Fantasy Football

New owner AWOL on draft night

HOLY TOLEDO 2.0
Would you choose seeing this guy over a fantasy football draft?
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Ryan Fowler

Ryan Fowler has spent the past 10 years covering and talking sports on TV and radio, in newspapers and on the web. He joined FOXSports.com as lead Fantasy Sports Editor and also acts as Digital Content Manager at WhatIfSports.com. Follow him on Twitter. Listen to his FOX Sports Team Report Podcasts on SoundCloud and iTunes

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Let me preface this diatribe by confessing it's my favorite fantasy football league draft.

About a year ago, I introduced you to this Ohio-based fantasy football league in Holy Toledo 1.0.

Who could forget the memorable moments?

From a wannabe stash house hosting the event to Marcedes Lewis coming off the board in the fourth round, the guys set the bar high heading into 2012’s draft.

I should note, the refreshing part of recapping a private fantasy draft is that you can rake your friends (acquaintances?) over the coals with very few consequences. In other words, with all due respect, you are about to be disrespected.

We begin this narrative with the finalized date and time of this draft: August 12, 2012 at 9 p.m. EST … online. Learning an in-person draft was out of the question hurt me, too.

Now, I know what you are thinking.  Drafting on August 12?! So did our fearless leader.

Upon releasing this draft information, the commissioner of the league, and one of my best friends, turned Eminem in 8 Mile, flipped the script and tried to deflect the negative vibes about to be hurled his way by dropping the following note on the league’s message board:

“If your only reason to complain is "that is too soon and I don't wanna get burned by pre-season injuries" then tough &^%$!” 

We call this foreshadowing.

My fellow owners really did provide solid excu … err… reasons for being unavailable for a 90-minute draft from August 13-September 4. My favorites included what you’d expect:

• I have a wedding on the 25th

• I’m competing in a softball tournament over Labor Day weekend

• I’m emceeing a golf tournament

• I live in Kansas City … and my personal favorite

• I’m DJ’ing at the club every Saturday until I’m 40.

Keep on grinding playa.

As you can see, most of the dates the league couldn’t draft were on weekends, but once this turned into an online draft and a reunion at everybody’s favorite meth lab-turned-apartment was out of the question, a Monday-Friday evening draft was never proposed.

I love Shark Week, Pawn Stars and Pretty Little Liars as much as the next person, but DVR is widely available.

Prior to the draft, the league also voted on a new 12th owner to join the fray. It turns out the previous owners (yes, it was managed by two people) from Plano (4-9 in 2011) failed in many areas, including setting their roster on time. Before you ask, yes they lived in the same apartment we drafted in last season.

So, out of the three owners on the block to join the league, Michael was the big winner. It made sense; he had history with the guys and the league. A member of the pilot season (before my time), Michael drafted Shaun Alexander with the second pick overall. He was on the Madden cover that season and broke his foot.

Despite the fact that Mike competed in this league in the past, times have changed, owners have rolled over and it was time once again to make that ever important first impression.

That brings us to the night of the draft. Here are some notes on league rules and scoring:

• 12 teams
• PPR (first year)
• Start QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 FLEX (RB/WR), DEF and K
• Scoring - 6 points for TDs and every yard counts - you could finish with 12.3 points
• Transactions – free
• Defending Champ – Dave
• Prize – trophy and financial compensation
• Team Name: Location + Mascot mandatory

At about 8:55 p.m., the guys, one-by-one, started to log into the draft app with the ever-popular “what’s up female dogs?!” salutation at the ready. This still appears to be a thing.

As the countdown clock neared triple zeroes, the theme of the draft chat seemed to turn from ripping on each other to asking “where in the hell is Mike? He’s still on autodraft.”

Oh, no. This is happening. Mike has gone AWOL on draft night.

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It got worse.

“He’s at a 311 concert tonight.”

What?! You mean the American rock-rap band from Omaha, Nebraska formed in 1988 {thanks Wiki}? You’re telling me you, the new owner, voted in by a league majority, missed this fantasy football draft to go see a group of men that bred future acts like Fred Durst’s Limp Bizkit?

Shame!

This band has been on tour every single year since 1993, when Bill Clinton was in his first term, the Soviet Union still existed, Ty Warner launched the Beanie, not Wells, Baby line of plush toys and schools were busy cracking down on the snap bracelet fad. Every-single-year since 1993. Don’t worry, they’ll be back.

Because we live in a social networking world, I took the outrage to Twitter to gauge the pulse of the nation. I received one reaction from FOXSports.com's Peter Schrager:

 

 

Well said, Pete. Well said.

Michael, joining a fantasy football league is like pledging a fraternity. It’s like taking our daughter out on a first date. You, sir, packed an overnight bag thinking you could stay the night. First impressions are huge and you left the other 11-members hanging. Except for Nick, who suggested you join the league. He’s an avid Michigan fan. So, he’s displayed poor judgment in the past. Hey-ooooooo!

Where was I? Oh yeah, the draft that Mike missed. Only fitting that on autodraft, the absentee was dealt the first overall pick. He “took” Arian Foster.

The first round draft trend broke down like this:

• 5 RB
• 5 QB
• 2 WR

The two main tidbits I took away from this draft were how deep the wide receiver and tight end pool are this year. Owen Daniels, sans Joel Dreessen, was selected in the last round. Dustin Keller, the Jets leading receiver last season, went undrafted. I nabbed Brandon Lloyd in the seventh round!

Nine times out of 10 the sequel is never as good as the original and I think the same applies with this tale. But for Michael, the new guy, this is one fantasy football draft night he will never forget.

P.S. - Right before I hit the publish button, Jerry Jones hopped on Dallas radio to explain why Jason Witten, my sixth-round pick, is out the rest of the preseason. Spleen surgery isn't out of the question.

Sigh.

Here’s to those who drafted on the night of August 12, 2012. Cheers!

Tagged: Eagles, Jaguars, Michael Vick, Marcedes Lewis

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