Fantasy Drafts

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Sports Mascots Draft

4:12 PM
Some how, some way, FantasyDrafts made it into an chat. Here, the merciless worshipers of the Worldwide Leader tore into the Breakfast Cereals Draft (well, mostly Sarah's draft). Near the end of the chat Tim from Atlanta asked a simple, but brilliant, question: what would be the first pick in a draft of sports mascots?

We had found our muse. The FantasyDrafters immediately set to work on devising draft boards and working out draft day deals. Sarah and Sydney teamed up for this one. The results are below:

Round 1

Adam - San Diego Chicken
S&S - Notre Dame Leprechaun (Notre Dame)
Bryan - Philly Phanatic (Philadelphia Phillies)
Albert - Phoenix Suns Gorilla (Phoenix Suns Gorilla)
Dan - Youppi (Montreal Canadians/Expos)
Chris - Otto the Orange (Syracuse)

Round 2

Chris - Mr. Met (New York Mets)
Dan - Bernie Brewer (Milwaukee Brewers)
Albert - Chief Osceola and Renegade (Florida State)
Bryan - Donald Duck (Oregon)
S&S - Sammy the Slug (UC Santa Cruz)
Adam - The Oriole Bird (Baltimore Orioles)

Round 3

Adam - Handsome Dan (Yale) (Traded to Bryan for Stanford Tree)
S&S - Boilermaker Special (Purdue)
Bryan - Stanford Tree (Traded to Adam for Handsome Dan and mascot to be named later)
Albert - Traveler (USC)
Dan - Keggy the Keg (Dartmouth)
Chris - Big Red (Western Kentucky)

Round 4

Chris - Colonel Reb (Mississippi)
Dan - Bill the Goat (Naval Academy)
Albert - Bevo (Texas)
Bryan - Sparty (Michigan State)
S&S - Rally Monkey (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim)
Adam - Smokey (Tennessee)

Round 5

Adam - The Fighting Christians (Elon)
S&S - Captain Fear (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Bryan - Demon Deacon (Wake Forest)
Albert - Testudo (Maryland)
Dan - WuShock (Witchita State)
Chris - Brutus Buckeye (Ohio State)

Round 6

Chris - Chief Wahoo (Cleveland Indians)
Dan - Pistol Pete (Oklahoma State)
Albert - Albert Gator (Florida)
Bryan - St. Joe's Hawk (St. Joseph's)
S&S - Cayenne (Louisiana Lafayette)
Adam - Reveille (Texas A&M)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Worst Comic Strips Draft

3:31 PM
Welcome back folks. We could make lots of excuses as to why there hasn't been a post on FD in a while. I could tell you about the increased responsibilities at my job. Adam could tell you something about his workload vs. the Asian dollar. Sarah could probably tell you something about how we're that much closer to finding a vaccine for AIDS. Yes we would love to tell you about how productive we've been, but that would be a lie. Plus it would get us away from the real reason you haven't seen us recently - because we're lazy.

In that same spirit of laziness, we've decided to draft the work products of the worst/laziest cartoonists out there. Nothing is worse than sitting down with your bowl of corn flakes in the morning, flipping to the comics only to want to gouge your eyes out when you see Cathy, Family Circus or Marmaduke. How do these people sleep at night? Maybe Dickie the Cockroach will save us.

Round 1

Sarah - Cathy
Chris - Family Circus
Sydney - Mark Trail
Adam - Ziggy
Dan - Mary Worth

Round 2

Dan - Rex Morgan, M.D.
Adam - Nancy
Sydney - Barney Google and Snuffy Smith
Chris - Zippy the Pinhead
Sarah - Love Is...

Round 3

Sarah - Marmaduke
Chris - Judge Parker
Sydney - Prince Valiant
Adam - B.C.
Dan - Sally Forth

Round 4

Dan - Rose is Rose
Adam - Mallard Fillmore
Sydney - Momma
Chris - Andy Capp
Sarah - Broom Hilda

Round 5
Sarah - Dennis the Menace
Chris - Heathcliff
Sydney - One Big Happy
Adam - Beetle Bailey
Dan - Baldo

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Disasters Draft

11:28 PM
OK, so we're insensitive, we know. We were upset that we weren't at any of these events so that we could liveblog. We're gonna make up for it right here. Rules: Man-made or natural disasters and the major activity had to happen on a single day.

First Round

Bryan: Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, 2004
Sydney: Hurricane Katrina, 2005
Chris: Huang He (Yellow River) Flood, 1931
Sarah: meteor that killed the dinosaurs, 65 million BC
Adam: atomic bomb attack on Nagasaki, 1945

Round 2

Adam: terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001
Sarah: eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, 79 AD
Chris: nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, 1986
Sydney: sinking of the Titanic, 1912
Bryan: Hindenburg explosion, 1937

Round 3

Bryan: Challenger explosion, 1986
Sydney: Great Fire of London, 1666
Chris: Eruption of Krakatoa, 1883
Sarah: Lisbon earthquake, 1755
Adam: Pearl Harbor attack, 1941

Round 4

Adam: San Francisco earthquake, 1906
Sarah: Kashmir earthquake, 2005
Chris: Bhola cyclone, 1970
Sydney: Shaanxi earthquake, 1956
Bryan: Great Chicago Fire, 1871

Round 5

Bryan: Exxon Valdez oil spill, 1989
Sydney: atomic bombing of Hiroshima, 1945
Chris: bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, 1988
Sarah: sinking of USS Maine, 1898
Adam: Bay of Pigs invasion, 1961

Round 6

Adam: sinking of the Lusitania, 1915
Sarah: Galveston hurricane, 1900
Chris: Tangshan earthquake, 1976
Sydney: 10th Plague, death of firstborn, c1300 BC
Bryan: Val di Stava Dam collapse, 1985

Round 7:

Bryan: Boston Molasses disaster, 1919
Sydney: Kristallnacht, 1938
Chris: Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, 1911
Sarah: Al-Aaimmah Bridge stampede, 2005
Adam: crash of the Beechcraft Bonanza, 1958

Round 8:

Adam: eruption of Mt. Tambora, 1815
Sarah: crash of TWA Flight 800, 1996
Chris: Bhopal chemical leak, 1984
Sydney: crash of Valujet 592, 1996
Bryan: Beirut Embassy bombing, 1983

Supplemental Draft:
Albert's NCAA Bracket

Monday, March 20, 2006

Olympic Events Draft Guest Commentary

9:13 AM

(cue timpanies) BUM BUM BA-BUM BUM BUM BUM BA-BUM BUM Good evening, and welcome to the Fantasy Draft of the 28th Olympiad. My name is Mike Walsh and I am coming to you plausably live from the Winter Olympics mecca of Houston, Texas, home to 'Merica's top bobsleigh driver, speed skater, and brush-clearer. I am honored to provide up close and personal analysis of this latest Fantasy Draft, following in the footsteps of such luminaries as Jim McCay, Bob Costas and John Tesh. I have been following the Olympics since the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, the games of Brian Boitano, Eddie the Eagle and the Jamaican Bobseld team, and am one of 5 Americans to actually watch the Olympics last month. Now, let's go out to the Bardonecchia for the latest in the competition, which I will pretend is coming to you LIVE but really happened 10 days ago.

Sydney: Bobsleigh, Gymnastics, Diving, Weightlifting, Track (Hurdles), Handball, Beach Volleyball, Skeleton

Spending most of her childhood raised by wolves in the wilderness of Manitoba, Sydney has overcome more than most to compete in this Olympic draft. Her draft is a reflection of her upbringing, with a tendency to follow the pack. All too often, rather than taking the best sport available, she took the weaker of similar sports, such as Diving after Swimming was off the board, Hurdles after the Marathon and Sprints were taken, and Beach Volleyball after Volleyball.

Some analysts will say that she reached by taking Bobsleigh first overall, but given the recent Winter Olympics she can immediately capitalize on a fan favorite (who can resist the sound of cowbells as sleighs slide down the track with rastafarian hair-doos, lucky eggs, and John Candy as their coach). Sydney also had some strong selections late in the draft, including Handball and Skeleton. Handball is a Dirk Nowitzski-type sport with proven European skills that could transform American sport (or, like Darko, flame out due to American indifference), while Skeleton is an intense sport with tremendous upside that will nicely complement the superstar of Bobleigh.

All in all, this is a draft with flashes of greatness, but overall mediocrity. The draft never asserts itself, stuck in the shadow of stronger, more confident drafts.

Country: Canada (Smiley Face Sticker). Nothing intimidating, but likeable all the same.

Chris: Swimming, Figure Skating, Skiing, Decathalon, Short Track, Baseball, Ski Jumping, Snowboarding

With a draft that both NBC and Madison Avenue can love, Chris is drafting for Mom, Apple Pie, and the good ol' U. S. of A. Where others went for cute sports that fascinate us for a couple weeks every four years, Chris was looking beyond the arena for marketable athletes. These are the sports that lead to Wheaties boxes and trips to Disney World - Michael Phelps (swimming), Michelle Kwan (figure skating), Bode Miller (drinking skiing), Dan and Dave (decathalon), Anton Apollo Ohno (short track), Tommy Lasorda (baseball), Shaun White (snowboarding) and the Agony of Defeat Guy (ski jumping) are examples from recent Olympics of the marketing power that Chris's portfolio contains.

