Welcome back to MMH Fantasy Drafts!
In honor of the forthcoming release of Space Jam 2: A New Legacy, we are going to do a draft that harkens back to the first film in the Space Jam saga… Space Jam 1. In that movie, aliens called “monstars” used sci-fi shit to suck the basketball skills out of a bunch of NBA stars, and place it in themselves.
In this draft, we will be doing the same thing for ourselves, but we will not be limited to just basketball (though that is an option). You can siphon any discrete skill out of any living person, and gain that skill for yourself. (And just so you don’t have to feel guilty, let’s say you’re copying it instead of stealing.)
The rules are:
- You have to provide the person and the skill or ability you are taking.
- Only living, real-life people can be drafted. No fictional or dead people.
- The skills have to be uniquely identifiable, so like in Space Jam, “basketball.” Other examples might be “acting” or “freestyle rapping.”
- Like in Space Jam, sports skills and musical skills have to be limited to one field, so just one sport or instrument or skill, not “good at all music,” because…
- Once a person or skill has been drafted, it is off the board.
- However, no matter the age of the person you use, you get their skills from their prime, and it never fades.
The draft order will be Dave, Cody, Erin.
Unlike how we usually do it, this draft will NOT be a snake draft, so it will go 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, the whole way through.
We will go for 5 rounds.
Ready, set, draft!
Dave: Having the first overall pick is kind of overwhelming. There are so many different directions you can go in!
That being said, I think I’ve got it figured out. Some of my more interesting picks from later on in my draft board are highly unlikely to be sniped, and bring with them very useful skills. Which means that I can afford to spend the 1.1 on something flashy, on a skill that I have always wished I had. Something like, the skills of a celebrity chef…
Dave, Round 1, Pick 1: Tom Colicchio – Cooking
Cody: Going practical, Dave, I like it. I am going occupational with mine. My dream was always to be a screenwriter. It turned out that you have to be “talented” or “good with words” or “a connected white man” in order to do that. Alas. The West Wing is my favorite show so with pick 1.2, I am taking…
Cody, Round 1, Pick 2: Aaron Sorkin – Screenwriting Talent
I will be using my judgment to treat women better, but the walk and talks will be all pure Sorkin.
Dave: I kicked around authors but never thought of screenwriters. Probably because of what you said about the Hollywood pecking order- still, steal from the best.
Erin: I like your amendment to your Sorkin-talent Cody! I’m going to take practical skills to the next level for my first pick. I’ve always really respected people that can survive on their own in the wild. The ones you want by your side in the zombie apocalypse. So with that being said, my 1.3 pick is going to be…
Erin, Round 1, Pick 3: Les Stroud, aka “Survivorman” – Survival Skills
Erin: I think this draft is really about a personal journey.
Dave: Yep, hence the people I picked to participate.
Dave: Alright. I suppose you could call this pick similar.
I’ve always wanted to have insane fighting skills without having to do any work to earn them. It’s not so much that I want to beat the shit out of anyone; more that I want the confidence that comes from the knowledge that I could beat the shit out of anyone whenever I want to.
I took a gander through some of the best MMA fighters and picked one of the guys who’s not only good but close to my size. That 29 fights, 29 wins record is pretty attractive, too.
Dave, Round 2, Pick 1: Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov – Fighting
Cody: I debated fighting skills as well, but my pick is still on the board.
I am going to save that pick and go with my most obvious choice. I write about basketball for MMH. I want to be good at basketball. This is a Monstars draft. Give me Michael Jordan’s talent with my second pick. I can’t wait to find out what it feels like to jump more than 4 inches off the ground.
Cody, Round 2, Pick 2: Michael Jordan – Basketball
Dave: I am floored that you went Jordan over Lebron.
Cody: I have my reasons.
Erin: One thing I’ve realized about doing this draft is how few real living people I truly admire. Sometimes there are some evil people who have some great skills. Although I’m a little scared of creating an Abrodolph Lincoler ala Rick and Morty, for my next pick I’m going to take…
Erin, Round 2, Pick 3: Elon Musk – Business Savvy
Erin: Cause, I’m trying to get paaaid.
Dave: Oh Erin. He doesn’t have any.
Erin: His bank account begs to differ. His marketing and self-promotion is unrivaled IMO.
Dave: Alright, I’m going to take a page out of Erin’s book a little bit. Not her terrible second pick, but her pretty good first one.
There’s always the chance that things could go sideways in life. From epic civilizational collapse to the mundane need for employable skills. As Erin knows, I once watched a television program- which I will not name- where some plane crash survivors determined that the most important person among them was the doctor. It makes sense; medical skills are essential in desperate situations.
I’m going to suck the medical skills out of Paul McCormick. Who is he? He’s a world-class neurosurgeon, the Director of The Spine Hospital at the Neurological Institute, the Blah Blah Professor of Neurological Surgery at Blah Blah Blah- you get the point. I’m a badass doctor.
Dave, Round 3, Pick 1: Paul McCormick – Medical Skills
Cody: For my third pick, I would love to have the musical chops of Yo-Yo Ma. I’ve always loved classical music–I know nothing about it, but I love the ‘Ma. The video of him playing while waiting for the vaccine is awesome.
Cody, Round 3, Pick 2: Yo-Yo Ma – Cello
Dave: On this one, you must be limited to a single instrument. Since you’re taking Ma, I assume you’re going cello? Because you could always suck out his talent for the trombone.
Cody: For sure, the cello.
Dave: Lovely instrument.
Erin: I am going to follow your lead Cody, my next pick is purely for pleasure. I will take the sweet siren song of Joni Mitchell.
Erin, Round 3, Pick 3: Joni Mitchell – Singing
Dave: Ah, damn. Singing is gone. I was very curious who the singer was going to be.
