Hi everyone. Welcome to FantasyPoints.com.
I would like first to address anyone who visited FantasyFreeAgents.com or listened to even one minute of the Fantasy Free Agents Podcast last NFL season. Thank you so, so much. If you’re here from the Fantasy Feast Podcast, I also offer my gratitude. But if you didn’t visit there or listen anywhere, we hope we can make new fans here.
Tom Brolley and I had no intentions of our little podcast gaining as much traction as it did, but with over half a million listens for two guys who didn’t start their own thing until July 2019 (and hadn’t done a pod since February), I’m so extremely proud of it. I hope we provided enough entertainment and information to get you through last season.
Tom and I took a risk last year, giving up a stable income to do something our guts told us we needed to do. And while things didn’t go exactly as planned, as we alluded to many times, we fell in love with working in the fantasy industry once again. We recorded over 100 podcasts together in just six months’ time. The only money we made was from your generous donations and ad revenue, but we earned it, and that felt really freaking good. That site and podcast were ours and we felt like we connected with people. I can’t speak for Tom here, but it was the most rewarding experience of my career. I think we forged relationships with our listeners while strengthening our ability to analyze and entertain.
Here’s why that was so important, for me: if you listen to my pods or radio show on SiriusXM, you’ll occasionally hear me bring up that I, like so many others, struggle with my mental health. And like so many others, those struggles wax and wane. One thing I’ve talked about with my therapist, Dr. Rick Lytle — legitimately one of the best people I’ve ever met — is something he introduced to me, called "Imposter Syndrome."
In short, Imposter Syndrome is the constant, gnawing inner feeling that one is a fraud. It affects you in all walks of life, but I’ll focus on my fantasy career. It doesn’t matter if people pay you for your work, if you get showered with accolades, if you get good reviews on iTunes… whatever. You can’t shake the feeling that you’re a fraud, a huckster, a snake-oil salesman. I struggled with this for a long-ass time. I went through a two-year period of not being very proud of my work, and that’s a crappy feeling.
And while I don’t think the roots of those thoughts will ever truly go away, cutting my teeth by doing my own thing, over which I had significant creative control, was perhaps the most important work I’ve ever done in my career. Setting no expectations for listenership or finances, Tom and I just had fun. And it worked!
That was significant, because Tom and I knew there was an endgame, and we needed to be ready. That endgame is here in FantasyPoints.com, and I know I’m hungrier than I’ve ever been to get going.
That brings me to another reason I’ve struggled with Imposter Syndrome in this industry… because there are a lot of extremely talented people in it, and sometimes I think I can barely hold a candle to them. Fortunately, I’m a team player, and we’ve brought those people along with us. You all know the old adage, but I’ll spare you the cliché.
Above all, there’s John Hansen. John practically invented the online fantasy football content industry. He just hired me, almost blindly, to be a part of it 11 years ago, and I’d go to war for him. Brolley is legitimately the hardest worker I know. We talk about intangibles with some of the great quarterbacks who have played in the NFL, and similarly, Tom has "it" for fantasy and gambling — just a mind for the game. Graham Barfield produced better content at 18 than I’ve ever produced in my career, and grinded his way up to the top from doing it as a hobby on Twitter. Scott Barrett might be the most brilliant analyst in the entire industry — sometimes, I feel like he and I speak different languages. Our IDP guys, Justin Varnes and Tom Simons, have a passion for the format that is utterly necessary for you complete wackos who obsess over it (and I mean that in a good way). Greg Cosell is your favorite football analyst’s favorite football analyst. He’s gotten to where he is with decades of hard work, and he’s stayed at the top because he’ll never settle for the hot take.
That brings me to Ben Kukainis, the man behind the scenes. Ben was brought on with our team at our former website about seven years ago as a proofreader for the massive amounts of content we produce — he’s a college English professor. Through literally nothing but sheer will and curiosity, he’s developed into a do-everything guy for us, from graphics, to production, to voiceovers, to negotiating with advertisers. If it’s something that needs to be done for a site to run, Ben does it. I’m pretty sure he lives to work. He is also one of the most genuine people you’d ever meet.
And here’s the final point: I know we’re going to succeed because we are a team. I don’t care if I feel like an imposter anymore, because any accolade I receive belongs to us. Any accolade Graham receives belongs to us. Any accolade Tom and Scott receive… you get the point. And if we’re getting accolades, the most important part of it all is that you guys — the readers, the listeners, the subscribers — are going to benefit. Hopefully that benefit will be financial many times over, but if not, I pray we can distract and entertain you (especially in some very depressing times).
A couple years ago, the family atmosphere that I felt in the industry kind of went away. We’ve gotten it back. That was the entire, ahem, point of FantasyPoints. We’re a small team working as one, for you guys. We all have different strengths, but every championship team needs role players. Many of them have stars at different positions.
I don’t know if I’m a role player or a star. I don’t really care anymore, and I hope I never do. I just think I’m part of the best damn team in the industry. And there are roster spots open for you.