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The History of Sports Fantasy Draft

You’re like me. As your fantasy league draft draws near, an itch that not even Lamisil can cure starts growing inside of you. Fantasy drafts are the BEST. The thrill of anticipation is undeniable. Like going to sleep on Christmas Eve, but hopped up on PEDs and ADHD medication. Really the only problem with fantasy MLB, NBA or NFL drafts is that you pretty much know what you’re getting into with each one.

Unless of course, you create your own draft, unique to you and your buddies. Any theme is a good one. You know, like The History of Sports. Enter the Not in HD writing staff who would exit better men than we were.

The rules were simple: ten rounds of goodness, non-snake pick format (One-two-three-four-five and then back to one. Rinse and repeat) and literally everything in the history of sports were in play. Also if two or three things really went well together, like say: peanut butter, jelly and a banana costume, you were allowed to combine them all into one package pick.

Once we finished our draft (completed over the course of a week or so, through reply-to-all e-mails) I had each owner rank in order of preference, who they thought had the best and worst drafts. Guys were not allowed to rank themselves. A first place vote gave you four points, a second place – three, third place – two and a fourth gave you one point.

This is how our The History of Sports Fantasy Draft looked, round-by-round.

And trust me, this is one post you DEFINITELY want to click on all the links for. Just beautiful stuff. Golden nuggets of fun.

ROUND ONE:

Ben Bates: Nike basketball shoes

Dan Miller: Jesse Owens: 1936 Olympics

Nick Nevares: Jackie Robinson’s original contract

Britton Dennis: “The Star Spangled Banner” by Carl Lewis

Cory Ritzau: Vin Scully

Round One Recap:

I led off the draft with what I thought to be a crazy good first pick. Nike basketball shoes? Are you kidding? Think of how much money I’d make, PLUS CREATIVE CONTROL! YEEEEEEEEEEES!

But looking back, Britton CLEARLY won the round, with what was probably the best pick of the entire draft. Every time I listen to Carl Lewis screech out shaky note after shaky note, I catch something new that kills me.

Dan and Nick both with with prestige picks – though one has to wonder why Nevares went with the actual contract, rather than Robinson himself, or his first MLB season – and Cory went class all the way with Scully. I can’t be the only one, but I was looking to snag Scully in the third round. Cory ripped him from my grasp. Good pick.

ROUND TWO:

Ben: Jim “Chris” Everett vs. Jim Rome

Dan: Robin Ventura charging the mound against Nolan Ryan

Nick: Grant Hill, Christian Laettner and the game ball

Britton: Ivan Drago

Cory: Rodney McCray’s ridiculous catch

Round Two Recap:

I had completely forgotten about that catch. Just batty. Nick had the lamest pick of the draft, taking something Duke related when no one else here would have even considered drafting that event period. Freaking Dukie.

What's NOT to love about Robin Ventura getting whaled on by the king of the mound?

Ivan Drago was a really creative choice and the Robin Ventura/Nolan Ryan combo was pretty great, but I have to give myself the W in the round. Go watch that “Chris” Everett video again.

Everett: “Well I think that… I think that you probably won’t say it again.”

Rome: “I bet I do.”

Everett: “Ah, ok.”

Rome: “(pause) Chris…”

Everett: (Tosses table aside and lunges at Rome.)

ROUND THREE:

Ben: Fantasy sports

Dan: The Sandlot

Nick: Ben Johnson

Britton: Batista with the CaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAATCH!!! (Gus Johnson)

Cory: Derek Redmond and his father, 1992

(*Editor’s note: Ritz pre-warned us all when he sent in this pick, so in good faith, I must do the same for you. I am hereby throwing out the “Creed ALERT” yellow caution flag. Proceed at your own risk. Or maybe just turn off the volume. Yeah, that might work.)

Round Three Recap:

Dan and I both had great value picks. Wanna watch The Sandlot or play pick-up baseball (not that anyone really does that anymore)? Dan Miller is your go-to. Care to play roto ball? BETTER COME TO ME. Nick had another totally lame pick and I would have dug Ritz’s pick a lot more, if not for the Creed slip. LAAAAAAAAAAAAME.

Britton takes home another one. The guy’s unstoppable. Just like Gus.

ROUND FOUR:

Ben: Kobe’s Eagle Colorado suite

Dan: Chicago Bulls 1984 first round draft pick

Nick: The NWO

Britton: “He Hate Me”

Cory: John Wooden

Round Four Recap:

Cory’s John Wooden pick felt a little too much like a handcuff to Vin Scully. Britton totally whiffed this round and let’s be honest, my pick was just a sucker punch aimed at Britton for his brilliant Gus Johnson pick in the third round. Nick FINALLY wiped the sleep from his eyes and took something worthwhile.

