Pearl Jam Fantasy Draft Recap and Predictions – Matt Cameron League
Fantasy sports leagues have been growing in popularity for years and years, and with a new tour (37 shows scheduled for 2022, the most since 2006), it’s time to bring back the Pearl Jam Fantasy Leagues. These have a connection to the podcast, as the idea for the show was born out of Randy’s experience in the 2018 league.
The idea is simple. If Pearl Jam plays a song that you have, you get points. The rarer the song, the more points you get. 1 point for common songs, 2 points for cover songs, 3 points for uncommon songs, and 5 points for rare songs. If they play 2 or more of your songs in a row, you get a streak multiplier. The leagues are expanded for 2022, with leagues named after all of Pearl Jam’s drummers.
Recently, the Matt Cameron league, featuring myself, Randy, former LO4L host Matt, Dave from livefootsteps.org, Brian and Patrick from the Hallucinogenic Recipe podcast, Branden from the Better Band Podcast, and Andrew Taylor from tayloredprints.com, had our draft. I thought it would be fun to break it all down and make some half serious, half tongue-in-cheek predictions. You can follow along throughout the tour on LiveFootsteps at https://livefootsteps.org/LO4L_fantasy/. Let’s take a look at how it played out. I ended up with the first pick thanks to a random order generator, so we’ll start with my “team”:
John’s Team: Hard To Imagine Losing
Picks: Rockin’ In The Free World/Seven O’Clock/RVM/Indifference/Comfortably Numb/Just Breathe/River Cross/Love Boat Captain/Leash/Comes Then Goes/Army Reserve/Future Days/Off He Goes/Mankind/Don’t Gimme No Lip/Angel
Sleeper Pick: Comes Then Goes
Maybe A Reach: Comfortably Numb
Having the luxury of the first pick, I knew I was taking RITFW. Covers are worth 2 points, and this one’s getting played almost every night. That makes it easily the #1 song on the board. From there, I wanted to make sure I had a good complement of Gigaton songs. I decided to focus my picks on songs that usually come at the end of the main set and the encores, hoping to get some streak multiplier points that way. I didn’t feel great about taking Comfortably Numb that early, but cover songs were being picked fast and furious, so I felt I had to grab one. I took both Stone songs, I couldn’t imagine not getting points when he sings. I’ve since dropped Army Reserve for Man Of The Hour, hopefully adding another song to that encore 1 cluster. If this strategy pays off, along with the 3 Gigaton songs (tied for the most of any team), it could be a very good finish.
Odds of winning: 5-1
Predicted finish: #1. Getting RITFW makes me the early favorite, although if they abandon the encore 1 cool down, it could all go wrong.
Dave’s Team: LiveFootsteps In The Hall
Sleeper Pick: Release
Maybe A Reach: Garden
Dave grabbed Alive with the 2nd overall pick, guaranteed points on the board. He also took a Gigaton song in the 2nd round, although he only ended up with one. This is a solid set of songs, heavy on the Ten era. Getting Release in Round 6 was a steal, it could pair with SBWM early on in the set, but I don’t see a lot of opportunities for streak multipliers. Taking Garden in Round 3 is questionable, it’s worth points as an uncommon song, but I don’t think it gets played enough to justify that high of a pick. On paper, this doesn’t look like the strongest team, although time will tell.
Odds of winning: 18-1
Predicted finish: #7. Could move up if they go hard on Ten songs and deep cuts this year.
Brian’s Team: Happy When I’m Winning
Picks: Even Flow/Given To Fly/Baba O’Riley/Never Destination/Masters Of War/Blood/Mind Your Manners/Once/Not For You/You Are/Breath/Undone/Down/Habit/Of The Girl/Hold On
Sleeper Pick: Not For You
Maybe A Reach: Blood
This is a strong set of songs, especially the middle section, where he was able to get Breath, You Are, Once, Down, and Not For You, which should be solid choices. Baba is the next best cover after Rockin’, and pairing it with Masters of War is a good strategy. Taking Blood, Habit, and Mind Your Manners is a gamble, if they start to phase out the harder parts of the set those might not get played as much as they have in the past.
