May 26th, 2010

FFOC Closed

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

What many have expected throughout the fantasy industry since January has become official.

Visitors to the Fantasy Football Open Championship’s website are now met with this message:

Dear FFOC Players:

We want to thank all of you who have played in our leagues over the past two seasons. It is with great regret that we have decided to shut the game down for the upcoming 2010 season. This was a difficult decision to make, but in the end our only choice given the present, difficult economic environment and the unavoidable delay in coordinating the 2010 draft. While disappointed, we feel that this is the best decision for everyone. Thanks for all your kind words and support, and we hope that we offered some excitement over the past 2 years.

For the 136 teams that won their leagues, the $180.00 cash prize will be sent to you within thirty (30) days, as we are in the process of coordinating these payments. To assist in this process, please send written notification of your current address to: Poised to Stomp Sports, Inc. c/o Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, LLP, 1441 Brickell Avenue, Suite 1420, Miami, Florida 33131. Good luck to all of you as you pursue your fantasy sports dreams.

The Retraction

Additionally, there is ostensibly some confusion over previous, mistaken posts. Contrary to any statements or representations that may have been previously made, Fanball has no involvement, ownership or liability in the financial risks or awards of FFOC’s contests. We apologize to Fanball and Ryan Houston for any resulting confusion and inconvenience. We have enjoyed a great working relationship with Fanball, and wish them continued success.

This should surprise no one after rumors flying about the FFOC not paying out winnings, co-founder Stan Mistios removing his “gag of silence” only to promise an announcement that has just now been delivered and contradicting public messages about the contest’s ownership structure (hence, the retraction above). Additionally, the Fantasy Players Association broke the news over the weekend of FFOC parent company Poised to Stomp becoming “inactive” in the state in which it registered.

The FFOC debuted two years ago with Jerry Rice as its celebrity face and a historical grand prize. The ratio of entry fee to grand prize threw up red flags for business folks throughout the industry right away. For fantasy players, though, the contest did at least serve as an accessible, big-prize tournament for those seeking the challenge without the four-figure cost.

The FFOC’s creation and fall has inspired at least one of its contestants to launch his own entry in the national-contest field, a venture about which we’ll provide more details in the coming days.