Fantasy Drafts

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Simpsons Characters Draft Commentary

10:48 AM
For years too many to count on one set of hands, Matt Groening’s subversive cartoon mainstay,* “The Simpsons,” has been offering the American viewing public a glimpse of what life in small town America is truly like. From it we’ve gleaned valuable medical advice (thank you Dr. Nick Riviera), learned that its cool to be smart (evidenced by Lisa....oh wait), and discovered that alcohol has no long-term adverse effects (would Moe lie to us? Would he?). We’ve laughed with Mr. Burns as he stole the elementary school’s oil, envied Homer as he was able to finagle his way out of church, and been heartbroken with Bart as the cute girl next door went for Jimbo Jones (man, I wish I could grow a bad teenage mustache). In short, its been a good 16 years. Sure there have been some low points (the secret world of the jockeys, that weird island for people who discover the government’s secrets–what the hell were those episodes about? Seriously, I love crack as much as the next guy, but cmon), but those moments have been few and far between.
Anyway, I digress. To get down to the brass tacks of it, the purpose of this draft is to honor the city of Springfield, and its fine inhabitants. And so, as Mr. Teeny, Krusty’s longtime monkey assistant would say, “Oooh ahh ahh ahh.” Translation: let the commentary begin**.

*as stated by Comcast whenever I hit the info button to find out which episode it is.
**given that he’s a monkey, he would undoubtedly couple that statement with a volley of feces.

Albert’s Picks:

Gil: [appearing suddenly] D'ah, she's a beut'. You can't beat a Coleco, eh ...? How many can I put ya' down for, a lot? Please say "a lot," I need this.

Like our dear hapless salesman friend Gil, Albert too has had a recent run of bad luck with his fantasy drafts. After registering defeats in both the Beatles and tourist locales draft, some questioned whether the Little General would ever return to form. Well ladies and gentlemen, with his performance in drafting Springfield’s elite, I think its safe to say that if he’s not back, he’s at least well on his way. In his stable of characters, Albert accrued two of Springfield’s most quotable personas: Ralph Wiggum and Gil the Salesman, the town’s founder: Jebediah Springfield (aka Hans Sprungfield), and the always likeable Kwik-E-Mart Owner Apu. His draft was not without fault, however. The selection of Lisa in the third round, while not necessarily a bad pick, was fairly uninspired, and dare I say, yawn inducing. Also, his decision to draft animals in the 6th and 8th rounds (Santa’s Little Helper and Furious D) while many good human characters still remained was questionable. What is Albert’s obsession with cartoon animals that he would spend a quarter of his draft on them? My guess, bestiality. But that’s for the courts to decide I suppose.
His deviations aside though, twas a solid draft. Kudos to you Albert, and welcome back, I hope. Final Grade: A-

Sydney’s Selections:

Comic Book Guy: But, Aquaman, you cannot marry a woman without gills. You're from two different worlds... Oh, I've wasted my life.

And so we enter the realm of Sydney’s draft. Her draft began promisingly enough with the selection of Bart Simpson with the second pick (some argue that Burns should have gone #2, I think either would have been good choices). However, it quickly turned to mayhem as our resident French Countess proceeded to squander pick after preceding pick. With her 2nd and 3rd round selections, the Beatle Queen drafted Barney Gumble and Otto Mann, two characters, that while notable, certainly do not live up to the high positions they were taken. Her 4th and 5th round picks did serve to limit the onslaught of water quickly sinking her boat as Sydney redeemed herself slightly with the selections of Comic Book Guy, a gluttonous taco-living man of the 90's, and Snake, the beloved criminal with murderous hair. However, she fell back off the wagon with her final two selections of Uter and Wendell. Uter, while full of chocolate, is scarcely in the show, and very well may have been shipped back to Germany in the late ‘90s. And Wendell, well I’m not even going to justify that pick with a response. Overall, a disappointing draft from our dear administrator. Hopefully she can redeem herself in the next fantasy draft, or if not there, then in glorious, glorious battle. Better luck next time Syd.
Final Grade: C

Dan’s Draft:

Mayor Quimby: Oh, dear God. Can't this town go one day without a riot?