Though this is unquestionably the strongest draft, I must say that this draft favors the commercialism of the games over the purity of sport. The Olympics should be a place where stars are made by their own actions in the arena, not by 30 second spots for Nike. Though Chris may win, there is a romantic quality to the niche sports that only enter our consciousness for a quadrennial fortnight, where athletes toil in anonymity for one chance on the world stage to display their skills. I, for one, would rather cheer for the underdog. We'll return to the Sports Reporters after this.

Country: USA (Gold Medal). Yeah, you probably will win, but everyone else will enjoy the schadenfreude when you don't.

Albert: Ice Hockey, Football (Soccer), Boxing, Wrestling, Triathalon, Tennis, Cycling, Curling

Though this is not the most dominant team, it is certainly the broadest portfolio of the draft, displaying a Joycean thread of inexplicable continuity mostly rooted in kicking someone else's ass. The best part of hockey, outside of the flying V, is the fighting; the best part of soccer, outside of Sly Stallone leading the Allies to Victory over the Nazis, is the inevitable kidnapping/assassination of a Latin American superstar following an own-goal. Boxing and Wrestling are both predicated on beating up someone while wearing as little clothing as possible, while any triathlete can definetely kick my ass. Even in tennis, you get tennis-dads putting hits out on other players, while in cycling the entire country of France wants to kick Lance Armstrong's ass (though not until after their nap).

As a former member of the Philadelphia Curling Club, I appreciate Albert's selection of Curling. This is a sport with tremendous updside, featuring established support in Canada and a ready-made American audience in Floridian shuffleboarders. Obviously, curling is the exact opposite of an ass-kicking sport, but it is still a worthy selection. Kudos, Albert.

Country: Ireland (Bronze Medal). Despite their reputation as a jolly, diminutive, cereal-hawking people, modern American college athletics have advanced the stereotype that all Irish are "Fighting." (In reality, a better moniker would be the "Layin' Down in BCS Bowls Irish"). Enjoy the bronze medal, Fightin' Alberts.

Adam: Luge, Table Tennis, Basketball, Volleyball, Fencing, Badminton, Modern Pentathlon, Yachting

If the Olympics were dominated by athletes weaned on brandy and trained on the fields of Cambridge, this would be the team to beat. Unfortunately, this Chariots of Fire team has no hope in the modern Olympics where NBC requires athletes to overcome more than a poor selection of scotch in the Eating Club; furthermore, when you remove the aristocratic names the sports don't sound like they should even be a part of the Olympic Games.

Luge (sledding) is a fun word to say, includes an event where two guys lay on top of one another. If Pat Robertson wasn't so busy calling for hits on foreign leaders, the 700 Club would definetely be calling for a boycott of this sport. Table Tennis (ping-pong), Volleyball (volleyball), Fencing (running at your brother with a stick), Basketball (play keep-away from your annoying cousin), Yachting (Dad why did you drive the boat into the dock?) and Badminton (hit the birdie over the net already, Grandma) are events that seem more appropriate at your next family reunion than at the Olympic games.

One exception to Adam's Family Reunion is the Modern Pentathlon. This is a fascinating event that was designed to emulate the skillls required of a 19th century officer (thus the word "Modern" in the title), and whose most famous competitor was George S. Patton. Patton finished 5th in the 1912 Stockholm games; ironically, his worst event was the shooting (fortunately his military career would emphasize his slapping skills).

Country: Poland (Thanks-for-Participating Certificate). Europe's public park (everyone uses it from time to time), where most of these sports can be played.

Sarah: Marathon, Track (Sprints), Water Polo, Speed Skating, Biathlon, Rowing, Archery, Field Hockey

Sarah is relying on individual success to win this draft, choosing only two team events. Speed will be the hallmark of this collection, whether it be on the roads, track, ice, skis, or skulls. Chris's team may be the most marketable, but this team will likely yield the most compelling up-close and personal stories. Imagine the possibilities with the one-legged marathoner, or the water polo-er who is afraid of water - team sports may get the heavy press, but this is where Bob Costas is going to find the people that make you cry.

From a sport standpoint, this is a strong to very strong portfolio. The speed is always exciting, but is the weapons that really excites me about this team. Biathletes and archers both get to shoot at targets, and will be very good at defending the Olympic Village from intruders, as will the water polo team (inevitably the guys who would get drunk and start fights in college) and the field hockey team (they come armed with nuclear weapons, as the best teams are from India and Pakistan).

Country: Germany (Silver Medal). A solid mix of speed (sprints = Autobahn), endurance (marathon = Germanic Tribes vs. Rome), and heavy armaments (biathlon = Blitzkrieg, kinda), lead to success and a strong desire to overrun Adam.

Thanks to the entire staff for the guess appearance. Please remember, Fantasy Olympic Sports is for entertainment purposes only. If you or a loved one is addicted to Fantasy Olympic Sports, you may want to seek professional counseling immediately.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Olympic Events Draft Results

5:25 PM

Sigh. I don't think anyone knows the rules to this draft. Below is a draft of olympic related items. If you're really bored (particularly at work) feel free to click - and waste hours of time.

Round 1:
Sydney - Bobsled
Chris - Swimming (Fishy)
Albert - Ice Hockey (Air)
Adam - Luge
Sarah - Marathon

Round 2:
Sarah - Track (Sprints)
Adam - Table Tennis
Albert - Soccer (Volleys) (Headers)
Chris - Figure Skating
Sydney - Gymnastics (Ouch)

Round 3:
Sydney - Diving
Chris – Skiing
Albert – Boxing (OJ)
Adam – Basketball
Sarah – Water Polo

Round 4:
Sarah – Speed Skating
Adam – Volleyball (OneSlime)
Albert – Wrestling
Chris – Decathalon
Sydney – Weightlifting

Round 5:
Sydney – Track (Hurdles)
Chris – Short Track Speed Skating
Albert – Triathalon
Adam – Fencing
Sarah – Biathalon

Round 6:
Sarah – Rowing
Adam – Badminton
Albert – Tennis (Topless)
Chris – Baseball
Sydney - Handball

Round 7:
Sydney – Beach Volleyball
Chris – Ski Jumping
Albert – Cycling (Uni
Adam – Pentathlon
Sarah – Archery

Round 8:
Sarah – Field Hockey
Adam – Sailing (Speedboat)
Albert - Curling
Chris - Snowboarding
Sydney - Skeleton

Shameless Popularity Plug

2:16 PM

Well, according to this guy, bloggers are supposed to put the word "brrreeeport" in their blogs. Let no one say that Fantasy Drafts is not at the cutting edge of cool or immune to social bandwagons. Brrreeeport away!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Columnists Draft Guest Commentary

11:43 AM

Outsourcing has struck again. Yes, the drafters were a bit too lazy to do commentary this time around and have found a much cheaper labor alternative in Bombay. Well, she may not come from Bombay, but she does like Bombay Saphire. When not writing about child pornography, this guest commenter (a scorpio) enjoys playing T-ball and grilling. I introduce to you the commentary of Miss Kate Blosveren, aspiring policy wonk.

Sarah's Draft: 1. Hendrik Hertzberg (New Yorker) 2. Michael Kinsley (Slate) 3. Judith Martin (Miss Manners) 4. Sebastian Mallaby (WP) 5. Nicholas Kristof (NYT) 6. Louis Menand (New Yorker) 7. Verlyn Klinkenborg (NYT) 8. Dahlia Lithwick (Slate)

Sarah certainly wins for having the most columnists that I did not know by name immediately, which is a dubious, yet inconsequential to the grading, honor. Not being a reader of the New Yorker, it is a bit of reach for me to come out in fully support of picking Hendrik Hertzberg first, but considering I know how much Sarah loves the New Yorker (as the sole New Yorker of the bunch), I have no problem saying that’s fine and moving on. Kinsley is a cool choice and as the founding editor of the awesomely amusing Slate, he certainly has my respect.

Miss Manners’ real name is Judith Martin. Well, you learn something new everyday. This is a pretty fun pick, even if her advice rarely informs my etiquette. She wins real points, however, for writing this bitchin’ review of Empire Strikes Back.

Sarah’s next two choices are a bit uninspired. Mallaby and Kristof are both good writers, but it seems to me that these picks are more representative of Sarah’s esteem the Post and the NY Times than for the columnists themselves. I don’t have much to say about Sarah’s choice of Menand beyond that, at this point, it’s just nice to see non-political columnists being chosen. Sarah finishes with Klinkenborg, whom I had never heard of before taking on this assignment (should I have?), and Dahlia Lithwick, whom I read regularly, making her Even Steven in my book.

Grade: B+. Sarah’s love of Slate won me over.

Chris' Draft: George F. Will (WP) 2. Paul Krugman (NYT) 3. Tony Kornheiser (WP) 4. William Safire (NYT) 5. EJ Dionne (WP) 6. Bob Novak (CST) 7. Maureen Dowd (NYT) 8. George Vecsey (NYT)

Now I must give Chris credit for bucking the trend, and drafting a conservative columnist first. While the rest of the gang went with more obvious choices for highly educated readers residing in Blue states and/or districts, George Will is a commendable and unique first selection - even though I always personally prefer the Newsweeks that feature Anna Quindlen on the last page.

I understand the allure of the NY Times op-ed page, but Paul Krugman is not someone I can get behind. He’s the kind of NY Times writer that gives liberals a bad name. He is a better choice than boring old Bob Herbert, but much weaker than the later picked Maureen Dowd and Nicholas Kristof.

