I wrote briefly yesterday about the bittersweet nature of things coming to an end and, based on recent evidence, we'll most likely be contending with those feelings again with a number of factors pointing to the dissolution of the Yahoo fantasy soccer game we've come to love (and sometimes hate).
The signals have been ominous for some time now, with Yahoo struggling to put together a functional game the past two years and even pulling the plug on their fledgling MLS Fantasy game a few weeks into this season. As the season has come to a close, we've learned that Nik Argiropoulos, one of the founders of Never Manage Alone and a long-time blogger for the Yahoo fantasy game, is calling time on his writing career.
Today there's more news from another NMA founder and long-time blogger, Neal Thurman, who posted a poignant and reflective article about the perceived death of the game that lends a lot of credence to Nik's decision to step away from his writing duties. Neal perfectly summarized my feelings on the matter, so rather than try to come up with something equally meaningful, I recommend reading his post. For those of you looking for the story in a nutshell, here's what Neal had to say:
The impact that it has had on my life makes it that much more difficult for me to head into the summer with only one conclusion…the Yahoo game appears to be joining Hull City, Burnley and QPR in being relegated. I don’t have any official word, Yahoo has never been a group that has issued official statements on the game, but the tea leaves are certainly all pointing in that direction.
I haven't been playing the game as long as Neal or Nik or Jeremy, or even many of you, but it's definitely heartbreaking to think about the massive fun and excitement Yahoo's format brought to the table being so unceremoniously dropped. It won't be easy moving on but like Neal said, there's a distinct possibility we'll never get an official announcement from Yahoo. So, with the writing seemingly on the wall and the 2015/16 Premier League season kicking off earlier than usual, we've got to operate under the assumption that a new fantasy game will be necessary in the fall.
The team here at Never Manage Alone will be researching alternative options to present to you over the course of the summer, and we'll be asking for your input on the game(s) you'd be most interested in playing come August and the start to another season. We'll also be in communication with Neal and Nik and a host of other members of the fantasy Premier League community to weigh our options and come up with the best plan moving forward.
If this truly is the end of the Yahoo fantasy football format, it'll be a bittersweet farewell. Losing the game will be sad and it will be difficult to replace, but there are so many memories to look back on fondly and so many alternatives that have come about as a result of the more complex scoring metrics that I feel confident we'll be able to transition to a new game and continue to build this fantastic community of fantasy fanatics.
Check in regularly throughout the summer, as we'll be asking for your feedback on the best direction to take next season. I hope you'll agree with me that, while it will be sad to say goodbye, we've got a lot to be thankful for when it comes to Yahoo, and a lot to look forward to over the next couple months.
Thank you all again for your patience, perseverance, camaraderie and great humo(u)r over the course of this season. It's been an honor and a privilege being able to manage this community, and I can't wait to see what's in store for the next chapter of our fantasy lives. Cheers!