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FSWA HOF Inaugural class (1 Viewer)

Bri

Footballguy
The first five members of the FSWA Hall of Fame were introduced on January 25 as part of the FSTA/FSWA Awards Banquet in Las Vegas.

Scott Engel, Eric Karabell, Greg Ambrosius, Matthew Berry and Greg Kellogg were celebrated by those in attendance at the dinner. Each was presented with an 11-inch by 15-inch plaque, which read: For your distinguished body of work and efforts in advancing the careers of others in the fantasy sports industry. The five men were allowed to select a presenter prior to the event: Louis Maione (Engel), Berry (Karabell), Rick Wolf (Ambrosius), Ryan Houston (Berry) and Tony Holm (Kellogg).

"I think it was a special day for all five," said FSWA President and Chairman Mike Beacom. "It was a special day for the FSWA, too. We’ve wanted to celebrate our industry’s editorial giants for a long time, and we’re excited to recognize future classes now that we have something to build off of."

The 2011 FSWA Hall of Fame process will begin this spring. More than 50 eligible candidates will be reviewed by a committee of 21 members – all FSWA members, none eligible for entrance to the Hall of Fame. A vote will determine a list of 15 semifinalists; those individuals will need to appear on two-thirds of the ballots cast for the final vote to gain entrance.

Soon, the FSWA plans to build a page on its site where it will celebrate Hall of Fame members and offer a detailed explanation for eligibility and the voting process.

More information on each of the 2010 inductees …

Greg Ambrosius

Ambrosius is one of the pioneering spirits of the fantasy writing industry. In 1989, he became the editor of Fantasy Baseball Magazine and has been writing and editing steadily over the last 21 years. Ambrosius also became the first fantasy sports writer for ESPN.com in 1996. He is one of the founding members of the Fantasy Sports Players Association and helped create the Fantasy Sports Trade Conference. He was also the President of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association from 2002 to 2006. Ambrosius also created the National Fantasy Baseball and Football Championships. In 2009 the NFBC and NFFC were acquired by Fanball.com, for whom Ambrosius now works.

Matthew Berry

Also known as "The Talented Mr. Roto," Berry is one of the most recognizable faces in the fantasy industry. His writing combines the statistical analysis required for fantasy sports with humor and personal anecdote. He began his ascent in 1999 as a senior columnist for Rotoworld.com and in 2004 created his own website called The Talented Mr. Roto. In 2007, ESPN.com acquired TMR and installed Berry as the lead fantasy analyst for all of its sports. The TMR website also launched the careers of many other talented fantasy writers. Berry won the FSWA award for Most Humorous article in 2005, and that was just a prelude to winning four awards in 2006 (Best Article on the Net, Basketball Writer of the Year, Best Major Media Article, and Most Humorous Article). Berry currently serves the FSWA as an advisor to the Executive Committee.

Click here to read Matthew's induction story

Scott Engel

Over his nearly 15-year career in the fantasy industry, Engel has been the rock that many websites have relied upon for excellence. He has also shown that a rolling stone gathers no moss. He began his fantasy sports writing career at Sportsline USA, which merged with CBS Sports in 2000. Engel was the lead editor and established himself as an excellent judge of writing talent by assembling a fine supporting class. In 2004, he moved to ESPN and helped establish it as the worldwide leader in fantasy sports writing. In 2008, he made the move to RotoExperts.com and is now the Managing Director of the site. He has helped to advance RotoExperts by creating partnerships with Yahoo and NFL.com. Engel won the 2006 FSWA award for Football Writer of the Year.

Click here to read Scott’s Hall of Fame thank you story

Eric Karabell

ESPN has been a constant face with fantasy sports and Karabell has been a consistent presence in pushing the site to prominence. Karabell has shown remarkable enthusiasm and knowledge of fantasy games since 1997 and has twice received FSWA writing awards (in 2005 as the Football Writer of the Year and in 2007 for the Best Baseball Series). He not only writes with quality but with quantity, and has been known to provide blog posts as often as four or five times a day. Karabell has also published The Best Philadelphia Sports Arguments and can be heard on ESPN’s Baseball Today podcast.

Greg Kellogg

Like many other writers, Kellog began as a player who then started analyzing the games. His well known column Kellogg’s Komments was one of the first to aggregate statistical analysis and fine writing. Kellogg won the 2004 FSWA award for Best Football Series based on Komments’ success. He helped fashion the fantasy section of Fox Sports as one of the elite. Kellogg also helped establish Fantasy Asylum as a prominent fantasy sports site and has launched the careers of numerous fantasy writers.

http://www.fswa.org/index.php?option=com_c...d=3:latest-news

 

FantasyTrader

Footballguy
Well deserved for all of them. As a member of the voting committee, that first year was tough. But they're only awarding five a year. I had no less than a dozen names that deserved to be a first ballot inductee.

 

Bri

Footballguy
Well deserved for all of them. As a member of the voting committee, that first year was tough. But they're only awarding five a year. I had no less than a dozen names that deserved to be a first ballot inductee.
I love em' and have super fond memories of GK.Re committee, it's a little tricky how it's created and all. (Pick a name above) is clearly very qualified to offer an excellent opinion on each potential member of the HOF, yet how would they get in then if they're on the committee? I think you guys voted well and that is super important to any inaugural class so kudos on making a tough decision.
 

