Last updated: September 02. 2014 3:09PM - 385 Views
By Travis McMullen Contributing Columnist

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Sometimes you’ve got a friend who talks about this thing they do, and you’d always thought it might be nice to do it with them, but you really don’t want to invite yourself. For a couple years now, I’ve seen former Sedalia Democrat Editor Bob Satnan post about his illustrious fantasy football league.

Like clockwork his Facebook display picture becomes that familiar red dog with an eye patch that represents his fantasy team: the Deadline Dogs.

I’ve been immersing myself in football during the last few seasons but I always felt my fandom was lacking a little bit because I wasn’t in any fantasy leagues. I didn’t want to start one just for the sake of being included in one of them — that wouldn’t feel right. I’ve spent some time acting like I know a little about football, but fantasy is the ultimate way to prove it.

“Interested in playing in free fantasy football league with Sedalia Democrat ex-patriots?” Satnan asked.

Free? Sign me up, otherwise the real sportswriters and real journalists that play in the Sedalia Headliners league would probably take all of my money.

I tried a mock draft, since I had never done any fantasy football before — I took Peyton Manning, but in retrospect it might have been too early to take a quarterback, even if he’s the undisputed fantasy master of his position.

I’ve come to realize it’s vital in any fantasy league to come up with a great team name. There are infinite lists of really, really bad puns that incorporate the names of NFL players but I think the best names are those that make light of certain player’s amusing off-season incidents. But I couldn’t come up with any of those.

Everything I wanted was too long: the name of the fictional university from “The Waterboy” has always made me laugh a whole lot: “South Central Louisiana State University Mud Dogs” was way too long. I tried the Fightin’ Scott Joplins. (I was even going to poorly edit the Notre Dame logo to use as my logo), but it was still too long.

After going through a few video game reference names that very few of the other team managers would get (For a few seconds I was the manager of the Vice City Mambas) I decided to make a reference to one of my favorite movies.

Throughout Terry Gilliam’s trippy cult classic “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” outlaw journalist Raoul Duke and his photographer Lacerda make references to the concept of “total coverage.” It’s what happens when none of the quarterback’s receivers are available and it’s what Duke was in Las Vegas to get.

“I’m on the list,” rambled Duke to the woman at the front desk of the hotel, “Final wisdom, total coverage.”

Draft time came and I ended up with the first pick in the 2014 Sedalia Headliners Fantasy Draft. It made me feel as though I had become a member of the AFC South without even realizing it.

I got a quick little video from Yahoo Sports congratulating me and assuring me I probably wouldn’t screw up the first pick. I could have taken Megatron, or Shady, or Beast Mode or the Muscle Hampster or Fancy F but I took “All Day” Adrian Peterson because he’s basically the prolific one-man offense of the Minnesota Vikings.

That other NFC North star running back, Matt Forte, might have gone to noted Chicago Bears homer Satnan, who owned the third pick, if he wasn’t picked up with the No. 2 pick by current Democrat sportswriter Jason Strickland.

Kansas City Chief Jamaal Charles went fourth and the chatbox went crazy with people who were surprised he didn’t go even earlier. Charles is a legitimate nationwide fantasy superstar and he probably gets even more credit in the Missouri media market so I was a little surprised too, even though I was one of the people who didn’t take him. I want to be happy for Chiefs players because they’re Chiefs, not because they’re scoring me fantasy points.

I’m pretty sure former Democrat reporter Matt Steingraber was living inside of my head without even realizing it — I was going to take Tom Brady to backup Aaron Rodgers at the bottom of the eighth round but Steingrabger did it in the seventh. I picked up Brady around that time in my mock draft and hoped to do it again. I ended up with Russel Wilson as my second stringer.

I was going to pick up Johnny Football at the end of the 14th round, but team name “Team Name Confirmed” (It’s a good running joke, last year he managed “Team Name Pending” but I don’t know where he goes from here) picked him up with the first pick in the 14th round. I’ve got faith in Manziel winning the Browns’ starting job eventually, due mostly to fan pressure, and I think he’s got the swagger to do anything he wants to do. I ended up claiming Blake Bortles off of the waiver wire to fill my “rookie QB who might blow up later in the season” position.

And now there’s only one problem: my quarterbacks are meeting in the first game of the season and normally I wouldn’t be hesitant to start fantasy machine Aaron Rodgers but he’s facing the reigning best defense in the league in the Seattle Seahawks. Most fantasy analysts still prefer Rodgers. Each fantasy draft was graded and the service gave mine a B – and projected me to finish seventh in the eight team league. Thanks for nothing. There were three other drafts with lower letter grades but somehow I’m still landing next to last.

Forget projections — I’m taking home that trophy.

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