Fantasy Football Origin Stories is part of the Sports History Network – The Headquarters For Sports Yesteryear.
In this 19th episode, Hall of Famer Greg Kellogg rides shotgun in the DeLorean, to take us back in time and learn about his Fantasy Football Origin Story. We talk about many topics, including:
- Greg’s first recollections of fantasy football
- Growing up in a small town in Michigan, working his way into espionage, being fluent in Russian, and finding his way to fantasy football
- How he moved so fast into the fantasy football industry
- Kellogg’s Komments
- Being inducted to the innaugural class of the Fantasy Football Writer’s Association Hall of Fame (with the likes of Greg Ambrosius, Matthew Berry, Scott Engel, and Eric Karabell)
- The Fanex League
- Why he thinks Travis Kelce could/possibly should be the 1.01 this year
- Much more
Personal Profile: Greg Kellogg
Name: Greg Kellogg
Nickname: Greg to friends, komments on the web
Job title(s): Solutions Architect (real world), BlogTalkRadio Host (fantasy world)
Full-time in fantasy? Not currently though I have been in my past
Education: Lots of college — no degree
Family status: Married for 34 years
Favorite fantasy sport to play: Football
Favorite sport to watch: Football and college basketball
Favorite team (any sport): Detroit Lions (yeah, I’m a masochist at heart)
All-time favorite athlete: This is tough: In football probably Barry Sanders, but overall I would have to say Jesse Owens for how he represented us at the Berlin Olympics.
Years playing fantasy: 21 (since 1988)
I got my start in the fantasy industry when: I started writing a column titled Kellogg’s Komments in the mid-’90s. I was the first to syndicate my work to multiple fantasy sites, with Komments appearing on more than two dozen sites, including Mr. Football (now Football Guys), The Huddle and Sam Caplan’s Fantasy Insider. Shortly after that I opened my own site, Komments.com, where I provided a forum for up-and-coming writers to be published.
Since then, my fantasy résumé includes:
Producer, FOXSports.com (full-time)
Creator of the Ladies of Football league that promotes the hobby to ladies
Sr. Writer, GridironGrumblings.com (now SportsGrumblings.com)
Guest Writer, SportsIllustrated.com
Radio Host, FantasySharks.com
I also was awarded with the prestigious Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA) Annual Award for the Best Fantasy Football In-Season Article, Feature or Series — an award that my article, penned by another author, received two years later.
Named to the inaugural FSWA Hall of Fame class in 2010.
Before fantasy, I worked in: The Army (military intelligence — Russian Linguist) and Defense Contracting.
1. How did the transition from Komments.com to your various fantasy pursuits since then come about? Was it tough to let the old site go?
I was spending about 40 to 60 hours a week on Komments, and it was getting to be too much when I also had a 50-hour-per-week paying job. I sent a notice to my email list stating that I was going to cut back on the work I was doing for Komments to maintain my sanity (and my marriage). A week later, Mike Perlow contacted me to ask if I would be interested in a job with FOXSports.com. It is always tough to let go of a business you have built from nothing (even when the business isn’t making any money). But the opportunity to get paid for a full-time job in the fantasy sports industry was well worth letting Komments go.
2. How did your background in military intelligence and data analysis feed into your fantasy exploits?
Military intelligence trains you to be very cognizant of patterns — to be logical in your analysis and to dig through reams of minutiae to find one small sliver of intelligence. Fantasy sports analysts — at least the good ones — do the same thing. When I first started, news and insight were hard to come by. Hence the 40 to 60 hours of weekly digging. Now information is everywhere, and the difference is in the analysis. We still dig through all the news, but now things like how the pension change is causing assistant coaches to consider changing careers is as important as a Pro Bowl left tackle changing teams.
3. Can you give us the full (OK, maybe abridged) story on the FAD?
Sure. Joe Bryant and I created FanEx from some folks in the old rec.sport.football.fantasy newsgroup. We started doing live drafts at fantasy football conventions early on. These were extremely popular and presented us with large crowds. We found that if we would give a short analysis to go with our picks, the folks watching would maintain interest, so we took the idea back to the league and started a May Draft where we provide our analysis of our picks, hence the name FanEx Analysis Draft — shortened to FAD for everyone now. In some years we have added guest analysis and during our live drafts we would take questions from the audience. This remains a very popular draft to this day.
Bonus: Be honest — would your bumper sticker say “I’d rather be fishing” or “I’d rather be drafting”?
Truthfully, it would be “I’d rather be CATCHING,” but if the fish aren’t biting then how about “I’d rather be Drafting while I am Fishing”?