September, 2010

FF Librarian Takes a Week Off for Good Reason

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

A quick check of Sara Holladay’s blog at will make it look like any other day during football season. You’ll find a post with some links to other resources that she thinks are worth sharing for mining fantasy football wisdom.

The difference is, Holladay posted today’s item about eight hours after giving birth to her first child.

She and her husband welcomed their son into the world shortly before noon Eastern time, unfortunately fighting off the urge to name him Anquan or Tamba after the most recent AFC offensive and defensive players of the week.

Congratulations to Scott and Sara, who has been a friend to various writers throughout the fantasy industry since kicking off her Librarian efforts back in 2006. May they adjust quickly to life devoid of sleep, free time and sanity for at least the next 18 years.


Fantasy Sports Ventures Picks New Name

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

About four months ago, Fantasy Sports Ventures made big Internet news by acquiring high-traffic sports and entertainment blog Now, the company has decided to relaunch as Big Lead Sports.

The change is part of a strategy to extend the reach beyond the fantasy industry to sports content and consumers in general.

“We had been considering a re-branding for some time, given the broadening of our content to include fantasy and non-fantasy coverage,” executive VP and chief affiliate officer Clay Walker told “We made the final decision regarding the branding to Big Lead Sports after we acquired TBL in June.”

In the company’s media release to announce the change, CEO Chris Russo said that FSV has exceeded its own expectations in terms of exposure and traffic in the four years since it launched with a focus on the fantasy community.

“When we launched Fantasy Sports Ventures in 2006, we never expected to become a top 5 sports property,” Russo said in the release. “Given the growth and evolution of our business, the re-branding will help us communicate our distinctive products and leadership position to the marketplace.”

The new company name and logo can be found at the top of, though FSV’s main corporate site continues to carry the original name and look. Walker said that a new Web toolbar will soon replace the version that can still be found on owned and affiliated sites such as


First-Ever Fantasy Football Draft Pick Dies at 83

Monday, September 27th, 2010

You might not have heard of fantasy football before you and your buddies started playing it online five years ago, but it has been around for a very long time. How long? The first football player ever drafted died Monday at age 83.

George Blanda set numerous passing and kicking records over a 26-year pro football career that landed him in the hall of fame in 1981. He spent 10 years with the NFL’s Chicago Bears before leaving over a money squabble. Blanda then landed with the upstart AFL’s Houston Oilers before finishing his career as an Oakland Raider.

It was in 1963 as an Oiler that Blanda’s name got etched into fantasy sports history when Andy Mousalimas and Scotty Stirling made him the first pick in the inaugural GOPPPL draft. Blanda led the league with 3,003 passing yards that season and ranked second with 24 touchdown passes, but his 25 interceptions also led the AFL (topped by one NFL passer).

The team that drafted Blanda ultimately took last place in that first year of fantasy football, earning the ignominy of the first-ever “Dunce Award.”

Blanda would only spend two more seasons as his team’s primary starting quarterback after 1963. Fantasy football, of course, has only thrived since those earliest days.

(See: George Blanda’s Pro Football Reference page)


FSB Daily 9/25: IT FF, MJD, AP, Wiegert

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

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

- We’ve made our feelings known in the past on the annual “study” in which Challenger, Gray & Christmas tells us how far down fantasy sports are dragging the economy. As such, we tend to frown upon stories generated by the “study.” This short, IT-focused item, however, takes an interesting look at how companies shouldn’t worry too much about the supposed productivity loss and how the tech folks can actually help expedite our fantasy research.

- I probably missed his first couple of appearances as a fantasy football columnist for, but this week Maurice Jones-Drew said that the NFL picture will be much clearer for fantasy owners once we have three games behind us.

- In this report from St. Louis Business Journal, Charlie Wiegert says of his parting with Fanball, “They would have gotten rid of me a week before, but I was running a football draft in Buffalo.”

- It’s out there, and the fact that it’s an Associated Press story means the story that calls daily fantasy sports “gambling” right in the headline has and will continue to be run by various outlets. We will have plenty to sort out within this story over the coming days.

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