But Dan Miller definitely took home this round. The funny part was, I immediately took his selection to mean he was taking Michael Jordan. Not so. He sent me this e-mail, clarifying his pick:

“To be fair, I didn’t pick Michael Jordan, as the spreadsheet suggests. I merely wanted the Bulls’ 1984 first round pick. Maybe I trade it. Maybe I make a mega-deal for the Blazers’ #1 picks in the 1984 AND 2007 drafts so I can get Sam Bowie and Greg Oden.  Maybe I take Charles Barkley or Kevin Willis. I just wanted the trade chip. – Dan”

As I told Dan, only the Blazers would trade a No. 2 overall in ’84 and a No. 1 overall in ’07 for a No. 3 overall in ’84. The sad part is, they’d probably STILL end up with Bowie.

ROUND FIVE:

Ben: Mike Valenti’s MSU rant (check out Part Two as well)

Dan: Mike Tyson’s Punch-out

You just weren't beating Tyson in "Mike Tyson's Punch-Out" unless you had serious skills.

Nick: Entire Canon of Charles Barkley

Britton: The Flying V

Cory: 1980 USA Men’s Hockey Team

Round Five Recap:

Round Five was without a doubt the most loaded in the entire draft. Britton was the big loser with “The Flying V,” which was NOT a bad pick. Round Five compared to the others, was like Adrian Beltre’s 48-homer season surrounded by the rest of his career.

Any of the other four picks could have taken down most other rounds, but the winner – and I hate to tout my own pick – just HAD TO BE the greatest rant I’ve ever heard. Valenti is now legendary, at least in my book. When Valenti first played the blame-game with Michigan State coaches and players, Britton, Dan and I couldn’t get enough of the fun. A moderate estimation would be that I’ve listened to what Mikey V. thinks at least three or four dozen times.

MAKE PLAYS!!!

ROUND SIX:

Ben: It’s Nerf, or NOTHIN’.

Dan: Super Tecmo Bowl (NES)

Nick: The Showtime Lakers

Britton: Brenda Warner!!!

Cory: The Evander Holyfield ear Mike Tyson bit off

Round Six Recap:

It’s not that you shouldn’t like Dan’s pick, it’s that it was puzzling compared to other iconic sports video games left on the table. Big man, I KNOW this was a sentimental trip down memory lane for you, but STILL. Over iconic games like the Madden franchise or Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball (which I nearly picked three different times)? That hurt a little bit.

Of course, knowing me, I probably would have punted the pick as well by choosing my current flame, the NBA2K series. I’m a little lame.

I had to give Britton three exclamation marks for taking Brenda Warner. Are you kidding me? She went from looking like Kurt’s grey-haired biker grandma to arm candy? WHO DOES THAT?

ROUND SEVEN:

Ben: Gary Miller’s Soccer Break Down: “In three-two-one…”

Dan: Darren Dreifort’s 5-year/$55-million contract

Nick: John Amaechi

Britton: O.J. Simpson’s Amazing Race

Cory: “And boom goes the dynamite…”

Round Seven Recap:

On one hand you have Nick Nevares playing the, “look how sensitive I can be” card, by taking the first openly gay former NBA player. Sweet. On another, you have Dan Miller with a peculiar Darren Dreifort pick. Strange.

We're guessing you remember this scene if you are at least 25 years old.

But on the GOOD hand, you have the best Sportscenter blooper you’ve probably never heard (unless you frequently listen to Dan Patrick’s radio show, in three-two-one…), a pop culture phenomenon so transcendent, Family Guy spoofed it, and the most influential car-chase in the history of live television.

I have no idea who wins the round, so I’ll just shout out to Britton and O.J. since that was a moment nobody older than the age of 25 will ever forget.

ROUND EIGHT:

Ben: Sports gambling and Vegas

Dan: March Madness

Nick: Anna Kournikova

Britton: Jimmy Chitwood

Cory: A.C. Green’s wedding night

Round Eight Recap:

When Ritz send me his pick in an e-mail with the subject line, “I know this is totally wrong but…” I had no idea what to expect. He then proceeded to shock the world.

My pick may have been the most profitable and entertaining, Britton’s the most symbolic, Dan’s the most significant and Nick’s the most insignificant, but Cory’s was by far the funniest.

Chalk one up for Ritzau.

