Sonic Booms Or Bust This Fantasy Season

by Kevin Burton

   I’m not going to tell you how many mock fantasy football drafts I have done on Yahoo.   Don’t ask me cuz I ain’t gonna tell ya.

   You wouldn’t remember the number anyway. It’s not important. 

   I use my time wisely. My kindergarten teacher was obsessed with how we used our time and wrote little reports about it, sent them to our parents. 

   That was in Bermuda, a British territory. They were kind of fussy by American standards. Don’t you get fussy with me now.

   There are worse things I could do, than to draft a team or two.  Right?

   Don’t even sit there and judge me.

   Look, if knowing the groin injury and concussion status of second and third-string wide receivers on bottom feeder NFL teams is wrong, I don’t want to be right!

    Which is to say, I’ve had my first live fantasy draft of the year. Picked a real team that is.

   OK, a year ago I didn’t have this seasonal obsession. There were no drafts, let alone the need to say something was my, first draft. I sniffed at fantasy football players.  If I took the time to shrug, that was twice as much time as I wanted put into such things.

   Now?

   I joined a ten-team league on Yahoo.  Against the strict instructions of the fantasy football podcasters I listen to, I took a tight end in the second round, Travis Kelce. He’s a star for the local Kansas City Chiefs, but he’s a little old for a football player and is likely to stop performing at that top level this year or next.

   So you’re reading this and I know school is starting and you’re signing your darlings up for drill team or soccer or whatever. You have to figure out transportation, food, have to get everything covered and paid for.

   You have your problems, I’ve got mine. Fantasy is a new reality.

   When you say yes to a tight end early in a draft, you say no to multiple running backs and wide receivers that your team needs. 

   So I’m moving through the subsequent draft rounds, doing what I now know to do, selecting certain players, delaying others based on something called average draft positon, ADP, the probability that someone else will take the player I want. 

   And I just don’t feel good inside.

    It’s like being on a first date and you know it’s just not happening.  Haven’t we all been there? It’s a sinking feeling.

   You would think, after all the, um, you know, the small handful of practice drafts I did, I would have this down a little better.

    Then Jeannette comes in, my bride. My help and support, my life partner. She comes in smiling, asking question and saying things such as “it’s all for fun.

   I’m standing on that ledge again, the one she talked me out of jumping off when I was a beep baseball coach. 

   “Thank you sweetie,” is what I said. Neither the thanks nor the sweetie part were translated by the way I said it.

   But I finished the draft, didn’t “tilt” as they say, didn’t wig out completely.

   When the Yahoo report card came back, it called my team “solid,” said I had a legitimate shot at the playoffs and even the championship if things broke right.  So what special kind of mania had my insides churning so?

   My grade was a B and they projected me for third place. Great news, right? Well now another kind of angst kicks in because I’ve always been an underdog type. Playoff favorite is not a role I relish necessarily.

   I did this draft in part as a dress rehearsal for my preferred league, a twelve-teamer made up of managers from beep baseball.  That draft is coming up next Friday.

   My longtime Columbus teammate and beepball Hall of Famer Rob Weigand is commissioner of that league.  He’s the one who steered me onto this path of lunacy.  He told me he’s “not sorry” he did this to me.

   So this Yahoo public league team, we named the “K&J Sonics” after the beepball team we had in Wichita.  So every time Travis Kelce catches a touchdown pass, or Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott throws one you hear us screaming “Sonic….BOOM…Sonic…BOOM.”  This we’ll define as normal.

   Our older cat is mostly deaf and won’t know any better. The younger one will have to get over it.

   Ladies, don’t tell me this is any crazier than bunco. I don’t want to hear that.

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