Last week marked the beginning of fantasy football season, a glorious time of the year when at least one of your coworkers will spend their time inhaling articles and analyzing stats before losing to the person who hasn't touched their team since the draft.
Unfortunately, it's pretty hard to put a team like that together when you're the kind of football fan who barely recognizes any players remaining at the start of the fourth round.
At that point, it's time to let Jesus take the wheel ("Jesus" is the name I gave to the computer algorithm that picks players for you. I chose this because it was wise and possessed godly powers I'll never truly be able to comprehend).
As long as my options are limited to football players, I know I'll never be able to field a team based on my intimate knowledge of the athleticism and skill sets of the athletes I'm drafting.
I wanted to know what it was like to take part in a draft where I actually knew what I was doing, and after two seconds of brainstorming I decided assembling a team of fantasy creatures was the obvious choice.
I've taken some liberty with the word "fantasy" to incorporate other creatures and beings to make my life easier, but after carefully selecting these players, I don't think this team could be topped.
Cyclops, unicorn, giant, elf, Santa, dragon, ogre, sphinx could be defense.
If you're looking for a franchise quarterback, you want someone capable of repeatedly hitting a target hundreds of feet away with pinpoint accuracy. No one's going to do that better than Legolas.
Sure, he might traditionally use a bow and arrow to take shots downfield, but given his species' natural athleticism and the whole "immortality" thing, I'm confident the right coach could work with the tools he already has to make him a star.
He's the kind of player you build your team around.
Quarterback: A Dragon
Football plays are traditionally broken down into running and passing plays, but if you have a dragon as a quarterback you get to invent an entirely new system based around one thing and one thing only: flying yards.
With apologies to pixies, fairies, gargoyles, griffins and Pegasus, I can't think of any winged mythical creature you'd want to have in the pocket more than a dragon.
Not only are dragons an imposing physical force that can incinerate any defender who comes at them, they can also scramble in a direction no other quarterback is capable of: directly into the air.
Running Back: A Unicorn
There is no situation where sending a horned horse into the backfield isn't going to result in a major play. Crucial third and short? Let the unicorn pick up those yards. Goal line stand? Send in the unicorn to vault over the pile.
Of course, unicorns can't actually hold a ball (more on that later), so I assume the only way they'd be able to carry it is by impaling the pigskin with their horn and trampling over anyone who gets in their way.
I'm sure there's a rule saying the play is dead the moment the ball is deflated [insert Tom Brady joke here], but I couldn't find anything during an admittedly short look at the rule book.
I'm also talking about a unicorn playing football. Let's just roll with it.
Running Back: The Uruk-hai With The Torch
Before I say anything else, I want to make it very clear I endorse neither Sauron's political philosophy and general worldview nor the atrocities committed in his name.
With that being said, I'm also the kind of person who has to give credit where credit is due. While I'm not supporting the destruction this suicidal Uruk-hai ultimately caused, this is exactly the kind of guy I want on my team.
I want someone who sees the end zone and will not stop until he gets there, no matter how many obstacles he runs into along the way. In this case, the "end zone" is a sewer grate and the obstacles are "multiple arrows."
There's no one out there with game film like his.
Wide Receiver: Centaur
The perfect wide receiver has the speed of a horse and the hands of... well, not a horse. Horses have hooves and are physically incapable of playing football (contrary to what certain Budweiser commercials might have you believe).
Consequently, I can't think of a better candidate for a wide receiver than a centaur. Not only do they have all the physical attributes you want in a player, they also have a reputation for being wild, cocky creatures who are always on the hunt for the next party.
In other words, they're basically NFL players.
Wide Receiver: Chimera
Based on what I said in the last entry, the chimera might seem like an interesting choice considering it's a winged lion with a serpent for a tail and no opposable thumbs to speak of.
However, what it lacks for hands it makes up for with A SERPENT FOR A TAIL. You want to talk about reach? As long as you can train it not to puncture the ball every time it makes a catch, there's no way it's not going to make the Pro Bowl.
Wide Receiver: Another Dragon
It's hard to overstress just how invaluable a dragon can be to a football team. Good luck defending a receiver when he's 10 yards downfield and 50 feet into the air one second after the ball is snapped.
Tight End: A Giant
For a number of years, the tight end was an underappreciated position traditionally featuring large men whose primary job was to block their opponent while occasionally attempting to catch something (and usually failing).
They were basically Cyclops if he had been trying to catch football instead of sheep.
However, as the game continues to evolve, tight ends have started to play a central role in the offense of many NFL teams. As a result, a one-eyed meathead driven by nothing but rage isn't going to cut it anymore.
They need at least two eyes now, and giants fit the bill.
Kicker: Adam Vinatieri
Adam Vinatieri has played in the NFL for 20 years and remains one of the league's most consistent kickers at 42 years old.
He's basically a mythical creature as far as athletes are concerned, and you're not going to find any fictional monsters that are going to top him.
Defense: The Sphinx
The sphinx is an imposing creature with the body of a lion that refuses to let anyone pass unless they can answer some riddle, a dynamic that would absolutely revolutionize the way the game is played.
While opponents with high Wonderlic scores or degrees from prestigious universities might pose more of a threat, the sphinx has the advantage over players who never went to class or who've suffered multiple concussions over the course of their careers.
Truly a force to be reckoned with (but only during night games).
Bench: A Third Dragon.
You can never have too many dragons.