The fantasy football draft season is upon us and the excitement is better than Christmas morning. Just how deep does my dedication run? I am in three leagues this year; I am the defending champ in my competitive league, my family league and the newly formed Blue Jeans Network league- known as the BJNFFL.
I started playing fantasy football in 1996, in the era where scoring was done out of the box scores from the Monday morning paper. My league, the RFFL (named after famed NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle), was always on the forefront of collaboration technology. In our first draft, we had several teams drafting remotely from college computer labs using unix-based 'talk.' The following years we were lucky enough to have 'ytalk' which allowed us to have multi-way chats. One guy even created scoring software for his senior project while I was the webmaster for our cutting edge site. (This was in 2000 and I'm still kicking myself for missing out on a potential 8-figure acquisition for our solution.)
For years we would make a whole day of the draft with elaborate team theme songs and announcement of draft picks over a podium and microphone (really happened, no joke). Those college days are gone and team owners are no longer in school, but instead spread across the country. Despite the distance between us, the league is what really kept us together as friends all these years later. But with careers and kids it's impossible to get everyone together for that very special Saturday in late August. Today we still use our own software for the RFFL, but in my other leagues we've used everything from ESPN to CBS Sportsline to Yahoo for league management. It is simply amazing that tens of millions of people have come to enjoy fantasy football and the services that make it so easy to run a league.
The problem though is that a fantasy football draft at its core is a time to spend together, IN PERSON, and have a good time with friends. The rest of the season pales in comparison to the draft, but yet during the draft everyone is sitting at home behind their computer with digital cheat sheets and draft boards along with a glorified version of the 'talk' we used back in 1996.
Today with the announcement of Blue Jeans for Fantasy Football, we have finally taken things to the next level. This service provided by Blue Jeans allows you to do your draft over live video- for free! Catch all the best smack talk, reactions and up-to-the minute draft details. Don't miss out by having someone swipe your favorite pick! Or answer back live with your best comeback.
I just wrapped up my family league draft last night over video using the Blue Jeans service and it was a blast. Still can't believe cousin Eric took MJD with the 12th pick! That guy is going to hold out all year!