Captain Hook

Footballguy
Most of the first class has FF ties, but given the association is for all fantasy sports and writers it is incomprehensible that they didn't include Ron Shandler, founder of Baseball HQ, in the first HOF class.

 

Bri

Footballguy
Most of the first class has FF ties, but given the association is for all fantasy sports and writers it is incomprehensible that they didn't include Ron Shandler, founder of Baseball HQ, in the first HOF class.
Fantasy Baseball wasn't big on the web til a little later than fantasy football and about the same time fantasy hoops as well which spun off a slew of sites offering all three fantasy sports. Nascar was big before baseball was.
 

cobalt_27

Footballguy
Most of the first class has FF ties, but given the association is for all fantasy sports and writers it is incomprehensible that they didn't include Ron Shandler, founder of Baseball HQ, in the first HOF class.
Fantasy Baseball wasn't big on the web til a little later than fantasy football and about the same time fantasy hoops as well which spun off a slew of sites offering all three fantasy sports. Nascar was big before baseball was.
:goodposting: Seriously, I call bull#### right here.

 

Bri

Footballguy
when was fantasy Nascar ever "big"?
It's very big. I wouldn't doubt it's more popular than fantasy hoops. As I understand it, Nascar's schedule is quite simple for people that want to play a fantasy sport casually and not put in way too much time like most of us do. Nascar's popularity(the sport) is always understated.ETA 15-18 million people are projected to watch the Daytona 500 this weekend.
 
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Bri

Footballguy
Seriously, I call bull#### right here.
Stuart Hothem is a genius-not exaggerating. He knows every baseball stat in the history of baseball and can recite em' all if you quizzed him-what was soandso's average in this year? If you're a baseball fan, I guarantee his intelligence and memory would shock you.I haven't kept in touch with him the last handful of years. For many years he was Fox Sports' Nascar writer because fantasy baseball wasn't as big of a demand and he wasn't about to complain being able to work for FoxSports N all.I don't know what he does now. Last I heard, was a rumor that he was ABC or NBC sport's research director.
 

cobalt_27

Footballguy
when was fantasy Nascar ever "big"?
It's very big. I wouldn't doubt it's more popular than fantasy hoops. As I understand it, Nascar's schedule is quite simple for people that want to play a fantasy sport casually and not put in way too much time like most of us do. Nascar's popularity(the sport) is always understated.ETA 15-18 million people are projected to watch the Daytona 500 this weekend.
So, 18 million people are going to watch Daytona. That's nice. Soccer is a bigger draw worldwide than all sports combined, but find me a fantasy soccer website that has more than 8 hits in a year.Fantasy NASCAR is not in any way, shape or form--nor has it ever been in any way shape or form--bigger than fantasy baseball. Sorry.
 
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Bri

Footballguy
when was fantasy Nascar ever "big"?
It's very big. I wouldn't doubt it's more popular than fantasy hoops. As I understand it, Nascar's schedule is quite simple for people that want to play a fantasy sport casually and not put in way too much time like most of us do.

Nascar's popularity(the sport) is always understated.

ETA 15-18 million people are projected to watch the Daytona 500 this weekend.
So, 18 million people are going to watch Daytona. That's nice. Soccer is a bigger draw worldwide than all sports combined, but find me a fantasy soccer website that has more than 8 hits in a year.Fantasy NASCAR is not in any way, shape or form--nor has it ever been in any way shape or form--bigger than fantasy baseball. Sorry.
Well in the post above I was able to show you some form of metrics with FoxSports not having a fantasy baseball writer but having a nascar writer. Give me some stats to the contrary then.We're not talking about now or even any time recent. I replied to Hook's post about the early stages of fantasy sports on the web.

Your soccer comment was...sorry but... ignorant. ESPN hosts fantasy soccer leagues. Here's another http://fantasy.premierleague.com/

 

Jason Wood

Zoo York
I'm not surprised Berry made it, especially after reading:

Each was presented with an 11-inch by 15-inch plaque, which read: For your distinguished body of work and efforts in advancing the careers of others in the fantasy sports industry.

Say what you will about Berry and his "analysis" but he absolutely has been massively responsible for fantasy sports as a means of making a living. Just take a look at how enormous fantasy sports are at ESPN now. It's COMPLETELY integrated into their programming, on every show, sports telecast, radio, the web. And if you look at the bulk of their current team (I believe they have more than 20 full time analysts/writers not to mention dozens of technical people, editors, producers, etc...beyond that), many of them have ties to Berry.

I'm, on a personal level, bummed that Joe & David didn't get the nod. I wonder (thinking out loud) if our guys being a dynamic duo will hurt them in the first year or two, as voters only want to put in 5 people per year, and that would take up two spots. Either way, I don't think it'll be long before they get the nod. At least it damn well shouldn't be.

