This morning I woke up to an e-mail from Ken Fuchs, the head of Yahoo! Sports. This was not out of the ordinary, as Fuchsy and I go back years. Hey Fuchs, remember that time with the wheel barrel and the rum punch? Crazy Fuchs.
Anyways, this time the message seemed urgent. Fuchs was dismayed, and apologetic. He was sorry that I couldn’t access my fantasy teams on Yahoo Sports — of which I have two — around noon ET yesterday. You know, about an hour before the eight early games kicked off.
For those who use other sites for your fake football needs (NFL.com, ESPN, CBSSports.com, etc.) here’s Fuchs’ kind, reassuring message in its entirety.
Dear Yahoo! Fantasy Users,
I want to sincerely apologize to all of you about today’s Yahoo! Sports Fantasy outage. As the head of Yahoo! Sports and as a Yahoo! Sports fantasy player myself, I am disappointed that we failed all of our fans today. Our first priority is having the best experience for our users, and today we fell short.
The outage started around Noon ET (awful timing we know) and while our team was on it immediately we are still working on various pieces. Our team is continuing to work on identifying and resolving the root cause. We have restored full functionality on the website, and we’re working for a final fix for our mobile apps. Currently data and scores can be viewed but for now you cannot make transactions or change line-ups from the apps.
We will also use today as an opportunity to improve our set-up so that we hopefully never have an outage like this again. Our fantasy commissioners and players are our biggest priority – we pride ourselves in being able to offer our users with the best fantasy sports experience possible and we take our job to deliver that to you very seriously. Rest assured we will work hard to make sure we continue to deliver on that commitment.
Thanks for playing with us and your patience today,
Head of Yahoo! Sports
What a nice man.
The outage caused great angst and rage, partly because that’s the instinctive reaction whenever computers don’t work like computers should. Technology, man, it’s useless.
And sure, that reaction is understandable. I don’t have data to support this for Yahoo! specifically, but I can look at our own traffic here at this humble Internet writing space and tell you that noon-ish on a Sunday is a peak time for traffic. Shocking, I know. That’s because you — the kind and noble fantasy team manager — are feverishly looking for updates on injured players, as the inactives for the early games are typically announced around 11:30.
You should do that. If you’re reading this blog, you’re dedicated to this leisure time pursuit of fantasy ownership to some degree, and you likely have more than a couple dollars invested in your teams. So losing solely because one of your starters was surprisingly inactive would be a little dumb. That’s why the outage sucked so much, because many managers may have been stuck with, say, Aaron Hernandez in their lineup.
But with that said, there’s a difference between monitoring your lineup, and setting your lineup. Why, exactly, are you waiting until an hour before gametime to set your lineup? The proper procedure this week and every week is to set it mid week after the waiver period is over Wednesday morning, and then check back a few times as injury news surfaces. Sunday afternoon is your final check, not the only check.
Crashes and outages happen. This here website has gone done once, twice, or maybe eight times. As a human race we still haven’t figured out how to make technology perfect all the time. So while Fuchs rightfully apologized on behalf of Yahoo!, anyone who was caught with an inactive player shares the blame.
Every week the inactives list often just finalizes what we already expected and knew to be true about a players’ status, and the massive developments on a Sunday morning are far more rare than they seem. Why did you have Percy Harvin in your lineup at all on Sunday morning? His odds of playing were extremely minimal, and he was listed as doubtful. He should have been on your bench, and then popped in if surprising news that he’s active emerged. The same approach would have been advisable with Hernandez, since although he practiced all week it was on a limited basis, and Saturday night Adam Schefter reported that he’d be inactive.
But hey, don’t let me tell you how to pursue your fake team management. I just think if you’re the type who waits until an hour before kickoff to set your lineup after investing significant time and energy into drafting a team, that’s just, well, odd.