This is going to be about our fantasy football league, so if you aren’t in to that, you may want to skip today’s post. Today, my fellow co-authors and I will be meeting up in Las Vegas for our fantasy football draft. This is our league’s 25th draft and our 3rd in Las Vegas. We have had some interesting times over the years, including drafting inside the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame, drafting around the world, with participants simultaneously drafting in Thailand, Europe and in 3 US time zones, and a very odd visit by a Frenchman in our chat room asking our age, sex and location. Needless to say, he was quickly, albeit brusquely introduced to fantasy football banter at which point he left.
When we first started, fantasy football was a niche activity. There were magazines, but the web was just starting to gain traction, so there wasn’t a lot of software or data at our fingertips. We would make our lists manually based on whatever magazines we trusted and we would gather at a restaurant or other location to draft face to face. Every week we would pick up the Monday and Tuesday USA Today and calculate the points and update the records.
I am our third commissioner. Mike Chaney kicked it off with a core set of owners, some of whom are still with us today. Jay Phipps brought the league into the computer age in our second year, buying the “My Fantasy League” software and setting up the databases, etc. I took over after Jay, and got to shepherd us into the Internet and mobile age. The networked communication allowed us to continue to keep the league going as people could be anywhere yet still join us on draft day.
Today, we have real-time scoring, up-to-the-minute stats and injury reports and so many sites available, you don’t really have to research anymore. Now it seems like everyone is in a couple of leagues and you would be hard-pressed to find any place in game day that doesn’t have some sort of group getting together to watch the games. So, I look back on our league with pride and happiness. We have been there from almost the absolute beginning and have enjoyed every bit of the ride. We have a great combination of old and young owners, which gives me hope we will see the league continue for many years to come.