The Fake Football Writing Contest Sponsored by DraftDay: Round 2
June 18, 2013 | Chet
Welcome to round two of The Fake Football Writing Contest. In this edition we will give you the winners from round one and the topic for round two’s article. So steady yourself for all that. But before we go there, let’s take another look at what you are writing for!
PLUS! If you are so inclined, first place will be given a weekly platform on The Fake Football to spout off fake football knowledge.
PLUS! PLUS! You will get your work read by some of the best fantasy writers in the business and a ton of experience in writing about fake sports for a deadline and with a predetermined topic, both integral parts of making it in the freelance fake sports writing business.
Ok, so on with the business at hand. We had a great turn out for the contest with 55 entries. Those are 55 people taking their valuable time and writing an article about fantasy football and sending it across the interwebs to be critiqued and judged. Just doing that is a feat unto itself, so I would like to applaud every one of you. And I truly mean that because this was an extremely difficult process. Unfortunately we do have to rank y’all so we can pick a winner at the end of this here competition. If your name is not mentioned in the recap below, DO NOT be discouraged! Please continue to participate in the contest, and keep bringing your best analysis. I’d like to thank our two celebrity judges, @RumfordJohnny and @Dexters_Library as well as our own Neil Parker (@naparker77) who helped read through the entries. With input from everyone, Jeff and I had to make the final decision. I was in the fetal position while Jeff screamed a lot. It was funish.
Before we announce the round one winners, the following writers had great material, but landed just outside the top three:
Geoff Doyle makes a good point when talking about Pierre Thomas, writing that he “is still just 28 years old and has only 626 career carries. Larry Johnson thinks that is hilarious.” Drew Shaw made me laugh when talking about drafting Ben Tate last season, “That one bit me right in the spot Mark Sanchez fumbles from.” I enjoyed and was swayed by David Mellem’s upside down draft strategy and will be trying it out more in mock drafts over the next couple months. Chris Cipriano had me at Shane Vereen, Mike Goodson and Johnathan Franklin while eschewing some of the more run-of-the-mill Shonn Greene’s of the world. Jacob Woodruff had the funniest confession, “(Confession: I originally had Donald Brown here and written such a mastery of wordsmithery and arguments of wizardly proportions that no one could have mounted a modicum of resistance to my brilliance. With the Colts signing Ahmad Bradshaw – they probably wouldn’t have done that if they read my article – I scrapped that whole thing and now you get Danny Woodhead).” Jeff was a fan of Scott Watson’s graphs and statistical research and was thoroughly entertained by Josh Carey’s “Used Car Lot” premise which was a fantastic, original idea.
Our guest judges, @DextersLibrary and @RumfordJohnny, also had some favorites that placed outside the top three:
Matt Dodd pleased the palate with subtle flavors and several shameless mentions of boobies, boobies and more boobies. Dodd, aka “The Boobie Watcher” also doled out wholesome, comfort food style advice, with mentions of value based drafting and the sensibility of allowing the draft to “come to you.” His humor was a fine dessert to close out the meal, but he came up just a little bit short. He’ll have to settle as chairman of the “Itty Bitty Titty Committee.” — @RumfordJohnny
Scott Lynge had a strong intro. I think he has potential and the statistical arguments were strong. Solid layout and tied the article together nicely. Chris Cochran: Reading through his entry again I think I like the conciseness of the writing and analysis…I think this is a quality candidate. Paul Batts: The best intro of the lot, he follows it with equations which help push the reader’s eyes along and infuse the article with credibility. Enjoyed the analysis and the writing was solid. Christopher Revell did a great job of reviewing guys who might not be on everyone’s radar. — @DextersLibrary
Now, without further ado, here are the top three finishers in round one:
3rd Place: Justin Bonnema researched in-depth for his analysis of late round running backs. His intro was concise and showed the reader how important the late rounds in drafts are for your fantasy season. He is correct when he writes, “Success in fantasy football begins with a good draft strategy and a good draft strategy includes a plan for every round. The first half of the draft is
easy predictable. If anything, the early rounds require less preparation. It’s the late rounds that require research. Yet, I see so many people evacuate mock drafts after the first eight or so have been completed. I’m pretty sure such tactics fall under that whole “failing to prepare is preparing to fail” thing. That’s a bad strategy.”