 

cobalt_27

Footballguy
when was fantasy Nascar ever "big"?
It's very big. I wouldn't doubt it's more popular than fantasy hoops. As I understand it, Nascar's schedule is quite simple for people that want to play a fantasy sport casually and not put in way too much time like most of us do.

Nascar's popularity(the sport) is always understated.

ETA 15-18 million people are projected to watch the Daytona 500 this weekend.
So, 18 million people are going to watch Daytona. That's nice. Soccer is a bigger draw worldwide than all sports combined, but find me a fantasy soccer website that has more than 8 hits in a year.Fantasy NASCAR is not in any way, shape or form--nor has it ever been in any way shape or form--bigger than fantasy baseball. Sorry.
Well in the post above I was able to show you some form of metrics with FoxSports not having a fantasy baseball writer but having a nascar writer. Give me some stats to the contrary then.We're not talking about now or even any time recent. I replied to Hook's post about the early stages of fantasy sports on the web.

Your soccer comment was...sorry but... ignorant. ESPN hosts fantasy soccer leagues. Here's another http://fantasy.premierleague.com/
First, I was being facetious on the soccer comment. Clearly, fantasy soccer exists. But, the market for fantasy soccer is so disproportionately insignificant when compared to how many fans actually follow the game. Popularity does not necessarily translate to fantasy participation.Second, you didn't show me a metric with the FoxSports thing. You gave an anecdote. I can't find the numbers of NASCAR fantasy participation, but I know that the Fantasy Trade Association (or whatever it calls itself) estimated that (1) football is king, with about 80% of all fantasy players participating in some form of FF and that (2) baseball was behind it with approximately 40% of all fantasy geeks playing some form of fantasy baseball. You can look it up on your own (I think USNews published a long article on it a while back). I think those data come from 2008 estimates.

At any rate, if you want to do a little digging and refute these data, that's great. Knock yourself out. I am completely content without even seeing the actual numbers that NASCAR does not even remotely begin to approximate the participation (internet or otherwise) of fantasy baseball. Maybe I'm wrong. But, a little digging beyond a sportswriter/journalist going over to FOX does not equate to a metric that demonstrates this as fact.

So,

 

Aaron Rudnicki

Keep Walking™
Staff member
I'm, on a personal level, bummed that Joe & David didn't get the nod. I wonder (thinking out loud) if our guys being a dynamic duo will hurt them in the first year or two, as voters only want to put in 5 people per year, and that would take up two spots. Either way, I don't think it'll be long before they get the nod. At least it damn well shouldn't be.
Doug and PFR definitely deserves a spot there as well.
 

Jason Wood

Zoo York
I'm, on a personal level, bummed that Joe & David didn't get the nod. I wonder (thinking out loud) if our guys being a dynamic duo will hurt them in the first year or two, as voters only want to put in 5 people per year, and that would take up two spots. Either way, I don't think it'll be long before they get the nod. At least it damn well shouldn't be.
Doug and PFR definitely deserves a spot there as well.
No doubt, and there are others deserving, too. :rolleyes:
 

Sigmund Bloom

Footballguy
Staff member
Aaron Rudnicki said:
Jason Wood said:
I'm, on a personal level, bummed that Joe & David didn't get the nod. I wonder (thinking out loud) if our guys being a dynamic duo will hurt them in the first year or two, as voters only want to put in 5 people per year, and that would take up two spots. Either way, I don't think it'll be long before they get the nod. At least it damn well shouldn't be.
Doug and PFR definitely deserves a spot there as well.
:hifive: ;) :goodposting: :goodposting: :goodposting: As big as Football Outsiders has gotten, they even acknowledge that Doug helped inspire their work.
 

FantasyTrader

Footballguy
Jason Wood said:
Aaron Rudnicki said:
Jason Wood said:
I'm, on a personal level, bummed that Joe & David didn't get the nod. I wonder (thinking out loud) if our guys being a dynamic duo will hurt them in the first year or two, as voters only want to put in 5 people per year, and that would take up two spots. Either way, I don't think it'll be long before they get the nod. At least it damn well shouldn't be.
Doug and PFR definitely deserves a spot there as well.
No doubt, and there are others deserving, too. :thumbdown:
I completely agree. Though I'll say this - as a member of the voting committee, I distinctly remember both Joe's and David's nomination narratives did them no favors. Whoever sumitted them, they read like a resume rather an a story about these guys and the huge roles they've played in legitimizing the industry. The format of their submissions was brutal. It's only a matter of when for both of them though.
 

cobalt_27

Footballguy
Jason Wood said:
Aaron Rudnicki said:
Jason Wood said:
I'm, on a personal level, bummed that Joe & David didn't get the nod. I wonder (thinking out loud) if our guys being a dynamic duo will hurt them in the first year or two, as voters only want to put in 5 people per year, and that would take up two spots. Either way, I don't think it'll be long before they get the nod. At least it damn well shouldn't be.
Doug and PFR definitely deserves a spot there as well.
No doubt, and there are others deserving, too. :yes:
I completely agree. Though I'll say this - as a member of the voting committee, I distinctly remember both Joe's and David's nomination narratives did them no favors. Whoever sumitted them, they read like a resume rather an a story about these guys and the huge roles they've played in legitimizing the industry. The format of their submissions was brutal. It's only a matter of when for both of them though.
Well, that says a lot right there. Who the eff cares about how well written these biosketches are? Better question: What credibility does this organization have if they're looking to fall in love with a narrative rather than base their votes on who is most deserving?
 

