Fantasy Drafts

Friday, August 19, 2005

Tourist Sights - Expert Commentary

1:05 PM

Before we even begin to delve into the shipwreck that was this draft, let’s set the tone by noting that the number two pick overall in this – a draft of the most awe-inspiring and famous sights around the globe – was a statue of a boy peeing. And let me further note that this selection was immediately traded for FIRST AND SECOND ROUND PICKS. Ahem. Down to brass tacks…

Sarah kicks off the draft with a solid first choice. The Western Wall, one of the oldest and most profoundly holy places in the world, has been a key political and spiritual nexus for millennia. Let me reiterate (and I apologize for dwelling on this) that this choice was followed directly by Albert’s selection of a statue of a boy peeing. By and large, Sarah had a fairly solid draft, as she assembled a potpourri of religious, political, cultural and natural wonders spanning three continents and several millennia. The selection of Siena’s Central Piazza in the second round was clearly premature, coming as it did before heavy hitters such as the Colosseum, Parthenon and Great Barrier Reef. However, Sarah is to be commended for balancing Eurocentric with non-Eurocentric picks such as Cristo Redentor, Kilimanjaro and Teotihuacan in rounds three, four and six respectively. She is even able to infuse an element of Islam with the solid fifth round selection of the Alhambra, and can almost be forgiven for her truly uninspired selections of the Statue of Liberty and Colonial Williamsburg. Overall grade: B. Nice diversity, despite the clear under-representation of Asia.

Albert’s draft has prompted a heated debate amongst critics regarding whether he is in fact an eastern mystic, or merely indulging some form of Asian fetish. The selection, in order, of the Great Wall of China, Taj Mahal, Angkor Watt, Mount Everest, and Golden Pavilion speak of a personality either desperately seeking some form of profound inner harmony, or just looking for a Thai massage parlor with dubious moral standards. In all, Albert can hardly be faulted for any of his picks. His selections of Machu Picchu (a truly fantastic pick), the Grand Canyon, Iguazu Falls, and Mount Everest in the second, fourth, sixth and eighth rounds consecutively, grant him solid boasting rights to the most awe-inspiring landscapes taken in the draft. Round five and ten pickups of the Sistine Chapel and Gettysburg Battlefield, while both strong picks in their own right, are somewhat incoherent when taken with the other selections. Overall grade: B-. Extra points for natural grandeur.

Dan began the draft with a series of respectable, if fairly obvious choices. After a little European adventure in the first three rounds, racking up the Eiffel Tower, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Kremlin, he appears ready to mix in a little natural majesty by snapping up Victoria Falls, the Great Barrier Reef, and Yosemite National Park. Round six was a bit of a slip for Dan, with the incongruous and highly questionable selection of Graceland, but he recovers in eight, and goes back to his Europhile roots with the impressive Mont St. Michel. It is at this point that Dan goes completely off the reservation. Clearly drunk with power (or just drunk) and attempting to bolster his ‘natural grandeur’ credentials and compete with Albert, Dan redefines the notion of “flying too close to the sun” by attempting to select, um, space. This pick could be called brazen, bizarre, outrageous, but you know what? Whatever. I’m not even going to talk about this anymore. Overall grade: D +. You fuck a goat once, well suddenly you’re a goat fucker.

Bryan’s early pickups of the Sphinx, Leaning Tower of Pisa and Colosseum are all completely respectable, if a bit uncreative. Round four’s selection of the White House as a world tourist attraction was a bit of a dud given that tourists aren’t allowed anywhere near it at the moment. However his hidden motive, grabbing up awesome places to live, becomes apparent in subsequent picks as he snatches up Versailles, and later the San Diego Zoo. The Waterford Crystal Factory and Baseball Hall of Fame were both surprises, but this critic is willing to go run with it. Round nine’s choice of Molokini was interesting only in that it prompted the funny sounding “It's Molokai that is near Lahaina, not Molokini, and nobody goes to Molokai.” Overall grade: B -. A few strong pickups, but the drafting of the Jeita Grotto at the end rounds out a completely random series of choices.

Rather than even enumerate Adam’s selections, I will simply list the countries in which they’re located: Belgium, France, England, Greece, Australia, U.S., England (again), Spain, Italy, and (again) England. Oh yeah, and he traded two draft picks for a statue of a boy peeing. Overall grade: D -. Loses points for ethnocentricity, homogeneity and puerility.

Chris, like Sarah, wins big points for managing to achieve diversity without sliding into complete incongruity. The Temple Mount, Pyramids of Giza, Angel Falls, and Westminster Abbey are all excellent early round picks. Chris quite competently rounds out these selections with the U.S. Capitol and Beijing’s Forbidden City. The seventh round selection of the Haggia Sophia is a huge sleeper, and one of the best picks of the draft. And finally, Chris’ late round selections of Ashford Castle, Arlington National Cemetery and the Brandenburg Gate complement a balanced, diverse portfolio on Chris’ behalf. Overall grade: A -.

Sydney, recently receiving a great deal of positive attention for her stunning performance in the Beatles draft, stumbles a bit here. She manages to save herself from Adam-style cultural isolationism only by tossing in Mt. Fuji as a token Asian destination. She does manage to balance the ancient (Stonehenge, The Forum, Pompeii) with the stunningly modern (Guggenheim of Bilbao). And while her picks are all defensible, they fall just short of the inspiration in a Haggia Sophia, Machu Picchu or an Iguazu Falls. Overall grade: C +. Lacks the broad horizons of Sarah and Chris, however extra points for Stonehenge and Pompeii.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

isn't a D kind of harsh for someone whose picks included the louvre, trafalgar square and the parthenon?

2:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

youre just bitter cuz you didnt participate

3:44 PM  
Blogger Missing Inaction said...

eh, whatever. those who can't do write, or whatever that saying is.

4:01 PM  
Blogger Flash in the Pan said...

a d+ huh? take one guess on who i won't be inviting to my new tourist attraction on the moon?

11:26 AM  

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