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To Kevin, et al.

Subject: Well, it's not a 'fantasy' exactly

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While friends back home are studying grocery store magazines, analyzing Internet tip sheets and stocking up on cheap beer for their fantasy football drafts, I can't help but feel a little left out. So I'm glad that earlier today, prior to Michael Phelps setting the Olympic pool on fire and Katie Hoff winning her first Olympic medal, we were able to conduct the official draft for the Official Baltimore Sun and baltimoresun.com 2008 Beijing Olympics Swimming Pool Pool.

The rules are simple. We each draft a team of American swimmers competing at the Olympics. A gold medal earns 5 points, a silver 3 and a bronze 1. Because there's one guy in the field who frankly belongs in his own swimming pool, the draftee who earns the second pick will then sit out the second round. So, one of us gets Phelps and the other gets two consecutive picks. Also, as an added bonus, we have a special Foreigner Round. There was much discussion about this, and as true Americans and patriots, we couldn't justify awarding full points to the international swimmers. So we can each select three swimmers from other countries. For these swimmers, a gold is good for 2 points and a silver 1.

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We'll still have to work out what exactly is at stake here, but we'll come up with something good. (Of course, this is all in clean fun.)

We didn't have a coin -- apparently they do not exist in China -- but I won the draw. (Which likely means I've already won the fantasy league.)

For your records, Kevin, here are the results of our draft. I'll post updated standings later. I'd wish you luck, but it doesn't really matter. I'm riding Phelps all the way to the top of the Official Baltimore Sun and baltimoresun.com 2008 Beijing Olympics Swimming Pool Pool.

Maese’s Magical Sea of Merpeople

1. Michael Phelps, 200 IM, 400 IM, 200 free, 100 fly, 200 fly, 4x100 free relay, 4x100 medley relay 4x200 free relay

4. Peter Vanderkaay, 200 free, 400 free, 1,500 free, 4x200 free relay

6. Elizabeth Beisel, 200 back, 400 IM

8. Dara Torres, 4x100 free relay, 100 free

10. Garrett Weber-Gale, 50 free, 100 free, 4x100 free

12. Kate Ziegler, 400 free, 800 free

15. Margaret Hoelzer, 100 back, 200 back

Foreigners:

Kirsty Coventry, Zimbabwe

Alain Bernard, France

Earmon Sullivan, Australia

KVV’s Chlorine Junkies

2. Katie Hoff, 200 IM, 400 IM, 200 free, 400 free, 800 free, 4x200 free relay

3. Natalie Coughlin, 100 back, 200 IM, 100 free, 4x100 free relay

5. Ryan Lochte, 200 IM, 400 IM, 200 back, 4x200 free relay

7. Aaron Peirsol, 100 back, 200 back

9. Jason Lezak, 100 free, 4x100 free relay

11. Ian Crocker, 100 butterfly

13. Brendan Hansen, 100 breast

15. Ben Wildman-Tobriner, 50 free, 4x100 free relay

Foreigners:

Libby Trickett, Australia

Leisel Jones, Australia

Grant Hackett, Australia

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