If You Ain’t First, You're Last
This past Sunday, I participated in the First and Goal Fantasy Football League draft. I have participated in this league since 1998 so this marks the league's 20th year. There are only three original members of the league left, but the league is still thriving and is probably better than ever. We had a lot of turnover early on, but over the past four or five years, our league has been incredibly stable because of the comraderie and the challenge of the league.
This league is based on a shot gun approach. Instead of playing head to head against each other in the league, each team plays against every team, every week. At the end of the year, the fantasy team with the most points is crowned champion. Our league can be a bit intimidating, especially because we play with Individual Defensive Players (IDP) and our draft is 33 rounds. We use unique scoring elements, bonus points, and uncommon settings like right of first refusal on quarterbacks and no injury reserve slots.
In my opinion, the draft is where it all begins. Our league requires the draft to be in person except for one individual who moved out of state and since he is an original member, he is grandfathered in. The amount of trash talking that occurs is unreal. There are individual side bets that usually revolves around beer as well as player/team disrespect, but it’s all in good fun.
For some reason, we always draft at 8 am in the morning on a Sunday. I have no idea why, but it has turned into a tradition. Everyone comes with beer, coffee, donuts, and whatever they need to have a successful draft. Midway through the draft, we order pizza and talk even more trash and drink even more beer and the draft gets even more mind boggling. Nevertheless, it’s a great group of guys and we always have an amazing time. Fortunately for me, I have won three out of the last four years. Come Thursday, September 6th I will be all set to defend my fantasy football trophy. But believe me I’m going to hear a lot of sh!t along the way; especially if my team sucks because Ricky Bobby said it best. In this league, if you ain’t first, you're last.