Odds of winning: 15-1
Predicted finish: #6
Patrick’s Team: SuperBoegel Wolfmoon
Sleeper Pick: Long Road
Maybe A Reach: Society
Patrick went hard on Vitalogy, grabbing the 3 best picks off that record early. He has 2 Gigaton songs, Alright and Buckle Up, which could pay off nicely, especially if they get played back to back. The back half of the picks could be steals, Smile, In Hiding, and All Night will most likely see their share of setlists, but I have a feeling Society, Getaway, Get It Back, Get Right, and Strangest Tribe won’t be contributing very many points to the total. If those early picks work out perfectly, and the back half holds its own, it could be a strong finish.
Odds of winning: 10-1
Predicted finish: #4
Randy’s Team: Steal, Lie, and Trust
Sleeper Pick: Present Tense
Maybe A Reach: Sonic Reducer
Randy was the only one who took two Gigaton songs with his first two picks, Dance and Quick Escape, and they will probably end up being the two most played songs on the entire tour. This is a very balanced set of songs that should play out very nicely. Present Tense was a steal in the 6th round, I was surprised to see it still on the board that late. Let Me Sleep is one of the better rare song options, it’s in the middle of a (small) resurgence that could see it get played a few times. This team has a higher floor than most, and that should ensure a high finish. Could easily win the whole thing if things break the right way.
Odds of winning: 6-1
Predicted finish: #2. Most balanced team in the league.
Matt’s Team: Heeeey Brother
Picks: Porch/Do the Evolution/State of Love and Trust/Jeremy/Low Light/Nothingman/Wishlist/Unthought Known/Fuckin’ Up/All Along The Watchtower/Of the Earth/Leatherman/Sleight of Hand/Sleeping By Myself/Education/Out Of My Mind
Sleeper Pick: Wishlist
Maybe A Reach: Fuckin’ Up
In what might be the talking point of the entire draft, Matt was unable to be present, so his team was auto-drafted from a predetermined list of songs, and it ended up…pretty damn good!? Nothing from Gigaton, which keeps him from a higher spot right now, but maybe the best collection of common songs in the league? Will rack up points from those top 8 songs. He might not get a lot of flashy scores, but he’ll be in the running at the end.
Odds of winning: 8-1
Predicted finish: #3
Branden’s Team: Sweet Lose
Picks: Yellow Ledbetter/Dirty Frank/Retrograde/Who Ever Said/W.M.A./Take The Long Way/Hail, Hail/Dissident/Gone/Sirens/Arms Aloft/MFC/Life Wasted/Brother/U/Best Of You
Sleeper Pick: Sirens
Maybe A Reach: Dirty Frank
Has any team ever depended on one song like this before? After its comeback at the Earthling shows, Dirty Frank will be the main story of this tour. Will it get played every night? Or not at all? If it’s the former, Branden could run away with the title. If not, it could be a long year. Taking 3 Gigaton songs was a great strategy, and that will keep him out of the bottom no matter what else happens, but it all comes down to the bus driver.
Odds of winning: 12-1
Predicted finish: #5
Andrew’s Team: Drewkin
Picks: Black/Small Town/Last Kiss/Why Go/Know Your Rights/Breakerfall/Faithfull/Pendulum/World Wide Suicide/Gonna See My Friend/Lightning Bolt/Thumbing My Way/In My Tree/I Got Shit/In the Moonlight/All The Way
Sleeper Pick: Lightning Bolt
Maybe A Reach: Breakerfall
This one’s a toss-up, on paper it looks kinda rough, there are no Gigaton songs to save it in case things go wrong. If Know Your Rights has a resurgence, it will help, covers are valuable, and there are a couple of late picks that will get points in Lightning Bolt, In My Tree, and I Got Shit, but I can’t see Breakerfall, Pendulum, WWS, and GSMF contributing to the points total very often.
Odds of winning: 20-1
Predicted finish: #8