If you have ever had the joy of riding in a car with Todd Zola and me, you will have noticed that when we are together we act a lot like an old Jewish couple.
In fact, as business partners, we have been close to that, both having had Bar Mitzvahs, with me at 65 and Todd in his mid-50's (I believe). We will see one another tomorrow, providentially at First Pitch Arizona, which is where we met in 1999, meaning 18 years of friendship.
I still remember Z, role playing a mock trade during a particular session when two attendees (for that was what we were then) were given mythical lineups and then asked to try and make a swap.
I don't remember who Todd's trading partner was, but that poor human started with "I see that you need steals and power, and I...". Todd stopped him right there and in his matter-of-fact way cut to the chase, saying, "I know what I have, and what you have. What do you have in mind?"
I knew right then and there we could be friends, and I was right.
We have been friends since, and in 2010, when Mastersball founder Jason Grey became a big league scout, Z and I joined forces and I put Creativesports to rest and moved to Mastersball, keeping the content moving while Todd focused on numbers and projections, writing specifically for our Platinum subscribers.
Since that merger, the Fantasy Industry has exploded, much to the amazement of many of us. Things have become more specialized and as life progressed, Z and I worked with a sort of firewall between what we did. Not that we did not talk, for almost daily we have engaged in something over G-talk, but with Todd's work at RotoWire and ESPN, and my retirement from ATT, which now allows me to do this full time, our relative focus has simply changed.
So, effective tomorrow, as pretty much publicized, I am going back to Creativesports and Z will keep Mastersball. Z will continue to focus on the statistical analysis and projections he does so brilliantly right here, while Creativesports 2.0 (which is still undergoing it's initial build, but the basics are there) will focus on sports analysis, fantasy strategies and tactics along with daily DFS support. The site is expanding to cover soccer, NCAA hoops and football, the NFL, the NBA, MLB, the PGA, and eventually the NHL. We will also have regular pieces on the NFBC/NFFC, and will cover many forms and variations of fantasy play.
But, Z will continue with the Z Zone on the Tout Wars Hour every week, and I will be offering his projections via my site and he has the link to my site, so it is not so much the old Jewish couple splitting up as it is they just decided it was time in life for separate bedrooms.
It is funny--those kvetchy talks we have-- for one of the goofy things is somehow we will approach a player or tactic saying completely different things only to discover we are really saying the same thing in different ways. For, as I say, he is a scientist (he really is) and I am an artist. But, in the end, more times than not, we come to the same conclusion.
I cannot say I will miss Z because to a large degree those echats are just part of what we do, bouncing thoughts or ideas off one another. But, I will say that though I am excited to push the site where I started on the Net 21 years ago, I will indeed miss the sanity and security Lord Z provided.
He is a smart and wickedly quick and funny man, but Z is also amongst the kindest and most accepting human beings I know and I love him as dearly as if he really was my brother.
I thank him for his steady years of patience working with me.
Thanks Z. Here is to prosperity all around.