I’d like to take a minute to plug a friend of the site, DraftHelp.com. The senior editor of the site, Rick Morris has been gracious enough to host me on his radio show on three separate occasions so to not plug a great site would be a shame.
Here is a quick Q & A I did with Senior Editor of Draft Help, Rick Morris.
Q: When did Drafthelp.com come about and how did the project get started?
A: Drafthelp.com started in the spring of 2000 when our founder, Nathan Noy, decided to get the site underway as an extension of his correspondence with USA Today Sports Weekly columnist John Hunt. Nathan had contributed ideas to Johns column on the subject of holding baseball drafts via chatrooms and other Internet tools.
Although we have been fortunate enough to have some outstanding contributors, we have been primarily a three man operation. A few months after Nathan launched the site, he brought Pat Luft on board to serve as a columnist and also as our webmaster. In the spring of 2001, I was fortunate enough to meet Nathan through, what else, a fantasy baseball league! Nathan’s professional training is in finance and law, and Patrick is a software engineer, so my background as a journalist and writer helped round out our website. We have complemented each others skills very well.
Q: How has the site grown in the time its been around?
A: The most striking element about our website is how adventurous we are and how open we are to different opportunities. We started as a website covering fantasy baseball, and then fantasy football, but we have gone in some interesting directions since then:
Preparing for the eventuality of a baseball lockout after the 2001 season, Nathan and I wrote the book, STRANDED: A Guide to Life Without Major League Baseball.Fortunately for baseball fans, and somewhat unfortunately for us, the lockout did not materialize, but we enjoyed the experience of selling a few copies and were looking to revise the book for future use.
In the spring of 2003, I was approached by two longtime friends, Ron Glasenapp and Dave Adams, who had started broadcasting for SportsTalkCleveland.com. They were retooling the talk show Reality Check (SAT 11 AM 1PM EST) and invited me to be a co-host in my capacity as Senior Editor of Drafthelp.com. Our show quickly became a cornerstone at SportsTalkCleveland.com and led to my participation in several other shows, including Football Fanatics, Hockey Insider and the current show Life’s a Pitch with Ken Detwiler (Thurs 8-9 PM EST). Those shows have spawned other projects in and of themselves, such as the Life’s a Pitch with Ken Detwiler Up All Night Marathon.That show was near and dear to my heart because it was a fundraiser for my mothers memorial fund, The Carol Morris Scholarship Fund at Bowling Green State University (www.drafthelp.com/upallnight). Additionally, that show was our first association with View From the Bleachers, so we remember it fondly for that as well! We have expanded our relationship with SportsTalkCleveland.com in many ways, but none more important than the establishment of The Drafthelp.com Fantasy Insider, (Thurs 7-8 EST) which serves as a weekly one-hour audio version of what were covering on our website. Were very proud to have played a role in SportsTalkCleveland.com becoming the most visited sports talk radio website in the world (source: Alexa.com ratings).
Obviously, our baseball coverage is of most interest to your readers, but we are proud to cover a wider variety of fantasy sports than our peers. In addition to baseball and football, we also feature fantasy basketball, hockey, various motorsports, golf, tennis, soccer, Triple Crown and Olympics. Also, we spotlight the NFL Draft and NBA Draft and offer coverage for NCAA basketball pools and NCAA football bowl pools.
Q: What assistance does the site offer to fantasy players around the world?
A: We feature columns, roster analysis, projected statistical leaders, depth charts, and player updates for fantasy baseball players. Additionally, we answer questions posed to us by fantasy owners and were working on expanding that to a full-fledged advisory service to premium members.
Q: As the upcoming baseball season approaches, what sort of publications does Drafthelp.com produce and where can visitors find them?
A: Regarding where materials can be found: the majority of content on the site is free and available to all some is premium content available in our Drafthelp.com store.
The content I described above constitutes our free features. In the Drafthelp.com store, first and foremost we construct statistical projection cheat sheets and draft boards. Also, we offer league management software, draft tracking cards and a trade analyzer service. Were extraordinarily happy with the content that we have in both the free and the premium areas and were going to keep both areas very strong.
Q: What are the plans for the future?
A: Given the audacious bent for expansion that we have shown in our first few years, I think that the future will be a wild and fun ride on Drafthelp.com. Were going to continue to expand our content partnership with SportsTalkCleveland.com and that will likely include a fantasy baseball contest.We are exploring every potential opportunity to take our shows to a larger audience, and that certainly includes syndication to over-the-air radio stations. I can also promise that well be coming back with the second annual Life’s a Pitch marathon this summer and I look forward to participation again from The View From the Bleachers.
The products in our Drafthelp.com store will continue to expand, as hardcore fans in search of every available edge can continue to count on us. Were continuing to take a worldwide focus as well, even expanding into covering cricket, which thrives in large corners of the globe. Our first book certainly whetted our appetite for moving back into the world of dead trees publishing, so were looking at any possibilities there. We have an unbelievable portal of links to so many essential websites out there, and were taking that to a new level in 2005, largely by delivering links to the best sites in the blogosphere.
And last but most certainly not least, I hope you will be flattered to hear that the success of blogs like yours has inspired us to join the blogosphere! Our webmaster is tooling around with the beta version and we will have it up this month. It will definitely be an outstanding companion to our message boards, which we established last year. We will have more information shortly in the form of an announcement of our 2005 expansion plans and I urge your readers to check it out. I appreciate greatly the opportunity to discuss the state of Drafthelp.com with you and your readers. I have now spent almost two years producing and hosting at SportsTalkCleveland.com and I have been a relentless promoter of the blogosphere during that time because of sites like yours. Its an honor to discuss our site with the good folks at The View From the Bleachers.