Chris’s next three picks were all fairly solid, perhaps the highlight of his entire selection. Tony Kornheiser does his sports thing well and is a nice deviation from your first two choices. As an fan of good old etymology, I’ll give you credit for snagging Safire. Since I am a personal fan of all things E.J., that choice also gets you points from this commentator. However, from this point on, Chris’ draft becomes a bit weak and repetitive. Bob Novak, well, just imagine me doing a big old fake “HACK” sneeze right now. Dowd and Vescey are both good picks, on their own, but they represent your third and fourth NY Times columnists.

Grade: C+. While a lover of all things New York Times myself, it shouldn’t compose half of your picks. My advice: diversify.

Adam's Draft: 1. Thomas Friedman (NYT) 2. David Brooks (NYT) 3. Charles Krauthammer (WP) 4. Christopher Buckley (Forbes) 5. Peter Gammons (ESPN) 6. Carl Hiaasen (Miami Herald) 7. Mort Kondracke (Roll Call) 8. Lexington (Economist)

Thomas Friedman is the obvious first choice in a world where even five year olds talking about the flattening of the world, and arguably, the columnist that carries the most weight (to anyone not an economist). David Brooks as the second pick completes a strong one-two punch, gets Adam’s NY Times’ picks out of the way early, and makes room for a wide breadth of selections.

Although I’m no fan of neocons, Krauthammer is the self-appointed president of this gang (seriously, you should have seen him rough Bill Kristol up in that street fight, that was some crazy shit) and, according to a hyperlink on Wikipedia, is “Jewish,” which is an amusing use of technology.

Christopher Buckley? No, you must be mistaken and mean William Buckley, who’s dead and hasn’t written a column in some time. Wait, he has a son? Who is an editor of Forbes? Oh. That’s cool. Moving on: Peter Gammons. He’s no Bill Simmons, but an original pick that I can totally get behind. Carl Hiassen, well, I’d never heard of him and may never hear of him again, but he’s from Florida, which is nice for him, and he apparently writes about the environment, which is nice for all of us.

I’m all about Adam’s Kondracke pick, partially because he writes for a smaller niche newspaper – which is a nice change from the more mainstream sources otherwise represented – and partially because I really dig his writing. Adam rounds out his draft with the illusive Lexington of the Economist, which might go a further in my book if he was the sole Economist columnist selected, but still wins points for being something different.

Grade: A-. While there was a slight falter in the middle (again, Christopher Buckley? Really?), this is a commendable set of picks.

Sydney's Draft: 1. Frank Rich (NYT) 2. James Surowiecki (New Yorker) 3. David Broder (WP) 4. Alex Ross (New Yorker) 5. William Saletan (Slate) 6. Gene Weingarten (WP) 7. Tim Harford (FT) 8. Roger Ebert (CST)

Sydney starts with Frank Rich, who, while over the top sometimes, is an ace writer and a logical first pick. Surowiecki, well, I don’t know the guy, so I don’t have too much to say beyond that he does have a good resume, but his bio on Wikipedia is truly disappointing in comparison to other picks. I’m tempted to add something, maybe a Polish hyperlink. Is he even Polish?

David Broder, while not as bombastic as EJ, is arguably the best op-ed columnist at the Washington Post, so points to Sydney for that lucky pick. Again, Alex Ross means as much to me as Surowiecki, which isn’t that much, but whatever.

Sydney’s choice of William Saletan demonstrates her love of science and mockery, but is also one of the more creative picks across the board. While Gene Weingarten is clearly a poor man’s Dave Barry, in light of the predetermined rules of the draft barring Dave Barry from being chosen, his status is elevated from sloppy seconds to an acceptable substitute. Tim Hartford writes for the Financial Times, which I just learned today. That’s all I’ve got on him.

Sydney’s final choice of Roger Ebert is near fantabulous and is only weakened by Ebert’s overwhelming recognition for his television show rather than his column. However, I give the man respect for putting up with Roeper, a sad replacement for the late great Gene Siskel.

Grade: A. Syd’s draft includes political writers, music and film reviewers, a science critic, a satirist, and an economist who writes "Dear Economist". That’s a tight draft in my book.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Columnists Draft Results

4:49 PM

Well, after the usual groaning and bickering, we all decided that columnists would be defined as writers who currently published a regular column for some sort of newspaper/magazine, online or otherwise. We were all sad we couldn't pick Dave Barry, but there are RULES, people.

Round 1

Sarah: Hendrik Hertzberg
Chris: George F. Will
Adam: Thomas Friedman
Sydney: Frank Rich

Round 2
Sydney: James Surowiecki
Adam: David Brooks
Chris: Paul Krugman
Sarah: Michael Kinsley

Round 3
Sarah: Judith Martin
Chris: Tony Kornheiser
Adam: Charles Krauthammer
Sydney: David Broder

Round 4
Sydney: Alex Ross
Adam: Christopher Buckley
Chris: William Safire
Sarah: Sebastian Mallaby

Round 5
Sarah: Nicholas Kristof
Chris: E.J. Dionne
Adam: Peter Gammons
Sydney: William Saletan

Round 6
Sydney: Gene Weingarten
Adam: Carl Hiaasen
Chris: Bob Novak
Sarah: Louis Menand

Round 7
Sarah: Verlyn Klinkenborg
Chris: Maureen Dowd
Adam: Mort Kondracke
Sydney: Tim Harford

Round 8
Sydney: Roger Ebert
Adam: Lexington
Chris: George Vecsey
Sarah: Dahlia Lithwick

Friday, January 13, 2006

Best Picture Oscar Winners Draft Results

4:28 PM

"Oh, my God. Oh, my God. I'm sorry. Wow. This draft was totally unexpected. There are so many people I need to thank. Just so many people. This project...this whole thing is the product of so many people. So many people make this possible. Wow, this statue is heavy...

I'd like to thank the Academy for respecting my work. Heck, I'd like to thank them for reading it in the first place. To be honored for my accomplishments just makes just overwhelms me. I've been working so hard, all of us have, at this for, what? 8 whole months now? This is just amazing, all of this work.

But I need to thank people. Like Albert and Bryan, and Sarah and Chris for participating. And people like Dan and Justin who were there from the beginning and who have supported me, even though they can't always participate. And then Sydney, so loved by so many for her contributions to me. She's great. Thank You! And sweet, dear Adam. Making almost every draft, a true champion. And the...

Turn that music off! I'm not finished. I'm not done! No. You let Roberto Benigni act like a circus carny on speed. And you won't even let me thank God!

There we go. Like I was saying, I'd like to thank the man who made this all possible. Darren Delaye. You're a champion. And the bloggers. And the people of I know, I know, I'm not supposed to plug people, but they do such a great job and...look at me, I'm tearing up.

So finally, I'd like to thank the readers, without you this wouldn't be possible. And I know that the only people who read this are the people I mentioned in my speech, but I don't care. Thank you to the audience, you give me the energy and the comments to keep this going. Thank you. San Dimas High School football rules! Goodnight!"

Round 1
Albert - Casablanca
Bryan - Ben-Hur
Sarah - The Godfather
Chris - Gone With the Wind

Round 2
Chris - Lawrence of Arabia
Sarah - West Side Story
Bryan - The Deer Hunter
Albert - Patton

Round 3
Albert - On the Waterfront
Bryan - The Godfather Part II
Sarah - All About Eve
Chris - Schindler's List

Round 4
Chris - One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Sarah - Out of Africa
Bryan - The Sting
Albert - Silence of the Lambs

Round 5
Albert - Gandhi
Bryan - Braveheart
Sarah - Annie Hall
Chris - Midnight Cowboy

Round 6
Chris - Forrest Gump
Sarah - American Beauty
Bryan - Rocky
Albert - Driving Miss Daisy

Round 7
Albert - In the Heat of the Night
Bryan - Gladiator
Sarah - S. in Love
Chris - The French Connection

Round 8
Chris - Unforgiven
Sarah - Titanic
Bryan - Platoon
Albert - A Man For All Seasons

Thursday, January 05, 2006

S. & S. Music Factory Commentary Jam Session – Board Games

12:48 PM

Adam’s picks: Monopoly, Go, Risk, Parcheesi, Stratego, Othello, Hex, Quarto

Here’s the thing about Adam’s games: I have only actually played two of them, ever. I mean, what the hell is “Hex”? “Quarto”? Did Adam just make these up or what? Yeah, OK, Adam, I’ll follow your “Quarto” with MY genius pick of “Praxatron.” Best. Game. Ever.

Anyway. Monopoly, a lovely first pick by any stretch of the imagination, kind of grates on me because I think it’s a stupid game, and it’s WAY too high-maintenance – board, game pieces, property cards, money, chance, community chest, houses and hotels, dice – in addition to being a huge pain in the neck to play, the game is ruined forever if the dog chews up even a tiny portion of it! That doesn’t happen with chess, my friends, and you can ask the half-shredded white bishop in my house if you don’t believe me. But I won’t begrudge Adam this choice, since it is the archetypal non-generic board game. Plus it’s perhaps the only game for which people display quite that level of fervent, violent loyalty to particular game pieces (I’ve seen people trade away vast amounts of money before the game has even started for, say, the wheelbarrow.)

Go is allegedly one of the great games of all time, but it’s insanely complicated and requires a lifetime to master and, let’s face it, who doesn’t just want to play some Museum Caper Clue instead? Risk has a pretty hilarious premise, until people start taking it too seriously, and then it’s just unsettling. I’ll admit that I’ve never played Parcheesi and haven’t the faintest idea what it entails. Why yes, I AM too lazy to look it up. Thanks for asking. And would it be possible to come up with a name stupider than “Stratego,” which, in addition to being really half-hearted-sounding, doesn’t even have the same pronunciation as the word from which it purportedly derives? In the future, stick to sober, adult game names such as “Hungry Hungry Hippos,” OK?