So, onto Dan’s decisions do we now trod. With his first two selections, Dan established that he was out to control the ruling elite of Springfield. In the first round he grabbed C. Montgomery Burns, the oldest man in Springfield, owner of the nuclear power plant, and Social Security number 000-00-0002. With his second choice he continued his transparent attraction to men in power by taking the always corrupt, always womanizing, and somehow always mayor, Diamond Joe Quimby. With the movement of the draft into the third and fourth rounds, some feel that Dan may have stumbled slightly. While the characters he selected followed his plan to gain control over Springfield’s medical and educational systems, it is this reviewer’s opinion that there may have been other characters available (most notably Dr. Nick) who would have fit this vision, as well as provided a few more laughs. With these mid-round hiccups in his rearview mirror, Dan jumped right back on track with his 5th round selection of Springfield’s notorious underworld boss, Fat Tony. He then proceeded to take a gamble, one that paid dividends, in the 6th round with the selection of Lenny Leonard. One half of the dynamic duo Lenny and Carl, this pick could have backfired on Dan like a 1978 Impala if Carl had been selected before his turn came back around in the 7th round. Luckily for him, it did not, and Dan was able to pick up the two friends for life with fairly late picks. With his final pick, Dan selected Maggie Simpson. Sure she doesn’t talk much, or at all, but in a Simpsons draft, you need a Simpson. So good job on realizing this. Good job indeed.
Overall, a good draft. The hiccups in round three and four certainly keep him from achieving a flawless draft, however the late round pickups of the Lenny and Carl combo prove to boost his overall draft portfolio. Final Grade: A-

Adam’s Picks:

Man: I'm telling you the light would work better if it pointed out to sea.
Sea Captain: Arr, shut up. I know what I'm doin'.
(a boat crashes in the distance)
Sea Captain: Arr, I hate the sea and everything in it.

Adam’s draft. Adam’s draft. Where to begin? Well, looking at these selections, its immediately apparent that Adam’s draft board was dominated by selecting characters with defining roles in Springfield. He picked Chief Wiggum (1st), Groundskeeper Willie (2nd), the Sea Captain (3rd), Duffman (4th), and Principal Skinner (7th). Despite his obvious affinity for men with a set income/job position, this strategy did not hurt Adam. His selection of Chief Wiggum in the first round, while perhaps a pick or two too soon, was not debilitating. Similarly, his selection of Groundskeeper Willie in the second seemed a bit early, yet if he had not drafted him, it is likely the good keeper of keys for Springfield Elementary would not have been available when the third round snaked back around to our resident Californian. The Sea Captain and Duffman were both serviceable picks in rounds three and four. While not great steals, they provide some much needed comic relief for the denizens of Springfield, not to mention Duffman is a beer superhero/spokesman, a job normal lemmings like us can only dream of, and possibly drool over. The only knock against them is that neither appears on the Simpsons with any degree of regularity. Adam did well selecting Milhouse Van Houten with his fifth round pick. Best friend of Bart Simpson, wannabe love interest of Lisa Simpson, blue haired freak. All make for a great selection. Nelson and Principal Skinner were both serviceable picks, and compliment Adam’s portfolio nicely, although I am guessing that no other drafter was heartbroken when they fell off the board. Canary M. Burns in the 8th round was a throwaway pick.
All in all, Adam had a decent draft. On the upside, he amassed some amazingly quotable and hilarious characters. On the downside, Adam’s characters are, for the most part, ancillary characters. They are not necessarily important to the everyday fabric of Springfield, although when they are present, they definitely give the show that extra kick that I thought was only to be found in the jungles of Amazonia. Also detracting from Adam’s draft was his decision not to pick any member of the family Simpson. Although knowing him, perhaps he’ll try to sign Herb Powell to a free agent contract? Who knows.
Final Grade: B+

Sarah’s Steamy Selections:

Lionel Hutz: Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Time to peer into the past, and take a look at what Sarah’s draft looked like. She started off exceptionally well, nabbing Lionel Hutz and Sideshow Bob in the first and second rounds respectively. I think that most of the drafters were secretly hoping that Mr. Hutz would fall out of the first round so that they could select him in the second, and declare it the steal of the draft. Sarah, unfortunately, was having none of that. Unfortunate, too, is the rest of her draft. In round three, Sarah selected Ned Flanders, the Simpsons ultra-Catholic/conservative neighbor. Like Lisa, Ned is something of a boring pick. Never one to do anything too crazy, Ned relies on Homer to be his catalyst, and thus rarely brings any sort of excitement to the show. Sure he acts as a foil, but in this situation, I believe that Sarah could have held off taking Ned, and instead grabbed a Dr. Nick, a Duffman, a Gil. But she didn’t. Following this debacle, Sarah continued with a line of substandard picks, taking Hans Moleman, Kang, and Mrs. Skinner with her next three selections. It was only with her choice of Smithers in the 7th Round (a steal) that she was able to salvage anything out of the later rounds of her draft. The squeaky voiced teen as a round 8 selection, while not bad, certainly does not redeem her previous poor drafting.
In conclusion, Sarah’s drafting was weak to quite weak. Additionally, Sarah too lacked any members of the Simpson family, be it nuclear or extended. Final Grade: C-

Bryan’s Picks:

Rainier: My new movie is me, standing in front of a brick wall for 90 minutes. It cost 80 million dollars to make.
Jay Sherman: how do you sleep at night?
Rainier: on top of a big pile of money, with many beautiful women.

