Posts Tagged ‘aol sports’

Flea Flicker’s Future Unclear After All

Monday, March 7th, 2011

When Sporting News and AOL recently rolled out their joint content outlet, the new site contained no link to That raised some questions about the AOL-owned fantasy-games engine, but the site remains live and free standing at

FSB checked in with AOL and was told by Diedre Ayers, senior manager of corporate communications, that “Flea Flicker was not part of the SN deal and will remain separate.”

That made sense to us and seemed to answer any questions, until the following exchange from the Flea Flicker forums (say that three times fast) was pointed out on Monday:

FantasyGuru1965: “Is there any word on the fate of the FleaFlicker site? Will there be a complete 2011 season?”

fleafounder: “No decision has been made yet but I hope to know more next week.”

One can logically deduce from the profile page that “fleafounder” is creator Ori Schwartz, who debuted his site in 2006 and sold it to AOL in April 2008.

We’ll see if there’s more to be gleaned from this situation right now, but it appears that the recent shuffling of AOL Sports — which included the cutting of Fanhouse — might not be done.


Personal Profile: Tom Herrera

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Name: Thomas D. Herrera
Nickname: Tom, The Machine (stole that from Sasha Vujacic)
Job title(s): Producer and Editor at FanHouse
Full-time in fantasy? It started out like that, but it’s just not just fantasy anymore
Age: 27
Education: B.A. from New Jersey Institute of Technology / Theatre minor at Rutgers
Family status: Dating an understanding woman for 5 years now
Favorite fantasy sport to play: Baseball, without a doubt
Favorite sport to watch: Basketball, especially live. Though I hear handball is a blast
Favorite team (any sport): New York Knickerbockers
All-time favorite athlete: Patrick Ewing
Years playing fantasy: About a decade

I got my start in the fantasy industry when: I pitched a video-based fantasy analysis column idea called “Tale of the Tape” to Pierre Becquey and Matthew Berry. They gave me my first shot at professional fantasy writing at the now-defunct They then trusted me with other opportunities for, and

Since then, my fantasy résumé includes: Building Fantasy FanHouse, an FSTA-nominated blog dedicated to fantasy sports at AOL, and crafting promos to get readers interested in our fantasy football platform And writing fantasy columns whenever I can find the chance.

Three questions

1) Nando Di Fino has compared your role(s) with AOL to that of a plate spinner. What does he mean? What does your job entail? How has it changed with the recent branching out of Fanhouse?

Hahah, Nando knows me too well. That’s an apt description of my role. During any given week, I’d say I have about six or seven plates to spin. Among them, it’s crafting promotions to generate page view growth, editing our blogger posts on the night desk, building strange galleries, guiding where we want to go with our fantasy offerings and marketing our links on social-networking platforms like Twitter. On a Saturday at 4 a.m. while the NYU kids are stumbling back from the bars, I’m in the office a few blocks down getting our UFC coverage and fight photos ready … then maybe an egg and cheese.

The good thing about the merge from AOL Sports to is there used to be much more storytelling you’d have to stress over regarding what the site looked like — including synopses for each story and photo/poll enhancements. It was a big undertaking to flip the whole site to fresh content. Now the bloggers are more in control of the mainstream coverage, but we’re still guiding the editorial vision, flow and look of what it should be. Overall, though, it’s one less plate.

2) Just within a week and a half, your Fanhouse posts varied from fantasy baseball to basketball to celebrity news and the first woman to swim the Atlantic Ocean. What do you seek to do/cover with your writing for the site? Do you miss the level of writing that past jobs had?

Hah, that’s an interesting mix there. A lot of the writing I do seems to be more based on demand. I work mostly nights and weekends, so some of the writing is based on what needs to be covered vs. who’s around to cover it. I still find time here and there to write the true sports features, if you will. I did a piece on Rex Ryan molding the Jets defense the other day and that turned out well. But based on the time restraints, the opportunity to take hours to craft your argument isn’t always there. I do miss the adventure of something like my old video analysis column because I’d spend hours scouring through tape just for some interesting tidbits to give to readers. When I did find them though, it was like little nuggets of fantasy gold … like when I told Nando about Joakim Soria before he became closer. One thing about smart fantasy readers is they really respect a unique perspective.

3) How important was your previous fantasy experience to your being chosen for your current position with AOL/Fanhouse?

Oh, I’d say it was crucial. When I was hired in 2007, I was pretty much thrown right into the fire of the fantasy football push. I had to learn a lot about the AOL demographic quickly — what kind of approach would work with the readers. One of the things you learn writing in the fantasy industry is that every platform is different. Just because and are both huge sites with serious sports fans doesn’t mean the same kind of fantasy analysis and writing style would work in both spots. So when they noticed I had the opportunity through Mr. Berry to write for a variety of heavy-traffic sites, I think that was a big plus.

To tell you the truth, I think fantasy sports players don’t get enough credit in general. A person who plays four kinds of fantasy sports is no doubt going to be a more knowledgeable, well-rounded sports fan. The average fan wouldn’t know Ronnie Brewer is taking his game up a notch for the Jazz, but the fantasy basketball owner would.