Luckily, Adam’s draft is totally redeemed by the brilliant sixth-round pick of Othello. Incredibly straightforward, yet surprisingly entertaining. You can play it in a car, you can play it at the bar. You can play it in my house, you can play it with a mouse. Well, not really, but you CAN make a homemade version that works pretty well.

Final grade: B. Big points for classics, and confused sheepish overcompensating points for games I’ve never heard of, but ultimately this draft only contains one game that’s actually fun.

Sydney’s picks: Trivial Pursuit, Clue, Battleship, Connect Four, Chinese Checkers, Operation, Scene It?, Twister

Let’s get one thing straight: I freaking love Trivial Pursuit. I could take or leave the whole dice-rolling, wedge-involving, rainbow-ordered-circle-making, legitimate “game” part of it, but there’s just nothing more enjoyable than sitting around and reading Trivial Pursuit questions to pass the time. That said, a certain incident circa sophomore year of high school, involving some really OBVIOUS cheating, has poisoned my relationship with Trivial Pursuit vis-à-vis Sydney. So let’s just move on.

Clue is an absurd game (and what’s the deal with those tiny pencils they give you?), but it has a certain peculiar charm, I think. Nice second-round grab. Battleship is idiotic beyond description, but it was the first vertical board game pick in the draft, and for that, I am impressed. Connect Four is one of the most enjoyable games in this entire draft, AND it had one of the catchiest little jingles in the history of commercials. Go for it! Connect Four! Go for it! Connect Four!

Chinese checkers is a nice, simple game that also makes a good last-minute desperation gift, since there are so many tasteful, attractive versions of it. Operation may be riddled with egregious medical inaccuracies, but any game that teaches children to embrace invasive surgery as a solution to minor physical problems is OK in my book. I don’t know what Scene It? is, but any game with a pun AND “pun”ctuation in the title wins me right over. And Twister was a smart last-round pick, even though (come ON) it’s not really a board game. Also, those of us who have serious problems distinguishing left and right have always hated it because it draws attention to our bizarre brain deficit. But we can at least recognize that other people seem to consider it a classic.

Final grade: B+. A great draft, but sorry Sydney, cheaters don’t get As.

Chris' Picks: Scrabble, Checkers, Yahtzee, Boggle, Cranium, Trouble, Sorry, Guess Who

Chris started out with the very strong pick of Scrabble. Any game that rewards people for their prowess of two-letter words gets a star from this commenter. Checkers is a standard. Who doesn't like saying "King me"? Yahtzee, while not technically a board game (where’s the board, you may ask), is fun and requires almost no skill. Boggle is an excellent game (although its boardgame-y-ness is also debatable), especially when your opponent is a beginner and can only find words like "eat".

Getting back to board games that use actual boards, Chris selected Cranium. Cranium is truly the chimera of board games, combining other games such as Name that Tune, Pictionary, Charades, Trivial Pursuit, and a spelling bee, to name a few. It also involves clay that gets all over whatever surface it touches.

Sorry was a heart-wrenching game. Getting sent back to the beginning was always such a drag. Guess Who, while a last round pick, is a sexist, sexist game. There were maybe 5 cards with women on it and if you picked a woman, you were basically screwed, making any player hate women. For this very reason, this commenter is opposed to Guess Who.

Final Grade: C+.
Nice start, but this was a draft of boardgames.

Sarah’s Picks: Chess, Backgammon, Candyland, Mastermind, Life, Mancala, Museum Caper Clue, Chutes and Ladders

Sarah began with the be-all-end-all of board games, Chess. I mean, people devote their lives to the game and develop computer programs to play it. And then the computer programs duel each other! If that’s not a board game, I don’t know what is.

Sarah, truly the child at heart of this draft, ended up with both Candyland and Chutes and Ladders. What’s not to like? They’re both fun and colorful, with incredibly simple rules, very much the gateway drugs of board games, leading children onto harder games like Mastermind.

Mancala and Mastermind both got bad reputations due to their close associations with classrooms and terms like “high educational value.” I could never truly enjoy a game I played in class. Life could be fun, especially with pink and blue kids in the back of the car. Much like real life, losing the game of Life was not fun. Coupled with the potential Social Security collapse, the game instilled fear of entering the not-as-nice retirement community
in the hearts of many.

Final Grade: B. Chess is great, but let's face it, Life is depressing.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Board Games Draft

7:48 PM

Originally the brilliant, talented and impossibly good looking kids at wanted to use the wikinition of board games as: "any game played on a board (that is, a premarked surface) with counters or pieces that are moved across the board."

We (that is to say this draft's tyrannical administrator) applied a completely subjective definition to what constitutes a "board game." At first I tried to justify my seemingly arbitrary decisions with pesky words, but then I finally settled on "What do I think of when I hear the term 'board game'?" If you really want me to, I suppose I can come up with a definition that allows Yahtzee, Boggle and Twister and excludes Pictionary, Taboo, Dominoes and Oujia boards. But I'm not going to. You can debate it in the comments.

Round 1
Sarah - Chess
Adam - Monopoly
Sydney - Trivial Pursuit
Chris - Scrabble

Round 2
Chris - Checkers
Sydney - Clue
Adam - Go
Sarah - Backgammon

Round 3
Sarah - Candyland
Adam - Risk
Sydney - Battleship
Chris - Yahtzee

Round 4
Chris - Boggle
Sydney - Connect Four
Adam - Parcheesi
Sarah - Mastermind

Round 5
Sarah - Life
Adam - Stratego
Sydney - Chinese Checkers
Chris - Cranium

Round 6
Chris - Trouble
Sydney - Operation
Adam - Reversi (Othello)
Sarah - Mancala

Round 7
Sarah - Museum Caper Clue
Adam - Hex
Sydney - Scene It?
Chris - Sorry

Round 8
Chris - Guess Who
Sydney - Twister
Adam - Quarto
Sarah - Chutes and Ladders

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Great American Novel....s Draft

4:09 PM
After much squabbling, griping, bickering, whining, walking back and forth over the Brooklyn Bridge, and the inevitable couple of vicious mob killings, we squeaked out quite a lovely American Novels draft, if I do say so myself. All novels originally published in the U.S. were eligible.

Thus marks the end of the Era of Cutesy Little Comments about Justin in the Sidebar. And the beginning of the glorious Era in which Three-Person Drafts Are Considered Acceptable.

Sydney: Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath
Justin: Melville, Moby-Dick
Sarah: Nabokov, Lolita

Sarah: Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
Justin: Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Sydney: Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Sydney: Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises
Justin: Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury
Sarah: Ellison, Invisible Man

Sarah: Wharton, The Age of Innocence
Justin: Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter
Sydney: Irving, The World According the Garp

Sydney: Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
Justin: Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Sarah: Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls

Sarah: Stegner, Angle of Repose
Justin: Kerouac, On the Road
Sydney: Roth, American Pastoral

Sydney: James, Portrait of a Lady
Justin: Salinger, Catcher in the Rye
Sarah: Morrison, Beloved

Sarah: Wolfe, Bonfire of the Vanities
Justin: Heller, Catch-22
Sydney: Alcott, Little Women

Sydney: Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Justin: Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Sarah: Roth, Portnoy’s Complaint

Sarah: Mitchell, Gone with the Wind
Justin: London, Call of the Wild
Sydney: Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Breakfast Cereal Draft - Commentary

4:28 PM

The drafters are true Americans. We love apple pie, Ike, urban sprawl, wiretaps of dubious legality and the nuclear family (which, no thanks to the godless democrats, is dissolving). And what would the nuclear family, and America, be without breakfast cereal? Probably Iran.

Anyway, the incomparable Matt did a wonderful job taking time out of his schedule to build a draft board for the breakfast cereals draft. Now that those pesky law school finals are done, Matt blinds us yet again with brilliant **GUEST** commentary.

Sarah - Cheerios, Cracklin' Oat Bran, Frosted-Mini Wheats, Wheat Chex, Post Cranberry Almond Crunch, Grape Nuts (Now Gravel Flavored!)*, Corn Chex, Just Right

Sarah started the draft out with a solid, albeit unspectacular, #1 pick in Cheerios. I had Cheerios out of the first two rounds entirely, due to the fact that other than it’s longevity in the marketplace, there’s just nothing interesting or delicious about the cereal. Still, it is a firmly entrenched name in the American kitchen, and favorite Ziploc-baggie snack of toddlers everywhere. She comes through in the second and third rounds with Cracklin’ Oat Bran and Frosted Mini-Wheats – two good selections that provide both taste and some health value (although Cracklin’ Oat Bran does hold the dubious distinction of providing more fat content in a single bowl than two pop tarts). After the selection of Wheat Chex and Post Cranberry Almond Crunch, it becomes very evident that Sarah’s draft angle is “Middle Aged Women Dietary Cereal.” The next three picks, Grape Nuts, Corn Chex, and Just Right all follow this pattern, but come on Sarah…Corn Chex AND Wheat Chex? Isn’t one enough? Overall, it looks like Sarah followed a plan, which is laudable, but I simply cannot discount the fact that the overwhelming majority of her cereals are ones that people buy because they have to, not because they particularly want to.

