Kickin’ It With Kiper

At Sportable, we’re fortunate enough to be well-connected within the ranks of sports media. We’re afforded the opportunity to sit down with some of sports’ great minds to pick their brain in an off-the-cuff style. Today, I sit down with draft guru Mel Kiper to catch up on life and some post-NFL Draft analysis.

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maggette and meatballsIt could be said that my participation in fantasy sports is excessive. In fact, it could also be said that I spend far too much time monitoring my various fantasy teams in my various fantasy sports throughout the year. Fantasy football and baseball are yearly commitments, though I should have stopped playing fantasy basketball about four years ago considering how terrible I am.

As soon as my fantasy draft ends, I start with the most important step of the entire season: Staring at my roster and coming up with a witty team name. You never know when the next “Kinsler’s List” is going to come to you for your baseball team or “Maggette and Meatballs” for basketball, so allocating some serious time for a season worth of laughs and credibility should not be overlooked. Believe it or not, I also make roster moves from time to time. While I have won some league titles in the past, I am the type who gets too arrogant and too stubborn with my strategies and it inevitably comes back to bite me in the ass. It’s time to impart some wisdom on you; here are some things you should never do as a fantasy sports manager. [click to continue…]

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I want you to write for Sportable

In case you couldn’t tell from my last article, we’re back. Better yet, the entire gang is here. Kevin, Sonny, Ryan, Rich and I are excited to bring the site back and we’ve got some great ideas for initial features that we’ll be posting over the next few weeks.

We’d love to have a recurring cast of guest writers, and judging from the overwhelming amounts of hatemail we get, our readers would love that as well.(kidding, as if we get any mail)

We’re not looking for expert sports analysis, but rather sports entertainment. In the coming weeks you’ll see what I mean. We’ll be covering everything from sports business to sports style, alongside a slew of traditional topics in sports in a manner you may not be used to. It’s okay to be scared.

If this is something that interests you, fire off an email to tips [at] sportable and hopefully we can make something happen.

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Allow us to reintroduce ourselves

It’s been almost six years since Kevin, Ryan and I first started Sportable. One day we went to a nearby library to brainstorm ideas for projects (because that’s what college kids do, they brainstorm projects) and went on a tirade about ESPN’s “stranglehold on East Coast storylines.” So naturally, we started a sports blog. We dreamed of becoming the first sports blog to garner millions of monthly unique visitors (before Deadspin was the gargantuan it is today), and we planned to… well, revolutionize sports media.

We promised we wouldn’t regurgitate news and game recaps (which we did anyway), we promised we would cover “everything imaginable concerning sports” (which we didn’t), and we said that we wanted to become the “first stop for sports news throughout the day.” (which clashes with the first point) That being said, we did alright considering we were three college kids who a. had no idea how to start/run a blog, and b. had no real experience writing about sports.

Over the years we were somehow linked to by SI’s Extra Mustard, Deadspin, ESPN’s True Hoop, ESPN’s Hashmarks, AOL’s Fanhouse, Dime Magazine, featured in a local TV show in Washington DC, quoted in MIT’s Technology Review, had the pleasure of interviewing Gus Johnson, covered the Holiday Bowl and Poinsettia Bowl, covered the IRB Sevens, went to Canada and Florida to preview EA games, attended the ESPY’s, and we even had two of our writers on the short-lived TV show “Fanarchy” on Versus Network. We also recreated Michael Phelps’ diet and stuffed our faces for more than 100,000 people on YouTube. And that’s just a sample of what we managed to accomplish. Not bad for a handful of dumbass college kids.

After all that, we peaked in 2008 and the site dropped off. We wrote less, focused on school and life, and the site grew dormant.

Fast forward four years, countless “site revivals,” a laughable number of half-ass attempts to bring the site back, and we’re going for it again. What’s changed? Why now?

Well, why not?

So we’re back, and with a new focus. We’re not going to don Anonymous masks and incite a revolution in sports media. What we ARE going to do is collect a group of quality writers to help us put together some great sports features. Whether it’s character assassinations of prominent athletes or an in-depth psychological profile of Jose Canseco’s daily Twitter meltdowns (none of us are licensed psychologists), we’re looking to put together content that we enjoy writing as much as you enjoy reading. Terrible cliche aside, look out for new features in the coming weeks as well as a weekly podcast. Who know, maybe we’ll forget about you guys again, lose interest, and Sportable will die forever. Or maybe we’ll actually do it right this time.

Stay tuned.

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The 8,235th Opinion You’ll Read on Tim Tebow

Rarely, if ever, have we seen a single athlete — scratch that — a single person captivate an entire country with such a polarizing effect as Tim Tebow.  There are two stances on Tebow, love and hate.  There doesn’t seem to be an indifferent middle ground with him.  Why?  Probably because what he’s doing in the NFL has never been seen before.  The Green Bay Packers, eyeing an undefeated season, are a back story to Tim Tebow.  How is that even possible?

Set aside anything you know about football — this isn’t about skill or tangible ability.  It’s not about passing efficiency, it’s not about playbook knowledge, and it’s not even about game planning.  As cliche as it sounds, it’s about winning.  All this guy does is win.  And he does it so inexplicably that it drives people nuts.  How can you explain someone playing as atrocious as Tebow has at times and yet he still manages to win.  His defense has helped.  Kicker Matt Prater has cashed in some seriously large field goals at times too.  But most of it goes back to Tebow and his uncanny ability to make the improbable happen each and every week.

The latest in Tebow swirl is the mic’d up piece that NFL Network did on him during last week’s (once again) improbable win over the Bears.  Tebow comes off as downright flawless in the video — saying prayers on the sidelines, killing opponents like Julius Peppers and Brian Urlacher who are trying to rip his head off with compliments like “nice play man” and “good play, Brian”, and inevitably winning yet again. Where’s the bad part of this guy?  Doesn’t he ever get mad?  Where’s his weakness?  This is the root of Tebow hate — he’s too perfect. [click to continue…]

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