The National Hockey League must have been listening to Schopp and the Bulldog over the past couple of years. They obviously have modeled Friday night's All-Star Fantasy Draft after the series they have heard on WGR - Sports Radio 550!
Follow along on the board below and check out the map as well.
4. New York
9. North Carolina
10. South Carolina
33. New Mexico
36. North Dakota
39. New Jersey
40. The Mississippi River
37. South Dakota
Greetings once again from the draft war room at WGR - Sports Radio 550! It's going to be hard to pick a winner of a state draft, but I'll try...even if I have some biases. Let's get it on!
1. TEXAS? OK - this is going to get interesting really quickly. Why you ask? Besides the fact I'm a Giants fan and detest most things from that state, I don't get this pick as #1. Who cares about the current state of its economy or really REALLY attractive people? Austin definitely is incredible but if I "own" the state, I'm rich, and I have to deal with Dallas and "those" people - Cowboys fans. Call me biased but I'll pass on Mike's first pick. Bulldog is definitely disappointed so watch to see if he reaches immediately.
2. Wow - This is going to be fun. Greg goes for Hawaii at #2. Schopp and the Bulldog immediately ripped this pick but I'm not so sure. Yes - it's a vacation place and it's really expensive to live there but come on folks...it's Hawaii! If you "own" a state, imagine the perks of this state. He's going to have to bring it though because of what is coming next
3. Last draft, Joe blew away the competition because Schopp, Bulldog and Bauch were completely stupid. How in the world does California slip to 3rd? I hate calling people stupid...mostly because I tell my kids stupid is a bad word but how stupid can stupid people be? What a great pick at 3! Joe is off and running!
4. Ummm...Remember what I said about Bulldog reaching? Look...we're all New Yorkers. I'm from New York City and I love Buffalo just as much. This is a tough pick because we love where we live but think of that one other place you might want in your stable. Bulldog...pick #5 better be good.
5. Surprise, surprise, surprise. Bulldog picks Florida...and Mike Schopp has the exact right line. "Wow...you sound exactly like everyone I know. They live in New York and Florida." If you are going to pick New York, Florida better be next. Very predictable for Bulldog but he does have a good start....if you can deal with the tourists that will invade your new homes....
6. Massachusetts. Folks - I can't tell you how much I love this pick. Again, I'm a little biased but if you've ever been to Boston, it is reason enough to draft the state. People watching here is even a sport...especially when the Sox lose. In fact, I root for that when I am there just to hear the accent and the anger. It's awesome. Joe even brought up the beer brewed there...which I totally forgot. Joe again is starting strong. Can you imagine looking and dealing with the people in both California and Massachusetts? Awesome.
7. I love Greg Bauch. If you have never met the man, trust me when I say he is easily the funniest guy I ever met and incredibly honest which is why this is going to hurt more than anything. You are insane....completely, totally insane. This is kind of like Stanford University picking the color Cardinal as a nickname. You have pretty much every choice open in the entire world and you pick something irrelevant (even though Alaska is beautiful as you said).
8. Mike redeems himself by picking maybe the most beautiful state I've ever been to...and happens to have the best beer in America as well. There is nothing better than watching a baseball game a mile high with a cold Fat Tire. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, go to Denver and give it a try.
9. North Carolina. Mike said "I love my draft right now." That's great Mike. Go smoke with your new friends in Charlotte and watch racing whenever possible...not that there is anything wrong with either activity. Like I said before, I'm incredibly biased and I would never want a state that has what I mentioned before plus the crazy Duke fans. Enjoy your new state without me.
10. Bauch needed a huge pick here to have any shot of staying in the race and chooses a gem. South Carolina may be the most misunderstood state in the Union, but if you haven't been there, you don't know what you are missing. Warm ocean, awesome food and beer (notice a trend?) and home to one of the best golf courses in America. Plus, Charleston may have the friendliest people in the nation.
11. OK - I'm moving in with Joe now. How in the world do you compete with cities like San Francisco, Boston and Las Vegas? Plus, if you want a resort, throw in Lake Tahoe. Place your bets on Buscaglia now. TAKE ME WITH YOU! I don't care if that sounds weird, but come on people...Joe is killing!
12. Bulldog goes off the board to grab Tennessee and I can't blame him. Folks may make fun of country music and a strange accent but this is another beautiful sate and completely unique. For a music guy who loves BBQ, who can't miss with this pick. Bulldog is still behind but he's staying true to himself and could be the one to watch to catch Joe.