Sydney - Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Life, Honey Bunches of Oats, Kix, Golden Grahams, Smart Start, Muselix, Apple Cinnamon Cheerios

Cinnamon Toast Crunch is a great 1st round pick, starting you off with taste and a sugar buzz all at once. One pick into the books and Sydney is off to a flying start. The 2nd round choice of Life is odd, though. It isn’t that great of a cereal, but there is no denying its place in popular culture with “Mikey likes it!” and the ever-persistent urban legend that the kid from “Life” cereal commercials had committed suicide. Similarly quizzical is her pick of Honey Bunches of Oats, a good cereal without a doubt, but perhaps a little early with some other great cereals on the board. She knocks her next two (Kix and Golden Grahams) out of the park; both are great, balanced cereals that provide taste that any kid can get without begging mom and any adult can eat without feeling like an idiot. Smart Start isn’t a bad late round pick, but it isn’t a particularly good one either as it doesn’t seem to fit into any overall draft strategy that I can make out. Her final round selection of Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, a good alternative to the already selected Apple Jacks, rounds the draft out nicely. I don’t know where she was going…perhaps I’ll term this draft the “Everyone go pick out a cereal and bring it back to the shopping cart” draft. There’s enough good to outweigh the bad, but if we rewarded just barely breaking even, the Redskins would be staring at Super Bowl status.

Chris - Frosted Flakes, Honey Nut Cheerios, Rice Krispies, Fruit Loops, Corn Flakes, Total, Granola w/Raisins, Smacks

Chris is a Frosted Flakes fan. I know this, because I've seen him fill and consume many a bowl (for dinner, no less) over the years. His 1st round choice, therefore, comes as no surprise. Frosted Flakes is a great choice: Delicious? Check. Not overly junky? Check. Fun loving cartoon mascot wearing a sexually-questionable neckerchief? Check. Honey Nut Cheerios is a steal in the second round, mainly because it’s just better than Cheerios. Everything you can do with regular Cheerios (cut some fruit up in it, give it to your kid as a snack in the car) you can do with Honey Nut Cheerios and it just tastes better. Regular Cheerios: you’re on notice. Rice Krispies, another pick off the draft board, is a good pickup in the 3rd round as well. It’s a cereal that shows versatility both in and out of the bowl – come on, who doesn’t love Rice Krispie Treats? Anyone raising their hand to disagree is a communist. Fruit Loops is another Bruff-favorite, and in this commentator’s opinion, a better choice than the Fruit Pebbles which went one spot higher. Chris used the late-middle rounds nicely to get the healthier cereals that had slid down the draft board. No arguments for taking it old school with Corn Flakes, but he loses points for selecting Total due to the cereal’s unbelievably annoying commercial featuring waiters bringing patrons stacks of cereal bowls. Are they actually going to charge those people for the 50 bowls of Smart Start it would take to equal the calcium found in one bowl of Total? I ask, because if they’re not, that’s wasting a crapload of Smart Start, and some arrogant waiter is going to be out of a job. Chris rounds his draft out with Smacks, which seems like an OK “last round” cereal even though I can’t recall anyone ever actually owning a full box of the stuff (those little “Variety Pack” boxes were the biggest I ever saw anyone eat). Overall, Chris did a good job striking a balance with his cereals: enough sugar to keep the heart rate up and enough health food to keep the heart beating. Well played.

Bryan - Lucky Charms, Wheaties, Corn Pops, Fruit Pebbles, Special K, Smurf Berry Crunch, Nintendo Cereal, Pac-Man Cereal.

In this draft, I weep for what could’ve been. Bryan had a chance to complete a draft that would’ve made him more beloved by children than Santa Claus, Batman, Superman, Mario and Luigi put together…but I’m getting ahead of myself. Bryan opens with Lucky Charms, which for what he was trying to do is the consensus #1 pick. It’s a cereal designed to get kids operating at 100 mph early in the morning. There may or may not be a toy surprise at the bottom but we’re not certain because the sugar has probably dissolved it by the time you eat that far down into the box. There is a cartoon mascot, a slogan engraved into minds across America, and more shriveled marshmallows by volume than the Stay-Puft monster’s grandfather. In short, a perfect #1 selection. He comes back with Wheaties in the second round, which I thought might’ve derailed this draft right as it was getting started – but then I thought a little deeper: this is the ONLY healthy cereal that kids actually beg their parents to get. They don’t want the cereal on the inside (and parents know this), they want the picture on the outside: Michael Jordan, the 1994 Olympic Team, Brandi Chastain in her sports bra, etc. It is a sly, sly #2 pick which continues a brilliant draft strategy. Bryan picks up Corn Pops and Fruity Pebbles in the next two rounds. I see where he’s going, and stop only to quibble with Fruity Pebbles over Fruit Loops. Fred Flintstone stopped being relevant to kids a solid 20 years ago; time to pick a new spokesperson for that particular brand. But then, in the 5th round, Bryan blew it. With glory in his grasp, Bryan comes up short – ball clanking off the iron, ground ball straight between the legs, the stretch coming up just a yard short. Why God, Why? In this case: Special K – why Bryan, why? You had it – you had selected nothing but amazing junk food, kid specialty, “Oh mommy, if I don’t get it, I’ll stand here and hold my breath until I pass out” cereals. You were on the verge, and then you went with Special K?! Kids cereal after kids cereal, each one as delicious as the one before it, and then you go with the soccer-mom diet cereal? It’s a pick so disastrous that it negates the amazing picks of Smurf Berry Crunch, Nintendo Cereal, and Pac-Man Cereal. In another draft, I’d laud them for being tremendously trendy, delicious, and able to pay for college in an eBay auction. In this draft, I look at them and wonder “What If.” Overall, you have nobody to blame but your Special-K loving self.

Adam - Raisin Bran, Cap'n Crunch, Crispix, Rice Chex, Banana Nut Crunch, Apple Jacks, Cocoa Krispies, Honey Bunches of Oats with Peaches

Adam ends the first round with Raisin Bran, where it probably is more of a steal As I said on the draft board, it is the original (and still the best) “combo” cereal. He follows it up with official cereal of Horatio Magellan Crunch, Jr.: Cap’n Crunch (bandaids for the interior of the mouth optional). Cap’n Crunch is a good pickup here, combining great taste and the only commissioned mascot in the bunch (although, rumor has it, the Corn Flakes chicken did do time as an infantryman in World War 2, though he really hates talking about it). A bit of a snag, perhaps, as Adam selects both Crispix and Rice Chex back-to-back. It’s cool if you love little hollow bits of mesh-patterned things, but otherwise let’s be honest: it’s the same damn thing. I still cannot fault the pick, as you’ve never experienced delicious until you’ve tried some Rice Chex with a little bit of honey drizzled on top. Banana Nut Crunch and Apple Jacks are Adam’s next two offerings, and both are solid choices. Banana Nut Crunch gets points for being both delicious and fairly healthy, but Apple Jacks loses those points right back for having two absolutely terribly slogans: “It tastes more like Apples” and “We eat what we like.” It tastes more like apples than what? Something not artificially flavored to taste like apples? That’s like “The West Wing” being advertised as “The show with more politics.” Idiocy. Adam comes up next with Cocoa Krispies, which I only remember for having a singing monkey as the mascot. Come to think of it, a monkey advertising a “cocoa” cereal probably isn’t the most politically correct thing in the world. I’m either on to something with that one, or I just need to spend less time thinking about cereal at 4 in the morning. Either way, it’s an average pick at best, but not bad as a late round selection. Adam finishes his draft with Honey Bunches of Oats with Peaches. Stop. This cereal is simply trying too hard. There’s too much going on in that title. Hell, they probably need to double the size of the box just to fit both the name of the cereal and the obligatory picture of the bowl with cereal and milk. Oates and Peaches, Banana Nut Crunch…Adam’s “Gwent Stefani meets the Presidents of the United States of America” draft was a solid entry, but I expect better from the man only .05 off a perfect score. Adam: you’re on notice.

*may not contain 100% of your daily requirement of gravel**

**coment may not have been part of Matt's guest commentary**

Breakfast Cereals Draft

1:14 PM
For you regular readers of, this draft should come as no surprise. You may have checked out Matt's big board ("That's what she said") and maybe you were playing along at home.

So without further ado, enjoy the results. Some discussion questions for the comments: Most Sugariest? Most Healthy? Whose draft would you want? What cereals did we miss?*

Sarah - Cheerios
Sydney - Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Chris - Frosted Flakes
Bryan - Lucky Charms
Adam - Raisin Brain

Adam - Cap'n Crunch
Bryan - Wheaties
Chris - Honey Nut Cheerios
Sydney - Life
Sarah - Cracklin' Oat Bran

Sarah - Frosted Mini-Wheats
Sydney - Honey Bunches of Oats
Chris - Rice Krispies
Bryan - Corn Pops
Adam - Crispix

Adam - Rice Chex
Bryan - Fruity Pebbles
Chris - Fruit Loops
Sydney - Kix
Sarah - Wheat Chex

Sarah - Cranberry Almond Crunch
Sydney - Golden Grahams
Chris - Corn Flakes
Bryan - Special K
Adam - Banana Nut Crunch

Adam - Apple Jacks
Bryan - Smurf Berry Crunch
Chris - Total
Sydney - Smart Start
Sarah - Grape Nuts

Sarah - Corn Chex
Sydney - Muesli(x)
Chris - Granola w/Raisins
Bryan - Nintendo Cereal
Adam - Cocoa Krispies

Adam - Honey Bunches of Oats with Peaches
Bryan - Pac-Man Cereal
Chris - Smacks
Sydney - Apple Cinnamon Cheerios
Sarah - Just Right

* N.B. - We don't really care about your opinion.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Songs Draft - Commentary

1:15 PM
Commentary from Albert (last 3) and Adam (first 3) on the recent songs draft. Keep in mind the following: Albert is crazy, and Adam is perhaps one of the most arrogant pricks of all-time.