Take Matt Snyder, one of our bloggers, for instance. He started out just writing fantasy pieces for FanHouse. And now he’s contributing great content across MLB, NFL and college hoops. Fantasy keeps you interested in teams you wouldn’t have followed otherwise.

Bonus: Your mini bio on Fanhouse calls you “an avid fan of all things sport, film and music.” Does that make you an avid fan of Shaquille O’Neal (basketball/Kazaam/Shaq Diesel) and Ron Artest (basketball/Murda Muzik/My World)? Would you classify yourself as a Tru Warier?

Oh, I think I have “What’s Up Doc?” by Fu-Schnickens featuring Shaq somewhere on my hard drive! Anyone who didn’t see Shaq groove with the JabbaWockeeZ dance troupe at the All-Star Game is missing out. I can’t say I’m a fan of Artest’s repertoire off the court, though. But, hey, if Ron-Ron ever wants to come play for New York, we’d welcome him with open arms. We’re still steaming about the Knicks passing him up for Frederic Weis in the putrid 1999 draft.


FSB Daily 2/24: CBS Sports, Fanhouse, Rugby

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

A roundup of recent posts on the FSB News page.

- announced the availability of its 2009 suite of fantasy baseball products on Monday. Included in the launch is the addition of auction-draft software.

- AOL’s Fanhouse has signed with NBC Local to syndicate relevant content on NBC Local sites. It’s the first syndication deal for Fanhouse.

- If you’re waiting to get your Australian rugby fantasy team going on Fox Sports for 2009, make sure you do so before the season opens on March 13.

- New job posting: Writers for The Biz of Baseball.

Send all of your news, job postings, stories and profile ideas to [email protected].


The Full List of FSTA Award Winners

Friday, January 30th, 2009

Here are all of the finalists for the Fantasy Sports Trade Association’s 2008 Industry Recognition Awards. Only FSTA members are eligible to win, and the membership selects the winners (in bold below) from the final candidates.

Commissioner Product Commissioner
ESPN Fantasy League Manager Football Commissioner
Fantrax (FB)
RealTime Fantasy Sports (FB)

Draft-Style Tool Live Draft Room
Mock Draft Central

Draft-Style Contest Free Fantasy Football LLC (FB)
Fanball Draft and Play MLB (NFL, NBA, NHL, NASCAR
Head2Head The Draft 2008
PASPN.Net Mock GM Offseason & Real-time Fantasy Basketball
U-Sports (College FB, BB)

Salary Cap Contest
Fanball Challenge Games
Head2Head Salary Cap Football
PASPN.Net Mock GM Offseason & Real-time Fantasy Basketball
Sports Buff Salary Cap Style Football

Live Event or Contest
AOL Sports (FB)
ESPN Fantasy Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (FB)
FLW Fantasy Fishing

Unique Contest
Alma Mater Football League
ESPN Streak for the Cash
FLW Fantasy Fishing
Head2Head Match Play Madness
PASPN.Net Mock GM Offseason & Real-time Fantasy Basketball
Pay The Fan Fantasy Sports (FB,Racing)

Innovation User Generated Player Updates
ESPN Streak for the Cash GMC Fantasy Scout

Draft Kit Fantasy Football Downloadable Draft Kit
The Huddle Fantasy Football Draft Kit
ESPN Fantasy Football/Baseball Draft Kit
RotoWire Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit’s Fantasy Football Draft Guide

Draft Assistance Tool Mock Drafts
Draft Dynamix Draft Analyzer
Mock Draft Central
RotoLab, DraftLab, HoopLab

Fanball - Gatefold (4 Page) Ad in Fantasy Football Index & Fanball Cheat Sheets
RotoWire 2008 Fantasy Football print ad
U-Sports (College FB, BB)

Athlon/Grogan’s Fantasy Football Analyst
Baseball HQ - Baseball Forecaster FANTASY FOOTBALL TODAY
ESPN The Magazine Fantasy Football Draft Guide (FB)
Fanball Fantasy Football Draft Issue
RotoWire 2008 Fantasy Baseball Guide
Rotoworld/NBC Sports (FB, Baseball)

New Website or Site Update
AOL Sports (FB) Fanhouse College Fantasy Football
One Season Fantasy sports stock market
Sports Data Hub

Specialty Products or Services
BlogTalkRadio: The Fantasy Sports Channel (FB,BB,Baseball,H)
Fantasy Trophies LLC
Sports Data Hub
Titlecraft Inc.

Online Content Service Fantasy News Site
ESPN Insider Answer Guys
Fanball - Owner’s Edge NFL
The Huddle Fantasy Football Service
KFFL Hot off the Wire
Rotoworld/NBC Sports (All Sports)

AOL Sports (FB)
ESPN Stephania Bell’s Injury Blog (FB)
Fanball - Godfather of Fantasy Sports Blog
The Fantasy Baseball Sherpa’s Blog
Fantasy Football Sherpa’s Blog
RotoWire’s blog area, also called RotoSynthesis
Sporting News Fantasy Source Blitz blog (FB)
William Del Pilar’s Locker Room Buzz

BlogTalkRadio: The Fantasy Sports Channel (FB,BB,Baseball,H) FANTASY FOOTBALL TODAY(FB)
ESPN Fantasy Focus Baseball
ESPN Fantasy Focus Football Start em and Sit em Sunday