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The History of AntSports

AntSports for 2013 enters its 14th year!

Hi, I'm Steve and I founded AntSports. I'm a Software Engineer and have a degree in Computer Science and a degree in Math. Below are the highlights on how I got here:


Where did the AntSports name come from?

I wanted an easy to type URL for my website. I also wanted something that would make a good logo. The Ant is small, strong, and works hard. Sounds like a good icon for a starting web site.


  • 1991 - My best friend joins a fantasy football league at work. I watch and occasionally help during his season. He's a beginner playing in a 16-team league with bad rules. Most teams are lucky to field a starting lineup. This is no way to run a league.

  • 1992 - Decide to create my own league. Boiling Tundra FFL is started. I bought a copy of Cliff Charpentier's Fantasy Football Digest. Used his combined scoring method. My league starts with 8 teams. Here begins my quest to build the most balanced, fair, and competitive league.

  • 1993-1996 - My league basically stays the same. We use the USA Today newspaper to get our scores; each team calculates their score and their opponents score. I write up a report and email the results to everyone. QBs get injured way too much, so we add team QB to our league.

  • 1997 - I join my first online league. I become one of the 12 founding members of the Fantasy Insight's White League. I win the White League.

  • 1998 - Lots happen this year:
    • MyFantasyLeague.com (MFL) is born. They ran the leagues for Fantasy Insights and start off on their own.
    • I help start the MFL Blue League.
    • My Boiling Tundra FFL goes online with MFL.
    • Since 1997, I've emailed suggestions to MFL and built up a friendly relationship with them. One of my suggestions works great, the Pre-Draft feature on their web-base email draft software.
    • I become the Arizona Cardinal Scout for the Fantasy Football Mastermind.
    • I join a CBS Sportsline league to see what it's like. I score the most total points but lose in the semi-finals. I get 3rd.
    • I participate in 3 mock drafts at Troutman Sports page.
    • I commish my first mock draft.

  • 1999
    • I add decimal scoring to my Boiling Tundra League. With the computer doing the scoring, it's the way to go. We actually have a tie game ( BH vs HH) despite decimal scoring and one game is won by 0.05 points (1 passing yard - NN vs D&O).
    • I commish 7 mock drafts using the MFL site. I do everything by hand and recruit most of my mock drafters from either the Huddle or FFMasterMind sites.

  • 2000 - AntSports is born!

    • MFL has so many leagues, that they debate not offering the leagues for individual owners to signup. I've been wanting to learn web programming so I offer to take over all the leagues.
    • I host 40 mock drafts using my site to hold signups and MFL to run the mock drafts.
    • I start my Head-to-Head Victory Point Scoring System™.
    • AntSports commishes 9 leagues its first year.

  • 2001 AntSports offers its first keeper leagues and money leagues. I also computerize all the mock drafts. I end up hosting an amazing 3120 mock drafts! AntSports now includes 69 leagues! AntSports sent checks to 187 teams total $20,250.00. Amazing!

  • 2002 is a ground breaking year for AntSports and one of growing pains also. In the end, AntSports hosted 154 leagues, sending trophies to Japan (2), Canada (3), Germany, and Armed Forces Europe.

    AntSports sent out over 403 checks totaling over $101,220.00

    New for AntSports :

    • $250 Pro Leagues
    • $500 Expert Leagues
    • AntSports Creates a Winners league where only league winners from the previous year can join. The Winners league will include a special winners king sized trophy.
    • Hosts all the leagues independent of MFL.
    • Tries to use a web viewer from FFLive.com for live stats. FFLive got the stats by spidering NFL.com, which ends up not working.
    • AntSports gives away $2500 during weeks 14-17 via a Free-For-All Challenge!
    • AntSports hosts its first official Playoff Challenge, 15 winners totaling $2500!
    • AntSports finds a real Live Stats provider ($7500), they give me live stats for the NFC/AFC Championship games and the Superbowl. I create a quick Playoff Challenge live stats page and it works great!
    • AntSports announces Live Stats for 2003!

  • 2003 is another good year for AntSports. Total of 354 leagues including 5 Winner leagues and 3 test leagues for a future commish software product. AntSports sends out over 800 checks for more than $223,000 to the winners and for the first time, offers a 5% discount to all returning customers.

