Jacob Sloan from the Fantasy Football Fools offered to augment our fantasy football draft coverage this week with a piece on picking the right location for your fantasy draft. In our first installment of the series, my wife Sarah gave the fantasy football wives/girlfriends some advice on how to get involved.
As for me, I am hosting my main keeper league’s draft in New Orleans this Saturday. Draft starts at 5:30 p.m., after which there will be much eating and imbibing in the Big Easy.
It’s no easy task to find a spot that will safely house 10-14 rabid fantasy football hooligans for the several hours of boasting, debating and debauchery that go into a fantasy football draft. Unlike your usual tailgate in the parking lot, there needs to be some order to it.
Okay, okay, not that much order, but you have to be able to speak in turn. How else do you know when to heckle?
Fantasy football drafts are a sacred thing, so you should always be mindful to have them on hallowed ground. With the right environment, you can establish the perfect balance of order and all out mayhem for your draft and league—assuring your name will go down in fantasy football history.
There are three major options for the perfect environment for your draft:
1. Host the draft at your home
Sure, it’s not too flashy and you have to hide all those dead hookers somewhere else for the weekend, but hosting at home has its advantages.
At home, you have full control over noise level, décor, seating arrangement and refreshments. You also have the comfort of knowing that you won’t be kicked out no matter how long it takes, and you can be as uncivilized as you want.
Well, on second thought, some of you might consider those last two disadvantages.
While it’s not as damaging to harass the other teams of your league in private, drafting at home let’s you trash talk liberally and provides more material for the league message boards each week.
Arranging your own food and beverages might be a pain, but it’s a must for a home draft since certain team owners might never return from the pizza buffet. If Mom still looks after you in your basement or garage apartment, ask her if she can make some snacks for your friends. This opportunity might be the only time living with Mom is a win.
To sum it all up, drafting at home is like a night out with Pacman Jones—not to be confused with the now-reformed Adam Jones. You have to do it up in a big way to make it a night of epic proportions, and it’s all fun and games until someone gets shot. (Too soon?)
Here’s a pro tip: If you really want to add a little spice, seek out professional entertainers to run your draft board for you…and it doesn’t HAVE to be the type of professional entertainers that you are thinking about right now…dirty minds.
But if you do go that route, skip the midgets. You can never see them behind the podium.
2. Meet to draft in a sports bar (or other neutral public location)
If Mom won’t let you have any friends over, you’ll just have to go out to play.
Sports bars make it easy for everyone to get the drinks and eats that they want, and each member of the league can cover the cost themselves. The drawback is that you have to be cramped and surrender that control you have at home. There’s little chance you’ll be able to hang up a paper draft board across one of the establishment’s walls or HD screens.
With any public spot, you have run on schedule to avoid closing time, and there’s the danger that you will have to explain your laptops, binders and stacks of magazines to others without making a shame face.
Luckily, a table full of fantasy football drafters who have been doing their research for at least three full days (and nights) don’t usually capture the attention of the opposite sex or other acquaintances.
The only person you’ll be talking to is your waitress, and boy, do I know how that goes.
Any private space in a bar, restaurant, club house or Mob back alley you can get your hands on can actually work just as well as a home and might be the best option for any draft. It’s just difficult to have something like that available unless you shell out the dough. If you have access, use it.
A lot of leagues cannot do a live draft because they are spread out around the country or because members find it hard to get up off the couch when their laptop is open—been there myself many times.
While drafting online gives you the chance to easily pull up rankings and commentary between picks, you run the risk that your fellow drafters might be engrossed in porn between picks. Maybe it’s a long shot, but it’s right up there with answering the phone while you are on the toilet in my book.
A mouse click will never be the same as screaming out a player’s name among a room full of enraged combatants. As commish, you can’t hope to win any awards for running an online draft, but you gotta do what you gotta do.
Wherever you choose to have yours this season, make sure you do it up right.