No one cares about your Nnamdi Asomugha Raiders jersey or that you've spent the past three weeks creating your own rankings for the top 300 players in the NFL. Go ahead and guard your cheatsheet like nuclear launch codes. Everyone else will be focused on one thing and one thing only -- because a great fantasy football draft party isn’t about how big a fan you are or how much you know.
It's all about the food.
Why else will so many fantasy leagues gather over the next week to draft in-person? It’s not because a room of dudes smells good. Or because you have to be next to a guy to rip him for taking a tight end in the second round. That can easily be accomplished over the Internet. Fantasy football draft parties are about an unspeakable spread of fried, salty, fatty delights that would make your cardiologist dive head first into a pile of kale.
But some foods are better than others when it comes to this three-hour calorie bender. Luckily for you, we've tried them all and now present to you the pros and cons of draft food so that your big day won’t disappoint like Randy Moss did last year.
This is an overlooked category at many draft parties. I know dips don’t scream man food, but we’re not talking about cucumber and dill. This is bacon and horseradish territory. Sour cream and onion. Seven-layer bean dip. Tortilla chips and salsa.
Pros: Dips help slow things down. The number one rookie mistake is to stuff yourself too early with a plateful of ribs and pizza. Being full before the draft even starts is like finishing your popcorn before the previews have ended at the movies.
Cons: Have you seen what mayo and sour cream-based dips look like after they’ve been sitting on a counter for three hours? It’s pudding skin taken to a nightmarish level.
This is another overlooked category, but one that deserves more room at the draft spread. Forget peanut butter and jelly on white bread. Build a Dagwood on an entire loaf of French bread stacked with a few pounds of bacon and turkey and they'll come running.
Pros: Sandwiches are complete meals that fit in one hand and are easy to eat, so you can keep your death grip on your precious cheatsheet.
Cons: Even a mile-high sandwich lacks the awe-factor of most draft food. This should be a gluttonous spread and a sandwich is something you'd have on a picnic with your wife. (You know, the woman you live with?)
This is everything from pulled pork to smoked links to the pinnacle of this slow and low method -- ribs. The debate about what kind of wood, meat and sauce should be used will never be settled, but we can all agree barbecue is some of the manliest food out there.
Pros: Delicious. I don’t need to nor won’t say anything more on the subject.
Cons: Q is messy stuff. A few drops of sauce onto your laptop can ruin the best day of the year.
BURGERS & DOGS
This just screams America, and unlike barbecue, just about any idiot can grill burgers and dogs.
Pros: These are crowd pleasers and they’re cheap. No need to keep an eagle eye on the pizza to make sure no one eats more than their half. No one is going to stop you from going Kobayashi on the dogs.
Cons: Somebody has to be tending the grill, and unless it’s in your living room, which sounds like a terrible idea, your grill master will miss his pick.
Every Sunday millions of chicken extremities are sacrificed and sauced in the Buffalo style that is more synonymous with football than the Manning family. Wings have everything going for them -- they’re fatty, deep-fried, and good ones have enough spice to take off a few taste buds.
Pros: Everyone loves wings, and if they don’t, they shouldn’t be in your fantasy league (or circle of friends) anyway. With the number of sauces available today, there’s a flavor for everyone.
Cons: There are a lot of bad wings out there. Not to mention that even good wings have a short shelf life. After about 20 minutes that crispy perfection turns soggy and starts resembling your grandmother’s elbow skin.
This is the pinnacle of draft party food for one reason: it’s good no matter what temperature it is. Any slices that aren’t crushed while still steaming will be just as coveted at the end of the draft when people start getting hungry again.
Pros: There are probably no less than two dozen pizza places that will deliver to you. Bad pizza is still pretty good and better than anything you’ve got in your freezer. Unlike soggy wings and crusted-over dips, nothing will go to waste here.
Cons: Breadsticks. There’s nothing wrong with pizza, but don’t order its little brother. Breadsticks are expensive filler that seem like a great idea on the phone, but get ignored like a kicker in the locker room.
Choose wisely and happy drafting.