I rushed home with every intent to be sitting in front of my computer with plenty of time to catch my breath and finalize my plans before the Fantasy Football draft began. "Plenty of time" turned out to be eight minutes. Just enough time to make sure that the first three picks were players whose names I recognized, and then I opened up this window to start blogging about the experience. With five minutes to go, I waited anxiously for the bell to ring. Well, it's not exactly a bell, it's the Monday Night Football sound bite, and it pops up every time somebody joins or leaves the page. It can be quite distracting, especially since I was listening to The Doors in the background.
By the eighth round, I had finished the plate of potato chips and Sloppy Joes that my wife had so lovingly and carefully placed in front of me. I enjoyed it, but there was still a bitter taste in my mouth from having Peyton Manning whisked out from under me just two picks before I could snap him up. I found myself wondering, ever so briefly, if I really wanted to continue with this charade. I understand that this is all pretend and I won't be asked to suit up and play a down this season, even though I have drawers stuffed and overflowing with football jerseys, most of them orange and or blue to show off my affiliation and enthusiasm for all things Bronco. And the head Bronco, for now, is Peyton Manning.
That funk lasted a good three minutes as I scrambled for an alternative. "How about that nice Drew Brees?" I consoled myself with the quarterback of many fans' dreams. Just not mine. I forced more potato chips in my mouth and soldiered on. This year our league expanded by two teams, making the wait between picks as well as the relative slimness of the pickings. It was much more difficult to field a team of straight up superstars. I personally ended up drafting at least a couple of gentlemen whom I will spend the next few months getting to know.
Of course, every year there is a player or two who leaps onto the sports pages from seemingly nowhere, and surprises us all with their breakout performance. These are, quite often, the one-hit wonders who tend to recede into the background after that initial shock wears off. Not like the franchise-type player who we tend to build out teams around. Like Peyton Manning. I looked in vain on my screen for a "reset" button. No such luck. In the end, once the virtual smoke cleared, I had two Denver Broncos on my team, and a group of very capable position players who anyone would be happy to be taking the field. Or the virtual gridiron.
Oh well, if it's all a fantasy anyway, I can pretend that Peyton is my quarterback. Omaha!