Traditionally, the end of summer came on Labor Day. One last chance to barbecue while sipping a frozen drink and wearing white shorts with a linen shirt. But in the go-go '00s, everything is faster and more xxxtreme. Now summer ends when you have your fantasy football draft. Mine is August 14th at 7:45PT.
I only like things that I'm good at, so I hate fantasy football. In my league, the West View Football League, the last two seasons saw me needing a win in the final week of the regular season to clinch the last playoff spot. I lost both times. Last year in particular was a calvacade of busts. Frank Gore, Brandon Jacobs, D.J. Hackett, Jerricho Cotchery...if you were somebody who could score touchdowns, you were not on my team. I had at least five weeks last season where my only TD came from Carson Palmer, and he usually balanced that out with 2-3 picks. You don't win too many fantasy games with only 47 points.
When I got the invite to '08 WVFL last week, I decided that I was going to do no research before the draft. So what if I thought Julius Jones was in Carolina? Fantasy football is basically all luck anyway. If anybody knew anything about anything, the first two picks in every draft last season would've been Tom Brady and Randy Moss. And I definitely wouldn't have picked Frank Gore fourth if I knew what I was doing. Last summer, I read everything I could get my hands on, believed the hype and took Gore. Ugh. What pain. So I was steadfast! No research for me this season. I have the Sunday Ticket on DirecTV and watch twelve hours of NFL games each week. I'd be fine.
Naturally, I've been reading every website I can find for the last nine days. And it's been great. I've learned that Jake Delhomme will bounce back this year, and also that's he's going to be a bust to be avoided at all costs. I've learned that people actually think Alex Smith will be good this year...for some reason. Assuming he's still the starter. I've learned that Ahman Green and Larry Johnson will also bounce back this year. I've also learned that they're poison that should be avoided at all costs. People actually want me to draft Matt Forte. Matt Forte sounds like he's in the Bears' marketing department, not their backfield. All I know for sure is that Kevin Smith of the Lions won't be any good because every single site I see is saying he will be good.
I have an incredible knack for drafting players either one year too early or two years too late. I love, love, love sleepers and I always manage to draft guys who stay asleep through the regular season. I'm still waiting for Reggie Brown to break out, two years later. Come on, Reg baby! However, that doesn't stop me from loving my team on draft night and assuming I'm going straight to the top, baby!
Well, this year, I'm doing it differently. Right now, I am incredibly pessimistic about my chances in 2008, and the draft is still two weeks away. I'm assuming that if I get the #1 pick, I'll take Tomlinson and this will be the year he finally breaks down. Or if I get the #9 pick, my first two players will be Marshawn Lynch and Braylon Edwards and they'll both have broken legs by Week 2. My quarterback will be David Garrard and he'll become the first player in NFL history to die on the field. It's going to be a bad year, folks.