Chris's draft: Like A Rolling Stone, Dock of the Bay, The Weight, Johnny B. Goode, Heartbreak Hotel, Georgia On My Mind, Unchained Melody, Papa's Got A Brand New Bag, Tiny Dancer, Simple Man

Christopher unequivocally wins the award for "smallest range in year songs were released," and I definitely win the "Most Pointless Award" award. Blessed with the first pick in the draft, Chris saw no point in hiding his goal: keeping Albert angry. While it's not very hard to keep Albert angry, Chris did snatch Dylan AND The Band from under his cute little nose.

In doing so, however, Chris managed to amass a fairly impressive roster of songs, with "Georgia On My Mind" in Round 6 proving a most admirable nab. With suitable balance between ballads, hard-rockers, and plain-old-Good-Songs, his draft shows a true appreciation for the best songs ever recorded - and also Lynyrd Skynyrd. Props for Johnny B. Goode with #24 overall, too.

Slips: "Dock of the Bay" was probably a reach with the 12th overall selection, and Skynyrd doesn't really deserve a spot in the canon. Also, piggybacking on one of the louder (if not entirely legitimate) critiques going around, Chris didn't pick any female performers - though I'm sure he intended to. The results from everyone's favorite suburbanite could probably best be described as a Chipotle burrito - all the ingredients are there in a nice little package, but pinto beans make you fart.

Final grade: B+.

Sarah's draft:
River, Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes, My Girl, Let's Get It On, Passionate Kisses, Nightswimming, Eli's Coming, Independence Day, 6'1", Romeo and Juliet

Well, your faithful team of Fantasy Drafters sure managed to build a fire on Main Street, but Sarah shot it full of holes. (Wrap your mind around THAT one, people.) While Sarah has managed to scrape together a leaderboard climb never-before-seen in Fantasy Drafts history (mainly, because such a thing does not exist), the only reaction this commentator had was indeed, "Oh, Mama! Can this really be the end?"

Sarah, full of visions of a world where "River" is the sixth-greatest song of all-time and "Eli's Coming" is a better song than "Wedding Bell Blues," tried to get a little too clever for this draft. With a self-described draft strategy of picking songs she liked instead of songs that were important, Sarah inevitably hampered her ability to please the Powers That Be, namely your commentatorati.

With a few strong showings (Diamonds, Let's Get It On, Romeo and Juliet at the end), Sarah managed to save her grade, but not her reputation for wandering aimlessly off the beaten path. In her quest for variety and quirkiness, her train rolled into Confusion Junction by the end. Quite simply, I refuse to believe that many of these selections are in the top 60 songs of all-time. I'll excuse her desire to avoid the horrific conformity that generally grips a fantasy draft like this, and award her a grade commensurate with her misguided but ultimately reasonable selections.

Final grade: B.

Albert's draft: My Generation, Satisfaction, Folsom Prison Blues, Born To Run, Smells Like Teen Spirit, Another Brick In The Wall (Pt. 2), The Thrill Is Gone, Light My Fire, No Woman No Cry

It appears that for the first seven rounds of this draft, Albert took his strategy from a rebellious 14-year-old's poster collection. While all of these songs are excellent ("Hello, I'm Johnny Cash"), they lack the ingenuity normally required to receive a superior draft grade. I was surprised Albert didn't go ahead and take Bob Saget's Full House performance of "My Generation" instead of the Who's original, and "Born To Run" seemed all too au courant to be a Round 4 pick. Great song; overrated.

Johnny Cash in Round 3 is a defensible move, and getting BB King, The Doors, and Marley to close out his draft was a strong, strong finish. I take a little umbrage with the song choice for his Pink Floyd pick, particularly with it coming in the 6th round, but the irony of Albert working in education (of which, apparently, "We don't need no") makes it OK. "Light My Fire" is an outstanding late-round selection, as I mentioned earlier, and proved outstanding fire-drill tape-loop fodder for my dad back when he was manning the board at WRSU.

All in all, Albert had a reasonable if bland showing - again, you have to spice it up if you want to get some props. This is particularly true of a draft like this, where the bar is set higher for an audiophile like Al. There we were now - we demanded - "entertain us!" And Albert gave us the Fantasy Draft equivalent of Dylan at Newport in '65 - full of expectation, short on content, dissatisfying to true fans and haters alike, but in retrospect not too shabby.

Final grade: B+.

Sydvicious's Draft:
Day In The Life - The Beatles ~ All Along The Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix ~ Paranoid Android – Radiohead ~ Pride (In the Name of Love) - U2 ~ Say It Ain't So – Weezer ~ White Room – Cream ~ Solsbury Hill - Peter Gabriel ~ Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen ~ How Soon Is Now - The Smiths ~ Thriller - Michael Jackson

Sydney, the little redhead that could, got out to an impeccable Olson-twinish start, by nabbing a no-brainer top 5 selection (which was also my first pick in our Beatles draft). She followed that up with Jimi’s version of Dylan’s masterpiece All Along the Watchtower, which I had slated at #7. She kind of stumbled with Paranoid Android, and I’ll be up front I don’t really like the band. It seems all their songs sound the same (a subtle attempt to say “I’m a loser babe, so why don’t you kill me”). Also picking them before contemporaries such as U2 & Nirvana maybe gave them a little more clout than they deserve. Sydney may have stumbled but she had a place to fall, and that was in the delicate loving arms of Bono – Pride (In the Name of Love) is a phenomenal song, and U2 truly is a seminal band, a good timely selection in round four. Say It Ain’t So is a wash for me, good song, good band, but nothing really differentiates that musical output from their other songs or Nirvana, RHCPs, Pearl Jam, etc. etc. It’s like getting the same thing at a restaurant every time you go, sure you’ll be happy, but you’ll always wonder what would happen if you got the clam basket. Taking White Room with Layla still on the board is a minor oversight, but points for picking the correct Cream song. I’ll pass by Solsbury Hill because it makes me think of Salisbury Steak and Mac N Cheese microwaveable meals. I like Bohemian Rhapsody, but I think this is a back door attempt to lend credit to her #1 overall selection of a Wayne’s World quote in the movie quote draft. Plus I like Fat Bottomed Girls more (there I said it, wow I no longer feel like Atlas). We’ll bypass How Soon is Now cause Syd had the coup of taking Thriller 59th, it’s the point neuf of the arch de triumph.

Correct Song for the Artist, Correct Round: 4; So-So (I’m fine with it): 4; Iffy (only redeemable with the selection of Michael Jackson): 2…all in all great job.

Final grade: B+.

Bryan's draft: All I Want for Christmas - Mariah Carey ~ For Once In My Life - Stevie Wonder~ Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel ~ Scenes From An Italian Restaurant - Billy Joel ~ Toxic - Britney Spears ~ Hit Em Up - 2Pac ~ Since U Been Gone - Kelly Clarkson ~ The Way I Am – Eminem ~ Big Poppa - Notorious B.I.G. ~ My Way - Frank Sinatra

Maybe Bryan got caught up in the death or birth of his savior, or maybe with his sister being home for Christmas he wanted to give his friends something different to talk about, either way he took the sugar-coated bubble gum, big breasted, All I Want for Christmas. This is the biggest train wreck in fantasy draft history, like not only is the band on the field, but some crazy lunatic just drove the Titanic through Lake Placid. The only way he could recover is if you believe in miracles. No! For Once In My Life is a good song, but has nothing on Sir Duke, Another Star, or Superstition. Bridge over Troubled Water is truly an emotional thought-provoking song, and I have no problem listening to it in the dark, sobbing and holding hands (with Bryan’s sister). Billy Joel – We Didn’t Start the Fire, the only way you could go. Rap had a place in this draft and that place was in Bryan’s lap, although taking perhaps the three biggest rappers of the hip-hop revolution surprisingly didn’t bring along some of the biggest rap singles. For my money there is only one thing better than Hot in Herre, Brooklyn Zoo, & We Thuggin, and that’s when she calls me BIG POPPA. My Way could have been the steal of the draft, but well, he had too much help in making the selection.

Anyway I’d like to say I could give Bryan an A for effort, but someone made his last two selections for him, so with a D for effort, his grade gets pulled up to a...

Final grade: D-.

