Monday, August 24, 2009

Draft With Stank

It's that time of year again where fat, out of shape office workers nationwide descend into basements, bars and backyards with their friends and hold fantasy football drafts. Draft day is the ideal day to drink some beer and talk some trash, 2 of my favorite activities. It's also the ideal day to use some beer snobbery to victimize fellow owners. How can you use beer snobbery to victimize someone you ask? Well let me tell you.

I make it a goal to show up at the draft with the highest quality beers of anyone equipped with my own cooler, bottle opener and pint glass. This sends the message that you are prepared not only for the draft, but for a good time. Included in my selection is one of my favorite beers in a bomber, I had Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye last year. The bomber is what you want to be drinking. If you're drinking regular 12 oz. beers, it's a lot easier to keep popping them open and end up getting drunk and drafting Brodie Croyle in the 10th round. No one wants that.

I also like to go into the draft with a couple of victims in mind. I'm in a 16 team keeper league that I've been in for nearly 10 years. I've known most of the people in the league for nearly 20 years. Almost everyone has a track record of at least 5 years and in a keeper league, bad owners consistently rock out bad teams and we have at least 4 owners that are doormats. This is the first type of victim, the hapless. Every draft pick they make should be mocked, everything they say shall be refuted. The second type of victim is the owner that brings Budweiser, Miller or Coors products to drink. These are your targets for the rest of your cooler of beer.

You need to find some high alcohol sixers like Great Divide Titan IPA, Goose Island Matilda or some Longshot Double IPA if you can find it. Give these beers to the swill drinkers. If they won't drink them make fun of them mercilessly. They'll end up drinking them. This is important because one beer with 7% ABV is the equivalent of 2 Coors Lights. They're planning on drinking to excess anyway, so this will get them lit up by the 7th round. They'll also be thrown off their game because you get to make disparaging remarks about them because of their choice of beers. All the while, you'll be enjoying your Hop Rod Rye or Boulevard Long Strange Trippel (beware the high ABV beers).

I also like to have a couple of giving out beers in my cooler to build some goodwill. In my league there are a couple of good beer drinkers. So, it's always good to bring something that you can trade to get something else. I've traded a Bully Porter for Moose Drool (before it was available in KC). So it's nice to bring something good for others. You need to build goodwill so the room doesn't turn against you when you're yelling at someone for trying to draft Matt Forte 3 rounds after somebody already drafted him. You want to feel like others are going to back you up a little if you might cross the line just from good natured ribbing to making someone cry. Nothing greases the skids quite like some Boulevard Bully Porter.

My team, the Stank Johnsons*, has won the past 2 championships in my league so I don't let anyone forget who the top dog is. Before each pick this year I plan on saying something to the effect of "The 2 time defending champion Stank Johnsons would like to invite "Limas Sweed" to join the championship roster, I hope Limas' ring finger is ready for a ring". No one can argue that you don't have the right to rub it in everyone's faces, that's why everyone's playing, so they can win.

*The Stank Johnson name derives from a Royals player that no one remembers, but, for a time he was one of my favorites. His real name was Rontrez Johnson. My friends and I nicknamed him Stank because he used stank in a quote. Ol' Rontrez has a claim to fame, he was one of the first players on the field to wrestle William Ligue Jr. and his son off of Royals coach Tom Gamboa. Rontrez was quoted in the paper saying "his breath stank" and it just struck my friends and I funny. We started calling him Stank Johnson. Then he got sent down or released or something a couple of weeks later and hasn't been heard from since. In fact, this little blurb may be the most that was ever written about ol' Rontrez Johnson. I hope one day Rontrez will come to the draft with me to see all that his name has created.

If you've played your cards right you'll have finished your big beer just about the time you've drafted your starters and sleepers with only defenses and kickers to go. This is when I'm cracking open my traded beers and running my mouth. I have a great gift for running my mouth after I've had a couple of beers. I credit my mouth for getting us out of Jocks alive (Chimpo's mouth in the men's room might have played a part as well). This is when you win championships, you throw everyone else off their game and you pick up the one guy with any value left in the draft which you should have identified before you got to your draft (Limas Sweed is my guy, Ernest Wilford has been my guy before too, this system isn't flawless). Yes, you do need to plan ahead, beer strategy won't actually win you a championship, it only enhances your draft.

You follow these tips, you can have a great draft day, win some cash and drink great beer. Ignore these tips and you are destined to throw away your money and let the Budweiser drinkers win. Nobody wants that. Win this one for good beer.

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