Last year during the NHL playoffs, one of our good friends that we've met since the beginning of the blog asked us to partake in an NHL Playoffs Fantasy game. In the game, you pick one player from each team. The stat categories were simple: Goals, assists, GWG, goalie wins, and goalie shutouts.
The sign-up fee was $20, and it was winner-take-all. The game was run through some websites that let the organizers of the game take everyone's roster and input them via spreadsheets. About 100+ people signed up. Of course our team folded early because we didn't do the right research, but it made the NHL playoffs a little more fun.
We wanted to compound upon this. During the summer of 2009, we began planning a fantasy game that was centered around the Penguins. This game was gonna go above and beyond the Penguins' current "Extra Attacker."
One thing we love to do is give away shit.
And it has always been our dream to give away a shitload of money to someone.
Of course the one thing that shut everything down in the planning stages of the Penguins Fantasy game was that, for the longest time, we believed Fantasy Sports was gambling.
After some phone calls and extensive hours of research, it turns out Fantasy Sports is not gambling.
From a fact sheet about the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006:
"The typical fantasy sports league is not “gambling” because winning is based predominantly on skill and knowledge about the featured sport and its athletes, not on chance. In other words, fantasy sports leagues challenge the participants to exercise judgment-making skills similar to a coach or general manager. To make sure that gambling businesses do not try to cloak their gambling in the clothing of “fantasy sports,” UIGEA places limits on how prizes may be awarded in fantasy sports leagues, if a participation fee is charged for the game. Beyond that, most fantasy games are free and any game that is free is not “gambling."
So, after that, the wheels started to spin. We halted production on our Penguins fantasy game and started to focus on a fantasy game for the NHL playoffs and the Olympics. We joined money leagues for Fantasy Football and Hockey at CBS Sportsline and ESPN as part of our research.
We began to formulate ideas on something that would be fun, something that would be lucrative for people, and something that would be easy. Fantasy sports is a grind for an entire season. We like that dynamic, but some people like to "set it and forget it", to set up their team and let it ride for the duration of a fantasy season. And we have created that.
We were able to find an online merchant that supports Fantasy sports (a huge win for the Fantasy community), as well as secure The Pensblog, LLC as a legal business. We were even able to get a 1-800 number for customer support.
The result of all the hard work is Rinkotology: 2010 Winter Games Edition.
Who else to turn to than Anteepa Web & Marketing Solutions to make this a reality? We've really hamstrung them, using our usual M.O. of waiting until around the last possible minute to kick things into gear. They're working pretty hard.
We wanted this up and running today, in fact. But in reality, it's actually good that we're anticipating a launch date closer to the Olympics, since injuries to NHL players and other Olympians will adversely affect the game (see: uncertainty surrounding Ryan Getzlaf). And then we also have to worry about Russia's bullshit taxi squad that is being rumored.
Here's how the game works:
1.) Before the Olympics begin, you will pick 8 forwards, 3 defensemen, and 1 goalie.
Only one player can be chosen from each country.
EX: For Team Sweden, do you pick Henrik Zetterberg or Henrik Lundqvist?
For Canada, do you pick Brodeur, Crosby, or even Drew Doughty?
YOU ONLY HAVE TO PICK YOUR TEAM ONCE.
THERE WILL BE NO NEED TO RESET ROSTERS ON A DAILY BASIS.
SET IT AND FORGET IT.
2.) You will also be choosing one player to be your Captain and two players to be Assistant Captains.
Goalies cannot be chosen for either.
Captain's points are worth triple value.
Assistants' points are worth double value.
That is the groundwork of the game. Very simple.
The points system will become available when the website is launched.
3.) Tiebreaking scenarios are as follows:
a). In the event that users have the same exact team, the Gold Medal game will be a special one-game playoff, where each user would pick 5 players from each team.
b). In the event of a tie in which teams aren't exactly the same, the tiebreaker will be goals, then assists, then lowest goals-against average, then game-winning goals that your entire team/goalie has accumulated throughout the Olympics.
b1.) If a winner cannot somehow be determined by those criteria, we will be aware of it before the Gold Medal game and set up the Gold Medal game as a one-game playoff.
b2.) In the event that USER "A" pushes himself or herself into a tie in the Gold Medal game (i.e. USER "A" is behind in points and has players accumulate points in the Gold Medal game while USER "B" does not have players in the game), we will enact tiebreaker "b" detailed in this section. If, somehow, no winner can be determined from that, we will break the glass and institute the emergency tiebreaking scenario.
b3.) Emergency tiebreaking scenario: USER "A" vs. USER "B".
Whichever team scored first in the Olympics wins.
EX: USER "A" has Jamie Langenbrunner, and he scores in the first game of the Olympics, giving USER "A" his or her first team goal.
USER "B" has Alex Ovechkin, and he scores in the second game of the Olympics, giving USER "B" his or her first team goal.
USER "A" wins.
But what are the chances two goalies will have identical goals-against averages?
That is why this is the emergency scenario.
4.) $10 Entry Fee
1st place -- $500 and Championship Belt
2nd place -- $400
3rd place -- $300
4th place -- $200
5th place -- $100
5.) Tips: Given the nature of this contest, picking the right combination of players is obviously key.
But your goaltender may very well end up being your dark horse.
6.) We will be holding a contest similar to this for the upcoming NHL playoffs, as well as having a Penguins-exclusive bi-weekly or monthly game in place for next season.