Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Draft Day Come and Gone

Draft Day is the best day of the entire Fantasy League season. The application we use moves at near-breakneck speed (90 seconds!) so the entire draft is completed in approximately two hours, a little more, a little less depending on how many people are on autopick (3 seconds) and how many people haven't a clue who they want to pick (90 seconds) or how many people are present but absent (90 seconds). Although our rosters have 25 slots, 4 are already assigned to our keepers from last season, so the draft is 21 rounds long and we have 12 teams (we have had as many as 15 and would like to get a few more managers to keep the competition stronger) so in theory the draft could take 6 hours and 18 minutes, but the longest we've gone since we switched to the current app is 2 hours and 24 minutes.

So there's the speed thing, the draft's done before you get (too) bored with it. In the later rounds people start grabbing players because they have a good baseball name, i.e. Stubby Clapp, or they have a sentimental attachment to a player.

The app provides a Live Chat space so draft day is the only time we are all online together (though it's never truly been everyone but spread out across a couple continents makes a good time for everyone impossible) and we spend much of it mocking each other's choices and our own. Seasons when the keepers had not been pre-assigned by the commish and not excluded by managers we spent a big chunk of our live chat announcing another keeper gone to the wrong teem and betting which keeper would be next.

The live chat has dwindled as our original line up of managers has shifted away from the initial group that started the league and moved toward a group with fractured acquaintances. New managers are brought in by someone already in the league, but there is no shared history between the newest manager and the previously established group. It's good to have new blood, but it also feels more like a pool of isolated stat geeks. The original Talkin' Baseball crew came from a common forum, where we had spent literally years arguing and debating the game so we had a strong connection, an understanding of the person/persona behind the wheel of each of the teams.

Normally I schedule at work vacation time so I can keep up with the draft while also working undisturbed in my office. The date I selected this year was the day my workplace was shut down for Spring Break so that option was out. My dial-up access at home no longer has the vigor necessary to run the draft app so I took my laptop to Tim Horton's for the free Wi-Fi. I had used it before, in December, to submit my final papers for an online class and anticipated there would be no problem. Nope. No access, no Wi-Fi. The donut was good, the coffee so-so, but no Wi-Fi. Hence no draft day fun for me.

I guess I should go check out who's on the Huskytown Dukes roster before Opening Day.

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