Adam's draft:
Dazed and Confused - Led Zeppelin ~ Good Vibrations - The Beach Boys ~ Imagine - John Lennon ~ Chain of Fools - Aretha Franklin ~ London Calling - The Clash ~ Into the Mystic - Van Morrison ~ Layla - Derek and the Dominos ~ Love and Happiness - Al Green ~ Crazy - Patsy Cline ~ This Land Is Your Land - Woody Guthrie

I’ll give Adam major points for not taking Stairway to Heaven, and Dazed and Confused is an admirable choice, but I would have gone with Whole Lotta Love. Either way there is very little argument over this selection; like choosing between blondes, brunettes, or redheads, I mean hey, it’s all good. Good Vibrations is just a stellar cool wave of music, a tad early for the second round, but nothing catastrophic, almost gave me excitations. Imagine is a great song, if not better than Vibrations, at least on the same level, great grab in the third round. Chain of Fools is not Respect (the great Otis Redding cover), and in my opinion was quite a faulty choice, while Chain is a tremendous song there is a reason its #2 on the album to R-E-S-P-E-C-T. London Calling was apparently the first selection Adam counseled someone not to take, only to turn around and pick. Cant really fault him for that though, good strategy good pick, just don’t leave him alone with your sister, he might try to date her for like 3 years. What to say about Into the Mystic, I don’t really know – I cant get the image of a bloated Van dancing in a red velour vest at The Last Waltz out of my head – kind of a bland choice, don’t cha think? Layla is a great pick, not quite the woman who launched a thousand ships, but she was stolen from George Harrison; his life was too blissful anyway, he needed his come-upens. If you go Al Green you have to go Let’s Stay Together, just a phenomenal song, truly Al’s masterpiece. Sorry Adam, Zed’s dead. Crazy is a good song, and a woman sings it, of course it’s about her being nuts – aren’t they all though, with their diamond swatches, baby blue pinky rings, and lovely lady lumps. Now for the second GTS of Adam’s draft: This Land is Your Land. I was deciding between it and No Woman, No Cry; I believe Adam said “you have to go Marley.” I did and with the very next pick he took the wonderful Woody Guthrie tune – bravo!

Correct Song for the Artist, Correct Round: 6. So-So, 2 (man Van got a beer belly). Trying to be cool and pick an atypical song: 2. All in all well done, and that’s how I like my steak.

Final grade: A-.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

"Songs" Draft - Results

7:13 PM
The gang picked songs today, with some special caveats:
1. Post-1920.
2. No musical theatre (including opera).
3. Songs must have words.
4. Once a song is picked, the artist performing it (specified in the pick) is "locked out," i.e. can't be picked again.

So it ended up being somewhat of a combination draft between artists and songs. Six participated. This one went 10 rounds. Same disclaimer holds ("let us know what you think" ... "we don't care what you think").

The results:

Round 1:
Chris: Like a Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan
Sydney: A Day In The Life - The Beatles
Bryan: All I Want for Christmas - Mariah Carey
Adam: Dazed and Confused - Led Zeppelin
Albert: My Generation - The Who
Sarah: River - Joni Mitchell

Round 2:
Sarah: Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes - Paul Simon
Albert: Satisfaction - The Rolling Stones
Adam: Good Vibrations - The Beach Boys
Bryan: For Once In My Life - Stevie Wonder
Sydney: All Along The Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix
Chris: (Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay - Otis Redding

Round 3:
Chris: The Weight - The Band
Sydney: Paranoid Android - Radiohead
Bryan: Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel
Adam: Imagine - John Lennon
Albert: Folsom Prison Blues - Johnny Cash
Sarah: My Girl - The Temptations

Round 4:
Sarah: Let's Get It On - Marvin Gaye
Albert: Born To Run - Bruce Springsteen
Adam: Chain of Fools - Aretha Franklin
Bryan: Scenes From An Italian Restaurant - Billy Joel
Sydney: Pride (In the Name of Love) - U2
Chris: Johnny B. Goode - Chuck Berry

Round 5:
Chris: Heartbreak Hotel - Elvis Presley
Sydney: Say It Ain't So - Weezer
Bryan: Toxic - Britney Spears
Adam: London Calling - The Clash
Albert: Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
Sarah: Passionate Kisses - Lucinda Williams

Round 6:
Sarah: Nightswimming - R.E.M.
Albert: Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2) - Pink Floyd
Adam: Into the Mystic - Van Morrison
Bryan: Hit Em Up - 2Pac
Sydney: White Room - Cream
Chris: Georgia On My Mind - Ray Charles

Round 7:
Chris: Unchained Melody - The Righteous Brothers
Sydney: Solsbury Hill - Peter Gabriel
Bryan: Since U Been Gone - Kelly Clarkson
Adam: Layla - Derek and the Dominos
Albert: Friend of the Devil - The Grateful Dead
Sarah: Eli's Coming - Laura Nyro

Round 8:
Sarah: Independence Day - Elliott Smith
Albert: The Thrill Is Gone - B.B. King
Adam: Love and Happiness - Al Green
Bryan: The Way I Am - Eminem
Sydney: Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
Chris: Papa's Got A Brand New Bag - James Brown

Round 9:
Chris: Tiny Dancer - Elton John
Sydney: How Soon Is Now - The Smiths
Bryan: Big Poppa - Notorious B.I.G.
Adam: Crazy - Patsy Cline
Albert: Light My Fire - The Doors
Sarah: 6'1" - Liz Phair

Round 10:
Sarah: Romeo and Juliet - Dire Straits
Albert: No Woman, No Cry - Bob Marley
Adam: This Land Is Your Land - Woody Guthrie
Bryan: My Way - Frank Sinatra
Sydney: Thriller - Michael Jackson
Chris: Simple Man - Lynyrd Skynyrd

A Landmark Day

6:58 PM
Yesterday, 12 December 2005, Fantasy Drafts was visited by its 5,000th patron. While our general penchant is for self-aggrandizing chest thumpery, we should give credit where credit is due: The Volokh Conspiracy. Good old VC delivered us 703 visitors yesterday, to bring us up to 5,050 at day's end, and we've gotten another 362 today. So yes, nearly 20% of our site's total visitors came in the last 24 or so hours.

Our question is, What the hell are you doing with your time? Are we that funny? (No.) Are we like so many car crashes and Ashlee Simpsons, so-bad-you-have-to-watch? (Maybe.) Are we glad you came? (Yes. Was it good for you?)

In conclusion:
1. Thank you, Anonymous Person from Riverbank, CA.
2. Thank you, everyone, for reading. And searching for things like "teenage mutant shredder bishop," "nasty rotten redheads," and "'unnaturally large' blogspot."
3. Note to Fantasy Drafts Staff: you can stop clicking 'Reload' now.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Breakfast Cereal Big Board

2:27 PM

It is really amazing how some people can make a living by commenting on and evaluating somebody else's work without having to produce anything themselves. Mel Kiper (pictured), Bill O'Reilly, Sarah, Adam, you get the point. Anyway, our good friend at is clearly not one of those people, he simply enjoys for the fun of it.

He graciously volunteered to do a draft board for our next draft: Breakfast Cereals. His tracking will certainly be an invaluable ("What a country!") resource. Maybe even Sydney will read it; remember, even though she's fallen down the leaderboard, she has a phenomenal upside.

Fokker, Out.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Cities Draft - Objective Commentary

10:02 PM

Because there was so much *opinion* in the last set of commentary, we decided to do a strictly "objective" critique of this week's draft.

Overall #s:
36 Cities Drafted
11 Asian Cities
9 European Cities
7 North American Cities
3 South American Cities
2 Middle Eastern City
2 African Cities
2 Oceania Cities

Most Populous Metropolis: Tokyo (Dan, #5 Overall)
Least Populous Metropolis: Prague (S., #15 Overall)

Most Eurocentric Drafter (tie): Albert (3), Adam (3)

Draft by Avg. Metropolis Population

  1. Chris 14,066,667
  2. Dan 13,670,833
  3. Sydney 11,316,667
  4. Sarah 11,154,167
  5. Adam 7,991,667
  6. Albert 4,700,000

Travel + Leisure Worldwide Rankings (Scores Quality Adjusted)

  1. Sarah: 207.567
  2. Albert: 116.62
  3. Dan: 113.414
  4. Chris: 78.227
  5. Adam: 77.485
  6. Sydney: 41.207

Mercer Consulting's Cities with the Best Quality of Life (Scores Quality Adjusted)

  1. Dan: 46.667
  2. Albert: 42.933
  3. Adam: 38.733
  4. Sydney: 29.867
  5. Chris: 5.600
  6. Sarah: None of her cities were on the list

Traveler's Digest Best Cities To Live (Scores Quality Adjusted)

  1. Albert: 16.625
  2. Dan: 11.375
  3. Sydney: 7.875
  4. Chris: 6.125
  5. Adam: 3.500
  6. Sarah: None of her cities were on the list

Conde Nast Traveler Magazine's Best Places to Live
(Scores Quality Adjusted)

  1. Sarah: 148.138
  2. Adam: 147.438
  3. Albert: 143.325
  4. Sydney: 76.825
  5. Chris: 72.450
  6. Dan: None of his cities were on the list

Conde Nast's Best Places to Travel (Scores Quality Adjusted)

  1. Albert: 27.417
  2. Adam: 18.667
  3. Sarah: 15.750
  4. Sydney: 11.667
  5. Chris: 8.750
  6. Dan: 6.417

Some Guy Named Tyler Brûlé's Top 10 Cities in the World (Scores Quality Adjusted)

  1. Albert: 22.167
  2. Sydney: 11.667
  3. Sarah: 10.500
  4. Adam: 1.167
  5. Chris: None of his cities were on the list
  6. Dan: None of his cities were on the list

Overall Rankings (Adjusted Average)

  1. Albert: 3.857
  2. Dan: 3.000
  3. Adam: 2.857
  4. Sarah: 2.714
  5. Chris: 2.571
  6. Sydney: 2.143

The Worst City in the World?
Baghdad (Chris)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Cities Draft -- Results

1:55 PM
Homer: Well, kids, there it is! Capital City!
Marge: Look, the Cross-Town Bridge!
(begin vamp)
Tony Bennett:(singing) There's a swingin' town I know called... Capital City. People stop and scream hello in... Capital City.
Homer: Kids, look! Street crime!
Tony Bennett:(singing) It's the kind of place that makes a bum feel like a king.
And it makes a king feel like some nutty, cuckoo, super-king.
Marge: Look, it's Tony Bennett!
Tony Bennett: Hey, good to see you.
(singing) It's against the law to frown in... Capital City.
You'll caper like a stupid clown when you chance to see...
Marge: Fourth Street and 'D'!
Tony Bennett:(singing) Fourth Street and 'D'! Yeah!
Once you get a whiff of it, you'll never want to roam.
Homer: The Duff brewery!
Tony Bennett:(singing) Capital City, my home sweet, yeah!
Capital City, that happy-tal city,
It's Capital City, my home sweet swingin' home!
All: Capital City! Yeah!

