Sunday, May 19, 2013

Draft Day Rituals

You have heard over many of the previous posts just how important and exciting Draft Day is in the life of a CFCL owner.  I think to a man we would say it is the first of two Christmases each year.  There is the initial build up as pitchers and catchers report, trying to cull together a team and a draft strategy.  Then there is the week before the Draft when everyone submits their Keeper List.  At this point we know who is available to be drafted and what everyone’s budget looks like.

But over the 30 years there has been a by-product of the Draft.  There are certain rituals that take place each year.  Some are subtle and largely go unnoticed.  Others are thrust forward for all to see.

The Driving Ritual:  Okay, this one is on the personal side.  Each year I leave my home in Aurora and drive to Naperville to pick up the DoorMatts.  This has been going on for twenty years.  The only modification to it has been in the last three years when the Twin Killers have been added to the car pool.  I usually pick them up about two hours before the draft (this is an old habit because in some of the conference rooms we used we had to rearrange a lot of furniture and we wanted to give ourselves plenty of time.  Now we arrive early just so we can talk off some nervous energy.)  On the way in to the draft we’ll talk about baseball in general or observations about some of the players that were kept or cut.  We’re careful not to fall into a Jeff Stone type of situation, however.

The Mascot Ritual:  Some owners will bring along items that they believe will bring them good luck (or it could be a more sinister intent wherein the mascots are meant to distract fellow owners or bring them bad luck.)

The two that stand out to me the most are:

Kenndoza Line:  Kenn brings along a corn cob figurine that’s about two inches high.  Check out the League Photo for proof.  Kenn is standing front and center with Kenn-dunkin or a name close to that. 

For years I thought it was a figurine of Bert, from Bert and Ernie.  Kenn usually sits at the opposite end of the drafting table from me and with the figurine being so small, I never paid attention to its detail.  The color and shape reminded me of Bert, so I would always ask Kenn about his Bert doll.

Da Paul Meisters:  Paul actually brought a Bert doll to the draft for good luck.  Sure, go ahead and poke fun.  The Meisters did win a championship.  So has Kenn, come to think of it.  Maybe there’s something to this.

The Food Ritual:  There also are some food rituals that have evolved over the years.  The oldest one is Twizzlers and Pretzels.  This dates back to 1984 when the CFCL Draft was held at Mount Olympus (nickname for the apartment that David and I shared in Forest Park for two years).  David was creative with our outgoing phone message and one time included a line something like “You’ve reached Mount Olympus where licorice and pretzels are the ambrosia and iced tea flows like nectar.”  So David started the tradition of providing bags of Twizzlers strawberry licorice and pretzel rods for all the owners.  A tradition that has carried on every year . . . .except this year when I boneheadedly (yes, it’s a word) forgot to bring them.  I think the gods from Mount Olympus are exacting their revenge as Dem Rebels are currently taking up space in 9th place.

Many years while David was in the league running the Copperfields, he would, like clock work, break out a breaded chicken patty.  He would then construct the breaded chicken patty sandwich during the draft.  It always took place at noon (plus or minus fifteen minutes).  Obsessive?  Dude won eleven championships.  I think we could all use a little more chicken in our diets.

The DoorMatts quietly have maintained a food ritual of their own.  Each year at some point they will break out either a box of Good N’ Plenty (original) or a bag of licorice snaps.  There definitely seems to be a consistent licorice theme in the CFCL.

The Six Packs (and you will see this be discussed when we post clips of Trading the Gator, the documentary we starred in) received help from Mrs. Six Pack with their ritual.  One year Kelly’s wife made him a batch of pastry bars.  Turns out that was the year that the Six Packs took the title.  The next year, no pastry bars and no title.  So Kelly made sure that for his remaining stay he always had those bars at the draft.  Turns out, the bars were not the cause of the championship as the Six Pack never regained the trophy.


  1. Matt brings Good 'n' Plenty to the draft? How have I missed this?! Bang for buck, the best candy ever.

  2. DunKenn is actually a basketball-playing ear of corn I got in a Happy Meal in 1993. I have no idea why. Last year he was missing on draft day, which was just devastating for me. He was miraculous "found" months later, but by then the damage had been done.

    My other ritual has been listening to Bob Dylan on the morning of the draft. I absolutely have to hear "Lily Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts" and usually feel the need to hear "Tangled up in Blue" as well. This comes from a mix CD my brother made for me in 2001 that I listened to on the way my draft in another league. I won that year, listened the following two years and won both of those years as well. In 2004, I joined the CFCL, and kept the tradition going (except for the winning part).