While I'm in Oklahoma spending time with friends and family, The Gorilla is hosting twelve of his closest friends at our home in Los Angeles for their annual Fantasy Football league draft weekend.
My husband is a fantasy football nerd. It's very serious. He has been playing since 1991. I have no idea how that is possible, maybe back then they used stone tablets?
His current league, made up of his closest college friends and a few family members, has been around for 19 years. They have named it after some guy who drove a tank through downtown San Francisco. Inspiring, I suppose.
Anyway, they take it very seriously. There is an annual draft weekend that rotates cities and requires air travel by most. There are summit weekends where those who are able - since the league is scattered throughout the US - gather to watch Sunday football together while donning jerseys and clicking "refresh" on their laptops every 30 seconds. And then there are the hours, hours, spent on the phone and on email discussing strategy.
On the surface this looks like a ginormous waste of time, not to mention how un-sexy it is to have your husband involved with anything that includes the word "fantasy." But these friendships are among the most important in The Gorilla's life and I know that the league is a huge part of why they all stay so close. They're great guys, and because of fantasy football they speak multiple times a week. So I keep my mouth shut. Mostly.
They're also jokesters. I know you're surprised that The Gorilla would have funny friends. And after years of awarding the Fantasy Football Super Bowl champion with a little plaque or trophy, a few of them decided to step it up. See, not every guy has won a championship. So the group that has wanted to show off for the group that (still) hasn't. After 19 years, you can see why this is such a hardee-har-har moment for them.
So they had championship rings made. Serious, heavy, custom championship rings. Super Bowl style. Obviously, their jokes get elaborate.
The Gorilla enlisted my help in making a ring box. This would be part of the big reveal.
So I went to Hobby Lobby and bought an inexpensive balsa wood box.
Then I went to Wal-Mart and bought the thinnest foam inserts I could find. These were made for chair cushions and came in a four pack, which was a bit of an overkill, but they were just the right thickness. So then I had to cut one down to fit inside the box.
Also at Wal-Mart, I picked up the smallest jar of dark stain. I made The Gorilla do the actual staining. You will soon see why I'm passing off the "credit" to him. He may have been a little distracted while staining. That's all I'll say.
Wal-Mart didn't carry the purple or red crushed velvet I was envisioning (it was August, after all), so I had to settle for craft felt. That took away a bit of the drama for me. Velvet would have worked better. But we were working with what we had.
I didn't take pictures of this next part, but we wrapped the felt around the cut foam and stapled the underside. Then, thanks to The Gorilla's precise measurements, we cut slits through the felt and into the foam (but not all the way through) to hold the rings.
I wasn't there for the actual presentation, but I heard it was pretty funny. And hopefully the guys didn't look too closely to our box, you can see how the inside could have used a little more love and care during the staining process.
Still, it was a quick and easy project. Amp up the materials and time spent, and you could actually have yourself a nice gift. We kept this one pretty plain, but it would be easy to personalize with a bit of modge podge.
In fact, now that I think about it, I might do one for myself...
Originally posted on September 23, 2009.