13. See what I mean? Bulldog grabs Illinois/Chicago and begins his steep climb to Joe. Chicago is amazing for so many reasons but most of those are up Bulldog's alley - music, sports, beer, history and great people. Again, try Goose Island beer...you won't be disappointed. However, I'll praise Bulldog for another reason- fast food is HUGE in Illinois and home to McDonalds, Steak and Shake (YES!) and the famous Italian beef sandwiches in Chicago. For those who love to eat on the run, get with the Bulldog!
14. Joe is gong to be hard to beat as Buscaglia grabs Arizona. There are definite issues with this state with the weather but if you have ever been to Spring Training in Phoenix, you realize you could deal with that kind of heat as long as your A/C works. Other pluses include great golf courses, hockey tickets whenever you need them and possibly the most beautiful people on the planet.
15. And scene. Greg picks Michigan. Again, I love Greg Bauch and Michigan is a nice place. However, Greg just has no perspective here. Watch the next couple of states that go and then let Greg cry on your shoulder.
16. Let's talk Bauch. You love the outdoors and you pass on Mt. Ranier, the Washington coast line and Seattle. Schopp nails this pick and also points out he gets the Seattle music scene over Eminem. Score? Schopp 2...Bauch 0 (and I'm being nice).
17. Again, I have to agree with Mike with this pick although Bulldog is absolutely killing this pick. Ohio is another underrated state with great people and if you watch the Food Network, there is a ton (and I mean a ton) of great food here. Mike also is bragging about how his teams will destroy any team from Michigan as well.
ONE HOUR OF THE STATE DRAFT DONE! We're a little behind if the guys want to get to 40 states but it's been really fun so far. Joe Buscaglia is absolutely dominating the field but Bulldog is gaining steam. Both guys believed it was a deep draft and their research has paid off so far. Side note - How am I the program director and forced to write this blog while they get to have all of the fun? One day, I'll get in on one of these to take on Joe...someone has to stop this guy before he takes over the world.
18. Maybe I wrote Greg off early because Bauch picks a beauty at 18 - Louisiana. The weather might be a little sticky but holy cow is this a great state just because of one reason. MARDI GRAS! OK, I meant beads, but it's more fun to think of it as an entire festival. There may be other problems I'm not mentioning, but again the food, music and beer rock. Good for you Bauch. Maybe you don't suck.
19. Joe is a college football nut and chooses Georgia. He must be in heaven. I'm not but I totally forgot one other thing though. He mentions the female factor. Georgia is home to the worst sports fans in America next to Texas. They are homers and way too quiet. However, when you mix in the women of Georgia, I'll give him a pass here. Georgia is not a beer state and the traffic in Atlanta may be the worst in the country outside of LA. Watch out Joe....
20. OK Joe. You're safe. Bulldog makes a controversial pick because of probably some very good reasons. Montana sounds great but I really just spaced out when he said Montana trying to figure out what the heck I'd do in Montana and how in the world I'd get there. Seems like he could have done better...much much MUCH better.
21. Bulldog picked Pennsylvania and then doubled back and took Virginia instead. To be honest, I wish Bulldog would have picked these two states instead. Think of the cool things you can do around the DC/Philly area with this duo but instead Bulldog will waste away in some huge-ass state out West. Love the Virginia pick.
22. Joe Buscaglia is a genius...pure and simple. He's a Cardinals fan, loves beer and needed a solid home base to spend part of his summers. Nice "value" pick here and for those of you who has never had the "toasted raviolis," you are missing something big.
23. Bauch is trying his hardest to climb out of the gutter and does his best by grabbing maybe the best beer state in the Union. Portland is a gorgeous city and helps Greg diversify his holdings. That's code for 'yeesh you screwed up before." Plus, Bandon Dunes is supposed to be a great place to golf. Again, I'm completely biased...but right.
24. I'm way far behind here and that's because I'm getting more and more jealous of the guys on the air. How awesome is it to just declare where you going to live, drink, golf and eat? I totally missed my opportunity here. Oh yeah, Mike picked Maryland which is great if you want to live in between Philly and DC. Mike, what is so great about Maryland besides the crabs...which you can eat in every other state? This is a big whiff. If you wanted to be by DC..you should have hit Virginia.
25.Now this is the sleeper pick of the draft. Granted...you don't want to be there in the winter, but Maine is simply cool. Quick story, I actually ate french fries made in duck fat at a restaurant called Duck Far and to top it off...had a duck sandwich with an incredible beer. That alone makes Maine awesome. Now, add in nice people and the most unique coastline you'll ever see and you have a great state. Folks - don't miss Maine. In fact, bypass any trip you've ever thought of to Maryland and go to Maine.
