“I have lit my treasured candles,
one by one, to hallow this night.
With you, who do not come,
I wait the birth of the year.
Dear God!” – The first 5 lines portray the average fantasy owner, wondering what’s going to happen with the year. The candles have been lit, the night is aglow, the setting is placed, but why so many f#(*%ng preseason games?
Anna Akhmatova’s poems are filled with a beauty and rawness that reminds me of the first weekend of football. Anything can happen, there is anger and unexpectedness. I loved her Poems of Akhmatova by Stanley Kunitz, half because of the great translations and half because on the left page is the Russian and the right page is English (so you read one page, but its like you’re reading 2!). Most of her poems in this edition are short, composed, and precise, but her longer poem “Poem without a Hero” is more in-tune with the wait until the first week of football. NFL works on the unexpectedness of it all, the parity works in this game (every year around 6 teams who made the playoffs last year won’t make it, giving way for….), and as of now there are no heroes. Tom Brady was supposed to be a hero last year, but forces beyond him left the Pats their All-Pro. All this “up-in-the-air” is frustrating for fantasy football players because even the sure things in the first quarter of the first game could be nothings.
This year my friends and I are going to do an auction draft. Nothing good will come of this. It’ll start at 2pm on a weekend day, and there will be bluffs called, people will end up with players they dont want, there will be drinking, and someone will end up paying too much for Matt Schaub or Lee Evans. Well, oh well, but Akhmatova’s “Poem without a Hero” can alleviate any feelings that a bad draft is really that.
“As the future ripens in the past,
so the past rots in the future–
a terrible festival of dead leaves.” – So, it’d be nice if Chris Berman (even better, Terry Bradshaw) quoted this on Sunday Countdown of the first weekend. The past means little in the future, but when we see what’s happened, we look at what pundits prophesied and whichever ones were right will tell you. But a lot of the time the predictions are on a hunch (it’ll be interesting to see if the football prospectus golden boy’s the chargers do that well). What we glean in 6 weeks won’t be the same as what is “known” now. What Akhmatova seems to be saying is STFU about ranking the players in any given order. If you don’t like ESPN’s ranking of the 5th pick, don’t pick that guy. Or as in my auction, target who you like and try to snatch some good steals, but don’t think too much about it.
“the night is fathomless, and it goes on and on–“- I’ve never done an auction draft but I figure this could take a while. Luckily we’re using an online automated auction draft, so I dont have to stand with a gavel in hand (as league manager), but I just see this turning into an drag-out test of testicular size. A fun one, but still fathomless.
“This means that gravestones are fragile
and granite is softer than wax.
Absurd, absurd, absurd! From such absurdity
I shall soon turn gray.” -Ahkmatova can only be saying one thing: Dear God, don’t take Kurt Warner.