BassNBrew

IBL Representative
Jason Wood said:
I'm, on a personal level, bummed that Joe & David didn't get the nod. I wonder (thinking out loud) if our guys being a dynamic duo will hurt them in the first year or two, as voters only want to put in 5 people per year, and that would take up two spots. Either way, I don't think it'll be long before they get the nod. At least it damn well shouldn't be.
Maybe FantasyTrader can chime in, but isn't this Fantasy Sports Writing HOF as opposed to the Fantasy Trade HOF? I haven't seen J pen much of anything in ages. David pens some articles but is more focused on stats. So if being a writer or overseeing an organization that publishes articles for mainstream consumption is the primary criteria, these guys could be waiting quite some time. If this award is more geared towards impacting the fantasy trade as a whole then they would go right to the top.
 

Bri

Footballguy
Aaron Rudnicki said:
Jason Wood said:
I'm, on a personal level, bummed that Joe & David didn't get the nod. I wonder (thinking out loud) if our guys being a dynamic duo will hurt them in the first year or two, as voters only want to put in 5 people per year, and that would take up two spots. Either way, I don't think it'll be long before they get the nod. At least it damn well shouldn't be.
Doug and PFR definitely deserves a spot there as well.
Only five could get in. I would figure there's "shoo-ins" for many years.I don't doubt those three get in. There's gotta be a laundry list though which makes it tough for the judges.There's guys like TC and Emil that so so so many people admire. For Emil-have you ever bought a fantasy rag? There's a very good chance he was involved with it in some fashion even if simply offering his opinion or advice. He's also pretty good at FF and a solid writer as well. I do not know the totality of Carlton's involvement here, but I have always got the distinct impression the phrase "Joe and David," which is so often stated, does a disservice to him. If I don't know, how many others don't know? That'll hurt him at some point.DD was literally Mr. Football but took some time off. Maybe they're using that time off against him.And by "against him" please understand these are some folks I admire and respect and we're splitting hairs.
 

cobalt_27

Footballguy
cobalt_27 said:
I think those data come from 2008 estimates.
Pointed out twice that I was referring to the very early stages of fantasy sports on the web
Find me some data from earlier...According to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, more than 16 million American adults participated in fantasy sports leagues in 2006. Here's what they're playing:Sport Total* Pct.Football 12.8 80Baseball 4.8 30Auto racing 4.16 26Basketball 3.2 20Hockey 1.92 12Golf 1.12 7
 
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FantasyTrader

Footballguy
Jason Wood said:
Aaron Rudnicki said:
Jason Wood said:
I'm, on a personal level, bummed that Joe & David didn't get the nod. I wonder (thinking out loud) if our guys being a dynamic duo will hurt them in the first year or two, as voters only want to put in 5 people per year, and that would take up two spots. Either way, I don't think it'll be long before they get the nod. At least it damn well shouldn't be.
Doug and PFR definitely deserves a spot there as well.
No doubt, and there are others deserving, too. :football:
I completely agree. Though I'll say this - as a member of the voting committee, I distinctly remember both Joe's and David's nomination narratives did them no favors. Whoever sumitted them, they read like a resume rather an a story about these guys and the huge roles they've played in legitimizing the industry. The format of their submissions was brutal. It's only a matter of when for both of them though.
Well, that says a lot right there. Who the eff cares about how well written these biosketches are? Better question: What credibility does this organization have if they're looking to fall in love with a narrative rather than base their votes on who is most deserving?
The "biosketches" were crucial. In fact, they're all we had. We were instructed to ignore what we "know" about the nominees on a presonal level and JUST grade the narratives as they were submitted. The committee was designed that way so that we did not introduce bias into the voting (or at least kept it at a bare minimum). You say "what credibility does the FSWA HOF have if they're falling in love with the narrative? Well, I'd ask you what credibility it has if the nomination sucked rocks but I "knew" a guy was deserving so I elected him anyway? Truth be told, there were 4-5 nominations that I knew in my heart were well deserving but their submission blew chunks. Also I heavily weighted the individual's impact on the industry as a whole rather than THEIR OWN company (as we were instructed). That held a couple of guys back. I hate to say it, but there's a few guys (WELL known guys) who are fantastic analysts that could honestly give a sh** less about furthering the industry and others aspirng to break into it. We were instructed to dock points for that. Furthering the industry as a whole for others was paramount.
 
