Now that every team is down to its 53-man roster and the first "real" game of the season is joyfully only days away, fantasy football players everywhere are holding their annual draft parties.
If you are somehow unaware because you aren't one of 30 million Americans who play -- or one of the millions more who aren't sleepwalking through life -- fantasy football allows us all to become NFL general managers. We select our fantasy squads by choosing from real-life players like Arian Foster (highly coveted) and Tim Tebow (read a newspaper, fool, he got cut). Their on-field results are tallied and, just like real life, the team with the higher score wins.
I've enjoyed playing fantasy football, but the best part of it all is the draft, particularly if you're playing in a league with friends and acquaintances. If you're doing that, you'll probably have a gathering with guacamole and chips and beer and cigars and, hopefully, music.
I recommend picking Jay Cutler as your starting QB (it says here the Chicago Bears will win the NFC with a new and potent offense) and playing these songs at your draft party:
MC Frontalot, "Nerd Versus Jock" Fantasy football may be so popular because of a rivalry that goes at least as far back as high school -- nerd versus jock. Like that old movie, fantasy football is the true nerd's revenge. You don't need the body of a J.J. Watt or Adrian Peterson to play fantasy football. It probably helps if you are an avid reader and know your sines from your cosines, though.
Nerdcore rap master MC Frontalot breaks it down by reminding the former team captain, "You were always the IBM; I was always the Tandy." But, in the real, numbers-driven world of fantasy football, "Look at now: demand for nerds. Old jocks: stock on clearance."
If you dominated the gridiron in your glory days but annually scrape together fewer wins than the Jaguars and the Chiefs combined last year (four), your fantasy football peers may be playing this song just for you.
Joe Jackson, "Got the Time" Even among the best of friends, with plenty of good food and drink around, the most exasperating person at the draft table is the one who waits until the last possible second to make a selection. Maybe he's the guy with the weak wireless connection that keeps dropping during his pick. Or maybe he really just can't choose between Danny Amendola and Hakeem Nicks (pick Amendola -- Tom Brady won't have so many options with Rob Gronkowski injured and Aaron Hernandez in the slammer).
"Got the Time" should be played every time this wavering fellow's team is on the clock. If he's not particularly well-liked, go with the more aggressive version by Anthrax.
Lady Gaga, "Applause" The NFL has worked hard in recent years to embrace female football fans. Is it working? Did you get your fantasy football ass handed to you last season by someone named Martha or Kimberly? Yeah, it's working.
According to The New York Times, 43 million women watched the Super Bowl last year. Most estimates say six million women will play in a fantasy football league this year. They don't need a league or their own. They're coming to win yours, bro.
Spin some Lady Gaga for your FF sisters. But don't get it twisted -- they're not just there for the applause. They came to win the money.
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Rage Against the Machine, "Killing In the Name" Fantasy football is a blast, unless your league commissioner's totalitarian grip is so hard it squeezes all the fun from everything. Choose this person wisely, fantasy football brethren. Avoid the cuckolded husband or the guy whose business is flailing. Looking to exert power in the only place they can, they'll govern your league with all the subtlety of Kim Jong-un.
Go ahead and play the most anti-authoritarian song ever, Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name," on draft night. That'll show Joseph Kony Goodell you won't be putting up with any nonsense this season.
Depeche Mode, "Master and Servant" If you are the perennial winner of your league and have any control over the music being played at this year's draft party, you must include "Master and Servant." That's not a request -- I'm telling you to do it, slave.
I know, this song is really about getting dominated in the bedroom and not the war room; or, is it? The line "It's a lot like life" suggests there's little difference between getting beat by whips and the number-crunching research of football statistics done painstakingly over the offseason. Either way, you're sending a message to your fellow players. You will again exert your will and, since they have returned for yet another beating, they probably like it.
NFL Films, "The Power and The Glory" What is a draft party, a tailgate or any function involving the NFL but a celebration of the most glorious sport created by the sporting gods? It's my personal belief any proper NFL social function should include at least a snippet of Sam Spence's and John Facenda's brilliance.
Spence was a composer who created the iconic music associated with Ed Sabol's NFL Films. For years, Facenda was the narrator for that work. The story is Facenda was goofing around in a bar and started improvising over some NFL Films footage on the bar television.
Sabol happened to be in the bar that night and overheard Facenda. The rest, as they say, is history. Facenda's baritone delivery earned him the nickname "The Voice of God." His words combined with Spence's dramatic scores helped make football a religion.
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