    New for AntSports in 2003:

    • Live Stats works great.
    • AntSports purchases its own server.
    • $2500 NCAA Basketball Bracket Challenge included a $25 entry fee. Had 95 people play and had very competitive finsh. The great features of this was you get to pick the winners round by round, not the entire bracket once. Prizes include Weekly prizes, prizes for each group, and a Grand Prize!
    • $50 Money Leagues These leagues prove to be hugely popular.
    • $1000 Money Leagues
      After many emails asking for larger money leagues, I give in and create two.
    • In April, I finally quit my contract software job and go full time at AntSports!
    • In September, AntSports gets a toll free phone number : 888-444-4ANT. When I'm home, I actually answer the phone. I also joined the Better Business Bureau and the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.
    • Offers Trophies for sale - AntSports now sells trophies.

  • 2004 Totals of 500 leagues. AntSports sends out over 1000 checks for more than $340,000 to the winners.
    • Over 7000 mock drafts!
    • AntSports.com becomes AntSports, LLC and is now incorporated offshore in Charlestown, Nevis, West Indies.
    • I installed AntSports 2nd Server in Feb preparing for the summer rush.
    • I installed AntSports a 2nd processor in August as my servers were under heavy load.
    • AntSports starts an affiliate program and payouts out $3400 in commision. Fantasy Football Toolbox makes over $1400. Wow!
    • I still have not won my own local league (got 3rd in 2003 and 3rd again in 2004). That's 14 years without winning my own league. I've gotten 2nd three times and 3rd many times. Only missed the playoffs twice in 14 years. Will 2005 be my year? I did have the #1 team in the regular season final standings.

  • 2005 My NCAA Tourney game had 280 entries! I have purchased two more servers and plan on having my games and leagues on the new servers which will allow the mock drafts to continue right into the NFL season start. Having separate servers for each means the web pages should server fast even during the busiest time peroids. Ended up with about 700 Fantasy Football Leagues.

  • 2006 Was filled up lots of highs and lows, but ended up pretty good.
    • The lows... Signups didn't start until late June because my bank decided AntSports is too much like gambling. I finally get new credit card processing offshore, but at a much high cost, which forces AntSports to lower payouts. Due to the lower payouts, AntSports loses many leagues.
    • The Highs - two really good things happen. 1) The Courts rule that stats are in the public domain and leagues cannot license them, 2) Congress passes a new gaming law and legalizes fantasy sports!
    • The new credit card processing company ask me to incorporate in St.Kitts, so I do. AntSports.com becomes AntSports, Inc.
    • AntSports hosts about 300 NCAA Basketball entries and 800 football leagues.
    • My worst year as a player ever. Of my 4 leagues, I only make the playoffs in 1. Sad.

  • 2007 AntSports 8th Year!
    • AntSports has 405 NCAA Basketball entries, best ever!
    • I automate the Early Draft signup process and triple the leagues starting early. Nice!
    • AntSports hardware now includes 6 servers and 1 load balancing controller.
    • I still have not won my local league, maybe this year is the year!

  • 2008 AntSports 9th Year!
    • NCAA Basketball entries : 382.
    • My load balancing computer had problems so I remove it.
    • League signups remain about the same.

  • 2009 AntSports 10th Year!
    • I have a vacation planned for my kids spring break, which means I cancelled the NCAA Basketball Tourney for this year.
    • I recoded the live scoring and it works much faster.

  • 2010 AntSports 11th Year!
    • NCAA Basketball Bracket Challenge returns, 289 entries.
    • I update the Weekly Challenge. You now have to qualify for the Finals.

  • 2011 AntSports 12th Year!
    • NCAA Basketball Bracket Challenge : 308 entries. Nice.
    • AntSports Fantasy Football has its best year (2nd best overall) since 2005.
    • AntSports now has 17 $1000 leagues. Crazy right.
    • AntSports orginal server crashes in week 15. I switch to my backup server and everything works out.
    • AntSports now uses PayPal for its credit card processing.

  • 2012 AntSports 13th Year!
    • NCAA Basketball Bracket Challenge : 301 entries.
    • My new server is much faster.
    • Trades in fantasy football, are very subjective. I have decided to remove trading from all my redraft $500 and $1000 leagues.
    • I also have updated the trade deadline for keeper leagues to kickoff week 7. I still play in the 1st keeper league I created, Diamond Keeper FFL and I really like the preseason trading, drafting for keepers, and the competition. What I did not like was teams trading away their maginal keepers for good players to try to win now. Often, teams that trade away their keepers, drop their team and start over. With the Keeper trade deadline at week 7, this activity should be reduced.
    • AntSports has never closed a keeper league. AntSports currently has 217 Keeper leagues. Awesome.

 
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