I know some of you have beaten me to the punch here, but I've just caught wind of what the 'official' BTSC fantasy football league will be this year.. SB Nation, this site's parent company, has entered into a partnership with CBSSports.com to create official fantasy leagues for our NFL blogs. This is a change from recent years, but I can't say I'm upset we're making the shift to CBSSports.com Fantasy Football Commissioner. Of course, the primary difference is that his platform is a paid service, but you get what you pay for - Fantasy Football Commissioner offers a ton of great features that have the potential to make free leagues seem quite boring if there are competitive players and it's managed properly.
The previous two years, we've used a free service, which was obviously easier to 'sell' to you all. It was most certainly fun, with the sagacious steeler.lifer taking home the top prize last year. Quite frankly though, the platform (Flea Flickr) had its limitations and was really not much more than just serviceable and average.
Read on, there's some spots up for grabs in one free league, and some information and preliminary thoughts about how BTSC collectively can potentially benefit from this partnership.
Here's the deal. I've been given access to one free league - the official BTSC 2010 Fantasy League - on CBSSports.com. I have set aside (or at least I think I have), four of the 9 spots for the following people - JohnnyS, Frank Mineo, steeler.lifer, and EnglishSteelerGotBanned. I chose them because they either have been hugely helpful in keeping the site humming or as I mentioned, won last year's competition. Throw in yours truly and there's only five of the ten spots in the league left open. in EnglishSteeler's case, I'm including him because he was the first to try to get something going like this on the site last month. (Note: As much as I loved that, remember to hold tight in future years; safe bet that there will be something brewing on the horizon).
NOTE: Because I don't think it's fair to make it first come, first served: leave a comment expressing your interest in joining the primary league. THE FIRST 30 commentors will be eligible for a random drawing by me for the remaining five spots. We will do the drawing sometime tomorrow evening, and I will send out invites accordingly.The rules of the drawing will be random and not supervised, but believe me, I don't really care who's in it. There's countless folks amongst you all I'd love to have in the league.
Here's the other part of the partnership though - CBSSports.com is offering us 50% off any league that is started by one of you all outside of the 'official league'. That means it's $90 dollars for the full set of features rather than $180. I'm not going to try to sell it to you just yet, but I am going to put my thinking cap on to come up with a way to make it make sense for a lot of us to consider participating in this.
One way I'll do this is by trying to find a way to cover some of the costs of the fees, in some creative fashion.The reason I'd be interested in doing that is because the SB Nation blog that starts up the most leagues gets a nice four-figure sum. From the sound of it early on, most communities around the network are gun-shy, so we might be able to contend here. Like I said, I'm going to try to come up with an idea that diffuses the cost over many, rather than few so that we can maybe get a number of 'official leagues' going here. And if we were to come out on top, rest assured that I'd reinvest some of that coin into you all - say, in the form of a pair of tickets to a Steelers game or something else we all collectively agree upon.
Let me think about the particulars a bit more, but I needed to get this out there in the meantime.
So, leave your comment if you want to be in the drawing for the official league. Go about registering on CBSSports.com if you aren't already while you wait for the drawing. We'll go from there.
P.S. Thank you all for being receptive to some of these arrangements and partnerships and promotions. They help keep all this possible, so appreciate you quite a bit. And believe me, if I can't find a way to make it seem worthwhile for us in terms of organization and collective enjoyment, I won't be pushing this on you too hard. We'll see, I think it could be fun if we get lots involved.
P.S.S. If you have an idea or two about how we might be able to get a big blog-wide competition going and getting dozens of people involved in multiple leagues beyond just the 'official one', please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.