An inside look at Dobbernomics.
The year was 1999. A friend introduced me to Smallworld, an absolutely addicting and tremendously fun take on fantasy hockey. Smallworld eventually became part of the Sporting News, which eventually dropped the format. I had to go without for a season so I paid more attention to my Yahoo leagues, but it wasn’t the same. Then after some really careful Googling I found Swegamers last year and was back into the stock market format. Now Swegamers has become Dobbernomics and you have no idea how your winter is going to change.
This format is seriously addicting. How addicting? Three true stories.
A guy in my league didn’t know what to do when Ottawa’s starting goalie went down with an injury (Patrick Lalime?) Back up (Jani Hurme?) was inexpensive, and his stock would soar because cheap starting goalies are snapped up faster than you can say Mason Raymond (see what I did there?). In this format, if you grab a back up who is going to be starting for a few weeks for .5 million. You can end up making another million on him as slower GM’s add him to their roster too. But if you waste a trade on him and only get a game or two, you are going to be stuck with him losing money – not to mention points. And if you keep Lalime and trade for someone else, you are stuck with potentially losing a load of money as other GM’s trade the injured Lalime.
My buddy wants to know what to do. But info is hard to find. Remember, this is 2000 and the internet’s reach wasn’t as long as it is now. No Twitter or the like and there was no way to know if Lalime’s injury was bad enough to warrant the use of a trade. What would you do? Roll the dice and make the trade? Play it safe and keep Lalime? Or, call the Ottawa Senators office and eventually track down the assistant trainer? Yup, my friend just leveled with the guy about his fantasy hockey dilemma and the trainer told him to make the trade.
Another friend was on vacation with his wife and two kids. There are lots of sights to see on holidays but when his wife asks him what he wants to do he expresses his deep desire that his family take in some local culture and visit the local library. On the surface it looks like he is into architecture, literature, author readings, and the like. What he is really after is an internet connection. The whole family spends a morning at the library so dad can make his trades.
This one is my favorite. A married friend in seminary told his wife he needed some time alone in his study in the morning to pray and read his bible. So she left him alone for an hour every morning and bragged to her friends about how devout her new husband was. He was actually sitting at his computer making trades! This went on for a couple weeks. One morning she needed a book or something out of the office and tried to be really quiet, just in case he was caught up in some kind of spiritual experience, she didn’t want to ruin it.
He was caught all right. She saw him in front of the computer. He tried to quickly shut it off – which as you can imagine sent her thoughts in a different direction! He had to come clean and tell her he was making trades in his hockey pool. When he told me this story about a month after it happened he made sure she wasn’t in the room to hear him.
So, don’t say I didn’t warn you. This format is awesomely addictive. The best way I can explain why to the uninitiated is that basically every week you get to re-live the thrill of your original draft. You are going to love it.
I’m probably going to end up writing about this format the most because it is the one I have been heaviest into for the last 14 years. I generally have done pretty well. When there were thousands playing it in its glory days I was consistently top 50 and often top 10. Last year was a bit of an off year. I peaked at about 18 but ended up losing my division because I misplayed the Ottawa vs. Boston reschedule April 28. The second place guy timed it right and had enough trades left to load up on Boston and Ottawa players and surge ahead.
Head over to the new site and sign yourself (and half a dozen buddies) up. Spend some time looking around, give the rosters some time to be finalized and updated, and remember you can play around with your opening day lineup until the rosters lock just before the puck drops. Find some deals, avoid the over priced, and get ready for a lot of fun. I’ll see you there – hopefully in my rearview mirror.
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