May 14th, 2010

FFOC Locks Message Boards; Still No Announcement

Friday, May 14th, 2010

It’s been nine days now since Fantasy Football Open Championship co-founder Stan Misthios shed the “gag of silence” and promised to address the future of his event “in a few short days.”

No announcement has yet come from the FFOC.

What has come, however, is the apparent locking down of new posts to the FFOC message boards. A poster on the Fantasy Players Association website mentioned Thursday night in the FPA forums that the site was not allowing new posts. Indeed, when checked on Friday afternoon, the same “Thank you for posting” message arose without ever allowing for material to be entered.

Misthios’ language in his previous announcement seemed optimistic, but the longer that odd circumstances such as this and the apparent dispute over FFOC ownership persist, the more consumers have to wonder about any future for the contest.


Personal Profile: Mead Loop

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Name: Mead Loop
Nickname: Prof Loop
Job title(s): Associate Professor (journalism) at Ithaca College
Age: 43
Education: master’s, Mizzou; bachelor’s, Ithaca College
Family status: outnumbered — married with three daughters
Favorite fantasy sport to play: baseball
Favorite sport to watch: football
Favorite team (any sport): Oakland Raiders
All-time favorite athlete: Kenny Stabler
Years playing fantasy: a decade plus

Three questions

1. You’ve spent the past two years as part of the final judgment panel for the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. How did that relationship come about, and what makes your role important?

Mike Beacom, president of FSWA, graciously allowed me to survey FSWA’s membership about journalistic practices, particularly in comparison to traditional sportswriting. As a fan and participant of fantasy sports, I’ve tried to return the favor with judging. Insightful analysis and clever writing make for useful information; that’s what all audiences seek. This summer, I will be surveying fantasy writers again.

2. Can you explain to us a bit about your research in the area of fantasy sports journalism? What got you looking in this direction?

The rise of fantasy sports has produced increasing career opportunities for journalists. Although the business side of fantasy has been explored, little had been done about best journalistic practices. My hope is to promote best journalistic practices among fantasy writers, which will increase credibility and participation. Specifically, I looked at attribution practices in The International Journal of Sport & Society (Volume 1, 2010).

3. As a veteran of the newspaper industry and someone who both tracks and teaches journalism professionally, what do you see for the future of print media? Will we see a day in which magazines (such as the various fantasy preview guides) simply don’t exist in paper form?

Journalism in general and fantasy sports journalism in particular are evolving to a revenue model in which most audience members consume information for free but a small percentage will pay for valuable content. About 30 million citizens play fantasy sports in the United States. We might envision printed preview guides as an example of a minority of that 30 million willing to pay for the gathering and organization of that information. And historically, old media adapt when new media form. Magazines will always have a role.

Bonus: In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll let our audience know that you were my college adviser (and I still turned out all right) and remain the commissioner of the two longest-running fantasy leagues (baseball and football) in which I compete. Now, I’ll let you compare us as fantasy players. Be honest.

In the interest of more disclosure than this audience cares about, I also served as best man in your wedding to keep the peace among your brothers. In fantasy sports, unfortunately, the student became the teacher in our relationship as your fantasy football expertise far outpaces mine.

(In fairness, though, Tha Professa has fared much better than I in baseball.)