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My younger son, Bertie, is a regular listener to Spitballers Comedy Podcast. Every episode, the presenters do a ‘mock draft’ inspired by American Football mock drafts, where participants recruit different players to their fantasy team. On the podcast, mock drafts revolve around totally different topics, for example, bands or artists you might select to play at your own festival. When everyone has selected four items, in this case, four bands to add to the line-up, the draft stops and the public votes on their favourite team via online polls.

One day, when we were in a restaurant and I’d forgotten the playing cards, Bertie explained the concept of the mock draft and suggested that we conduct our own ‘food draft’. We took it in turns to pick food we would serve up and then all voted on the meal we each liked the sound of most. When the draft was complete, everyone simultaneously pointed to the person who they think chose the best options. Nobody was allowed vote for themselves. The person with the most votes won. The game was an instant hit and we moved quickly on to another round with another category.

Mock drafts work well when you don’t have much (or any) playing space – in the car, on a walk or in a queue. Rounds are quick and there’s no need to keep track of scores (though you can do so if you want to create a major seasonal championship). 

When running your own mock draft, to make the selection fairer, reverse the order of the players on the second and fourth picks. 

Rounds 1 & 3

Rounds 2 & 4

You may also find it useful for someone to record everyone’s selections. It is surprising how easy it is to forget what you’ve already selected when you’re busy thinking about your next pick. Choose any category you like, or pick from these suggestions:

  • Countries to visit on your most amazing holiday.
  • Fictional characters to spend an evening with.
  • Dishes to make up a four course meal.
  • Places to go on a fabulous day trip.
  • Fictional lands to travel for a year.
  • Animals to keep as pets.
  • Board games to play in a day-long tournament.
  • TV shows to watch in your ‘Route to Midnight’.
  • Films to watch on a rainy Sunday.
  • Books to read in a week.
  • Members of the extended family to take on holiday (contentious?)
  • Toppings for a pizza.

Pick your favourites for your team, but remember, others have to vote for you. It’s no good picking mushrooms and garlic for your pizza (even if they are your favourites) if nobody else can stand them.  This week we were doing a nostalgic film draft. I was smashing it and getting lots of positive noises until my fourth pick, Dirty Dancing, lost me the game. Surprising?