When it comes to your fantasy football draft, under-preparedness can lead to disastrous results, i.e., choosing Tiki Barber in the first round, or any member of the Cleveland Browns in any round. Before you stack your roster, bone up at ESPN The Magazine's Ultimate Draft Party, 6pm Wednesday at the 40/40 Club.
The Ultimate Draft Party, presented by DIRECTV and Verizon Wireless, is a spectator event that also serves as a Fantasy Football primer: a live, 10-round affair in which NFL greats and other celebs pick current players, then have their selections held up to withering criticism from moderator Matthew Berry, ESPN's "Senior Director of Fantasy" (seriously, that's his title). Among the pretend GMs are Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas, Giants super-backer Carl Banks, Refrigerator "William" Perry, and trivia meister Howie Schwab -- host of ESPN's Stump the Schwab, and bearer of the most imaginative nickname in sports ("The Schwab"). As if the prospect of learning from these legends' horrendous mistakes weren't enough, there will also be free beer and food from 6-8pm. Better, from 6-8pm, there will be free beer.
To attend, email in your eagerness, and show up early to get in on the aforementioned beer. Flashing either your Verizon Wireless phone or DIRECTV bill will let you bypass the line--so you'll have more time to absorb the priceless insight that should help you avoid drafting a running back who'll spend this fall hosting a morning show.