Turn Your Quarantine Nightmare into Fantasy
In a time where people are itching for entertainment, fantasy football is around the proverbial corner to cure our collective boredom.
If there is one thing that I've learned from presently living through a global pandemic, it's that finding fun in the little things is important to keep these days from all blending together. It's the summer, and any true fantasy football fanatic should already be starting to plan ahead for the 2020 season.
Though in these strange times, with uncertainty abound, looking ahead with any confidence seems like nothing more than a fool's errand. The truth is, we are all like free agents right now - essentially stuck and waiting to be told what we can do, when we can do it, and how we can do it. It's definitely unsettling, but luckily, fantasy football can provide a much needed distraction now even with the season over a month away.
What to do, what to do...
I remember watching the virtual NFL draft back in April (which seems like an eternity ago) and thinking that it strangely had a fantasy football feel to it. Owners and GMs cozied up in their homes (or 250 million dollar yachts in the case of Jerry Jones) and making their selections gave me the fantasy itch that I yearn to scratch.
The good news: There are numerous ways to start having some fantasy related fun right now.
It is the perfect time to engage with our leagues in fun and creative ways. The first thing that comes to mind in order to build excitement for the upcoming season is to add some flavor to your draft order selection process. This is something I personally look forward to every year so that I can start to mock draft at my given draft spot. So many leagues simply draw names out of a hat or let their league's platform randomly choose the order right before the draft....Boring. Instead, I urge people to make an event out of it. I've seen so many creative ways to do this online that, to me, are a great way to get your league's competitive juices flowing. Some ideas:
Assign owners to horses or race car drivers and have their finishing order determine draft order. Take advantage of the sports that are actually happening right now!
This is a cool one that I read about online: Use one of the WWE video games and set up a Royal Rumble match (for the computer to play out). Assign each team owner a wrestler at random. Then, stream the event for your league to watch and let the smack talk ensue. Draft order is determined by the order in which each wrestler finishes.
I actually used this one with one of my leagues. It is a website called https://100yardrush.com/ that allows you to assign teams to a football player that races across the screen on a virtual football field. The order in which they finish determines the draft order. It's simple and allows for another opportunity to host an exciting draft order selection.
There are so many more options to enhance your draft order selection. A simple Google or Reddit search will give you so many ideas. Choose one that your league will get into.
Fantasy football, as I see it, is the ultimate way to hold on to our younger years - it's essentially an organized game of pretend that brings us together with all of our closest friends, families, and coworkers. The pandemic has halted most gatherings, but why not take advantage of one of the only companies actually growing during these hard economic times. ZOOM.
My main league with my friends has been tossing around the idea of an offseason owners meeting like the NFL holds every year as a way for us to go over league issues, examine rules, and plan for the year ahead. What better time than now?
Since we can't be together, a simple Zoom call will do. They work for work. Why can't it work for the important things in life, like how many points per reception pass catchers should earn, the idea of adding an IR spot to our benches, etc...You get the idea.
Speaking of the IR spot, this could be an important talking point for your league. Adding at least one IR spot to rosters could save your league headaches with the uncertainty surrounding Covid-19 and its impact on players being available. I know this will be something I will be pushing for in all my leagues during our meetings.
On the clock...
Ah - the most wonderful time of the year - draft season. If you're like me, draft day is its own holiday on the calendar. Though our drafts won't be cancelled this year, they may not look like they have for us before. Take time to discuss what you and your league will do to keep things as close to norma (and fund) as possible, even if that means not being together. Start planning now and make contingency plans.
The moral of the story is that you and your league should be using this time to build excitement and fun in an otherwise boring and confusing time. When your draft comes around, you want to be prepped and ready to go with the same knowledge and fervor you normally would approach the season with.
To help with that, you can listen to "Airing It Out with Joe Daley" wherever you listen to podcasts - NEW episodes coming in August!