Football in my fantasies

Stop the Presses column by Chris Graham

I’m waiting …

Been waiting all night.

As I type this column, I’m participating in my annual fantasy-football draft.

For those uninitiated, this is where I get together with a dozen or so friends and play pretend football.

Sorry – duty calls.

MichaelVickFanClub selects Willis McGahee.

I’m not really a member of any Michael Vick Fan Club.

That one’s an inside joke – I’m a University of Virginia graduate with a wife who is a Virginia Tech grad, and I have been needling her for the past two or three years about how UVa. alum Matt Schaub would make a better starting quarterback in Atlanta, whose current signal-caller is Tech product Michael Vick.

Damn – this is getting intrusive.

MichaelVickFanClub selects Rudi Johnson.

Now I’m off the clock for … ever.

The computer randomly gave me the 12th and final pick in the first round in the draft – and because we revert order each round, in the interest of fairness, that means I also had the first pick of the second round.

Almost missed the deadline there – phew!

We would have had this done last week – except that the fine folks at Yahoo! couldn’t keep their fantasy site up and running between 8:55 p.m. and 9:05 p.m. Friday night.

Our draft, scheduled to start promptly at 9 p.m., got going right on time – meaning that those of us who weren’t able to access the site, all of us but two or three people who had logged on in advance of the time when the glitch occurred, got saddled with whoever the computer wanted us to have.

We were going to go with it – given that only the first seven or eight picks had been affected by the problem – until one of the players was saddled with a defense as first-round pick.

Again for the unwashed, you would never take a defense with your first pick. Maybe your 10th pick – but the top picks go for the money players, the running backs and quarterbacks, the guys who can consistently get you the most points on Sunday.

Sorry …

MichaelVickFanClub selects Philip Rivers.

This is me trying to outsmart everybody. Anybody can take Peyton Manning and do some damage. Me, I like to go for the second-tier guy that I have decided, after months of intensive study, will be the diamond in the rough who shocks the world by breaking the record for touchdown passes and yards …

Er …

MichaelVickFanClub selects Drew Bledsoe.

Four picks down, and I have my two starting running backs and my starting and backup quarterbacks.

This is a big year for me as far as my pretend football career is concerned. I was league runnerup in 2003 and then won it all in 2004 before fading down the stretch in 2005 and finishing out of the playoff picture.

My problem was obvious – I lacked quality running backs and quarterbacks.

That taken care of now, I still need another running back, a couple of tight ends, a wide-receiver corps …

A kicker …

A defense …

Looks like it’s time to get to work.

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The book, with additional reporting by Scott Ratcliffe and Zach Pereles, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
 
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