This game is not my fantasy
Editor’s note: Heidi Rice is on a much-needed vacation. This column was originally published in 2002.
At first glance, it resembled the scene of an orderly, businesslike board meeting with the long table, pitchers of ice water strategically placed and pen and paper in front of each seat.
Soon, a black stretch limousine pulled up in front of the restaurant and several well-dressed gentlemen emerged, wearing ties and suspenders, with large cigars hanging from their mouths. One man even had his briefcase handcuffed to his wrist.
I looked around the table as nearly 20 guys gathered and then leaned over to husband-head.
“You haven’t, like, joined the MOB or anything, have you?” I whispered fearfully.
Husband-head shook his head and motioned for me to be quiet.
“Gentlemen, thank you for coming,” the man handcuffed to the briefcase said, addressing the group as he sat down. “Let’s get started, shall we?”
Turns out it wasn’t a Mafia meeting at all ” but these guys did consider it serious business. They had gathered to pick their fantasy football teams for the upcoming season.
A waitress went through the crowd taking drink orders ” LOTS of drink orders ” as apparently the pitchers of water were merely props … A skinny blonde girl stood poised by a large board on the wall holding a marker in her hand and clutching a clipboard to her chest.
“Who’s that?” I nudged husband-head. “Is she, like, the Vanna White of fantasy football?”
“She’ll keep track of our picks,” husband-head explained patiently. “But maybe later on, she’ll take off her clothes …”
The guys around us got a good yuk out of that, and I punched husband-head in the arm.
The pitchers of water were soon replaced by pitchers of beer. The testosterone level reached epic proportions as the guys pored through football literature as if they were playing the stock market and loudly took turns picking different NFL players who would make up their “teams.”
“Isn’t regular football enough for you people?” I asked the man on my left. “Why the fantasy thing? I always thought most men’s fantasies involved WOMEN, not other MEN!”
Husband-head kicked me under the table.
The man apparently running the meeting handed out sheets of paper, designating names to each of the fantasy football teams.
“The HUSBAND-HEADS?” husband-head and his team partner yelled out in protest when they read their assigned name. “Absolutely NOT! We demand a different name!”
Now this, I found to be funny.
“And what would you like to be called?” I asked husband-head.
“The ‘Buzz Kills’ of course,” he said simply. “We’ll kill their BUZZ when we kick their BUTTS!”
With that, he and and his partner gave each other a high five.
Grunt … grunt … grunt …
Several hours passed as the beer continued to flow and the rowdiness in the room rose, while poor Vanna tried desperately to keep some semblance of order among the men.
“Can you all PLEASE quiet down so I can hear the names?” she raised her voice over the din.
“Can you all PLEASE explain to me WHAT is going on?” I thought to myself.
Noticing the bewildered look on my face, husband-head’s partner tried to shed some light on how the game works.
“Each team has 18 players,” he said in a voice one typically reserves for a 5-year-old. “You take turns picking players from each of the NFL teams to put together your fantasy team and the team with the most points at the end of the season wins, based on the total number of points scored and yardage gained by their players.”
Yeah, whatever. After six hours of this, Vanna became quite agitated.
“Would you IDIOTS just SHUT UP!” she screamed, as the drunken meeting leader tried to handcuff her to the chair.
You had to admit, though, it was more interesting than “Wheel of Fortune.”
Heidi Rice is a Rifle correspondent for the Post Independent. Her column appears every Friday. Visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice.com.
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That sideline parent is me, parading to the field with a foldable chair, carrying an iced-coffee, armed with a bag of band-aids and a salty vocabulary ready to slay the referee or opponent that meddles…