Christmas Day Every Day

Dobber Sports






Every day is like Christmas for a fantasy hockey writer. It just is.



A few weeks ago in a Ramblings I asked you to send in any questions you might have about this field for today's blog, which was to be written in advance of Christmas Day. Cuz it's one of my few days off between October and April.


Many of the queries overlapped, but here's a sampling of them. Oh… and the Lundqvist pic on the front page cuz he may or may be my favourite player and having him in your fantasy line-up nightly has been a gift for poolies for years and years now.



Richard in St. Louis: "Hey Chris, I have loved your addition to the Ramblings each week and have become a regular with your work. Love it! Especially the nightly recaps. I can't even begin to tell you what a huge difference they've made to my team this year. I wish I'd known about them years ago!


Anyway, in terms of the offer to ask you questions about the job – how did you get into this? You obviously have a talent for it, but where did it all begin for you? I read your bio on Sportsnet, but maybe you could go into a little more detail? Thanks and thanks for your dedication."


Chris: Thanks Richard, that's nice of you to say. I basically had a broadcasting background and was working in the news world more than a decade ago when I started to do a freebie thing with where you could be the correspondent for your favourite team and write fantasy notes on them a few times a week. I did that for the Oilers for a season (and went above and beyond by writing a quality segment after each and every game) and made contact with the people running the hockey section there. I used the work to showcase my writing and talked my way into penning their front page content, which actually paid. I think it was a once a week column, but it actually paid pretty well and was a nice supplement to my day job.


I became really friendly with Eric Karabell, who's evolved into a fantasy superstar with ESPN, and he quickly trusted me with some other paying projects at the site. I owe him a lot and it was then that I realized that I actually might have a chance to do something like that for a living. He's a really, really nice guy that looked out for me and went the extra mile to help me out. Sometimes that's what you need to get your foot in the door and show them what you have.


And now that I look back, ESPN basically financed all of my entertainment centre components at the time. Since I wasn't relying on those payments each month, the money was gravy for me. Mmm. Entertainment gravy.


My memory isn't great when it comes to things like this, but I think I wrote for ESPN for three or four seasons as a paid freelancer doing fantasy hockey and the side projects. It was also at that time that I approached SLAM! Sports about fantasy content for their site, which didn't exist at the time. That's where I met my editor, Jon Cook; another key piece of the puzzle to getting me on the path to doing this full-time. He and Eric were instrumental to getting some traction into this world.


SLAM! is where the Q&A portion of my blog really exploded and Jon let me run with the proverbial ball there. I was doing that five days a week and was answering an insane amount of questions. The core of my following was built at that point and they've stuck around through thick and thin. Ask them about the number of questions. It was nuts. Way more than I needed to, but it was well worth it.

It was whe