Thursday, March 17, 2011

Strictly For My Sportz Nerdz

This right here is probably the dorkiest thing I've ever written -- a piece for about the joys of the do-it-yourself NCAA tournament fantasy basketball league. (Frequent collaborator and MacGyver commish Brendan Flynn is the hero):

We are all grown men: some of us fathers, some with post-graduate degrees, all of us comparatively well-adjusted, some of us smart enough to know that Richmond’s first-round matchup against Vanderbilt looks like a reasonable upset pick. Why were we doing this? Well, the simplest answer is that we are hideous, hideous basketball dorks who happen also to share a taste for fantasy basketball. (Ladies!)

But the more specific answer is that we were having a NCAA fantasy draft because we could. Licensing issues prevent fantasy sports giants from hosting player-driven NCAA drafts along the lines of the average NBA fantasy basketball league, and those sites do plenty well with their bracket-prediction fantasy games. Last year, 4 million people picked a bracket through’s Tournament Challenge, which features some nifty coding, a $10,000 prize for a perfect bracket, and a State Farm sponsorship. In contrast, there are eight of us in the hand-collated NCAA fantasy league run by Brendan Flynn, a doctoral candidate in political science at the City University of New York’s grad center. We’re still working out the corporate sponsorship thing.

I'm happy with it, and enjoyed the experience immensely, as I have enjoyed all my experiences writing for Wired's Erik Malinowski. That said: serious levels of nerderation jumping off on this one. Sports + MS Excel = LADIES!

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