Probably 12 or 13 years ago I was one of the suckers who paid to play fantasy sports. I knew fantasy baseball was free elsewhere, but I thought I was getting a better deal on ESPN's site for however much I was paying for our league.
I only played on that platform for a year or two, but that was definitely a year or two I could have been playing for free.
Since then, I've used Yahoo!, with maybe one ESPN (now free) exception.
And this year, I'm playing on ESPN again with some folks from work.
But that's not what's new...the New Thing I want to tell you about is that I drafted part of my team from my phone!
I had seen the ESPN football app recently when I was looking quickly through the apps. I thought about it only in terms of editing my lineup - it never occurred to me that I could draft my team using the app.
But about a half-hour before the draft a friend of mine texted to say that's how he was doing the draft. So I downloaded the app to check it out.
As soon as I logged in to the app, I was booted from my computer - it wouldn't let me be signed in from two different places. So I disconnected the app and went back to the computer - I had the first overall pick and I didn't want to screw things up with the new technology.
But I knew, with a snake draft and the first overall pick, that I would have a lot of time in between my picks to play around with the app, so I came back to the app in the later rounds to try out the draft.
The computer makes little noises when someone is drafted from your preferences list, and when it's your turn to draft.
The app made the same noise when someone was drafted from my 'queue,' but as far as I can tell it didn't make a noise when it was my turn to draft. It also made no noises when other people drafted. And I couldn't find where the draft history was.
So you have to pay close attention to the picks as they happen because they only show at the top of the screen and there aren't really any noises to draw your attention to a new person making a pick.
Other than that, though, it was pretty much the same experience on the phone as the computer. You had the countdown of how long there was for the pick to be made. You had the ability to sort available players by position. You had the chance to check out your list of preferred picks.
It's just, on the computer it's easier to navigate between all of those things. On the phone, it was harder to keep track of everything.
I made my last four or five picks from the phone, which was enough to just get a taste of the experience.
I wouldn't want to conduct an entire draft from the device...but it's good to know the option is there if I ever needed it.