Des Boodram - @boxscoreprophet
Last season, my longest standing fantasy league in its 16th year saw a first time winner who went wire to wire in a standard 10 man online auction draft with participants in four states and three countries. The eventual champion didn’t even attend the draft or make a transaction all season long until his QB, Derek Carr got injured. I left that draft feeling dirty and when it was time to cut him his winnings I felt like an ex-spouse of a Kardashian in South Beach the first day after the divorce settlement. It made me think, “where do my legit fantasy kicks truly come from?” and the answer is quite simple. Whether I achieve the desired results or not, a live football draft with people who share the common interest of fantasy football is easily the biggest and best party in town for gamers everywhere… and here’s why.
BUILDING RELATIONAL CAPITAL
You can enter an ungodly amount of on-line snake drafts or auctions without having any human interaction, but when you go to a live in person draft the social upside becomes exponentially beneficial. You most likely know the majority of people in attendance but it’s also a great opportunity to meet new people, catch up with old friends or simply exist in an environment that breaks down social barriers…. Ahhh don’t we love how fantasy football brings people together. Put your phone down, stop looking at the time, because you don’t want to be up late binge watching Prison Break on Netflix with your spouse when you get home and build some relational capital with those around you. You never know, you may find some good resources in this group of individuals or even better, you may be able to uncover a way you can meet the needs of someone else… or if all of that’s just too deep, just talk about how much you hate the Patriots, or how ecstatic you are that the Cowboys are going to be overrated again.
I would rather take an elevator ride with Ray Rice and Beyonce’s sister than have non-participants in my league. It’s one thing to show up to your draft, but it’s a totally different thing to check out after week one or two because you don’t like your team or they start out soft. Fight, battle, claw, scour the wire, make some risky trades, but don’t give up. Especially in fantasy football… there’s nothing worse than somebody making the playoffs because they played against a roster with three empty spots in week 13. There are several rules or nuances you can add in to encourage participation, but a live-draft mitigates some of this. Live Drafts should be planned well in advance, 6-8 weeks, and everyone who’s in the league should be required to attend. This is the best way to promote season long participation and ultimately accountability. FANTASY 101 – don’t agree to jump into a league if you are not going to see it through, and at least pretend to be competitive. Why come for the draft, and neglect your team… co-manage with someone, but know that there’s nothing more annoying when someone is missing from the live draft, and other guys in the room are forced to choose their players for them. Don’t be that guy… or girl!
GET YO FOOD & DRINK ON
This is where I need your help. I want to know the best settings your league has, that make it unique. What are the penalties for fishing last, and what are some of the coolest rewards for winning – though there’s nothing cooler than “straight cash homey”. Finally I want to know what is the best food brought to a live draft? I went to a live draft at a friends house, an the food was super average, until this guy from Slidell, LA showed up, and flattered by the invite from a guy at his work, he brought all of us home made crab cakes – yeah that’s not a typo… The drinks go without saying, but breaking bread together before the live draft should be a pre-requisite. Book your draft for August now gamers!!!