. Look out, Smelson! Smelly smelly smelson.....AAAAAAAAAAAAHAHHAAHAHAHA!


More hilarity:
(There was also another hilarious draft joke: Nat said T.J. "Who'syourmama" before the picking even started.)
AAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHA! TJ "Who'syourmama"! Where do they come up with this stuff?

But then there was the bizarre story about "Bone."
There was also the epic wait for Bone. My buddy Bone was running a little late, so Felix called him on his first pick. Bone said "I'm almost there, but take X" (I can't remember who it was). Then his pick came in the second round, Felix called him, and he said the same thing, except that he was almost there. Usually, this means a few minutes. For Bone, it meant he was half an hour and three more rounds away. Then he showed up with that draft magazine, and while he was in the bathroom I looked at the price. Then I snickered to Raul "Can you believe he spent $8 on this thing?" And Nelson pointed out that since it's a $10 league, Boner's already down $18.
Whoa whoa whoa whoa, wait a minute.... your league is a $10 buy in? AND you're giving a guy shit for buying a Fanta C magazine after you just gave another guys shit for not knowing what he's doing? I don't mean to poke fun here, Phillippe, but couldn't you guys just raise the stacks to maybe $20? Or really get nutty and go $30? At least that way there'd be $520 in the pot and someone could win something. At $10 a pop, how can you expect someone to give enough of a shit to come prepared? Why don't you save money on the projector and make things a little more interesting. I don't really know what else to say about this but I think I echo Kelly's statement in the comments section of this article (Kelly being the girlfriend of Felix):
Posted by: Kelly | August 30, 2007 10:55 AM

Flip... what the heck!?!?!
I couldn't agree more.


Coach said...

I used to work at the ABQ Tribune, before I dedicated my life to outing Quin Snyder. You should know the correct term for a Tribune employee is "Tribunista."

This knowledge will come in handy for all your future ABQ Tribune-related blog posts.

In defense of this writer and his $10 league, I'm sure there are worse fantasy draft recaps out there. Probably at the ABQ Journal, just for starters.

Quin Snyder has a wide stance.

Amy said...

let me guess... you're past your late forty's, fat, balding, and haven't had sex in over six months...

The Flip Side said...

Holy shit I just found this entry all these years later. You're right about me, but you aren't funny either.