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Mark Zinno: My Fantasy Football Nightmare

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(Photo: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

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Despite what my demeanor is on the air, I have always tried to be a gentleman off the air.  My mother raised me with good manners and courtesy – and most of all chivalry.  She always taught me to be a man for  my woman.  I always seemed to excel in those situations, until I tried to coach my girlfriend through her first ever, all-girl, fantasy football draft.  This is my nightmare!

Going in, I thought that this would be an easy task.  No such thing.  I walked into her house to three women sitting at the kitchen table on computers bantering, well, not about football!  I thought that I was basically going to draft for her.  No such thing.  My suggestions were met with resistance often.  I was pelted with questions like, “should I take Santana Moss?” (in Round 3, mind you) … my response several times was, “if you take that player, I am going to dump you!”  This was not a sentiment that was taken lightly by my girlfriend.  I think she thought I was serious.  There were serious difficulties with the draft room and exclamations of, “How come I can’t pick this guy?!?!”  Normally, I would insert some sarcastic, quasi-sexist remark here, but better to leave well enough alone.  I was often hit with, “____ team just took the Ravens defense (in Round 4, mind you), do I need to get a defense now?”  To which I replied, “If you take a defense before your second to last pick, I am going to dump you.”  She didn’t seem to realize the sarcasm in my voice.  Now, I am getting the evil eye.  All guys know that look.  The one that is worse than the one your mother gave you as a child, when you played with your food a little too long.  I learned that women often equate how a player looks to how well he plays.  Wide receiver Miles Austin was almost drafted too early by my girlfriend because he “has beautiful eyes.”  It’s no wonder that Jesse Palmer’s career in the NFL didn’t last longer!!  There was often a frantic scream when I wasn’t standing next to her computer when the Roger Goodell voice said, “you are on the clock!”  My delay was met with more evil eyes.  I realized that I was in over my head here and was just hoping to get out alive.  I kept my comments to myself when one girl said, “I’m drafting Michael Bush … only because I like saying Bush!” This is my nightmare.

Some of the highlights of this draft were a team named “Horse Faced Donkeys” taking a kicker Hunter Lawrence in the 2nd round!  Maybe she thinks that’s the only way the Buccaneers are allowed to score!  “No Punt Intended” took Rob Gronkowski with the 13th overall pick.  She must love his drunken dancing!  There are three teams in the league with names that are parodies of Ray Rice and die-hard Ravens fans.  So when “Rice Rice Baby” took Steelers RB Issac Redman, it was an emotional moment.  Joe Flacco did not get drafted until the 10th round by “Hakuna Ma-Ngata” … what a wonderful phrase!  Ironically, Ben Roethlisberger went next  – to a Ravens fan with a team name of “Ed Dickson Yo Face!” And “Horse Faced Donkeys” is apparently in love with kickers, because she went back for Billy Cundiff in round 13.  Good thing that you don’t lose points in fantasy for missed 32-yard field goals!  Welcome back football!

Zinno

Follow me on Twitter @MarkZinno

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