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FantasyTrader

Footballguy
Jason Wood said:
I'm, on a personal level, bummed that Joe & David didn't get the nod. I wonder (thinking out loud) if our guys being a dynamic duo will hurt them in the first year or two, as voters only want to put in 5 people per year, and that would take up two spots. Either way, I don't think it'll be long before they get the nod. At least it damn well shouldn't be.
Maybe FantasyTrader can chime in, but isn't this Fantasy Sports Writing HOF as opposed to the Fantasy Trade HOF? I haven't seen J pen much of anything in ages. David pens some articles but is more focused on stats. So if being a writer or overseeing an organization that publishes articles for mainstream consumption is the primary criteria, these guys could be waiting quite some time. If this award is more geared towards impacting the fantasy trade as a whole then they would go right to the top.
Actually BNB, the committee was asked to look beyond just pure fantasy sports content writing. The FSWA is looking to induct the major role players in shaping the industry and encouraging aspiring young journalists.This was the press release and this was the acknowldgement of the 14 finalists by FantasySportsBusiness.com.

So the format HELPS Dodds and Bryant. These guys are solely responsible for many fantasy careers.

 
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cobalt_27

Footballguy
The "biosketches" were crucial. In fact, they're all we had. We were instructed to ignore what we "know" about the nominees on a presonal level and JUST grade the narratives as they were submitted.
Ok, so no offense, Scott...but those instructions were idiotic. Something you would expect that in kindergarten.Frankly, the whole thing seems to lack any sense and credibility. That you would change your vote from guys you know are more deserving and have contributed to the field in a more substantial way than guys who had better writers submit biosketches. That's just absurd. That's not how grown ups make decisions. I would lobby these guys to change the rules. Otherwise, it's an indication of their maturity as an organized body and probably not one I would want to be a part of.
 

BassNBrew

IBL Representative
FantasyTrader said:
Jason Wood said:
I'm, on a personal level, bummed that Joe & David didn't get the nod. I wonder (thinking out loud) if our guys being a dynamic duo will hurt them in the first year or two, as voters only want to put in 5 people per year, and that would take up two spots. Either way, I don't think it'll be long before they get the nod. At least it damn well shouldn't be.
Maybe FantasyTrader can chime in, but isn't this Fantasy Sports Writing HOF as opposed to the Fantasy Trade HOF? I haven't seen J pen much of anything in ages. David pens some articles but is more focused on stats. So if being a writer or overseeing an organization that publishes articles for mainstream consumption is the primary criteria, these guys could be waiting quite some time. If this award is more geared towards impacting the fantasy trade as a whole then they would go right to the top.
Actually BNB, the committee was asked to look beyond just pure fantasy sports content writing. The FSWA is looking to induct the major role players in shaping the industry and encouraging aspiring young journalists.This was the press release and this was the acknowldgement of the 14 finalists by FantasySportsBusiness.com.

So the format HELPS Dodds and Bryant. These guys are solely responsible for many fantasy careers.
With its focus on writers and content in general, the FSWA required that any candidate have at least 10 years experience on the editorial side of fantasy. More than just writers, though, this effort is might to acknowledge those who have made significant, lasting impressions on fantasy content.
A couple of questions...1. Can you define "editorial side of fantasy"?

2. Does the FBG pay for content business model hurt people in voting compared to the guys publishing "free" content that's more widely available?

 

Bri

Footballguy
It's so early that this discussion could mirror a Jim Brown, Sweetness, Barry, who was the better RB thread.

 

Captain Hook

Footballguy
Most of the first class has FF ties, but given the association is for all fantasy sports and writers it is incomprehensible that they didn't include Ron Shandler, founder of Baseball HQ, in the first HOF class.
Fantasy Baseball wasn't big on the web til a little later than fantasy football and about the same time fantasy hoops as well which spun off a slew of sites offering all three fantasy sports. Nascar was big before baseball was.
I think you are WAY off on this Bri "on the web" has nothing to do with it. People have been writing about fantasy sports for print long before there were site online
 

FantasyTrader

Footballguy
1. Can you define "editorial side of fantasy"?

The process of producing, editing and publishing fantasy content. Not the business side of it, but the analysis.

2. Does the FBG pay for content business model hurt people in voting compared to the guys publishing "free" content that's more widely available?

I don't think pay vs. free really impacts the nominees. Regardless, it's still the candidate's job to articulate the amount of content, number of staff they manage, how they have improved the industry, etc. I'll admit, it's not an exact science and the FSWA is looking closely at how they can improve the process in the future. But the goal is that nominees are voted on objectively by a set of criteria, so the HOF represents more than a popularity contest years down the road.

 
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Bri

Footballguy
Most of the first class has FF ties, but given the association is for all fantasy sports and writers it is incomprehensible that they didn't include Ron Shandler, founder of Baseball HQ, in the first HOF class.
Fantasy Baseball wasn't big on the web til a little later than fantasy football and about the same time fantasy hoops as well which spun off a slew of sites offering all three fantasy sports. Nascar was big before baseball was.
I think you are WAY off on this Bri "on the web" has nothing to do with it. People have been writing about fantasy sports for print long before there were site online
On the web is what I was discussing so it has everything to do with the point made.I'll dig up some stats or somesuch in time, just don't feel like it right now.I don't disagree with your last statement at all. We all (people I know) had fantasy mags when we were hand scoring with Monday's USAToday. I'm not sure if they were "fantasy magazines" but maybe NFL magazines with rankings. The bulk of the mags was a team preview and...it was fine then.
 

