Here in Washington, DC, the transition from summer to fall is obvious by the thermostat’s overnight drop from 100 to 70, the clogged beltway and kids return to school. Early September is also notable for the flurry of fantasy football drafts taking place across the country.
Whether fantasy team owners realize it or not, PR spin is actively at work leading up to and during your in-person fantasy football draft. I’ve compiled a quick list of 5 PR tactics you are likely to see at on Fantasy Football Draft day.
5) The classic ‘undersell’ – I can’t remember the last draft I participated in where at least one owner gave me the “I am totally unprepared for this draft” shtick before the draft gets underway. This is done for a couple of reasons: first, that owner wants you to believe he will not be a draft day threat so you don’t have to worry about him stealing your sleeper pick; and second it is apparently not cool to admit publicly you spent any time preparing for the draft. Everyone wants to make it seem as if they are rolling into the draft from some hot club with no preparation whatsoever so it is all the more impressive when they take the title.
4) The classic ‘misdirect’ – Everyone likes to showoff. Everyone believes they have some ‘sleepers’ that will go from injury-plagued or under-performing to league star. These owners want to demonstrate how clever they are by announcing at the draft who will have a breakout year so that they can go back and say “I told you so.” But, let’s give these owners a little credit: they don’t want to roll out their studs, but instead will announce a few second tier sleepers who most likely aren’t even sleepers at all. “Hey, keep an eye on Percy Harvin this year,” or “watch out for Felix Jones.” By doing so, they protect their top targets but can still take credit if their predictions pan out.
3) The classic ‘draft hex’ – You know this guy at the draft. He’s the guy who, if he appeared on the Jeopardy game show, would claim he knew every answer but was hitting the buzzer 1/8 of a second late. At the draft, this is the guy whose great pick every round was coincidentally taken by the person drafting right in front of him. Then, when the draft is over, he complains “my team should have been with this player and that player, but because that person was gone it ruined my entire draft!”
2) The classic ‘it’s not me, it’s my draft position’ – “Well it is going to be hard to win getting 8th pick again.” Inferring it is impossible to win without first pick is like saying a racer can’t win Indy 500 without the pole position. That doesn’t stop this draft owner from complaining they have that pick every year falling out of the top 4 where all the stud RB reside. Then, when you check their draft history you find out the owner’s picks the past five years have been 2nd, 6th, 10th, 3rd and 5th.
1) The classic ‘I only had one beer and a couple wings’ spiel – This is the owner who, when it comes time to pay up at the end of the night for the food and beer, claims he is a human camel that did not have a single drink for 4 hours and might have nibbled on a couple of chicken wings. If this is truly the case, this owner is far too sober to be in your draft.