Jeff offered: “I liked his creative ideas for the potential uses of Denard Robinson in Jacksonville and felt like the piece was very well researched.”
@DextersLibrary was also fan and said, “Bonnema started off with a quality intro. Easy to read and quality analysis within. He made a great case for the players he chose and did so with statistical arguments.”
Mr. @RumfordJohnny says, “Justin’s presentation was strong. A clean presentation of under the radar picks with the meat and potatoes of statistical data to back up his application. The only down side? Shonn Greene was on his plate, much like an undercooked piece of poultry, bound to give your fantasy team salmonella. Strong takes, bold flavors, but in the end, nobody wants a “Shonn Greene” on their plate, like an over ambitious pasta dish with entirely too much cream and butter.”
2nd Place: Andrew Englebrecht hits you early and often with information. Often, fake football readers want the fantasy nuggets and Andrew gives them what they want. His format allowed for an excess of information without overwhelming and he kept the piece smart and humorous enough to entertain readers.
Jeff raved about the format of the piece, writing that, “Andrew came up with a very original format that made this topic extremely interesting. Instead of simply listing potentially undervalued backs, his comparison of the players to 2012’s breakout running backs was very well written. I am looking forward to Andrew’s contributions in the upcoming rounds.”
1st Place: Kenneth Wang was able to take an incident where he and his girlfriend were pooped on my a gull and relate it to fantasy football. Enough said. But there’s more to say actually. Moving from bird defecation to statistical charts showed a wide range of ability, and when you are writing about fake football it is easy to lose your writing range and get stuck in a boring rut (aren’t all ruts boring?). Kenneth deftly side-stepped that pothole.
Jeff wrote that Kenneth, “covered this topic with a perfect balance of creative writing and sharp statistical analysis. His stats were thorough enough to make you believe his arguments while not rocking you to sleep while reading them. Very well done.”
@RumfordJohnny wrote that Mr. Wang, “combined the visual flair of a four star Michelin chef, with the razor sharp precision of Morimoto. The flaky crust of his pie charts melted in your proverbial mouth, and his Zac Stacy entree and Andre Brown amuse bouchée’ was straight out of left field. I came away from this fantasy football meal with a new appreciation for layered fantasy flavors and statistical knife work. Warm in his victorious glow as the camera pans across his folded arms and they roll the credits.”
Congratulations to all of you, and thanks again to our wonderful celebrity judges! Our next topic is “Who is your top player to avoid in 2013 and why?” Unlike the first topic you will be able to focus and go more in depth on the individual player you choose. Use this to your advantage. Your second article is due Monday June 24th, 10pm central. Please use the title “TFF Round 2” and attach a word doc if at all possible. All 55 writers are eligible to enter. The overall winner will be the scribe with the three strongest articles.
Our three celebrity judges for round two are none other than:
Dalton Del Don is a writer for Roto Arcade, covering football, baseball and basketball. He’s been playing fantasy sports since before it became “cool” and won’t hide his love of the S.F. Giants and 49ers. He also pays far too much attention to pop culture for his own good.
David Gonos has been writing about Fantasy Football online since 2000, eventually joining the crew at CBS SportsLine.com in 2003. That five-man Fantasy content staff consisted of three eventual FSWA Hall of Famers (Tristan Cockcroft, Scott Engel and Michael Fabiano) and a two-time FSWA award-winning writer (Daniel Dobish) … and Gonos. He’s good at spelling.
Gonos has been playing Fantasy Football dating back to 1989. He has drafted both Curt Warner and Kurt Warner. He won the 2008 FSTA Fantasy Football Championship, as well as the 2008 Tout Wars title, and then he apparently went into a coma for five years. His columns have also appeared on MLB.com, NFL.com, FoxSports.com and RotoExperts.com. He currently writes Fantasy Sports for his own site, DavidGonos.com, and contributes to SportsIllustrated.com.
C.D. Carter is a journalist, author of, “How To Think Like a Fantasy Football Winner,” and writer for The Fake Football, Sports Jerks Network, and 4for4 Football.