Welcome back, Mr. Insufferable. It’s been a while. Eight months to be exact. The end of August marks many things, the most significant of which is indisputably the return of fantasy football and our fantasy football alter egos.


Unfortunately, fantasy football is not possible without “Fantasy Football Guy,” that obnoxious friend, co-worker or acquaintance who feels the need to share every detail of his fantasy roster every time he sees you.


Of course, if we’re being honest with ourselves, we’ve all been Fantasy Football Guy at some point, and we’re perpetually in jeopardy of transforming into that incorrigible life-form . Our obsession with fantasy brings out the worst in us – and we love every minute of it.


My fantasy football league, comprised of lifelong friends, annually stages its draft the weekend before Labor Day. Each year, the day-long event is held in a different city – we’ve even gone international – but the general activities remain the same.


We yell, we eat, we drink, we argue over complicated rules and we make fun of the first person who selects a player from the Jets. This is as close as it gets to sports heaven. On draft day, anything is possible, and every condescending remark that you make to one of your opponents has yet to be proven foolish.


Yes, we take things too seriously, but that’s the point. Why worry about real-life problems, when we can channel all of our irrationality and compulsiveness into our fantasy team? I understand that not everyone shares my (disturbingly high) passion for fantasy football, but that’s only because a lot of people simply aren’t as awesome as I am. Not yet.


That is why I am revealing some of my fantasy football secrets. These are not my actual tips on draft strategies or player evaluations – Daddy needs to get paid for that gold; rather, these are some suggestions for making your fantasy football draft experience as memorable and obnoxious as possible:

1 Pick a fun location, preferably one where you can be your natural self – loud, unbathed and kind of creepy. Mix it up with a new destination every year. This reminds us of life’s golden rule: New Orleans is never a bad decision.

2 Propose a new wrinkle to your league’s rule book right before the draft begins, forcing an immediate vote from everyone present.

3 Establish a tradition to honor the first place team from the previous year. More than likely, the team has already received some financial rewards for their fantasy prowess, but it’s still nice to acknowledge them on draft day.

4 Establish a tradition to “honor” the last place team from the previous year. In our league, this involves the mandatory wearing of a crude and inappropriate t-shirt. Very juvenile. And, amazingly, this never gets old.

5 Did someone say lots of food and drinks? I thought so. I also highly recommend securing the services of a professional bartender. When we held our draft in Atlantic City one year, our bartender was a diehard Eagles fan named Al who, invariably, after any Eagle player was selected, shouted in affirmation, “That’s a great pick!” Thanks, Al.

6 Don’t be afraid to tell the same joke year after year. One player in our league has a tendency to draft older players who are past their prime. Before each of his selections, we all shout the names of players who have been retired for decades.

7 Remember, that it really is all about having fun. And the money. And being mean to your friends. But it’s mostly about the fun.


What are some of your favorite fantasy football traditions? Let us know how you’re gearing up for your draft @endbadly.