ROUND NINE:

Ben: The Cobra Kai

Dan: Babe Ruth’s called shot

Nick: Pistol Pete’s socks

Britton: Joe Namath’s drunken advances

Cory: Mark Titus (Club Trillion)

Round Nine Recap:

Nick continues to underwhelm. He’s been like a top draft pick who blew-out his arm one too many times… so, Mark Prior.

Dan had a really solid best-sport-ever pick. He really put the wrap on baseball, swiping a piece of the sport with four different rounds. Someone should have busted up his strategy early by just taking the sport itself. That or I should have changed the landscape of the draft itself… I knew I should have taken Moonlight Graham.

You SAW IT!”

“Saw, what?”

But alas, I didn’t do it. The Cobra Kai was decent value this late though. I’m calling this round a tie between Britton and Cory.

“HEEEEEE’S the RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIN MAAAAKER!!!!!!!!!!!”

ROUND TEN:

Ben: ESPN

DOWN GOES THE ITALIAN SAUSAGE!

Dan: Jason McElwain and his fairytale story

Nick: Sausagegate

Britton: Allen Iverson’s practice rant

Cory: Mike Blowers is a psychic

Round Ten Recap:

I picked the wrong time to make a substance pick. I went dull in the worst possible spot, when I should have been looking to leave a lasting impression. BORRRRRRRRRRRRING.

LOOK. AT. NICK. Right when I was ready to leave him for dead, he busts out something magnificent. Who reaches out and nails a mascot with a bat?

Like me Dan took a substance pick, but unlike me, Dan picked a heart-tugging moment.

Cory’s pick I really didn’t get. At all. Living in the Seattle/Tacoma area, I was around for that Mike Blowers moment last year. It was not that impressive. Trust me. Those Mariners guys do the, “pick-to-click” thing every game. Count it; 162 games people. Make that many predictions and you’re bound to hit big on one sometime. Plus, it’s not exactly like Blowers went out on a limb.

You had a Quad-A quality player, meaning he probably was a fastball hitter (and if you knew anything about Mark Tuiasosopo, and I’m certainly not saying you should, you would know that he is EXACTLY that). Tuiasosopo was also swinging a hot bat, which is minor league talk for, “he’s definitely going to swing from the heels and try to pull everything.”

Are you still that impressed by Blowers prediction? You shouldn’t be.

But Britton took it straight to the hole. He knew he couldn’t go wrong with the practice rant. Great call to end his draft.

Results:

As aforementioned, our drafters were asked to rank their competitors one-to-four, with one being the best. You also already know our point system.

Let’s check the final standings…

5.) Nick Nevares (7)

4.) Cory Ritzau (8)

3.) Britton Dennis (10)

2.) Dan Miller (11)

1.) Yours Truly (13)

I am flabbergasted that I was voted the winner. I was certain Britton would take the league by storm with his picks. And he would have too, if not for Cory and Dan, who both rubbed dead cod on his gym shorts, by ranking Britton dead-last. That’s cold guys.

Apparently, high comedy did not impress them.

So that was our first flirtation with the History of Sports Fantasy Draft. I can’t begin to tell you how much fun it was at times. Next year will be even better. We now know what to expect.

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  1. hopeinglory
    March 31, 2010 at 8:23 PM

    This has to be the single greatest Fantasy Draft ever created. Hilarious. I want in next year. Amazing.

  2. ritzpolo22
    April 1, 2010 at 8:23 AM

    Bad form Ben, its not “Here’s the Rainmaker,” like you list in your Round 9 recap… it’s “Mister Rainmaker.” Please apologize to ’80’s power ballads everywhere after that slip up.

  3. ritzpolo22
    April 1, 2010 at 8:29 AM

    I reserve the right to review for next year’s draft… I have an idea for Mr. Bates if he thinks Blower’s prediction was no big deal… find someone in 162 games this year who hasn’t hit a home run in their career, pick the inning, count, pitch and side of the field. If you get one right, I’ll make your pick my 9th round selection next year. If you fail, you recant, are stripped of your title and issue a public apology to Blowers on NotinHD. Why not Mr. bates if it’s so easy?

    • April 1, 2010 at 12:24 PM

      Duly noted Ritz. I apologize to rainmakers EVERYWHERE. But why do I feel like you’re challenging me to some sort of wrestling grudge-match? Should I lose, I’m stripped of my belt and relegated to utter humiliation and scorn from fans everywhere.

      WHAT HAPPENS IF CORY RITZAU LOSES? You choose me in your draft? C’mon, I need a better offer. If the belt’s on the line, THE BELT’S ON THE LINE.

      WHADAYA SAY TO THAT BROOOOOOTHER?

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