26. Bauch might be out of the basement with this pick...Vermont! Why Vermont? For those of you who do not know about Magic Hat Beer and Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream, turn off your computer and get to Vermont now. For those of you who don't want to do that, you have no business being an American.
27. Joe adds what he calls a sleeper sate - Utah. He's lying through his teeth. Joe told me earlier that he wanted that state for one reason. Polygamy. Again, Joe knows what he is doing. He's got the right places to live, find women and corral them in one state. Wow. All I can say is wow.
28. Bulldog follows up the genius of Joe Buscaglia and for some reason picks Wyoming. I've been to Wyoming...in fact to a state park that contains mountains called Maidenform Peak and the Grand Tetons. Completely awe-inspiring, but I think Bulldog again passes up some better places. Bulldog could fall out of second if he doesn't watch out.
29. Bulldog, mesmerized by Joe Buscaglia's brilliance, picks one of the best college football places in America, Alabama. Bulldog quickly points out that there has been a ton of great music made here and that Alabama is a growth state. For a 7th state, not bad at all. Howard Simon also tells me that the BBQ in this state was amazing! Could Bulldog hold on to #2?
30. Joe is so far ahead he may not be able to blow it but someone has to tell me why Minnesota is a state to pick here. Joe said something about hockey but this is a ridiculous pick. He missed the easy pick which is....
31. WISCONSIN! Quick question. Anyone ever had the sausage platter at Mader's in Milwaukee with a glass boot of German beer? Anyone golf at Kohler? Folks - google these things, write them down on your bucket list and go to Wisconsin to see the Brewers' mascot slide down at Miller Park.
32. Schopp is devastated and reminds me of Bulldog. The young guys are destroying our afternoon hosts and I love it. Reeling, Schopp picks Kentucky which is not a bad pick. The Derby is yours and trust me...it only ranks second to Mardi Gras as far as parties go in the United States. Mike - you might want to see if you can find a good drink in this state...I think you might find some GREAT places...and that is not sarcastic.
33. For those of you who don't know, Mike has been sick basically for January and the pain of losing Minnesota and Wisconsin may have put him over the edge. Flustered, he trades New Mexico to Bauch who seemed to jump up and down on the air when he completed the acquisition. Great value pick by Greg who completes his day. We'll have to see if his late surge saved his day.
34. In the trade, Mike received Greg's next pick and again couldn't figure out what to take and begged Bauch for help. While Bulldog yelled and screamed that this was wrong, Bauch blurted out Pennsylvania sending Bulldog into a semmingly dark place. Again, this is why I wanted to be in studio. How can these guys allow in-team consults? That is insulting and Bulldog should have hauled off and slapped someone. I don't support violence but the only other proper reaction was to curse Mike and Greg out on the air which would have gotten us all fired. As the self-appointed judge here, I'm going to place Schopp 4th for this violation. On second thought...I like my job.
35. Joe Buscaglia wraps up the top seed even though the draft isn't over yet with the selection of Indiana. Think of the great college basketball you could watch plus the people in Indiana are amazing...especially the college students at Purdue. Yes, I'm kissing up to my wife here but I really do like the people from Indiana. Can't miss here.
36/37 Bulldog picks both North and South Dakota and declares the land "his place to live. I'm going to put up a big fence." My question is why? I have friends who live out there and they love it but I really don't think you need to worry about people crowding you out there. Unless Bauch screws up big time, Bulldog just slipped to 3rd.
38. Anyone who wants french fries now goes through Joe. WINNER WINNER WINNER!
39. My goodness. I've lived in Jersey and my daughter is from there. My favorite team in the world plays there. Schopp picks New Jersey because it's close to New York. Why in the heck is that a great reason to pick a state? If you are going for Jersey, pick a good reason. That is pathetic. Too tough? I think not. Horrible reasoning to pick Jersey
40. Again, I love Greg Bauch. In fact, I'm worried I've used the word love so many times when describing Greg. However, how do you draft a river in a state draft? Yes, Greg Bauch drafted the Mississippi River. It's definitely a huge part of America but not a state. Bauch and Bulldog tie for 2nd/3rd.
So, what was missed? Iowa (CORN, CORN, CORN), Connecticut (HOME TO ESPN), New Hampshire (AMAZING BEER AND COAST LIKE MAINE), Rhode Island (GOOGLE NEWPORT) - Schopp should be ashamed...and Bauch could have grabbed the Silver with any one of these states.
The bottom disrespected states? Delaware, West Virginia, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas. I don't know if I would have taken points off for these, but there were definitely opportunities missed.
Thanks for being a part of the state draft and make sure to leave your comments below