Fantasy Drafts

Thursday, September 01, 2005

60% of the Fantasy Band Draft

11:43 AM
This draft was near to my heart; first, I am in sports fantasy leagues year round, and second, I love music. This seemed like a natural mixing of ingredients (unlike ammonia and bleach). Everyone has his/her own favorites, mine in particular come from the 60s, and I have been accused of hating everything made after I was born -- not so, there are many women born post-1982 that I have admired from afar (well, depending on legal restrictions). Without further ado, here is my take on three drafts, which should serve to further the debate of perhaps the most-talked-about draft in recent memory (man, am I regretting taking Maurice Clarrett in my keeper league).

Sydney's picks, in order.

1. Jimmy Page - Guitar
2. Victor Wooten - Bass
3. Dave Grohl - Drummer
4. Thom Yorke (Radiohead) - Lyricist
5. Stevie Wonder - Lead Singer
6. Diana Ross - Back-Up Vocalist

Usually in fantasy drafts, identity and cohesiveness don't matter - Milton Bradley and Jeff Kent, fine - TO and Donovan, stalwarts - Tommy Lee and Pamela, well, hot. But this isn't sports, this is music, and to have a good group you need some sort of harmonizing. This is ultimately where Sydney's draft fails. There were a number of nice picks, some standard choices and some sub-par choices. Sydney started off with a good grab, decent foundation - he's no Jimi, but who is, I mean, I'm not even left-handed. Victor Wooten at the beginning of the second round was a reach, obviously she coveted him, and he is talented, but a bassist in round two? A top 7 pick in a fantasy draft of the greatest musicians of all time? Next thing you know, you wake up in a trailer, your head pounding like a gatling gun, to see John Popper, naked, playing the air harmonica. After Wooten, Sydney fell into one of the most typical pitfalls of any draft, namely a run on a position. Three drummers had already been selected, including perhaps the two best of all time. Sydney panicked and, even though there were at least two amazing drummers left, went with Dave Grohl. Nirvana was a phenomenal band, but Dave Grohl isn't celebrated for his ability, he is simply above average. Up to this point you could see Wooten and Page meshing pretty well, but how is Grohl's loud, in-your-face kind of style going to combine with the bluesyness of the two guitarists? Then Thom Yorke, great songwriter - but again, can anyone see Dave Grohl playing on "Paranoid Android"? It's like visualizing your grandma flirting with some guy named Bob who lives on the first floor of her nursing home - it's just plain unnatural. The package of Stevie Wonder and Dianna Ross is fantastic, their harmonizing and overall singing ability are perfect compliments. I don't know if their boisterous style will fit with Yorke's lyrics, however. All in all, adequate choices with little to no harmonizing capability - doesn't quite smell like teen spirit - for that: C.

Chris' picks in order:

1. Jimi Hendrix - Guitar
2. Paul Simon - Lyricist
3. Frank Sinatra -Lead Singer
4. Marvin Gaye - Back-Up Vocalist
5. John Deacon - Bassist
6. Fred LeBlanc - Drummer

Chris' draft: some reaches and some instances where you could see choices being replaced with undrafted FAs. Still, it's always nice when you assure your team of the best player at a position: Hendrix is the Peyton Manning of quarterbacks, the World War II of Wars, the Mr. Big of nicknames. Unfortunately, this is where the success comes to a halt. Paul Simon is a great lyricist, but the issue resides in taking him with only two drafters able to choose a songwriter, and Sydney assuredly taking Yorke. A minor oversight, but one that needs to be highlighted if we are to grow as a community of drafters. In the next round, we go from one minimal reach to a leap of faith, only this time there was no dust scattered on a semi-invisible bridge. Frank Sinatra in the third round? The first lead singer being selected this late notes the depth most drafters saw in singers. Also, Sinatra singing Simon lyrics sounds interesting but not "super group" material; a good combo like peanut butter and fluff, but you don't take out a $200-an-hour prostitute to a $40 a plate French restaurant for a PB and Fluff. Marvin Gaye is a great vocalist who should be able to harmonize well with Sinatra because of their similar slow, methodical style. Still, you just don't get all giddy about it; I mean would you feel any differently if Otis Redding were backing up Sinatra? Next, John Deacon; its always nice when you get someone underrated in a draft - Deacon was borderline spectacular, and odds are Queen would never been the same without him. Chris' draft rolls along until the much-harangued last pick: Fred LeBlanc (Cowboy Mouth). The position of drummer has been the most disputed throughout this draft, with an incredible reach (Starr), one guy that just doesn't fit (Grohl), and this one, who is not as accomplished as the myriad of drummers left. Chris' folly is that he could have had Neil Peart, hall of fame material, IN THE LAST ROUND - that's unheard of. Now, LeBlanc is a great leader and took that band to new heights, but to pass on a pantheon all time musician because of a boyhood crush is just not good drafting - would you take Danielle Fishel (Topanga) over Charlize Theron? I think not. C.

Adam's picks in order:

1. (from Albert) John Lennon - Lyricist
2. Eric Clapton - Guitar
3. John Bonham - Drummer
4. John Paul Jones - Bassist
5. Roger Daltrey - Lead Singer
5. (from Albert) Mick Jagger - Back-Up Vocalist

It's rare when a draft starts with the top pick only to surrender it, move down one spot, and then select the same position (lyricist). It appears Adam felt there wasn't a big step down from Bob Dylan to John Lennon. Lennon is a great songwriter, better when McCartney kept him in check, but still pantheon all-time - possibly the second best lyricist ever. Then Clapton in the second round, most certainly an upgrade over Harrison; not to take anything away from him, but Clapton is first-round talent at the end of the second round. Now, drummer, the most-argued-over subject since which Girl Next Door got to climb the Heff Hill first. Bonham was the third drummer selected, you can throw out Ringo Starr because well, he isn't that good. That leaves Bonham versus Keith Moon (since Neil Peart wasn't even drafted). In this observer's eyes it comes down to who outshined whom. Keith Moon died by choking on his own vomit, John Bonham died similarly two years later; one word: copycat. Now some people say two years is a long time - baloney - two years for Bonham or Moon is more like 1 month, 3 days for a man who isn't an offensive lineman. In the end, for originality's sake, the nod must go to Keith Moon (plus have you heard Live at the Isle of Wight, I know 16-year-old virgins who creamed themselves during that concert). JP Jones, a solid pick fits nicely with Bonham, and should work well with Clapton and Lennon. Adam then finished off his draft (in round 5) by selecting his lead singer, Roger Daltrey and back-up, Mick Jagger. Daltrey loved rock and roll, had great stage presence, plus he earned a reputation for fighting to exercise control, as Pete Townshend put it "[Roger] ran things the way he wanted. If you argued with him, you usually got a bunch of fives." Also, who can forget his trademark scream at the end of "Won't Get Fooled Again" - I know he's a man, and I am a man (well not much of one) but that moan, err, scream is hot. Any band with Mick Jagger backing up Roger Daltrey deserves an A. It's like a Golf Scramble (alternate-shot) with one team being comprised of Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the most-argued-over subject since which Girl Next Door got to climb the Heff Hill first."

I have never seen such seemingly intelligent people possess such assinine pop culture knowledge. bravo?

10:47 AM  
Blogger Selfish Country Music Loving Lady said...

Haha. "Assinine"

(Does that answer your question?)

4:14 PM  
Blogger the Thin Man said...

who's favorite word isnt assassain?

9:16 AM  

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