Closing the Loop With Footballguys: Why I've Agreed to Join Their Staff
Explaining the latest move on my fantasy journey, and what it means for the newsletter
Back in 2014, I was doing a weekly podcast with my two best friends — Matt LaMarca and John Schrank. It was for No Coast Bias, a hot clicks site which no longer exists, but they had heard our podcast, and wanted us to do it for them. They also let me produce fantasy content.
I’m sure very few people read those pieces. But it was enjoyable, and I thought I was pretty good at it.
Simultaneously, I was soaking in all of the content at Footballguys. They were the site that first really expanded my knowledge and understanding of fantasy football. I loved the Shark Pool (FBG forums), my first foray into dynasty content, and, of course, The Audible. I had a 45-minute commute when I first started teaching and coaching, and no real friends given that I had just moved to a new state.
The Audible was there for me, getting me to work in the morning when it was still pitch black, and getting me home again while the sun was setting. Listening to the way these guys discussed a game I loved — Sigmund Bloom truly is poetic in his speech — filled me with passion, understanding, and creativity. The site content overall helped me to dive deep into this hobby that ended up becoming so much more.
But what if I could be one of those guys? Footballguys had a staff posting in 2014, and I thought I could possibly be good enough to obtain a position. Of course, I had no idea just how competitive the space was, or if my writing would actually stack up (I’m positive at the time that it did not). After waiting eagerly for a reply, this was the response I received from Sigmund:
I was disappointed obviously to not be hired, but this was an overall great experience for me. I had received some positive feedback and advice from a real fantasy writer — and someone I had great respect for. Footballguys was also incredibly gracious, giving me the opportunity to write a piece for the site, and get my name out there a little bit. Having done this now for quite some time, I can appreciate how unique and special that was.
Now, after seven years, it is finally time to close the loop. I will be joining the Footballguys staff.
After leaving FTN, I had received a few work opportunities from various sites. However, I felt determined to stick to the guidelines I had set for myself upon starting this newsletter. These potential positions, while excellent, did not really help to satisfy my long-term interests as a content creator. Specifically, many of them involved betting content, which I don’t really think I’d like to do again behind a paywall.
When Joe Bryant reached out to me about Footballguys, he didn’t lead with a vision, position, or offer. He just wanted to get to know me, and have a real conversation. I really enjoyed that. When I was being interviewed for my current teaching position, the first question the superintendent asked me was “Tell me about your life. How did you get here?”.
I think there is a myth about professional relationships that they should not also be personal. It was comforting to know my superintendent wanted to know more about me before discussing what I could bring to the school, and similarly comforting to just kick it with Joe for a bit before talking about potential business. I have great respect for him, and am incredibly thankful for the opportunity he is giving me.
This next chapter is exactly what I am looking for: an excellent working environment, the opportunity to grow and create, and no real additional stress. And I’ll be getting back to my roots of fantasy football — the stuff that has always made me happiest.
23 year-old me is also kind of freaking out.
What kind of work will I be doing there?
At minimum, I will be bringing my pre-season projections to the site, something that I am extremely excited for. I’ve improved my projecting process each season, and the test this year will be in expanding the number of players I project from 288 to over 400. These should be my most involved — and hopefully most useful — projections ever.
Past that, I am looking forward to an opportunity to contribute to content where I can. Footballguys is an incredible platform, and I’d love to present some new opinions and ideas to an already fantastic staff. There feels to be limitless potential.
What does this mean for In the Aggregate?
I want to be clear in stating that this is not a full-time or exclusive position. As such, it still leaves me a great deal of freedom — again, checking the boxes of what I am looking for. Joe was incredibly thoughtful and gracious in this regard, assuring me that he had no issues with me continuing the Substack.
In other words:
I have really enjoyed doing the newsletter, and being able to open up a little bit more to people who are interested. Transparency and vulnerability are two things that I value greatly, and I plan on continuing to write about things that aren’t fantasy football.
With that said, it would be disingenuous to suggest that my work at Footballguys will not impact In the Aggregate in any way. While the personal anecdotes will continue to be free-flowing, obviously any piece of content I produce over there will not be able to be produced here. And the fantasy stuff was what I had behind the paywall.
I will not be putting other content behind the paywall to supplement this loss. Things advertised as being free will remain free. I will have to work on determining the best possible balance in content, but long-term that could skew to all of my fantasy content being at Footballguys. It is important to me to be up-front about this. I am not going to make a promise I can’t keep.
If this leads to you cancelling your monthly subscription to In the Aggregate, I completely understand. If you are someone who already purchased a yearly subscription, and would like to cancel, let me know. I have no issue providing you with a prorated refund. As always, I am thankful for anyone who continues to support me on my journey. Even if you don’t want to pay, stick around on the mailing list!