The offseason has been busy. After FFN was recognized as one of the Top 5 Most Accurate Experts of 2010 (we missed the next spot up by 0.1%), the NerdRank algorithm has undergone some major enhancements. Running the stats and projections through the new NerdRank would have increased the accuracy percentage each week from last season. It will be very interesting to see how the updates impact our fantasy football rankings next season.
The website itself is also getting an upgrade. Nothing radical - just some updating. The url's will all be changing and there will be some additional functionality on display - features that either I've wanted or that others have asked for. Last season FFN experienced more than double the traffic from the previous season, so much of the underlying code has been rewritten and optimized. The new site should come out in late April or early May.
One of the biggest changes with FantasyFootballNerd.com will be the addition of a "Premium Membership" option. Up until now, everything on the Nerd has been free of charge supported either by me or by the multitude of ads placed throughout the site. FFN will now have 3 ways in which to view the site:
1. No Account: Feel free to browse around the site viewing the top rankings and using the free tools.
2. Free Account: For the areas of the site that require registration, a free account will still be available.
3. Premium Account: This membership level will allow you to access everything. Every ranking from 1 to 1000+. Every tool. Everything.
Premium membership will be $9.99 for the entire season which is approximately 50 cents per week. I've spent a great deal of time debating whether or not to introduce the premium option this season. I would like to have the ability to display fewer ads and offer more features. This is a good step to help me accomplish that goal. I fully anticipate losing some visitors because of the new option but I'm hoping that I'll still see some of you around the site.
Of course, all of this is for naught if the dispute between the NFL and the players isn't settled. I'm confident that a compromise will be found and the 2011 season will go on as scheduled. I just don't see how either side will allow their $9 billion golden goose to be tainted. There's too much money at stake for both parties to let this progress into August or September. The NFL has done a fantastic job building its brand and product that missing a season would have terrible consequences.
My friends over at Buffalo Wild Wings have started a Save The Season Petition. I think their message is appropriate: "We're not taking sides. We just want a football season. So join the movement and help us ensure there is one." Let's face it, you and I are not going to be invited to the negotiating table so all we can really do is voice our opinion.
If by some chance the world is swallowed up by a black hole and neither side can come to a compromise, I can think of only 1 positive thing to come out of not having a 2011 season. My beloved Green Bay Packers will remain Super Bowl champions until 2012. What a season and what a playoff run! If there is no season, I can take solace in remembering some of the games from last season. A number of my family members from Georgia were at my house for the Green Bay/Atlanta playoff game. I have an aunt (God love her) who is a Falcons fan and arrived with Falcons gear on including wings and a blinking hat. I'm pretty sure the people living at the end of my street could hear her whooping and hollering during that first quarter as the Falcons came out strong. The Packers got it together, took control of the game, and never looked back. By half-time, my normally boisterous aunt was silenced. I have a call into the folks at Guinness Book of World Records to see if this has ever happened before.
I take my hat off to the Steelers who played a tremendous Super Bowl, but I have to admit that it feels good to have the Lombardi Trophy back home in Titletown where it belongs. Speaking of Lombardi, I was thrilled to hear about the new play "Lombardi" coming to Broadway. Generally when someone talks about Vince Lombardi, he/she often does it in a revered manner. Plenty of books have been written about his life and his approach to football. I can't count how many times I've heard him referenced within business circles. If you are lucky enough to see the performance during the month of April, you may be able to win free tickets to the 2011 NFL Draft as well as tickets to Super Bowl XLVI. Visit the site to learn more. If you see the performance, drop me a line and let me know your thoughts.
What offseason update would be complete without a Brett Favre rumor? The latest rumor has Favre in talks with Carolina. It's a little early for rumors, but hey, he couldn't be worse than Jimmy Clausen, right?
Enjoy the rest of your offseason!