Oh how this draft might have been different if Bryan had taken his ritalin right before it! Commenters from around the globe might be posting notes as you read this, remarking on this new messiah drafter. This man among men destined to lead us to the drafting paradise. Oh, what could have been... But alas, life is cruel, and bitter. And for now, dreams of the messiah must wait. For while Bryan offered glimpses of drafting brilliance, his final portfolio, leads only to, as our dear friends from Green Day would say, a boulevard of broken dreams.
Through the first four rounds of the draft, Bryan was playing the role of Kid Hollywood, making one deft decision after the next. With his first selection, he took everyone’s favorite Jewish performer (this side of Adam’s tumbling performances that is), Krusty the Klown. He followed that up with one of the few characters ever to be retired, the great b movie actor Troy McLure. After that pick he selected Dr. Nick Riviera, and Rainier Wolfcastle in the 3rd and 4th rounds respectively. However, following his selection of Wolfcastle, the man who made McBain famous, Bryan seems to have taken his hands off the wheel in favor of driving with his penis. And where did his nuts and bolts lead him you might ask? That’s right, Lurleen Lumpkin, the country singing waitress who nearly broke up Marge and Homer’s marriage. Taking Professor Frink with his pick in round six was a nice move, and at the time appeared to be evidence of Bryan steering himself back into the right direction. However, this evidence was soon to be found faulty as Bryan decided to finish his draft by picking two names out of a hat. Those names? Senor Spielbergo (Steven Spielberg’s Mexican doppleganger) in the 7th round and Kirk Van Houten (Milhouse’s father) in the 8th. I’m not even going to comment on these last picks, I’ll just say that with them, the dreams of the drafting messiah were left for another day.
As for grading, Bryan’s first half of the draft was exceptional, and that cannot be taken away from him. However, his second half, minus Frink, was abysmal. He, too, suffered from not having any actual Simpson. Final Grade: B-

Chris’ Cuddly Choices:

Grampa: "Good news boy, I found a pharmacy that carries leeches. Well, it wasn't exactly a pharmacy, more of a bait shop."
Bart: "Look Grampa, I'm fine. I really don't need anymore home remedies."
Grampa: "Oral thermometer my eye! Think warm thoughts boy cause this is mighty cold."

Finally, we find ourselves dissecting Chris’ draft selections. Always a strong drafter, Chris once again turned in a solid performance. Situated on the back end of the snake draft (for the fourth straight time), it seems that has a personal vendetta against our favorite little Wheatonite. Despite this initial handicap, Chris came out blazing when the selections finally came his way, taking Grampa Simpson with his first pick. And while no one can fault him for this pick, it appears that Chris picked one slot too late in the first round. With heavyweights such as Homer, Mr. Burns, and Lionel Hutz going in that initial round, its obvious that Chris’ pick of Grampa does not stack up. Not a bad pick, just not as good as some of the other characters taken earlier in the round. His next two picks (Moe in round two and Kent Brockman in round three) were exceptional. In grabbing these two characters, he was able to control both Springfield’s source of liquor and their source of news. In round 4, Chris went ahead and drafted the first, and possibly only, slack jawed yokel to be selected in any fantasy draft: Cletus. He followed this choice up with his selection of the matriarch of Family Simpson, Marge. This choice, like that of Lisa and Flanders, came a little too early for my taste. She’s good, and necessary, but does she offer the same level of enjoyment as even later Chris picks Disco Stu or Drederick Tatum? I don’t think so. Speaking of these characters, both were high value picks in the later rounds. Similar to many of the characters from Adams draft, Disco Stu and Drederick Tatum are not constant characters throughout the series. However, in the few episodes that they do appear, they are certainly noticeable, and in the case of Mr. Tatum, provide some of the best quotes from the Simpsons catalogue. Chris’ only remaining pick, his seventh round selection of Reverend Lovejoy, was eh. Reverend Lovejoy, like Marge two rounds before him, was a character that had to be drafted. He is a central part of the Simpsons’ life. That said, he doesn’t really offer that much to the table and there is a reason he was still available in round seven.
Overall, Chris’ draft was strong. He made great selections with Moe, Kent Brockman, and Drederick Tatum. He was hurt slightly by his position in the first round, and his seemingly obligated picks of Marge and Reverend Lovejoy in the 5th and 7th. Final Grade: A-


Blogger Selfish Country Music Loving Lady said...

Ned Flanders is NOT Catholic.

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Corky Jones aka 'Jimbo' said...

catholics confuse all religions that believe in jesus as catholics -- who knew protestants were christain or whatever

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Red Delicious said...

Flash, you are ridiculous. And hairy, too. But I did enjoy your commentary. I think you should do a draft of boy band/bad pop star songs (circa 1999-2001) or boy bands and bad pop stars of the same era. 98 Degrees, watch out.

9:53 AM  
Anonymous a passing stranger said...

Boy Band, Girl Band, bad songs, one-hit-wonders. Fertile ground, indeed. But far, far better if sound clips were included.

Just saying.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Almost Ignatius J. said...

by god i like it! consider it added to the master list of draft ideas!

12:27 PM  

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