These days, even if the races are all the way across the country, it’s easy to be a virtual spectator. With weekly event webcasts (www.supercross.cc.com for SX, and www.mxnationals.com for MX), you can get the live annoucing from the track. Need more detailed info, like live scoring and timing for all the riders? Add @thewire from www.amasupercross.com, or www.amamotocross.com to the mix. Don’t want to do it as a solo activity? Start an online chat on AOL Instant Messenger (www.aim.com) with your MX friends, or check out an MX message board.
But there’s another way to boost the experience, connect with the racing and the racers, which is via fantasy leagues. That way you’re not just listening to the races, but have a personal interest in their weekly results. Every start, crash, and finish or DNF is a little more meaningful, if it’s one of “your “riders.
Fantasy leagues have been a staple for baseball, football, and even NASCAR fans, but there are also several options available for MX and SX fans. We’ve gathered the 411 on three of the most prominent fantasy leagues, so with just over a week until the season kick-off at Anaheim, now’s the time to get signed up.
How long has your site been running fantasy leagues? Since 1998.
Average participants per season? 400-500.
How did it get started? The FantasyRacer.com fantasy leagues actually started out as an Excel spreadsheet running a fantasy league for American Suzuki’s employee fantasy league in 1997. More and more employees started playing and ASMC vendors wanted to play so it was getting difficult to do everything manually. So, in 1998 Mike Jones (another Suzuki employee) and I figured that we could do some programming and put it on the Internet for employees. But, then we figured that we might as well put it on the Internet since it wasn’t that much more difficult. That’s when Fantasy Racer was created. Our first league on the Internet was for the 1998 Supercross Season.
Cost to join? Varies by league from $4.95 – $19.95.
Prizes? Varies by league. Generally industry sponsored prizes like handlebars, t-shirts, hats, shoes, riding gear, etc. We’ve even given away motorcycles in the past. But, recently we’ve been trying to provide non-industry prizes like Playstation2 video game consoles, computers, MP3 players, video games, etc.
How does your league work? Each rider in the particular series is given a fake “Fantasy Salary” and each team manager is given a budget to hire a team of riders. We also provide a bonus rider each week (called the privateer rider) that they can pick. You can hire and fire any of your riders at any time but you are limited on the amount of times that you can do this.
An important factor to Fantasy Racer is that we offer a diverse range of leagues across multiple motorcycle racing disciplines. FantasyRacer.com is the place to go to play fantasy leagues for Road and Dirt.
Weekly picks deadline? Midnight before the event.
How long has your site been running fantasy leagues? This is our 6th season but probably our last one. My daughter is finally riding age so I plan to hit the track more this summer!
Average participants per season? About 400.
How did it get started? I was running a league for my friends and pele started to find it on search engines so I had to learn ASP quickly and set up a database. During the 2000 season, I went from having a few friends play to several hundred players from around the world within a month or so. My first prize sponsor was called Jet Tribe (a watercraft apparel company from Moorpark, CA).
Cost to join? You need a Motonews subscription to play (www.motonews.com) but it’s a free perk for all members ($10 for 3 months).
Prizes? We have the best cash prizes in the business. Other prizes range from tires to knee braces, to subscriptions, to apparel.
How does your league work? You have a six million dollar budget and each rider is priced differently depending on their results/skill level. You can hire eight riders each weekend but you will run out of money if you hire all of the favorites (Reed is $2 mil). Winning teams round out their roster with fast but less expensive guys who have the chance to do well. Riders like Troy Adams were great picks last year.
Weekly picks deadline? You can pick or modify your team right up until the opening ceremonies. The hard-core guys tune into AMA’s @theWire coverage for practice and watch lap times. They can modify their team after practice if someone stands out and they can also ensure that everyone on their roster is there and not injured
How long has your site been running fantasy leagues? This will be our sixth year.
Average participants per season? We have around 1200 teams playing supercross.
How did it get started? Denny (Stephenson) & Bret (Schnittgrund) were having a “beverage” and decided to put their “friends league” on the internet so that they didn’t have to meet every week to get the results. They were building the main page one Sunday, as Denny was being a spotter for Cycle News and their Virtual Grandstand at an MX national. Cory from Cycle News put our link on the Virtual Grandstand at Cyclenews.com and the rest is history.
Cost to join? You can have one team for $10 dollars, or five teams for $25.
Prizes? Overall prize: grand prize is a trip for two to the ’05 Glen Helen National FROM SeriousRacewear.com.
Four overall prize division champions: Each win an autographed Travis Pastrana helmet from M2R helmets.
Four overall prize division 2nd place teams: Each win a set of gear (jersey, pants & gloves) from Alloy MX.
Four overall prize division 3rd place teams: each win a pair of Piston 199 Signature Travis Pastrana goggles and a pair of sunglasses from Smith Optics.
Weekly prizes: There are four prize divisions that win weekly prizes and they are t-shirts and stickers from Serious Racewear, Renthal, EVS Sports & Alloy MX from the respective prize division.
How does your league work? We don’t mess around with a budget. At MotoXDream, every rider is free. For each race you must hire four 250 riders and four 125 riders. And you only get to keep these eight riders for one weekend of racing at a time. The next weekend you have to go and hire an entirely new team of four 250 riders and four 125 riders. Its very simple, you just cannot have any of the same riders two weeks in row.
As a Team Manager you hired Makita Suzuki’s Ricky Carmichael for the opener. For the next race you had better find a new rider to replace him. As round three approaches, feel free to go back and get Ricky Carmichael again. It’s easy, just remember, “YOU CANNOT HAVE ANY OF THE SAME RIDERS TWO WEEKS IN A ROW.” We do this to keep our players more active throughout the season.
Weekly picks deadline? Our team managers have until 7:00 pm the night of the race to make any necessary changes. If someone gets hurt in practice, they had better be paying attention so they can change riders before the night program begins.
changes. If someone gets hurt in practice, they had better be paying attention so they can change riders before the night program begins.