Bri

Footballguy
Most of the first class has FF ties, but given the association is for all fantasy sports and writers it is incomprehensible that they didn't include Ron Shandler, founder of Baseball HQ, in the first HOF class.
Fantasy Baseball wasn't big on the web til a little later than fantasy football and about the same time fantasy hoops as well which spun off a slew of sites offering all three fantasy sports. Nascar was big before baseball was.
I think you are WAY off on this Bri
I made a bunch of calls and sent a few emails. I haven't found anyone that recalls a site other than Ambrosious' (sp?) or ESPN having fantasy baseball in 1995. Some of the baseball writers I know are simply too young, so clearly they weren't making a baseball site 16 years ago.Baseball-reference domain record shows it was created in 2000. My guess is fantasy baseball exploded in 97 or 98.MLB.com was created in 1994.baseballHQ.com started to be developed in 1995.fantasybaseball.com began in 1997.I've sent some more emails out.Playing some with the wayback machine, it seems like Shandler went to KFFL in 1997 and they did much more with him and Fantasy baseball in 1998. His primary job (as I understand it) was writing for print since the mid 80s.It's not so easy digging into 15 years ago and the domain searches are awfully quirky.
 

Just Win Baby

Footballguy
I can see that it's a tough job to identify the inaugural class, but this class seems lacking to me. Are these really the 5 best and most deserving fantasy sports writers/trade members of all time?

I started playing fantasy baseball in 1991, and Ambrosius is the only one of these guys I was aware of at that time and for years afterwards.

Next, I started playing fantasy basketball (NBA) in 1994 or so... and none of these guys were relevant.

Finally, I started playing fantasy football in 1995. Again, I wasn't aware of any of these guys for at least a couple of years.

Then there is the debate of quantity (e.g., years in the profession) vs. quality. For the past 10+ years, IMO Joe and David have been running the best web site and publishing the best content available for fantasy football. Does it really matter if someone else was around a few years longer? 10 years of top quality trumps 15 years of average to above average quality IMO.

Finally, there is the "contributor" category, for lack of a better term. Doug has been mentioned here, and justifiably so. In the same vein, what about Bill James? I knew about him years before any of the members of this inaugural class, and you can be sure that his writing, while not fantasy focused, was fantasy relevant. What about Daniel Okrent, who came up with Rotisserie League Baseball in 1979? Etc.

While I respect the guys in this class, I find myself extremely underwhelmed with them as an inaugural class, which should represent the best of the best to date. The simple fact is, that is not what it represents, at least not to me. :lmao:

 

FantasyTrader

Footballguy
I can see that it's a tough job to identify the inaugural class, but this class seems lacking to me. Are these really the 5 best and most deserving fantasy sports writers/trade members of all time?

I started playing fantasy baseball in 1991, and Ambrosius is the only one of these guys I was aware of at that time and for years afterwards.

Next, I started playing fantasy basketball (NBA) in 1994 or so... and none of these guys were relevant.

Finally, I started playing fantasy football in 1995. Again, I wasn't aware of any of these guys for at least a couple of years.

Then there is the debate of quantity (e.g., years in the profession) vs. quality. For the past 10+ years, IMO Joe and David have been running the best web site and publishing the best content available for fantasy football. Does it really matter if someone else was around a few years longer? 10 years of top quality trumps 15 years of average to above average quality IMO.

Finally, there is the "contributor" category, for lack of a better term. Doug has been mentioned here, and justifiably so. In the same vein, what about Bill James? I knew about him years before any of the members of this inaugural class, and you can be sure that his writing, while not fantasy focused, was fantasy relevant. What about Daniel Okrent, who came up with Rotisserie League Baseball in 1979? Etc.

While I respect the guys in this class, I find myself extremely underwhelmed with them as an inaugural class, which should represent the best of the best to date. The simple fact is, that is not what it represents, at least not to me. <img src="http://static.footballguys.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/shrug2.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=" :goodposting: " border="0" alt="shrug2.gif" />
JWB, the likely reason none of those guys was voted in is because they didn't submit a nomination. You had to be nominated before the committee could vote on you. ANYBODY could be nominated, but it's still so new - my guess is plenty of people didn't know about it.
 

Just Win Baby

Footballguy
I can see that it's a tough job to identify the inaugural class, but this class seems lacking to me. Are these really the 5 best and most deserving fantasy sports writers/trade members of all time?

I started playing fantasy baseball in 1991, and Ambrosius is the only one of these guys I was aware of at that time and for years afterwards.

Next, I started playing fantasy basketball (NBA) in 1994 or so... and none of these guys were relevant.

Finally, I started playing fantasy football in 1995. Again, I wasn't aware of any of these guys for at least a couple of years.

Then there is the debate of quantity (e.g., years in the profession) vs. quality. For the past 10+ years, IMO Joe and David have been running the best web site and publishing the best content available for fantasy football. Does it really matter if someone else was around a few years longer? 10 years of top quality trumps 15 years of average to above average quality IMO.

