The Fantasy Five
Welcome to the Fantasy Five with Fighting Chance Casey. Each week I'll ask a fantasy podcaster or writer five questions about themselves. This will fill you in on their deepest darkest secrets. Well, maybe not too dark. But if we're lucky, they will share with us their success stories and how they got here.
For my first article, I wanted to interview the person who is giving me an opportunity in the fantasy community. Ryan Hallam is the creator of the Fighting Chance Fantasy website and podcast. He is one of friendliest and most spirited people in the industry. Hallam is always trying to find a way to engage with his listeners either via a March Madness style "Snack Bracket" or posting videos of his Tout Wars picks. I instantly became a fan of his after participating in the Snack Bracket. Although, I still think Goldfish are better than Doritos. I recently asked Ryan five questions about himself.
What inspired you to create Fighting Chance Fantasy? How did you come up with the name?
I started Fighting Chance Fantasy about 12 years ago. Around that time I had started playing fantasy sports at a level more than the average person, and had really gotten into the games. So much, that friends and family that played started asking me for advice. My cousin, Michael Barra, was one of those people, and told me, "hey, you should start a blog". I had no idea what it entailed, and had zero knowledge of what it took to run a website. But with some pointers from Mike, I started Fighting Chance Fantasy as a one man Wordpress blog and dove in. I had no idea what to name it, so I asked everyone around me. My brother Scott came up with Fighting Chance Fantasy. I never claimed to be able to tell you how to win, but my advice would at least give you a "fighting chance".
After a few years doing it by myself, I got hooked up with Jeff Mans on a podcast for another site (that is no longer around) and eventually we worked Fighting Chance Fantasy together. We were purchased by Fantasy Alarm in its infancy and we rocked that shit for a number of years. I was also lucky enough to be a co-host with Jeff when the Fantasy Alarm Show premiered on Sirius/XM Fantasy Sports Radio. When I was separated and divorcing, I knew I couldn't give fantasy sports or Fantasy Alarm my all, I stepped down and was out of the industry for a couple years. When I came back, I was lucky enough to be able to get my site back. I've been back with Fighting Chance for a number of years now with my buddy (don't tell him I called him that) Steve Rapin and couldn't be loving it more!
You play multiple fantasy sports. What is your favorite fantasy sport and format? Tell us about the most challenging league you’ve ever competed in.
I broke into the industry with fantasy baseball, but I still love fantasy football the best. It is such a fast paced, ever changing game, that it challenges your abilities on a weekly basis. As for baseball, I prefer a points based system with weekly head to head matchups. It is a rare format, but I play in two leagues that way and it is my favorite. The most challenging league I ever played in was the Scott Fish Bowl which I was thrilled to be invited to last year. Not only is it an amazing collection of fantasy football talent, but Scott, his team, and the league does so much for the Fantasy Cares charity that you can feel like you are doing something good for children, while also playing fantasy football. Being invited to the Tout Wars Draft and Hold League has also been a thrill this year and I am in an amazing group of talented people. The draft was incredibly challenging.
We all have that one person you have to beat at all costs. Do you have a fantasy nemesis? Who?
This year I happen to be playing Doug Anderson of Fantrax in the Tout Wars Draft and Hold, The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational, AND Fighting Chance's own industry league Hardcore Baseball Professionals. But Doug and I go way back, so I can't call him my fantasy nemesis. If I had to pick someone that I don't like losing to, I would say it would be Fighting Chance's own Steve Rapin. We live to talk shit to each other, so losing to him is about the worst thing that could happen. Although when it happens I usually just tell him that the league is crap and I stopped caring, and that usually infuriates him, and therefore makes me happy.
You just ran a Fighting Chance Fantasy "Best Movie from the 90’s" Tournament Bracket. With over 3,200 votes casted, Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas (6th seed) defeated Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction (2nd seed) in the finals. Who did you want to win it all?
Well, I definitely wanted Pulp Fiction to win the finale over GoodFellas. The 90s were so chock full of good movies it was so hard to pick one. I'll pick my favorite from each bracket. Comedy: Tommy Boy Action: Jurassic Park Drama: American Beauty Thriller: Silence of the Lambs.
It’s the bottom of the 9th, the bases are loaded and the pinch hitter, Ryan Hallam, steps to the plate with his team down by 3. What’s your walk-up song that’s going to get you hype enough to hit this walk-off grand slam?
I am usually a rock n roll guy, but the past number of years I listen almost exclusively to sports talk radio. Even though I drive a mile and a half to work, so there's not much radio time. So, my wife is a dance fitness instructor, so I hear a lot of Zumba songs as well as hip hop for another class she teaches. And a song that has really grabbed me in the last year (and is totally fitting for this situation) is "All I Do Is Win" with DJ Khaled, Ludacris, Rick Ross, T-Pain & Snoop D-O-Double G.
All he does is win indeed. Ryan Hallam is one of the hardest working people in the industry. He is a great follow on Twitter @fightingchance. Be sure to check him and Steve Rapin's podcast Fighting Chance Fantasy Show (@fcf_show) live every Thursday night at 10pm Eastern on fightingchancefantasy.com. It's also available for download on iTunes. Thank you for reading and be sure to check in next week.