The Cities Draft.

Chris: New York
Adam: Paris
Sarah: Rio de Janeiro
Albert: Rome
Dan: Tokyo
Sydney: London

Sydney: Shanghai
Dan: Amsterdam
Albert: Barcelona
Sarah: Mumbai
Adam: Berlin
Chris: Moscow

Chris: Beijing
Adam: Manila
Sarah: Prague
Albert: Hong Kong
Dan: Cairo
Sydney: Delhi

Sydney: Sydney
Dan: Istanbul
Albert: Washington, DC
Sarah: Cape Town
Adam: Canton
Chris: Buenos Aires

Chris: Los Angeles
Adam: San Francisco
Sarah: Bangkok
Albert: Stockholm
Dan: Calcutta
Sydney: Boston

Sydney: Lima
Dan: Montreal
Albert: Melbourne
Sarah: Mexico City
Adam: Budapest
Chris: Baghdad

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Wait, TWO Guest Commentaries?

6:09 PM
Yes, two guest commentaries. For review and unedited critique of our Constitutional Amendments Draft, we reached out to a pair of legal minds whose work product can be at once impressive and confounding (see below).

Salad tong-wielding offspring notwithstanding, two accomplished lawyers accepted our offer and reviewed our most recent draft. Robotic, inexplicably mean, and regular-type commenters may direct their praise or ire to our guest commentators: the fathers of Fantasy Drafts leaderboard titans, Sarah and Adam. Separate posts, appropriate for their widely divergent opinions on our results, follow below.

(For those people whose lives are empty enough to follow our leaderboard: grades will be averaged and counted as one draft grade. Creeps.)

Amendments **GUEST** Commentary - Part I of II

5:47 PM
Adam's dry-humored father reviews the draft, in the fixed-width font so enamored by public sector attorneys, paired with a writerly voice eerily evocative of several of our staffers:

It has been said that where you stand depends upon where you sit. From where I sit, the Amendments to the Constitution (except the 13th) have pretty much been mistakes, right from the get-go. As many feared at the outset, enumeration of certain rights has not only denigrated others, but given our judiciary (intended by the Founders to be by far the weakest branch) the ammunition in its successful battle for utter supremacy. Oh well, on to the commentary.

Whereas the world is filled with not-too-bad beer, the Constitution hath but 27 Amendments, of which:
* some fix mistakes perceived almost immediately (11 & 12),
* some try to make the point (never yet taken) that the people are more powerful than their Government (9 & 10),
* one does nothing more than cancel another (21 vs. 18),
* three deal with matters of embarrassing triviality (20, 26, 27),
* while two are such obvious mistakes as to make the angels weep (16 & 19).
By my count, that leaves only 16 worth fighting over. Yet our Fantastic Drafters failed to select two (3 and 7), apparently concluding that they’re entirely down with live-in Marine or two from time to time (quartering of soldiers, the 3rd Amendment), and really can’t figure out what all the fuss is about with letting the King’s judges do whatever they damn well please in civil suits (the 7th, guaranteeing juries in cases at common law, and prohibiting routine review on appeal of matters of fact). Our players are perhaps so far removed from the 3rd that it seems only an historical anomaly. And, as for the 7th, our little nimrods – as Masters of the 21st Century – have probably become so comfortable with judicial tyranny that they don’t know it when they see it. Or maybe they’ve just been dodging their jury summonses.

Sigh . . . . But I digress . . . .

Adam’s first selection, and the first selection overall, was, well . . . the First Amendment. Only firm self-control permits us to overcome the vague fear that he picked it only because it was first on the list, thinking perhaps that as such it was bound to say something important. It is, of course, the Amendment most often cited by children when complaining to their parents, and it guarantees the right of all people to practice their religion as they please, free of Government interference (so long as we’re pretty sure they’re not serious.) But his second and third choices (4th & 5th) show that he had a plan: fully half of his selections were single-digit amendments, while no one else got more than one. Come to think of it, perhaps the theme is incipient criminality, since if you’re a terrorist or a professional criminal, the Fourth and the Fifth Amendments are the Daily Double. But he clearly has earned the Bill of Rights Consolation Prize.

Adam’s last three picks all have to do with elections. He stumbled in the fourth round, though, apparently not realizing that the (single digit) Second Amendment was still available, and chose instead the 12th. Mandating separate election of the president and vice-president (so as to avoid the spectacle of the election of 1800, which the dishonest and hypocritical Jefferson stole from Aaron Burr), it represents mere tinkering. Elimination of the poll tax (24th) showed a spark of life, but then going for winter Presidential Inaugurations (with two single-digit amendments available) showed a lack of attention.

Overall, unable to overcome our suspicions about the 1st Amendment, a solid B.

Sydney started off with a bang, snagging the 13th Amendment which, in abolishing slavery, finally dealt with the great shame that the original drafters had had no choice but to kick down the road, while their grandsons in the Senate had prohibited themselves from debating. Perhaps attempting to establish a theme, her second pick was the abolition of sobriety when she staggered away with the 21st. Two bad ideas down the drain. Great start.

There are those who will say that she faltered in the third round, selecting the 10th Amendment. But not so: her choice reveals that she’s a strict constructionist at heart, pining for the lost days of the supremacy of the individual over the mob (plus one grade from this reviewer). Oddly, the much-overlooked Sixth Amendment (the provisions of which we mostly assume as a condition of the universe) was still around for her to snag as her fourth choice (as Chris and Sarah, apparently unfamiliar with our form of Government, passed it up so as not to miss popular election of Senators and Presidential term limits).

We gently harumph past her selection of 18-year-old voting as a foolish error of youth, while applauding her recognition of the importance of the 23rd Amendment. That, of course, is the provision that recognizes that Presidential elections would be completely unfair if the candidates were to start out even, and so automatically awards three electoral votes to the Democrat. Good going, Syd!

No errors. Much subtle insight: A+.

Now, Sarah. Sarah, Sarah, Sarah. What are we to do with you? You could have been a contender. You passed on the 14th, 16th, 4th, 5th, and, with the third pick overall, went with “unenumerated rights?” Thinking what? That it preserves the average fat guy’s right to unlimited Big Macs?

OK. Maybe I’m being too harsh. There’s plenty of time for recovery. And she picks . . . . WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE!! You understand the history, I suppose?

The Eighteenth Amendment had passed the year before. Men looked forward with horror at a lifetime without self-medication. Without attitude adjustment. And, in their weakened state, blinked, letting themselves be nagged into giving their wives the vote. All-male electorates gave us Washington, Adams, Jackson, Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Wilson. In the first Presidential election with female participation, the girls gave us Warren G. Harding. Good God!

But here she stopped the bleeding, and picked the (by-this-time) only remaining Civil War amendment, the 15th. An omen? A sign??

Indeed. Because it is only AFTER the first three rounds that Sarah begins to shine. We believe it is not impossible that she threw away her first three picks on purpose, and then pointed with her bat to the center-field seats with a wry smile. With the draft more than half over, with nothing but leftovers . . . um, “left over,” she hit three home runs: 22nd, 2nd and 18th. Presidential term limits, the right to bear arms, and Prohibition. Three big ones! Without Prohibition there would have been no Al Capone, no Godfather, no Elliot Ness. No America as we know it! Without the right to bear arms, ordinary Americans could be deprived of their God-given right to own that shoulder-launched anti-tank gun every little boy dreams of.

And, perhaps most important, without the Presidential term-limitation of the 22nd Amendment, we would be subject to endless, week-after-week, season-after-season, term-upon-endless-term blathering from Martin Sheen, reminding us how easy it is to govern the country when you know how everything comes out in the last 10 minutes.

Overall, a stylish if grotesque draft for Sarah: B-.

Like Sydney, Chris came out of the blocks strong, taking the 14th and the 16th Amendments. The first has brought us the unfettered right of every federal judge to do anything he damn well pleases, no matter what the people or the Congress might have said on the subject. And the 16th Amendment brought us the Income Tax. So Chris has immediately established his criteria: Constitutional Disasters; Amendment Root-Canal. Had he selected Prohibition in the third round he would have run away with the “Karl Rove Award” for refusing to get off-message.

But he blinked, and took the weasely Eighth Amendment. That’s the one that says bail and fines are both great ideas, so long as they’re not “excessive.” And then goes way out on a limb and endorses cruel punishment, expresses approval of unusual punishment, but draws the line at punishment that’s both cruel and unusual. You think?

It was downhill from there. After taking the 17th (which eliminates direct influence by the States over the Federal government by permitting direct election of senators), he made a last, best stab at a shoestring catch, and got hit in the face with the 25th. That one establishes all sorts of rules about passing bits of paper back and forth if the President decides he’s gotten a little weird in the head. Much easier to just pass an amendment declaring that, if the President starts cross-dressing, then Sarah Connor becomes president. Simple? Simple. And, for fear of further embarrassment, we won’t even mention his last pick (suits against states? What?)

Dismal, Chris. You should try harder next time. C.