June, 2010

Could Del Rio Kill MJD Fantasy Show?

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Regardless of how you feel about athletes being positioned as fantasy experts, Maurice Jones-Drew is inarguable the biggest name in the just-introduced fantasy lineup for the new SIRIUS XM channel.

The Jaguars running back has played fantasy football for at least a couple of years, getting edged out by Cato June for the 2008 title in the league put on by NFL PLAYERS and then stating that his infamous kneel down against the Jets in 2009 cost his own fantasy team a victory. Jones-Drew has been among the leading athletes in “getting” fantasy, but might his coach stand in the way of this new show?

As ProFootballTalk.com’s Gregg Rosenthal (another guy who knows a thing or two about fantasy football) pointed out Wednesday morning, Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio effectively barred quarterback David Garrard from doing his own Friday evening radio talk show in 2009. That’s the same timing as the scheduled MJD show, which will begin in August.

At that time, Del Rio reportedly said he was against Garrard’s show because of its timing, just two days before the typical NFL gameday.

Garrard reportedly relayed this explanation from his coach: “You can field things early in the week and … rehash the past game. But late in the week, you want to be studying your film, you want to be with your family and you want to be off your feet, relaxing.”

Does that apply more strongly to the quarterback, who presumably has more to study and retain going into each game, or does it go for any position? Can Del Rio create a double standard by blessing Jones-Drew’s show a year after crushing Garrard’s?

Rosenthal raised the possibility of MJD’s show being taped earlier in the week, but the SIRIUS XM press release sure seems to indicate the show will be live every Friday night. Specifically, it encourages potential listeners to call in to talk to one of fantasy’s top performers.

“Wondering who has the league’s best run defense? Call Maurice for advice that comes straight from the gridiron,” the release says. While certainly not impossible, it would be difficult to set up a system for taping a show each Monday or Tuesday with active callers.

Perhaps the player got his coach’s OK before jumping in, but it’s equally possible that today’s release will provide the first news Del Rio has heard on the subject.

We’ll see if the Jones-Drew fantasy show stands. Let’s hope it does, as it would be interesting to hear fantasy talk from a player who ranks among the top fantasy producers in the league (and this year’s top pick for some folks).


SIRIUS XM Finally Rolls Out Fantasy Sports Channel

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

The lineup began with the addition of RotoWire back in March, but it wasn’t until today that SIRIUS XM officially announced its complete new fantasy sports channel.

“We’ve created a unique destination for fantasy sports fans,” president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein said in the press release. “Our listeners get live play-by-play … that allows them to follow all their fantasy players or teams in real time. Now they have a dedicated fantasy sports channel that they can tune into 24 hours a day.”

The channel — 147 on XM, 211 on SIRIUS — features a list of prominent fantasy companies and veteran writers. Perhaps more interesting, though, is that the lineup will include some current and former athletes and a former general manager.

Starting in August, Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew is scheduled to host a Friday night fantasy football show (7 to 9 p.m.). Jones-Drew has clearly been a leader among athletes in “getting” fantasy, going so far as to say his infamous kneel down against the Jets last year cost his own fantasy team a victory. (Related: What will his coach have to say, though?)

Before that, former Mets general manager and ESPN analyst Steve Phillips will begin co-hosting a fantasy baseball show (with Jeff Rickard) weeknights from 8 to 11. In addition, basketball season will bring a weekly show for that sport, featuring former NBA guard Dennis Scott as an analyst and fantasy industry veteran Scott Engel as host. Hockey season will bring Jeremy Roenick as a host for a fantasy hockey show. Engel will also host a weekly fantasy golf show with Golf.com founder Alex Miceli.

“To complement the in-depth and informative fantasy talk from the industry’s experts, listeners will hear from all kinds of personalities, from actors and musicians in addition to current and former athletes, all with real fantasy sports knowledge,” Greenstein said in the release. “We will present a daily listening experience that is informative, and always engaging and entertaining.”

In addition to the daily (weekdays) RotoWire show — and previously reported slots for Fanball and Fantasy Pros 911 — the SIRIUS XM fantasy lineup will include a football show featuring FantasyGuru.com’s John Hansen and Scout.com’s Adam Caplan, a RotoExperts show during morning drive time and a Friday night entry from The Fantasy Consultant (Nathan Zegura).

Check out the full announced lineup here.


FSB Daily 6/28: RotoWire, MFL, FanSoft, FF Librarian, Fantazzle

Monday, June 28th, 2010

A roundup of items recently posted on the FSB News page.

- This lengthy story from the Wisconsin State Journal takes a look at three fantasy sports companies based in the Madison, Wis., area — RotoWire, MyFantasyLeague.com, and FanSoft Media — with an eye toward the still-recent emergence of fantasy sports. (Unfortunately, it’s also yet another example of incorrectly crediting Daniel Okrent with inventing fantasy sports — even with the “modern” qualifier attached.)

- The FF Librarian has continued to crunch her Accuracy Challenge numbers and found Ask the Commish to be the top three-year performer in projecting fantasy tight ends.

- Fantazzle has launched a free-to-play fantasy game for the upcoming 2010 World Series of Poker, with the top prize a seat in the 2011 event.

Send all of your news, job postings, stories and profile ideas to [email protected]. Follow us on Twitter (FSBcom).


Maryland Delegate ‘Baffled’ by Bill Silence

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

We’ve mentioned it in passing here a few times that the Maryland state House of Delegates has twice seen a bill introduced seeking to allow fantasy payouts to state residents.

What we haven’t seen is a story about such a bill being passed into law … or even advancing beyond the first level of approval, for that matter.

Curious about the silence beyond the bill introductions each of the past two years, FSB.com contacted Delegate John Olszewski Jr., who has sponsored the fantasy sports bill each of the past two years.

The good news for fantasy industry interests is that neither bill officially failed. The bad news: That’s because neither even made it to the floor for a vote. Why not? Apparently Olszewski doesn’t even know.

“I’m sorry to report that, with the end of the 2010 session (which happened in early April), the bill effectively ‘died’ for another year,” Olszewski told FSB.com. “It died without being brought up for a vote again this year.”

“I’ve been working for several years now to allow Maryland residents to have the same ability to win prizes as all of our neighboring states and most of the country. To date, I have not heard any opposition, so I’m baffled as to why we have not had it come to a vote in either year. It is generally the prerogative of the Chair of the committee and Chair of the Subcommittee to withhold bills.”

So, did a special-interest group get in the ear of some lawmaker(s) in Maryland and kill the fantasy bill the way the Louisiana bill died? Is it simply too small an issue within the state to have found its way to the floor?

We don’t yet know. What we do know, however, is that fantasy sports prizes aren’t much closer to delivery in Maryland than they are in any of the other trouble states.