I’ll admit it: when the first fantasy quidditch tournaments were announced this summer, I was extremely skeptical. The chances of the quidditch community putting together a draft list, getting fields/equipment and the multiple of other necessary factors in order to run a successful tournament seemed low. Heck, I often had trouble getting over fifteen players from my own school out for intramural practice. How many people could we feasibly believe would trek to New York for a one-day shebang that would hold absolutely no reflection on their ranking or forthcoming quidditch season?
Well, apparently, all of them.
As I addressed in a previous blog post: these fantasy tournaments are all the rage this summer and simply put, they’re clearly worth the hype. I was fortunately lucky enough to be offered a spot co-GMing with a friend and quidditch superstar, Zach D’Amico in the Northeast Fantasy Draft. Let’s just say that I had my doubts that this thing could be pulled off a week ago.
Today? I’m in love.
I play fantasy sports every season of the year. Right now, I’m praying that Joey Votto and Evan Longoria will stop being injured so they can finally form that deadly 1-2 punch my team has been missing all-year. However, last weekend, I helped draft a team that I will actually get to talk to and see with my own eyes. Chances are unbearably significantly high that I never get to strategize with Dustin Pedroia about defensive shifts and suicide squeezes.
Just like that, a fantasy tournament is anything but that. In a few weeks, I’ll be playing with players that I never dreamed possible. I’ll be sharing the quaffle with Mike Parada, a guy who I haven’t stepped on the same field with since he almost single handedly beat us at this last World Cup. Facebook tells me that Sarah Kneiling and I became friends in February and then, if I recall correctly, we spoke about the idea of one day finally getting Emerson and LSU to face-off in the one quidditch match that seemingly refuses to happen.
While Sarah and I very well may never play against each other, it absolutely blows my mind that we’ll play together on the same squad in a few weeks. During the draft when the incredible, and unsurprisingly suave auctioneer, Andrew Canto counted down on Sarah, Zach and I did not have the highest bid. For anyone to be hovering around 200 galleons while ballin’ (bidding) on a budget was a tough choice to either continue or pull out.
“Sarah going once…”
Zach and I looked at each other before asking at the same time: “What should we do?” Silence took up an excruciatingly long time before Zach said: “Your call.”
“Sarah going twice…”
And in my most applicable #YOLO situation of all-time, I frantically made up my mind and managed to get the winning bid in on one of the best beaters in the world. If YOLO didn’t apply to a one-time, one-day tournament with a bunch of your favorite QuidKids, where does it?
But above all, it finally gives me names to my new family. People that I will hopefully bond with over the next few weeks have a real face. A pretty face that I just want to throw a quaffle to on some silly ally-oop or dope assist. As much as I beg and plead Jon Lester to stop being terrible, he’ll never hear it. But on the flip side, I can always talk to my new teammates and that’s a feeling I’ve never felt in fantasy sports.
JAM CITY SWAG finally took shape this past weekend, despite Zach’s firm dislike of our name that has undoubtedly taken the event by storm, and it almost feels unreal. Hopefully the next few weeks bring friendship and strategy, laughs and some serious quidditch. Hopefully we’ll be champions—but if not, I’ll be happy enough with some new friends. This is a real team that exists and will play a real sport together in a few weeks. That is a feeling that will forever irreplaceable.
Of course, it wouldn’t be quidditch if I didn’t have our very own Matt Lowe pestering me. As soon as the draft went live, Matt wouldn’t stop asking me if I was going to draft him. I openly told him that I was trying to save money for a buddy but with our mass number of dope guy chasers already, it wasn’t exactly a done deal that I could promise with certainty that I’d get one of my teammates. Hell, I tried to and unsuccessfully went after Todd Mitchell and Chris Seto—our other two teammates participating. Somehow, we got him, one of the final pieces to our big family.
Looks like I narrowly avoided being fired for another week.
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