Finally, there is the "contributor" category, for lack of a better term. Doug has been mentioned here, and justifiably so. In the same vein, what about Bill James? I knew about him years before any of the members of this inaugural class, and you can be sure that his writing, while not fantasy focused, was fantasy relevant. What about Daniel Okrent, who came up with Rotisserie League Baseball in 1979? Etc.

While I respect the guys in this class, I find myself extremely underwhelmed with them as an inaugural class, which should represent the best of the best to date. The simple fact is, that is not what it represents, at least not to me. <img src="http://static.footballguys.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/shrug2.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=" :goodposting: " border="0" alt="shrug2.gif" />
JWB, the likely reason none of those guys was voted in is because they didn't submit a nomination. You had to be nominated before the committee could vote on you. ANYBODY could be nominated, but it's still so new - my guess is plenty of people didn't know about it.
You may be right, but it doesn't really matter the reason. The result is that the inaugural class is cheapened. :lmao:
 

David Dodds

Administrator
From our site, we had the following nominations:

Joe Bryant

David Dodds

Doug Drinen

Clayton Gray

Bob Henry

John Norton

We had to write our own bios. I believe only Doug did not turn one in.

Here is what I wrote for me:

David Dodds Fantasy Football Bio

I picked up a copy of my first fantasy football magazine in1988 and played in a league with my engineering co-workers by tearing out the rules provided inside. Despite just anominal entry fee of $20, this league was highly competitive. A few of us devoted a lot of time to try and win this league each year.

By 1989, I had already created a VBD Excel cheatsheet based on the article written by Joe Bryant. Our league had a weekly newsletter and I was routinely penning articles for it. I moved some of my writings tothe AOL members website area and my career in fantasy football begun. It wasn't long after posting some of these articles, that I got a phone call from AOL saying I had to relocate the material. I was greatly exceeding bandwidth from my articles.

I bought the domain name mrfootball.com and transferred the material to there. Bob Harris noticed me, made some generous callouts to people he knew and got me featured in many of the Fantasy Sports Publications magazines. The website took off and was even featured in Yahoo magazine as a top 3 football site on the internet (ESPN and CBS Sportsline were the other two). The web was the Wild West back inthose days and the technology was changing fast. I became very fluent in javascript and developed some tools (draft calculator, schedule maker, qb rating calculator) that still function and are useful today.

As the website was gaining more and more traction, I headed to Las Vegas to be part of the first fantasy football convention sponsored by Fantasy Insights. It was there that I met Joe Bryant, although I had been reading his material for years before that.

In 1999, mrfootball.com was starting to take a major toll on my personal life. It was hard working a real job and then come home and work into the wee hours of the night with the website. I was also juggling a difficult marriage and a newborn daughter. What made the situation extremely unbearable was the fact that mrfootball.com was created the wrong way. The world was changing to database driven websites so that you could create formats and have the databases self-populate the templates. I cringed at the thought of trying to redo the website while juggling everything else. I sold the website to Fanball.com in an effort to simplify my life.

I immediately missed not owning a website. I spent the down time repairing my marriage and embracing my new daughter. But the itch to get back on the horse grew stronger every day. I took some of the proceeds from the sale of the website to take classes on database programming for websites. And as I got smarter in this area, I knew Ihad to be back in this space. Outside ofJoe Bryant's Cheatsheets.net and Bob Harris' TFL Report, I hated almost every website that supposedly covered fantasy football. I returned to the game in 2001 as a co-owner with Joe Bryant and we launched Footballguys.com.

Joe and I immediately started recruiting the people we needed to create the best website in this space. We weren't looking to compete. We were looking to crush things. We might have been the new website, but we were far from inexperienced. We had bothspent a lot of time understanding this audience and we felt we knew what they wanted. With a free mailing list of just 30,000 names, we opted to keep the website free the entire first year. It was a gamble that would pay off big in year 2.

The consensus among industry people thought we could debut with about 4,000 subscribers when we put up the pay wall. The internet was still mostly free and the 4,000 number was on par with some of the bigger subscription efforts at the time. We debuted with over 18,000 subscribers and have never looked back. I quit my successful government career to devote fully to managing Footballguys.com.

Joe and I laid out a master plan towards domination in this space and we continue to execute from that blueprint going forward. We meet with all all-star staff every March in Tennessee for three days of updating the master plan with a look to the next year.

We have grown this business every single year in terms of revenue, subscribers and people on the free email list. As of today, Footballguys.com now generates$1.2M in sales, has just under 40,000 subscribers and boasts a free list of 140,000 names. The company has always ran at a profit. We have created some ofthe best industry tools to date (Draft Dominator, Rate My Team) and continue to push the boundaries in this space. In 2009, we were awarded the Best Online Content website from the Fantasy SportsTrade Association besting heavyweights ESPN, CBS, Rotoworld among others.

Despite our successes to date though, Joe Bryant and I feel the best years are yet to come. We are excited about our mobile presence and the upcoming launch of the Today in Fantasy website. As Joe and I have said for many years now, we are just getting started here.

