I love fantasy football as much as anyone. I've been in the same league with my best friends for over five years now. One of my favorite parts of the season is the draft, where the stench of last season's failures has been washed away, and everyone feels like they have a chance (even the guys who finish at the bottom year after year).
As much as I love the draft though, they are extremely predictable. Don't believe me?
I'll prove it.
The selection order is randomly drawn. The same three guys end up with the best picks every year, the same three guys end up with the worst picks every year, with everyone else falling in between.
Next, money is collected. Even though it was clearly stated that money MUST be brought to the draft, 2 out of the 10 players don't have any cash, but "will hit you up soon." (Soon = Never).
Everyone comes prepared with an assortment of draft magazines, laptops, and spreadsheets...except for the 2 guys who didn't bring money, but they'll "only need to borrow one of your mags right before my picks." They will be in possession of said magazine for roughly 82 percent of the evening.
It's time for everyone to get their Mel Kiper on (or Todd McShay, if you prefer), and work their "magic".
The guys who end up with Adrian Peterson and Chris Johnson have the same smug looks on their faces as David Caruso in CSI: Miami. Meanwhile, those who have to talk themselves into Frank Gore and Reggie Wayne in the first two rounds have already begun writing off their season in their heads.
All of the studs get snapped up in mostly logical order. However, there are always hilarious exceptions, like Ben Roethlisberger getting taken in the third round. Didn't you hear he's been too busy trapping young girls in bathrooms (allegedly) to play the first four to six games. Oh, you missed that huge piece of news? Have fun with Big Ben this season, you enormous football fan you. Enjoy enduring vicious insults all night and laboring in last place all year, buddy.
Also, pizza is ordered. The guys who didn't bring any cash still want in because "this is gonna take a while, and I'm totally good for it, man." (Good for it = Eating for free).
There will also be the guy delivering his commentary on every single pick early on as if he's getting paid to do it. Hey Matthew Berry, no one cares what you think. You finished in seventh place last year and ninth the year before. Just make jokes about everyone else's mothers and everyone's appearance, and you'll be all good.
The pizza arrives, meaning the "strict" 2 minutes per pick rule flies out the window. The players being chosen, while potentially as important as their earlier rounds' brethren, just aren't all that exciting. It's hard to get overly fired up about your first tight end or third running back. Someone will tell you not to sleep on his Brent Celek pick. I will sleep on it, thank you, but I'm able to sleep on virtually anything.
The tight end and defense-valanche begins. For whatever reason, once the best are taken, everyone else freaks out and takes one too, whether they could wait another 5 rounds for basically the same tight end or defense or not.
This is also when Dez Bryant gets taken for the third time by one of the freeloaders. "Sorry fellas, I forgot to cross him off of my list." Oh, you mean the list in the magazine that DOESN'T EVEN BELONG TO YOU?!? Ass.
All the picks run together. Very few of them will stay on the same teams all year anyway. A few of the players picked in these rounds will absolutely affect the championship, but no one knows who yet.
A couple of the guys leave someone with a list of players who are still around and tell them to pick for them, and go do something "important", like "see loved ones" or "go to work" or some other waste of time. The collective will to live of the remaining participants decreases ten-fold.
Oh yeah, and kickers!!!
The teams are set, and the discussion about the upcoming season begins. Everyone, but especially the guy who made fun of everyone's picks all night, talks about who they think has the best teams on paper. Most of these predictions will prove to be false, but whatever. Remember, no one really knows anything. Anyone who drafted Steve Slaton last year can tell you that.
After two hours of entertainment and one hour of pretty painful boredom, everyone's set to start the 2010 season, which is all that matters in the end. Well, that, and the fact that you're never seeing that $70 from those freeloaders.