Open Mic: GM—The Newest Sports Fantasy

DScotCorrespondent IJune 26, 2008

Ah, the NBA draft.  There’s really nothing like it—the fashion, the second and third guessing, the complete disregard for significant accomplishment on the collegiate level, the selecting of prospects based on grainy, “Blair Witch”-quality highlight films.

Only in the NBA would a 19-year-old who averaged five points as a bench player in a Euro league be selected over a guy who averaged a double-double for two years in the SEC.  It’s all based on supposed potential and private workouts against nobody.

Heck, back home I could hit seven out of 10 from beside the propane tank in my back yard easy.  Every time.  It must have been about a 22-foot shot.  Where’s my guaranteed contract?

With all of the wild speculation that goes on this time of the year, it’s only natural that normal schmoes such as myself might start saying to themselves, “Hey, I could do that!”  After all, it seems so easy to turn things around for crappy teams on Madden or NBA 2K.

I think lots of us feel this way.  The new dream is not to be a big league ballplayer—it’s to be a big league general manager.

Please, join me in raising your hand if you’ve ever done any of the following:

1. Took an excessive amount of personal pride in winning your fantasy league, just because you jumped on somebody like Ryan Grant seconds before anybody else.

2. Simulated the actual games on a video game just to do the GM functions.

3. Video recorded the NFL draft.  Six hours of VHS tape = about nine picks.

I think we do this because it seems like it would be a whole lot easier, and maybe a bit more rewarding, to be the next Scott Pioli than it would to be the next Tom Brady.

We may never be able to be a 50-TD QB, but we think we could pluck one out of the sixth round.  As sports fans, we automatically take a lot of pride in the amount of our sports knowledge.

On top of that, sports are the great diversion for most of us.  They’re a way to escape the monotony of the less desirable parts of our lives.

It’s only logical to want to do something we enjoy for a living and to use our knowledge in any way other than bugging the hell out of our wives or girlfriends.  I mean, what real sports fan wouldn’t kill to be a real life GM?

That makes it all the more fun as we watch the NBA draft on Thursday night and argue about whether to take Rose or Beasley No. 1, or wonder why O.J. Mayo would take a major pay cut just to come into the NBA.

We get to pit our skills against guys whose only qualification for being a GM seems to be that they stood behind the three-point line and launched wide open jumpers.

Dang, if there was only a propane tank on an NBA baseline, I would be up there—and I would be picking Rose No. 1.