To Drink or Not to Drink: Not Drink!
That is the question. Let me preface my argument for “Not to Drink” with my typical draft day routine. I’ll show up a bit early for the draft at my friend’s house to have a cold one and discuss our thoughts as to what is about to happen in the draft. I may have one or two prior to the draft, but once the draft starts I either slow down to a snail’s pace or make the switch to, dare I say, a non-alcoholic beverage. Now the switch may not be easy if your friends are anything like mine who find every opportunity to take a shot at someone and trying to make “the switch” leaves you WIDE open for a few digs. Then after the draft, I’ll kick back with the boys with the cooler still semi-full for a little post-draft assessment. So if you absolutely, positively, cannot even think about drafting without having a few cold ones, try and follow a similar approach and you’ll be glad you did. Here’s a true story which helped me change my draft day habits from “To Drink” to “Not to Drink” (much) as well as some additional reasons to remain on the sober side of things. The names have been removed to protect the intoxicated…er…innocent.
A few years ago the owners started piling into the house where we had planned the draft. Some early, some right on time, and one owner in particular, strolled in with a bit of a glow. He had mentioned he just got back from golfing. Of course by golfing he meant drinking and occasionally trying to hit a ball. Most of us chuckled knowing this draft day was going to be very interesting for him. Needless to say by round 5, he was making comments like,” I already hate my team”, and “What the hell is going on here?”, and “Is anyone else having trouble keeping up with the picks?”. The following day I brought a copy of the rosters into work, showed it to a couple co-workers and asked, “Can you guys guess which owner went “golfing” the morning before the draft?” Both guys gave the rosters a once-over and picked out the golfer’s squad from the ten listed with ease. Suffice it to say, his hangover the following day wasn’t the only awful thing he had to deal with.
Here are some more reasons to support my argument of “Not to Drink”:
1) Fred Taylor: Every year someone drafts this guy and most times that owner gets burned. Typically, those owners who have been indulging in “Liquid Courage” are more apt to take chances and gamble on high risk players like Taylor. Sometimes this gamble pays off, but for the most part it just gives the tipsy owner another reason to complain about his thought process the following day.
2) Rookies: Following the same premise of the Fred Taylor rationale, rookies are always enticing on draft day due to their nature of not knowing how high the ceiling is for a young guy. Could William Green be this year’s Tomlinson or is he this year’s Ron Dayne? With a few drinks under your belt, you tend to find the “best case scenario” for most players since you’re feeling good and you start thinking, “why shouldn’t so-and-so succeed in the NFL like he did in college?” Most rookies struggle their first season (or two) and most owners that take rookies end up dropping them halfway through the season.
3) Bye weeks: This can happen to anyone: drunk or sober. You’re half way through your draft and you look down at your WRs and say to yourself, “I’m loaded this year with WRs. Rod Smith, Joe Horn and Johnnie Morton should whoop up on any other team!”. Then you notice all three are on the same bye week and your emotions quickly change from glee to disgust. “How could I MAKE that mistake?!?”, you ask yourself. I’ve noticed over the years that this bye week dilemma is more apt to happen to those owners who are having a few wobbly-pops than those that are thinking with a clear mind.
4) Roll Call: Let me paint a picture: It’s round 13, the draft is winding down to backups and things are moving along pretty quickly. One owner (there’s always at least one) looks at his roster and realizes he hasn’t taken a kicker yet. The problem is more than half the teams have already selected a kicker and he’s been too busy tossing back brews like his stomach was on fire that he failed to cross any kickers off his cheat sheet. So the Roll Call begins:
Owner 1: “Mike Vanderjagt”
Group: “He was gone six rounds ago”.
Owner 1: “Jason Elam”
Group: “Long gone”.
Owner 1: “Jeff Wilkins”
Group: “He was gone before it got dark!!”.
And so on. With every name called out, the group’s response gets louder and more irritated. Finally, he’ll get a kicker whether it’s by process of elimination or someone says, “Jay Feely is still out there. Just take him and move on!”. You get the point. Try not to be “that guy” at your draft.
So in closing, my bottom line is nothing good comes from the cuckoo juice. Remember, the season is four months long and this one very important night plays a major role in how you will or won’t enjoy your fantasy season. Try and keep that in mind before you reach for that next Silver Bullet. There’s always time after the draft to hang around, have some refreshments and play the “What the hell was he thinking with that Pick” game which is always a crowd-pleaser!