FPL Support: Thank You!

Last December I wrote a Fantasy Football Thanks article identifying  podcasts, Twitter accounts and websites that made the FPL season enjoyable. The 2017/18 Premier League season was the first in which I used Twitter (@6thGoal), in conjunction with a handful of FPL websites to assist in planning and decision making. Like millions of other fantasy managers I finished in complete obscurity, never cracking the top 100k, but never giving up, always remaining positive, even in a Watford-esque, downward spiral.

Rewind to December 2017, as the FPL season is in full swing and Chef Dale (now known as The Peasant Chef) posted his beer haul using the #FPLBeerClub. A month later a DM group of “like-minded beer enthusiasts” became known as the #FPLBeerClub. It was a great way to go through the remainder of the fantasy football season, especially for those managers struggling in their FPL form. Many times, the beer pics, Tweets and discussion more than made up for the lack of points.

For me personally, I decided to become more involved. While I had started the 6thgoal.com, off the back of my personal website, the6thfloor.com,I felt there was more I could contribute to fantasy football and Twitter. While I didn’t feel it was necessary to add the “@FPL_” in from of my account, I decided to start a series of beer reviews on the back of the #FPLBeerClub. These were just quick, 30-45 seconds videos from my mobile device, mainly for the benefit of the FPL Twitter community and those in the beer club, being tagged using the #30SecondBeerReview. It all began with From Yakima with Love. To date I am nearing 150 reviews since starting this series.

The response was quite amazing, as the reviews have now become part of my identity in the FPL community. This isn’t the first community I have been involved with. I spent a few years before getting heavily invested in FPL, as an avid fantasy (NFL) football pundit and moderator at a, now defunct website that provided some excellent interaction and feedback from the owners of the company and users who subscribed to the service. Prior to that I spent nearly 11 years as the project coordinator and public relations director for an amateur software development team (Silicon Ice Development) creating computer games (Urban Terror, ProBall & Mercenary-X). I helped create and foster a community from a handful to hundreds of thousands of players.

However, it wasn’t the game that saw me come back, year after year. It was the people involved. Now realistically, I don’t expect to meet face to face with many from Twitter. It’s great to put a name and face to a voice, for example Josh and Brandon at Always Cheating, Nick and Tom at Who Got the Assist and Suj and James from Planet FPL. Even now, I feel people connect better being able to put an online alias with a voice and face.

As a host for the US contingency of the Academica Vertex, I feel the interaction and discussion between Casey (FPL_Tornado), Garf (FPL_Shark), Gabe (FPLLens) and myself is much improved as we provide a weekly live video stream. This seems to give the community a high quality and more enjoyable podcast for the community, as we discuss FPL. Some great guys with excellent insight and thoughts on the game with attention to Man United, Everton and Watford.

Academica Vertex didn’t give me my start in podcasting, I’ve had 12 years of experience prior to coming on board, hosting the early episodes with Aditya and Varun. From 1998 to 1999 I hosted Radio OZ, which was an all 1980’s radio show that ran prior to an online show called Anything Goes, hosted by Blankz. The friendship with him grew and I came on board a few years later at the Team Sportscast Network (TsN), providing live, color commentary for online gaming.

In 2000 I created the show Urban Radio to support the game I was helping to develop titled, Urban Terror. It was a weekly 2-hour show, as I would provide updates and information related to the game, play some music and answer questions. This experience helped me develop the skills to write, produce and edit a show that ran for 10 years! During the run of Urban Radio, I moved to Radio iTG or Inside the Game, where I developed a non-gaming radio show called, Just Push Play, as I dove back into the 80’s providing history, reviewing music, television, movies and video games.

Having been away from the “radio” medium for over 10 years I decided to jump back in this year creating the Pitch & Pint Podcast, a weekly show discussing Fantasy Premier League and beer. This, in a community that seems saturated with quality podcasts. My listening habits probably don’t begin to scratch the surface but there are weekly shows I do favor with a commute, to and from work, five days a week.

Let’s start on the East Coast, in Brooklyn, NY with Always Cheating, a pod that come across as one of the most professional in the community. Josh and Brandon do a wonderful job presenting FPL content with regular, weekly segments, which includes listener questions from Twitter and the Slack channel. Their interaction is what makes the show funny, yet insightful when faced with FPL decisions.

In a similar vein, I’ve listened to Nick and Tom at Who Got the Assist ahead of last season, found them by mistake when I was searching for FPL websites to help me plan ahead of the official FPL launch. Much like the Cheaters the interaction between Nick and Tom is excellent. The pod flows as they roll from topic to topic, always with an underlying theme that I still have no idea how to figure out. They have also been featured on Fantasy Football Scout and the Fantasy Premier League Show. Great guys, great pod!

