You Are the Star

Postby DOUGHBOYS » Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:05 pm

This is going to be a long one with maybe too much personal information or tmi for you texters, but here goes....

I'm so simple, I call myself a simpleton.
My wife quickly agrees.
My wife, my family, and my friends all know that I am a baseball-driven soul.
I have been since I was seven years old. It can't be helped.
I went through life going to school, going to College, marrying, having a job and family, but throughout it all, anybody who met me knew that baseball was foremost on my mind.

Then the NFBC happened. $1000 to play in a fantasy baseball league.
15 years ago, it was a lot of money for us.
I never was a money-driven guy. Never.
But then, with not much money in the bank, I had to try and convince my wife that playing in a fantasy baseball league for a thousand dollars was a good idea.
After talking, whining, and begging my wife, I got the go-ahead.
I then told her that we had to go to Las Vegas for this league.
Yeah, it's in a big hotel there.
"We can leave early in the morning, I can draft, and then we could drive back home. No extra money for a hotel."
"So let me get this straight", she said not wanting to be correct, "You want us to pay $1000 to be in a fantasy baseball league. Then, you want to drive eight hours to Las Vegas, draft your team, then drive eight hours back home."
"Yes. Unless you wanna stay in a hotel. Actually, I would be more fresh for my draft if we left the night before, we stayed at a cheap hotel, then draft and head home.
Making a long story shorter, we stayed at a hotel near Nellis Air Force base.
They flew jets most of the night. It didn't bother me a bit. I was up most of the night 'studying'.
What did bother me was my poor wife trying to sleep. Poor thing.
She would turn over and ask, "Are you still up?"
A jet would fly over and I'd say, "Yeah, it's not like I'd sleep much anyway."
So much for being 'fresh'.

A few things I remember from that first draft was meeting some of the people that had written some of the very articles I had read.
I remember Shawn Childs approaching me with a little smirk on his face, pointing at my bags for the trip up against the draft room wall, saying, "Are those yours? Don't you have a hotel?"
I told him they were mine and that I was driving home with those bags after the draft.
What I didn't tell him was that I had the car parked in a questionable zone in the big hotel and wanted the bags in case the car was towed.
It was not towed.
It would be cool to find out that Shawn and I had the two best drafts in that room.

That first draft was not like draft's are now.
More business-like.
Only the writers and upper crust knew each other.
I was a nobody. And knew it. I kept to myself mostly.
I talked baseball with a few people and left for the long drive home.
On the way home, I had my wife read me the names that were drafted that day.
Over and over.
I judged each name and if they should have been taken in that place or not.
What a trooper my wife is. :D

I was successful and I've been in a Main Event every year since.
That draft was at a smaller hotel and we didn't have many frills like today.
Now, it is like it has to be the biggest hotel with every beer and food known to man as an accompanyment.
Seriously, I would be just as happy if the draft were held at Nellis Air Force Base.
Damn jets would make it tough for the facilitators though.
We didn't have online drafts.
But they started soon after with satelite drafts and then the doors were blown off with DC Drafts.

Online drafts have been and always will be a weakness for the NFBC.
The technology never coming close to matching our zest for the hobby.
We have been under several umbrellas during the NFBC past and online drafts have always been the worst of the NFBC experience.
The draft rooms, the IT, the technology all seemed to always conspire against the NFBC in providing an experience on par with live events.

I believe this will always be the case.
Mostly because the draft room, no matter how it is built, whether it has every amenity or not, is secondary.
Sure, we want the best for the best.
But it is never going to happen because the draft room is not a star.
Greg and Tom with their excellent customer service and common sense approach are also not the 'Stars'.
Greg invented this darned thing and has done the monumental task of keeping it alive while it has traded hands throughout the 15 years.
And bless his heart, he still thinks that things will be better with each new company.
So he digs himself a hole by telling us that things are going to be better than the past.
He can't help himself.
Like Mikey and like me, he is passionate. He WANTS what is best for the NFBC.
Unfortunately, what he wants annd what we get can be two different things.

A year ago, I was drawn away from the NFBC. I knew the fella from Fantrax and I wanted his site to succeed.
I helped by getting some drafts together with non-NFBC and nfbc drafters alike, so that he could test out his draft room.
Within two months, that draft room had every bell and whistle that a draft room needed.
Much better than the NFBC has ever had.
I posted messages on their message buards. I received free drafts with the promise of money.
But felt unfulfilled. It didn't feel right.
It wasn't anybody's fault but my own.
What I had was a new new site, with a great guy leading it, and an almost perfect draft room.
What was missing?

The answer to that question is YOU.
I realized that Greg, IT, technology, or the draft rooms don't have to be 100%
It is the competition.
The friendships.
The damned good players like Gekko who want everybody to know it.
The damned good players like Jupinka who want nobody to know it.
WE are the Stars.
We are the engine for the NFBC.

There are no Greg Ambrosius or Mike the Mouth anywhere else. They are here.
And whether Greg is defending his IT staff for the umpteenth time or whether Mikey is tearing it down for the umpteenth time, I just love that it happens.
It's a part of our fabric.
It doesn't get better than this.

For those that don't want to get in the draft rom because of Mikey's post.
Do it anyway.
I'm a simpleton and I can draft in it.
Sure, it has drawbacks. Drawbacks that will be time. :D
We're not here for the draft room.
And at the same time, Mikey is right, we do deserve better.
But the real reason we are here is because of you, and you, and everybody else who is reading this.
We all want to be the best at this hobby.
And we know where the best reside.
Right here.
YOU are the Star.

Edit- Let me take this opportunity to let you folks who are on the fence know that you should get your ass to Las Vegas, New York, or Chicago.
It is a pilgrimage of folks like me and you who just want to talk about baseball day and night.
For the fantasy baseball player, it is a little like Ray Kinsella finding all those players in his field.
The wonder is the same.
If nothing catastrophic happens in my life between now and March, I will be in Las Vegas this year.
I can't wait.
There is something there that you and I just can't get at home.
Hundreds of people who want to talk baseball. Just like you.

One more edit-
After writing this, I brought up that trip with my wife. I asked her what she was thinking.
She stated that she was afraid for me. That the ad I had seen in a fantasy magazine was a sham or scam and how disappointed I would be, not in losing our money, but have my hopes dashed by con men.
I told you she was a sweetheart.
Luckily, that ad brought me there, and it has brought me here to THE fantasy baseball place to be.
On my tombstone-
Wait! I never had the perfect draft!
Posts: 11814
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 6:00 pm

Re: You Are the Star

Postby DOUGHBOYS » Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:40 am

I bring this up again because of Greg's post about NFBC ADP's going vital(see what I did there, instead of 'viral'....never mind) .......

You really are the star.

And maybe it's because I spent the weekend mostly just drafting DC teams, but Man, when is NFBC technology ever going to come close to NFBC customer service and our reputations that spawn ADP's going to several agencies?
We tolerate the technology to play against the best fantasy players in the world.
Just once, I'd like to see technology battling for us instead of us battling against it (capital letters in 'it').
On my tombstone-
Wait! I never had the perfect draft!
Posts: 11814
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 6:00 pm

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