September 16th, 2010

CBS Players Go to Movies for Fantasy Names

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Say this for fantasy football players: When they get inspired by a movie, they stick with it. At least, that’s my takeaway from looking over the top 200 team names list that released on Thursday.

The group of most common titles is full of predictables such as “Bulldogs” (for ugly owners), “Cowboys” (for bandwagon riders), “Raiders” (for those who don’t particularly care about football) and “Shockers” (comprising only graduates of Wichita State, I have to assume).

No. 1 on the list, though, is “Mean Machine,” harkening back, of course, to the 1974 football classic The Longest Yard. (I refuse to acknowledge the role of the more recent Adam Sandler turd or 2007’s overlooked The Longest Yard Sale, “the low-budget movie with big-budget depth.”)

Scroll just a little ways down the list, and you’ll find The Karate Kid-inspired “Cobra Kai” at No. 22, followed at No. 29 by “McLovin” of Superbad fame.

The full list can be seen via the first link in this article. The top 20 goes like this:

1. Mean Machine
2. Bulldogs
3. Cowboys
4. Da’ Bears
5. Steel Curtain
6. Shockers
7. Warriors
8. G-Men
9. Raiders
10. :-)
11. Big Dog
12. Eagles
13. Sharks
14. Steelers
15. Show me your TDs
16. Wildcats
17. Gang Green
18. Prime Time
19. Big Blue
20. Rookies


Personal Profile: Scott Engel

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Name: Scott Engel
Nickname: “The King”
Job title(s): managing director,
Full-time in fantasy? Yes, since 1996
Age: 44
Education: B.A. in journalism, Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus
Family status: Married to Victoria, 16-year old son, Sean.
Favorite fantasy sport to play: Football
Favorite sport to watch: NFL
Favorite team (any sport): New York Mets
All-time favorite athlete: Bernard King
Years playing fantasy: Since the early ’90s, but much earlier if you count games like Strat-o-Matic.

I got my start in the fantasy industry when: I was hired at CBS Sportsline in the winter of 1996 and joined their fantasy department to help in many areas.

Since then, my fantasy résumé includes: Eight years at CBS Sportsline: served as managing editor and senior writer. Four years at ESPN as a fantasy writer, analyst and associate editor. Joined in July of 2008. Original executive committee member of the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association and named 2006 Fantasy Football Writer of the Year. Inducted to Fantasy Sports Writers Association hall of fame in 2010 as part of the inaugural class. Host of the “RotoExperts” morning show on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio.

Three questions

1) How did the fantasy scene of 1996, when you were with CBS Sportsline, compare with that of today? What do you see as the pros and cons of each landscape?

It was so new and exciting then, and I was able to help heavily shape the future of a great company in one of its most important departments. Early on, though, fantasy sports was viewed as an afterthought that didn’t need much attention overall. That thinking changed in a major way over the years, and it was so exciting to be part of the rise from a tiny section on the site to a major component of a successful corporation. Today, I’m back as part of another fast-rising company, enjoying that thrilling growth spurt all over again. It was more challenging in recent years to crack the industry, obviously, but with the right model and people, you can still make a major dent, as RotoExperts has proved.

2) With so many people analyzing and writing about fantasy football and so much luck factoring into the game itself, what does it take to be a truly good fantasy football analyst?

You must not go by numbers alone and realize there are so many other factors that can contribute to performances — emotions, rivalries, and a lot more. Plus, you must be able to write well and have in-depth knowledge of individual sports. Many potential prospects in the industry do one or the other well, hopefully they learn to combine the two.

3) Why did you leave ESPN, and what drew you to RotoExperts?

Working at ESPN was, at the time, reaching the top of the mountain in my career. It was like running out of the tunnel in the NFL when I first arrived there. It was a thrilling, unforgettable period in my life. Yet I thirsted for more creativity and avenues to share my experience with a company that wanted to meet the challenges of trying to crack the industry. Nothing ever matched the thrill ride of being with CBS Sportsline from the beginning and being part of that growth process. With RotoExperts, I saw the same kind of visions and people who wanted to scale great heights and believed in themselves. It was great being with ESPN, which was like a rock legend playing stadiums. Yet RotoExperts was the band I saw in a local club and knew they would be famous, and I wanted to get in early on the ride to stardom.

In well less than three years, I’ve already seen the RotoExperts audience grow in major ways, and we are ready to rock the fantasy world for years to come. I am actually playing on bigger stages than I did at ESPN, and RotoExperts now draws large audiences as its own popular fantasy act. I grew up wanting to be in KISS, and RotoExperts is the fantasy equivalent: unique, groundbreaking and unmatched for excitement. Joining forces with RotoExperts CEO Louis M. Maione was like meeting and joining up with Gene Simmons, they both are history-making visionaries with incredible work ethics. We already have churned out big hits like our significant presence on Sirius XM’s fantasy sports channel and partnership with as an exclusive fantasy content provider. We have more to come, including our totally groundbreaking Sports Grinder product and Upset Challenge game. Rock and roll!