The draft for the Yahoo Mayoral Face-off
is in the books and local boys Gavin Newsom and Ron Dellums have crafted rosters that resemble the mayors themselves -- flawed, but interesting.
The Fantasy Football challenge
pits 11 mayors -- and one Yahoo cubicle jockey
-- in a contest to determine who will win $30,000 for a charity in his or her home city.
Neither hometown mayor likely took the lead role in drafting his team; Newsom spokesman Nathan Ballard told us that, since the mayor was "knee deep in a press conference" this morning, a "trusted aid" would be manning the laptop. Whoever Gavin knighted his director of football operations, he or she did a decent job -- but made the rookie mistake of stocking up with players from the hometown team. Newsom's "Barbary Coast Bombers" feature 49ers running back Frank Gore, tight end Vernon Davis, and kicker Joe Nedney on the potential starting squad. All of these are fairly solid choices -- but you know what they say about the relative number of eggs one ought to place in one's basket. If the Niners lose a game 38-7, odds are Newsom gets no production from a trio of his starters.
That being said, Newsom does have a more than decent roster
to work with. His starting quarterback is Peyton Manning, and his backup is Carson Palmer; both are big numbers guys. Gore is poised for a breakout year and the tight end tandem of Davis and Jeremy Shockey is strong. That being said, the youthful Newsom rolled the dice drafting a pair of rookie running backs, Knowshon Moreno and Shonn Greene. Also, Newsom's wide receiver corps, Chad Ochocinco (nee
Johnson), Santana Moss, and rookie Percy Harvin is questionable.
Moving across the Bay, Dellums showed solidarity with fellow fossil Kurt Warner, and made him the starting QB for Dellums Dynamites
. If Kurt, say, breaks his hip like many old folks are wont to do, Dellums will be handing the ball to second-year slinger Joe Flacco. That's not a winning proposition in fantasy sports, which emphasize statistics generation over wins.
While Dellums' receiver corps (Santonio Holmes, DeSean Jackson, Donald Driver) could create problems for him, his backfield is solid. Running backs DeAngleo Williams and Brandon Jacobs combined to score 35 touchdowns last year. Meanwhile, tight end Tony Gonzalez could be the best pass-catcher to ever play that position. But Dellums' bench is a mixed bag. Perhaps out of a misplaced sense of solidarity, he felt the need to put a couple of Oakland Raiders on his roster. Justin Fargas -- yes, his dad played Huggy Bear in Starsky and Hutch
-- is not a bad player -- but won't amount to much in fantasy games carrying the ball for a dismal Raiders squad. Dellums, additionally, has also made the same mistake Al Davis did -- he drafted Darrius Heyward-Bey.
Who stocked the better team? It's hard to say. But we won't have to wait long to get an indicator. Newsom and Dellums square off in Week One, which culls statistics from NFL games played between Sept. 10 and Sept. 14 (We're told the opening week Battle of the Bay was a coincidence).
May the best mayor -- or cubicle jockey -- win.