Yesterday evening, the wife was reading, nothing was on TV, and I had a little spare time on my hands. So, to prepare for another season of fantasy football, I hit up ESPN.com for a mock draft session. Don't judge, I won two leagues last year with this method.
We get into the draft room, it's all full, the first several picks go without incident, although there's mild surprise registered when Larry Fitz goes #6 and Drew Brees gets tagged at #7. Then, some joker decides to grab Tony Romo at #9, and you'd swear someone just farted in church.
One guy, Jason Wade by name, is particularly indignant, but sticks around. We're mildly curious when the same guy who picked Romo takes Marion Barber in the second round.
Then, he goes with Felix Jones in the third, #33 overall. Felix is usually going in the 90's. We're now sensing a pattern.
Fourth round, and it's confirmed: our draft's been trolled. Thank you, Jason Dull, for being a retarded Cowboys homer.
Sam Hurd is the fourth-round pick, and Wade goes ballistic. He posts something to the effect of "Thanks for wasting my time, assholes," and leaves.
First off, to quote Allen Iverson, we're talkin' 'bout practice, man.
Some schmuck drafting Tony Romo #9 in a mock has nothing to do with the way I'm going to win my league again this year. (Yeah, I said it.)
Sam Hurd being a fourth-round pick, what does it do? It throws off other players' draft positions by a spot or two. Big deal. Do another mock and those players that went after Hurd will go higher next time, and it will all even out on your sheets.
And yes, players are doing several mocks these days and keeping sheets of who goes where. Once again, don't judge. If you check multiple websites to comparison shop for a TV, you're doing the same thing.
But back to the point. In the grand scheme of things, this mock means absolutely nothing. None of these mocks mean anything, they're just practice.
Sorry. It's hard to stop.
See, if you're even a big enough football fan to want to own a virtual team, it's highly likely that you're a homer for somebody, too. In my family league, I'm surrounded by people who know their shit, thanks to me getting them into the game five years ago.
But, we're pretty much all big Colts fans, I and another guy are big on the Bears, and we also have lifelong Eagle and Redskin fans in the league. Even with that in mind, though, we're all conscious not to overstep for our favorite team's players just because of the team they play on. Sure, Jon the Redskin Fan drafted Mike Sellers a couple of years ago, but that was 14th round, not 4th. It was a throw-away pick, and he treated it as such.
Jason the Eagle Fan seems to somehow always end up with Donovan McNabb and/or Brian Westbrook on his team, but he drafts them in positions that make sense. Coincidentally, he often gets out to fantastic starts, with McNabb and Westbrook occasionally winning games all by themselves. Then, one or both of the two takes his annual three-to-six-game injury sabbatical, at which point Jay's season usually heads straight into the toilet. Such is life.
We do know, however, that someone in our league is going to go with Peyton Manning in the first round. Whether it's because he can't find anyone else to draft (*coughBillcough*) or because he wants to try to trade him for half someone else's team (*coughJustincough*), Peyton goes higher in our league.
Just like around Chicago, Jay Cutler may be drafted in the fourth instead of the seventh.
Just like around Oakland, JaMarcus Russell might be drafted...um...anywhere.
It's just a fact of life. The rest of us simply smile, knowing that when our pick rolls around, there'll be another receiver or running back there that we didn't expect to see.
And that may be the way to approach a mock.
I chose to be amused by the homer queuing up his entire favorite team before logging off. And that includes the defense fifth and Nick Folk #6. For the record, though, he did manage to make it to the last two rounds before Miles Austin and Tashard Choice got picked for him. Admirable self-control.
But no Marty B? For shame, Jason Dull. What kind of retarded Cowboy homer are you? Mr. Jerry is highly disappointed in you.
And as for Jason Wade, he needs to do two things.
One, grow up. You were doing the mock for a reason, and some goober throwing out stupid picks doesn't do all that much to throw you off, so get over yourself.
And two, get down on your knees and pray to God tonight that you run into someone this dumb in your actual leagues. Easy wins are hard to come by, so take 'em where you find 'em.
We're not curing cancer or writing the Great American Novel here. We're pretending to draft pretend teams of football players so we can brag to our friends that we know more about football than they do.
Are you the kind of kid who throws the board against the wall when you're losing at chess? If not, then learn to act like it. It's a game. Treat it like one, not like war. Less stress that way.