Let's face it, fantasy football season really starts in August. It's mid-summer when can't believe that the MLB All-Star game is on. Time to start getting ready for football season! More importantly, time to start planning your fantasy football draft party! We at iwonmyleague have compiled a few tips and outlined a few steps on how to throw the perfect fantasy football draft party.
Set a date early in the summer so your league can plan ahead. This gives your friends, relatives, and co-workers all something to look forward to. Water cooler conversations about draft day are way better than "looks like it's gonna rain today" or "Happy Monday"! Also, and most importantly, it gives your league something to look forward to. It's hard to say no to an annual reunion of your bros (and girls!). If you know when it is way ahead of time, you can plan around it.
Location, Location, Location
The right spot is key. For one, a cool spot entices your owners to be present for a draft party and avoid the mundane virtual draft altogether. Pick a fun place to gather the troops, and you won't have a lot of no-shows.
A sports bar is the obvious choice. Reserve your spot at your favorite tv-heavy establishment. You'll have someone to serve you, your beer choices are diverse, and you don't have to clean up after yourself! HDMI your tablet into one of the flat-screens (if they'll let you), and broadcast your online draft. Better yet, go old school and get yourself a draft board with player labels. Afterwards, rack up some parlor games like pool or shuffle puck.
Or, since it's summertime, why not make it tailgate style. Secure one of you fantasy league members' houses (preferably nicest looking yard) and party to the wee hours. I could post some videos here of some friends past their prime doing a keg stand or two, but I won't! Play your music, BBQ, and draft your fantasy football team all at the same time. Bring some backyard games and host a tournament. Or even better, make it a Homeaway rental for an overnight draft excursion. You'd be surprised how little you'd have to pay for a sick ski house for a night or two in August.
Business Before Pleasure
The best commissioners I know get to work before grabbing a beer. Well, maybe they had a few nips with their coffee, but they know how to take care of business. To be this type of Commish, collect dues early, and disperse a few bucks to keep people interested. Subsidizing your draft party with a small portion of league dues is a great start. Even if you suck at fantasy football, at least some of your money put beer in your mouth and that alone should keep everyone engaged. Best way to collect dues; open a Paypal account just for your league and manager your funds through it. It keeps good records and you can easily collect or distribute funds around the league. Fees add up, but not enough to warrant having to collect paper checks all the time or get a handful of cash from you boy in the middle of the night after a day of drinking. Neither of you will remember. Keep it simple and easy, and everyone will pay on time and you won't co-mingle personal funds with league funds.
Reward Your Winners!
Cash is king. If you win your league, you could triumph with a nice payout. But the money doesn't last forever, and trust me, your pride will last longer than a few twenties. Keep your league competitive, and reward your winner with an annual fantasy football trophy. We've been supplying leagues with unique trophies for the better part of 5 years now, and one thing remains true now as it did then. Don't go cheap! Hollow gold plastic assembled in China will not fly on your wife's (girlfriend's, rommate's, mistress's, mom's?) mantle. If you can find it on five different trophy shop websites, it's probably garbage. Give your league winners something cool for their man-cave. Ship a unique trophy right to their house at the end of the season, then do it for every year's winner, but please, for the sake of fantasy football humanity, get a good one. Scorsese finally got his Oscar, just like your fantasy football league winner finally got his Championship.