One I came into during the middle of last season, Planet #FPL with James and Suj. Now I wasn’t completely sold on these two guys initially. I think that feeling is common when you decide to find another podcast to listen to. Then again, maybe it’s just me. It wasn’t but a few shows and my opinion was changed. I  considered the show to be a bit more “raw” as James is quite “colorful” with his language and love for Spurs. Suj, the Hammers fan. They have done an excellent job over the last year foster the planet, growing a group of 21 writers to provide content for the FPL website. Awesome job!

This year, in conjunction with the #FPLBeerClub, I started to tune in Marco and Jake from The Art of the Dive. While not as structured, the banter is wonderful when it comes FPL opinions. Jake ends up being the listeners whipping boy, after taking a -80 this season! Let’s not forget his love for PSLs. Not sure he will ever lose that moniker.

Another beer club favorite of mine, The Punt with Sloth (Chris) and Sauce (Chris). Much like the other pods, friends who share their opinions and banter with the Twitter community. These are all guys you wouldn’t mind kicking back with, drinking beer and watching football. Their content varies from week to week, as they haven’t been online regularly recently, but rest assured when their new pod drops, I can’t wait to catch the from Sloth and Klein.

Finally, the latest addition to my podcast client, The Fantasy King Podcast, hosted with Paddy and Johnny from Donegal, Ireland. Now maybe it’s the accents that make them good hosts, but it’s two good friends hanging out talking FPL. Guys you can identify with, as Johnny continues to struggle with overall rank. They pull together a good, informative show, giving their opinions each week. It’s the love of football that brings people together to discuss a game we love

While it was the Fantasy Football Scout, the first pod I tuned into, I haven’t tuned in since their lineup has changed. Always knowledgeable, but feel due to the size of Scout, that “personal feeling” seems to get lost, even if they follow back on Twitter. That can’t be said of the other pods I’ve touted this season. These are just a handful that I listen to regularly. I know there are other quality pods out there; Nick Triggerlips with quick hitting pods, 59th Minute Pod, The Gaffer Tapes, Bang Average Pod, 2 Guys 1 Cup, 3 Amigos, FPL Surgery, FPL Take The Hit Podcast, James Egersdorff, a perennial top FPL manager and Ben Dinnery updating injuries (sure I am missing MANY others). The list goes on and on with quality content, but never enough time to listen to them all in a week.

All these shows made me realize “I can do that!” While I’ve hosted just 21 episodes of the Pitch & Pint Podcast, I’m realizing as a lone podcast, its tough! Not sure how it comes off in the community, but support is something a very difficult thing to come by. That said, as long as there is quality content, listeners will come. Most of all, I enjoy sharing my opinion.

With all the love for podcasts this season, websites I used to frequent have slowly taken a backseat. While I still visit the likes of Fantasy Football Geek, I am not interacting through comments like I one did. No longer do I favor FFS articles, opting for the members page and access a plethora of stats to assist in weekly decisions.

There are other assorted website I use for various information. FPL Statistico, providing a breakdown of each game week and my season as a whole. FPLStats provides a look at players via the numbers, including a metric I used this year called VAPM. The site also includes PPG, TSB% and assorted players statistics. Fantasy Football Fix has also become a regular stop, as I continue to monitor the top 1000 managers.

Strangely enough, while I don’t visit many websites, I still contribute at a high level. I provide regular articles on 6thgoal.com, previewing and reviewing each Watford game, providing a retrospect of each FPL week and transfer news. At the end of last season I became the Watford corespondent for 90MAAT.com and PlanetFPL.com. While I haven’t been a regular contributor to Fantasy Football Geek, I do write a season series called, “Think Differently” as I look at alternative ideas and approaches to FPL.

When it comes to individuals in the FPL Twitter community there are so many different opinions and approaches to the game, it’s to hard to single individuals out. I do have converse regularly with FPL_Shark, FPL_Tornado and FPLLens, when it comes to our Academica Vertex show. When isn’t beer a topic? That’s why I take solace in bullshitting with the #FPLBeerClub lads, as it’s what brings up together.

So to those pods, websites and individuals I communicate with regularly, thank you. You’ve made this the best FPL season (to date) for me. The interest in the game continues to grow and like many are always looking at new ways to bring more information to a strong community. Happy Boxing Day! May your arrows be green!

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