Who are the DobberHockey writers? You read their articles every day, now it is time to go behind the scenes. Throughout the summer, each writer will be put in the spot light and will share a little bit about themselves, their columns and some upcoming predictions. Next up is Michael Amato.
Name: Michael Amato
Column : Frozen Pool Forensics
Favorite Band/Artist: The Beastie Boys. R.I.P. MCA
Favorite Food: Mexican. Burritos, Fajitas, Quesadillas, Enchiladas. Anything in that vicinity.
PS3 or Xbox: Neither. SEGA.
First Fantasy League? Year? First round pick?
My first fantasy league was a hockey pool with some of my College buddies in 2006. There were eight of us and I had the last pick in the first round where I chose Eric Staal. Some funny picks from that draft: Jonathan Cheechoo went 10th overall and Manny Fernandez went in the 4th round. Hopefully our Sport Management professors don’t see this or they may take back our diplomas.
Last fantasy hockey championship?
My most recent fantasy hockey championship was this past season in 2011-12. Had a solid squad that included Ilya Kovalchuk, Loui Eriksson, Pavel Datsyuk and Corey Perry. Max Pacioretty, Jordan Eberle, and Brad Marchand really put me over the top though as I was able to scoop them up in the later rounds. I also took a gamble on Sidney Crosby in the 5th round who gave me some sporadic production through all his injury woes.
What is your earliest hockey memory? Best memory?
That would have to be watching the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 1992-93 season. I can remember me and my dad going ballistic when Nikolai Borschevsky scored against Detroit in overtime in Game 7. Although disappointed when they lost to the Kings in the Conference Finals, I figured I would probably be watching the Leafs in deep playoff runs for years to come. Eight-year-olds and their crazy imaginations.
From the Black Aces in the forum to writing on a regular basis for DobberHockey and DobberFootball, how have you enjoyed the ride thus far?
It’s been a really great experience just seeing how my writing has progressed and knowing that hard work pays off. DobberFootball should be an excellent new resource for the members.
Having a feature based on FrozenPool, how do the tools help you shape a detailed forensics series?
FrozenPool is great because it has stats that not many other sites have. It is allows you to look at players in a different light. For my articles the goal is to look deeper into a player’s abilities or struggles and the FrozenPool feature makes that very easy. It can definitely give you an edge in your league and helps you compare players quickly when you are debating about who to draft.
Based on your blog and all of your contributions, it seems that you know your sports. How do you keep up with it all?
Well the long and the short of it is I watch a lot of sports. If you are a sports fan you have the benefit of knowing you will never run into the situation where there is nothing to watch on TV. In addition to that, I also read a ton of columns and I have always been fascinated by the history of sports and great stories. Like ESPN’s 30 for 30 series.
Can you list the sports that you follow and the teams or athletes that are you a fan of?
There is really not any major sport that I don’t follow. The teams I support are the Toronto Maple Leafs (insert sarcastic comment here), Kansas City Royals (haven’t made the playoffs in 25 years and still going strong), Los Angeles Lakers (bring Robert Horry out of retirement), New York Giants (I’m still thinking I’m about to wake up and someone will tell me those last two Super Bowl wins never happened), and Bayern Munich (the best soccer team nobody knows about). It’s a pretty solid compliment of success and mediocrity. I never get too high or too low rooting for that group.
Some athletes I enjoy watching are Eli Manning for his clutch play, Bryce Harper because he plays baseball like it’s supposed to be played, Brenden Morrow because his face should be next to the word Captain in the dictionary, and Roger Federer because he is Roger Federer.
What is your favorite hobby / pastime away from the keyboard?
Well I do play a lot of hockey, soccer, and tennis. I also read quite a bit and I will spin some records on my turntables if the mood strikes me.
When you first log on, what are your go-to sites? Reads?
Oh you mean when I’m not reading the great content on DobberSports.com? ESPN, YahooSports, theScore, and Grantland are my go-to spots. If you aren’t reading stuff by Bill Simmons, Chuck Klosterman, Doug Farrar, Peter King, Stephen A Smith, Sean McIndoe, Bob Ryan, Michael Wilbon, J.A. Adande, Bill Barnwell, Bomani Jones, Katie Baker, and Greg Wyshynski you are missing out.
Biggest surprise in 2012-13? Player? Team?
I think the Carolina Hurricanes are going to do very well in the “no one ever seems like they want to win it” Southeast Division next year. Look for Jordan Staal to make a huge difference there.
A surprise player I think will be P.A. Parenteau in Colorado. He and Matt Duchene should really click and I am surprised the Islanders didn’t put up more of a fight to keep him.
When is the last time you played NHL ’94?
It’s actually on pause right now. Don Beaupre has already cost me three goals. Games were so realistic back then.
Next up is Steve Laidlaw this weekend.