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More fantasy media: FanFooty in the Sunday Age

m0nty in Sunday Age

The Sunday Age and Sun-Herald carried a two-page fantasy footy feature including some familiar names…

FanFooty in Sunday AgeThose of you who buy the Sunday Age and lugged it into the lounge room for a leisurely read may have been surprised to find on pages 14 and 15 of the Sunday Life lift-out and nice little feature article on fantasy Australian football, written by Brisbane-based freelancer Benjamin Law. Unfortunately the article doesn’t seem to be available online in text format, but you can pore over a high-resolution JPG version by clicking the thumbnail in this blog post.

The first third of the article is about the bloke in the picture, a Brisbanite called Michael Flynn who lives with his parents at the age of 26 and obsesses over fantasy sports. Perhaps not the greatest advertisement for the industry, but better than being ignored! Peter Jankulovski of Vapormedia is the next one quoted, with some big numbers and a history lesson. Then comes yours truly.

Those simple online interfaces have allowed obsessions to flourish. Paul Montgomery, who runs the independent AFL statistics website FanFooty, says he’s heard of people spending entire weekends building up their spreadsheets, examining game tapes and researching individual player histories. “And all of this information is jealously guarded,” he adds. When it’s suggested that this all sounds a little nerdish, Montgomery balks. “I wouldn’t say it was nerdish,” he says slowly. “It’s just that you think you’re an AFL coach, pretending that you’re part of the AFL industry. That’s not necessarily nerdy.”

Maybe Montgomery has a point. Fantasy sports in the UK have taken off in the UK to such an extent that newspapers now rely upon them to boost circulation, and pump up the competitions with cash prizes.

The article continues with a bloke from Australia FourFourTwo magazine and a 15-year-old female fan, interspersed with a bit of FanFooty-fueled fantasy jargon.

Even the vernacular of fantasy sports is bleeding into the general discourse, with terms like “spuds” (bad players) and “cash cows” (rookies rising in prices) becoming more common.

Happily, I get the final word!

In a country where sports tipping reigns supreme, purists at the local TAB might scoff at the idea of fantasy sports. Because these games are free, there’s nothing at stake. That assumption, FanFooty’s Paul Montgomery says, is wrong. “Oh no,” he says. “There’s the respect of my peers. And bragging rights. Both of which are very important, I can assure you.”

All in all, it’s about as positive an article as I could have hoped from the mainstream media, with the expected slant of fantasy sports being nerdish being allowed to be debated by me and others in the piece. The fact that Benjamin went out and found a schoolgirl who was into it, and quoted a number of 10% of females who are into fantasy sports, was very pleasing from my point of view, and I have to give Benjamin kudos for a very balanced and well-written feature.



  1. turts111

    May 27, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    fantasy footy taking over the world… nice work m0nty.

  2. SuperAlex

    May 27, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    You’re like famous…


    May 27, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    REALY good monty

  4. Disco DB

    May 27, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    Well done. Well done.

  5. batfink23

    May 27, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    oh look, it’s *VERY* nerdy. that much isn’t in dispute.

    doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy it, but it tops out at 11 on the nerd 1 – 10 scale.

  6. SillySpud

    May 27, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Why is it nerdy? Anyone who follows the AFL and the game in general would be described as a well-adjusted individual, who spent a large portion of his youth outside kicking the footy with his mates.

    Add the fact we live in a technological age in which society relies on the World Wide Web to flourish, and it’s not nerdy in the slightest.

    Fantasy based on fantasy is nerdy (sorry WoW fans, among others) – fantasy based on a real life sport is not.

  7. MsHighkick

    May 27, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    Well done Monty, was a good read. (Although some of us were quite happy being closet nerds!). Any idea where the 10% women stat came from?

  8. parkin45

    May 27, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    Good to hear fanfooty is getting some recognition. Well done Monty.

    The log in to post a comment is good idea.

    I hope it’s not simply a way of limiting constructive criticism. And the odd joke.

    Looking forward to the wrap up of round 10 and those Friday night delayed scoring updates….Go Gibbsy!

  9. gutrunner

    May 27, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    embrace the inner nerd

  10. Manikato1

    May 27, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    More coverage and so more expectations now Monty. Rise to the challenge.

  11. Danog

    May 27, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    You are a sexy beast, m0nty.

  12. batfink23

    May 28, 2009 at 1:36 am


    that’s some rationalisation you got going there.

    sure WoW is Grade A, accept no substitutes, free basing of nerd – but that’s on a whole other level.

    anything that involves the word “fantasy” that doesn’t involve jessica alba is nerdy!! lol

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  14. Heater

    May 28, 2009 at 8:18 am

    To be honest I’m quite happy to be called a nerd when it comes to any fantasy game. They are harmless, they keep me off the streets and they are great fun.

  15. TP22

    May 28, 2009 at 10:02 am

    Nothing wrong with being a nerd, which fantasyfooty competitions generally are – just depends how you run them with mates. Being a nerd is only a problem if you are also socially awkward.

    I think your purple name game certainly classifies you as a nerd anyway, Monty. So just embrace it!

  16. the dud

    May 28, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Well done fan footy. lets not forget all the work mitch does behind the scenes

  17. morro4

    May 28, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    dream team and the like are nerdy…no doubt. but doing it doesn’t make you a nerd. its just like a guilty pleasure, only a nerdy pleasure. and these days very few people wouldn’t have a nerdy pleasure of some form.

  18. The Fone

    May 28, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Great News!!!

    I love it.
    I would like to know how they determine that people obsessing over a few statistics, a few times a week is more nerdy than the millions of people that spend hundreds or hours a week on facebook talking to their “closest” friends and spontaneously participating or commenting on the latest quiz or status update.

    I say give me fantasy sports any time, and thanks, for my little piece of nerdy freedom.

  19. McSniff

    May 28, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    “When it’s suggested that this all sounds a little nerdish, Montgomery balks. “I wouldn’t say it was nerdish,” he says slowly. “It’s just that you think you’re an AFL coach, pretending that you’re part of the AFL industry. That’s not necessarily nerdy.”

    Um sorry, but this makes things sound way nerdier than they actually are. Who pretends they’re part of the AFL industry and are an AFL coach? wtf?

    If that’s the case, sorry, but it’s incredibly, stupidly nerdy.

    I like fantasy footy as much as the next person, but christ, talk about giving people who play it a bad name!

  20. Konkers09

    May 28, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    Nice one Monty. Now if you’ll only let me back in to the chat area, and release me from my ban, I’ll be super happy. Let my fantasies run wild! I’ve been banned for ages and tried emailing you but with no response apart from the usual – ‘you are banned from this website’ response. C’mon – Lovett-Murray only got three weeks. I’ve been out for 5-7. I’ve learnt my lesson.

  21. asmall

    May 29, 2009 at 9:56 am

    The 10% women statistic most likely came from Vapormedia. (They supplied the 90% figure of males in their 20s – that seems way out of whack to me) I do believe however that while the logins to the AFL/NRL include 10% females the majority of those would be from males using spouses/gfs/mothers/daughters emails to submit extra teams. I use my wife and sons emails myself.

  22. NatTheRat1

    May 29, 2009 at 7:30 pm


    You’ve upset me now. I think I have to go play D & D.

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