Now it gets interesting. With only two options left, we really need to dig deep for some of these…
Okay, I am going to turn to something a little bit more ineffable. But it is something you can have skill and ability at.
I am going to target Javier Bardem, and pull out his seductive cool, aka his mojo.
Dave, Round 4, Pick 1: Javier Bardem – Seductive Skills/Mojo
Dave: For the record, there is an entire Austin Powers movie attesting to this being a thing.
Cody: His scenes in No Country For Old Men really got my engine revving.
Dave: Even then, there’s no denying the charisma.
Cody: I held on to this pick longer than I probably should have given the clamor I anticipated for this talent. I want to be the best at the coolest talent ever. I want to be the object of envy at any party I attend. I want the magic skills of David Blaine. Particularly his illusion/close-up work, not the spectacle stunts. I will be awesome.
Cody, Round 4, Pick 2: David Blaine – Magic/Sleight of Hand
Dave: I considered this!
Erin: Quick question is mojo and charm the same thing?
Dave: Kinda? I considered it “seductiveness.”
Erin: I’m gonna say it pretty much is, so I guess I’ll have to change from my original next pick, also a little abstract, but I’m going to take…
Erin, Round 4, Pick 3: Tina Turner’s Resilience
Erin: Nothing can stop me now.
Still so many cool choices. But I have to finish off with this one because… All of my picks so far have been building myself out as a person. Giving myself useful skills, confidence, a sense of cool– all great, but a giant question still looms: What am I going to do for a job?
Yeah, I have the doctor stuff, but that’s just a fall-back in case of emergency (or if I want to impress someone at a party). What do I actually want for my career?
Well I’ll tell ya, something fun.
I’m aiming my talent-sucker straight at…
Erin: How would you impress someone at a party as a spine surgeon Dave? Break their spine then fix it?
Cody: Yeah, that doesn’t make any sense.
Dave: I’m sorry, does “By the way, in my spare time I’m a neurosurgeon!” NOT impress people?
Cody: I have my basketball career, and my Hollywood career for the offseason. So my final pick is the opposite of yours, Dave. I am building myself out as a person. If being a magician doesn’t attract friends, then I also want to be funny. I want to snap up the comedic timing and stylings of Will Ferrell. Prime Will could get a laugh out of me with just a word. Or a look. He’s an icon. I’ll take the ability to make someone laugh by yelling “get off the shed.”
Cody, Round 5, Pick 2: Will Ferrell – Comic Ability
Erin: Man, I was also going to choose comedy, really mad about this third-pick-no-snake position Dave, lol.
Dave: Just trying something new, sorry.
Erin: Well, when I’m not singing or living off the land that I own because I’m rich, I want to draw the people in with my charisma, so for my final pick I’ll take…
Erin, Round 5, Pick 3: Barack Obama – Oratory
Erin: With this combination, I’m feeling pretty sure I could change the world.
Cody: Obama was on my board as well.
Dave: Mine too!
Final Thoughts and Honorable Mentions
Dave: This was a ton of fun, guys. As a draft, this was something new, and I count it as a raging success.
Cody: You clearly have the soul of a scientist, Dave. That’s not even a crack. Your choices reflect a level of calculation.
Dave: Haha, that’s not what I usually get on those personality tests. I usually pull something more like “absent-minded professor.”
Cody: I gotta say, my “skills” section on my resume is going to be killer. I can write like Sorkin, I can ball like Jordan, I can move hearts like Yo-Yo, and I can blow minds like Blaine. Topping it all off with lines from Anchorman is fantastic. I can’t wait for this to happen in real life.
Dave: *Sigh* Yeah, the only downside is now I’m kinda depressed, just being myself.
Erin: Has this process instilled you with a fire for self-improvement?
Dave: More like a desire for instant gratification.
Cody: I feel very lucky to have gotten pretty much everyone on my board. The only skill I wanted that I had to audible on was cooking. Good job by Dave taking that first pick. Even still, I feel really good about my choices. In looking back on them, all of my choices are some form of entertainment. That’s not to say I made these choices for anyone else. I value all of these talents. But it is unusual that they are all performative in some way. Who knew?
That all said, “Tina Turner’s resilience” as a pick really proved to me that we were playing in different sandboxes. Haha.
Erin: I have a few honorable mentions, such as…
- Paul Rudd – Charm
- Paul Rudd – Agelessness
- FKA Twigs – Dancing
- AOC – Passion
Dave: My draft board was huge, but I’ll share a few options that didn’t make it:
- Ian McKellan – Acting
- Mads Mikkelson – Coolness
- AOC – Social Media skills
- Ben Harper – Singing
- Danger Mouse – Producing
- Tom Brady – Discipline/Work Ethic
- Magnus Carlsen – Chess
- Simone Biles – Gymnastics
Cody: My draft board was a napkin, but I had a few other honorable mentions:
- Usain Bolt – Speed
- Patrick Mahomes – Football Throwing and Hair
- Brad Pitt – Cool Factor
- Robert Frost – Poetry
- Vincent Van Gogh – Painting
Here are the final teams. After that, it’s up to you, the audience, to vote on who did the best job. (And what “the best job” means, that’s up to you!)
- Tom Colicchio – Cooking
- Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov – Fighting
- Neurosurgeon Paul McCormick – Medical Skills
- Javier Bardem – Seductive Skills/Mojo
- Daniel Negraneau – Poker
- Aaron Sorkin – Writing Talent
- Michael Jordan – Basketball
- Yo-Yo Ma – Cello
- David Blaine – Magic/Sleight of Hand
- Will Ferrell – Comic Ability
- Les Stroud, aka “Survivorman” – Survival Skills
- Elon Musk – Business Savvy
- Joni Mitchell – Singing
- Tina Turner’s – Resilience
- Barack Obama – Oratory