All around nerd, pro wrestling fan, burrito enthusiast and beard rights activist. Co-host of Rude Moose Radio and editor of Flagrantly Foul.
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Fantasy Football Drafts: Get Cheap Drunk, or are Bar Draft Kits Worth It?
You guys. YOU GUYS. My favorite part of the year is almost here. Christmas? Pass. Thanksgiving? Eh. Arbor Day? Actually, Arbor Day is a solid play, but I’m talking about the being on the cusp of fantasy football season. I can literally hear women clicking away from this article.
Fantasy football started out as a very niche pass-time but has developed into a multi BILLION (with a B) industry. I’ve been playing fantasy football for 12 years and have been a part of many drafts. Last year was my first as commissioner of a league and that meant I had to make arrangements for the draft. All of my drafting experience up until that point was everyone sitting in their own homes, drinking their own beer and hurling all kinds of vulgar insults toward each other online.
The more recent trend has been bars, especially sports bars, offering to host your fantasy football draft. Different places offer different experiences. If you want to have your draft out in the open and get feedback from a dude named Z-Train, good news: Buffalo Wild Wings offers a fantasy draft kit for freezies, including a bottle opener, coupons and what they refer to as a “brag flag”. Let that phrase — which I’m sure was coined by a bro wearing a Ralph Lauren polo with a popped collar — sit for a second. “Brag flag.” Yeah.
Of course, there are places to draft with more local flavor. I did a lot of extensive research and exhausting foot work (Google) and I picked two places that have different draft experiences to offer. Luke’s Icehouse has a dedicated person to handle all of the draft scheduling and responds to all incoming inquiries. The last place I had a draft at called that person “The Commish,” and he signed all of his emails that way. I know, right?
Thankfully, Luke’s did not have the same douchey tendencies and I got a timely response to my questions. Luke’s doesn’t have a fee for the drafting space as long as the drinks flow. As far as amenities go, they offer a free appetizer sampler and are willing to work with you on specials, which means if you spend more, you’ll probably get a break on your bill somewhere.
The other place I contacted was the Houston Texans Grille. I’m guessing they’re somewhat affiliated with the local NFL team, but that might just be conjecture. I’m sure you could infer this from the “e” at the end of Grille, but this place offers a little bit more of an upscale drafting atmosphere. They offer a private space for your party with no fee and free WiFi. For an additional $35, you get the draft kit, which is a draft board and player labels. Wow. Labels. Exciting.
As there are with all things in fantasy football drafts, there’s a catch. The food and drink minimum for the basic room is $600. If that doesn’t match your opulent needs to have your friends regurgitate “The League” references at you in a public setting, you could always pop for the VIP Owner’s Box which has a $750 food and drink minimum. Judging from the pictures, the VIP Owner’s Box is pretty fucking cool. It’s like you’re having your draft in a four star suite at a Hilton.
Of course, it’s hard for me to argue against drafting against home. When you draft at home, the only person who is annoyed at you is your significant other. Or your cat. I’m not judging you AND NEITHER IS ANYONE ELSE. That’s the beauty of it. You don’t have to settle on Bud Light specials. You can get whatever you want to drink at about 1/20th the price. You also don’t have to settle for the grease soaked bar food. You can get grease soaked fast food.
So, I’m staying at home this year for my draft. Do you have a favorite drafting spot? Let me know in the comments.