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Bracket Busting: Our Attempt to Bring Home the FFPC Super Bracket Tourney Title

High-stakes writers Monty Phan and John Lapinski chronicle their entry in the FFPC Super Bracket contest.

Monty: There’s a little-known rule about signing up for live drafts in the week leading up to the start of the NFL season: If you’ve got kids in grade school, always check to see when Back to School Night is. I’ve had at least one kid in school for a decade, so you’d think I would know this by now, considering my wife has the office job and I’m usually the parent who has to go to these things.

The reason this rule is little-known is because I didn’t know it, which is also because I made it up like five minutes ago. But for damn sure, it’s a rule now!

Back in July, fellow writer John Lapinski and I decided to sign up for the FFPC Super Bracket, a contest where 96 teams are spread out among eight 12-team leagues. The top four finishers in each league then compete in a bracket-style head-to-head tournament during weeks 12-16 to determine the contest winner. We thought it would be a good replacement for the Terminated! series that chronicled each of our entries in the Terminator best-ball contest the previous two years.1

The online draft, in which each team gets 90 seconds for each pick, was to take place on Sept. 3. We had the sixth pick. Neither of us had any conflicts – until I was looking at the calendar for the high school, at which my daughter was entering her freshman year. Yes, Back to School Night was the same time and day as our draft. Well, I thought, that’s what smartphones are for, to help draft a fantasy football team while pretending to listen to your daughter’s teachers inform you of what she will learn during some of the most formative years of her life EXCEPT THAT OH MY GOD THIS SCHOOL AUDITORIUM LITERALLY HAS NO CELL SERVICE!

You can see the theme of our draft discussion in the Slack messages John and I traded while he drafted.

One of the low points in my parenting history is when I listened to my daughter’s French teacher give her spiel while I stood about 10 feet outside her classroom in the hallway because the cell service there was better and I wanted to monitor our draft. So when you see that John took Kenyan Drake, just know I had nothing to do with that pick.2

John:Fortunately, Monty and I had planned out our picks for the first three rounds, so despite me both drinking, and drafting, for two,3 there wasn’t much drama to start the draft. If David Johnson was available, we were taking him. If he wasn’t, it was either Travis Kelce or Deandre Hopkins. From there, if we got Johnson, then there was a list of wide receivers and tight ends in rounds 2, 3 and 4, and if we didn’t get Johnson, well, we’d still probably be avoiding running backs unless a guy we really liked dropped below ADP.

The bottom line is, we had a plan for three rounds. That plan worked for three rounds. After that, I was flying more or less solo, trying to stick to the loose outline we had established for the later rounds and not make a pick that Monty would spend the next 16 weeks killing me for.

That’s not to say Monty wasn’t available. Monty was communicating on Slack, but it was like talking to a guy in a horror movie trying to hide from the killer. Short snippets of communication, never knowing if they might suddenly stop answering. Long dead periods where you think maybe they were finally gone for good. The call is coming from inside your daughter’s biology classroom! Run!

Things were falling our way right up until the seventh round, where they went off the rails. We had just one RB through the first six rounds, and I was getting antsy, with few exciting options left on the board. That’s when I lost my cool. Wild Card, Bitches!

First, the good news. The player we were targeting in the seventh, Will Fuller, did make it to our eighth-round pick. The bad news is that I didn’t expect that the 2019 Dolphins might be the worst team of the past decade. As Monty noted, it’s just one game, but not off to a good start.

I’d like to think that I made up for it by talking Monty into Darren Waller in the 10th, but I might never live it down if Drake doesn’t pick things up going forward.

Monty: We did win our first game, though, despite Drake’s scoring only 4.7 points as our worst offensive starter. Tune in next week, however, to find out what happens when we decided to replace Drake in our lineup with Ronald Jones, a guy who notched 0.9 points on Thursday — [call failed; no service.]

Image Credit: Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Deshaun Watson.

  1. I have drafted a Super Bracket team since 2015 with friends but we’ve never advanced to the tournament stage.  (back)
  2. Ha! I actually own Drake on a lot of teams, but that Week 1 result … yikes.  (back)
  3. Note: I have not confirmed that Montywasn’tdrinking during back to school night, but I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt.  (back)

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