I’ve been playing fantasy football for several years now. On one hand, I really hate it. I hate it in the same way that people hate every single real draft pick that’s available during the real NFL Draft after you’ve over analyzed everyone for so long, but in a way, fantasy football is even worse. It’s not just one time you analyze these picks, but every single year. It’s like picking apart the same draft class every 12 months. I mean, how can anyone with a right mind draft Donovan McNabb anymore? You know he’s just going to crush your soul by week five, when you really need him. It’s that type of frustration that really makes fantasy football suck major. But that’s not really what fantasy football is about, anyway. For me, fantasy football has always been about the draft and the group of people in my leagues. The first group I ever joined was a tight knit group of degenerates, alcoholics, and weed heads that mostly all, or at one time had, worked at a restaurant I had spent time at for like nine years. It was a solid group. They were all a bunch of Vikings die hards, and therefore idiots, who would always fight over who was going to draft Randy Moss or the Vikings defense by the fifth round. Seriously. That’s how high they would take them. The rational was always “Whatever, I got my starters pretty much set and they are the one defense I wanted, so I’ll just take them.” The worst part is sometimes that asshole won. The best part about playing fantasy football is paying it with people who really root for their own team too much in real life. I am guilty of that myself though. For two years I took Shiancoe probably way earlier than I should have. In 2008 it was an unwarranted move and I looked like a jack ass. In 2009 it paid off. That pick for 2009? Not so much. And believe it or not, I also had Harvin on my team. Too many Vikings? Probably. My empty fantasy trophy case would agree. The other enjoyable part is hosting your fantasy league draft during a Vikings preseason game. We did it once when I think Koren Robinson was still on the team and he had a game with maybe three catches. You could see everyone checking their draft sheets and pawing their nut sacks just waiting to pounce on Koren. Of course, if they did so any faster they would have been pulled over with him, but whatever. Having a Vikings game on, even one that is inconsequential in the background makes every fantasy draft better. The draft is about football, but it isn’t. It’s more about the people that are there and the long term relationships that are formed. I’d like to say that guys don’t need that gay talk and that they do just fine for themselves, thank you very much, but if I didn’t have a reason to see these assholes once a year I’d never see them at all. Last year, when one of my league’s manager’s dad died, the league shut down. It was unfortunate for many obvious reasons. I didn’t know the guy that well outside of the draft, but always had a great time with him. He was the Cunning Linguist. I don’t think he ever won a championship, although he did come close. I think finally this year we’re planning on getting everyone back together again to carry on. It’ll be different without him there, but I think everyone is looking forward to getting back together and making dick jokes, mom jokes, and making bad draft picks again. If anything, it offers some of us low lives a sense of normalcy in an otherwise chaotic and stressful world. Of course, consistently losing out on your league championship is rather stressful too. Trust me.