 
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David Dodds

Administrator
I am sure I am a tad biased on this subject, but here are the guys that I think really shaped fantasy sports (Listed in no order):

Joe Bryant - Created VBD, Founded (with Greg Kellogg) Fan Ex, Owner FBG. Joe's email update now goes out daily to 168,000+ people. Enough said.

Doug Drinen - Founded and runs PFR, Created the databases that run FBG. Created Rate My Team, Today in Fantasy, Player Pages, MyFBG code as well as some of the best early articles in the fantasy space. He had a column in ESPN magazine that ran circles around anything else in that magazine.

Emil Kadlec - Created 4-5 magazines including Pro Football Forecast. Founded the WCOFF (with Lenny Pappano). His magazines were instrumental in launching the careers of many in this industry.

Bob Harris - Bob had the best website (TFL Report) and helped launch a ton of us early adopters. He continues to do the heavy lifting associated with FSPs magazines.

Ron Shadler, Baseball HQ - Head and shoulders above what anyone is doing in baseball. And he has been doing that for a long time.

Charlie Wiegert - Created CDM, fought against MLB for stats licenses and has been an integral part of our industry for 15+ years.

 
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Jene Bramel

Footballguy
Who submitted the biosketches? How did they get assigned?
John Norton asked me to write a letter of reference for him.The application form (sent with a notification that you were under consideration, i.e. chosen from a larger list of nominees I think) was a form asking for employment experience, a bio and a 500 word letter of reference from someone in the industry. As an aside, none of the criteria FantasyTrader notes were emphasized in the judging process were noted anywhere on the application form. I think it was reasonable to infer some things from the form (contributions to the industry, impact on the industry, etc), others (how many writing careers you may have inspired, impacted, etc) not so much.
 
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David Dodds

Administrator
Here was the rec letter I submitted for Joe:

May 29th, 2010

To the FSWA Hall of Fame Selection Panel:

I am pleased to write this letter recommending Joe Bryantfor the FSWA Hall of Fame. As co-owners of Footballguys.com, I have been working with Joe Bryant for the last 10 years.

Around 1988 in my pursuit of more fantasy football information, I stumbled into the fantasy football newsgroup. I found a post penned by Joe titled "ThePrinciples of Value-Based Drafting" that forever changed the fantasy football landscape. I remember reading this article countless times and eventually getting in many deep debates over exactly how one should calculate the best baselines to determine overall lists.

In these early years, people would see Joe Bryant in the newsgroup, writing articles for KFFL, or taking part in FanEx drafts (the experts league he co-founded with Greg Kellogg). I first met Joe live at the Fantasy Football Convention hosted in Vegas. With low attendance, it was easy to get to know the industry people. I was there with my mrfootball.com website and Joe was representing FanEx. We became instant friends.

Fast forwarding to year 2000, I had sold mrfootball.com to Fanball a year earlier and Joe was looking to create something big. I watched as Joe created the successful Cheatsheets.net website and we joined forces in 2001 to launch Footballguys.com.

From the days we opened up as a free website, Joe had lofty dreams in this space. He wanted this to be the best destination for fantasy football information and together we executed our lofty game plan. Joe realized the power of the daily email to keep people engaged. He created the first newsletter in 2001 and has written all but a couple of them up to now. Over 140,000 people now receive this daily email through the NFL preseason.

Joe also was the person who realized the power of a sufficiently moderated message board. By doing tireless work to moderate our boards to this PG standard, Joe has created a place where people can surf free of porn and insults while getting in spirited debates over players, strategy and a host of non-football topics. The Footballguys message board has now become the pulse of the hobby. In August and September, it routinely shows up as a top 50 message board on the entire internet (all topics).

As the owner of Footballguys.com, Joe has been directly responsible for the efforts that have grown our subscription base to nearly 40,000 paid members. I won't be able to do justice to all the initiatives he has started, guided, coached along the way with just 500 words. He is responsible, in some way, for every one of the over 50,000 pieces of content that were available on the Footballguys website last year.

VBD has morphed into Dynamic VBD, a lot of our articles are now available via mobile devices, commentary is now done with smart programs like Rate My Team, and Joe's early concepts are now taken to mathematical extremes in products like the Draft Dominator. But as much as things have changed, Footballguys.com has stayed true to his original article on Value-Based Drafting.

In closing, let me say I have no hesitation recommending Joe Bryant for the FSWA Hall of Fame. He has been a leader in this space his whole career and he continues to be part of our lives every day in the crafting of the Footballguys newsletter.

Sincerely,

David Dodds

Co-owner, Footballguys.com

 
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David Dodds

Administrator
I submit this stuff not looking to call anyone out, etc. I congratulated all the winners at the FSTA and have no problem with them getting in. They have all been active in our hobby for years.

My only complaint about the process is the selection committee asked a lot of people for a lot of data (personal bio + two letters of rec of 500+ words each). It seems to me the selection committee should just narrow the list substantially before requesting this info from everyone. We had 6 people from our site alone go through this process. My guess is the selection committee had 70-100 total packages to sort through yet only five were going to get selected. Maybe other sites had a lot of time to write these things, but for sites like ours, we were already busy hammering away at our content.

 
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