ESPN Fantasy Embraces “Tele-Phone” Technology

ESPN Fantasy owners like yours truly got a rather strange email last night, titled “Need Fantasy Help? We’re here for you.” Now, being that this was after two weeks of play and the header included basic questions about fantasy sports, we thought this was some automatic email sent out because we’re 0-2; like ESPN was saying “We see that you suck at this; do you know what ‘fantasy sports’ is?”

ESPN Screencap 2
(Are we sure this isn’t just an elaborate hoax for our rivals to get our login? If we see half our roster on the waiver wire, so help us….)

Ah, but no no, the WWL wasn’t just patronizing us. It turns out they’ve got help for all fans… over the telephone. Yes, ESPN, still licking its wounds from its failed foray into the 900 number craze a decade ago (I can’t be the only one who remembers that, right?), is offering a toll-free number to help fantasy owners do their fantasying.

From their e-mail:

Have a question about your leagues’ settings?
Want to know how to put a player on the Injured Reserve list?
Need to change your roster but don’t have access to ESPN.com?

Just call the Fantasy Help Desk

We have a staff of fantasy fans just like you ready to answer your questions and help you set your lineup when your hands are tied. We’re not able to give advice on who to start or bench, but we can help you out when your office firewall blocks ESPN.com, or you’re stuck in traffic on a Sunday afternoon.

The Fantasy Help Desk is available 8am to 1am EST seven days a week, so make sure to save this number in your contacts: 1-888-549-ESPN (1-888-549-3776).

If you’re like us, you’re immediately thinking, “Not 24 hours? SUCH BULLSH*T!” Granted, there’s no way in hell we can put together a coherent fantasy question at 3 a.m., mainly out of a lack of sobriety, but that’s when we do our best fantasy thinking (worth reiterating: we are 0-2 on the season).

If ESPN really wants to do us a favor via phone, they need to offer radio broadcasts of daytime sporting events over the phone. Granted, this is largely limited to March Madness, but think about it. Most of us with desk jobs can’t exactly turn on the games, and “calling in sick” is an obvious lie.

Ah, but if we want to block out a couple hours and say we’re “on a teleconference,” then nobody’s going to suspect that the industrious gentleman with the phone glued to his ear is actually keeping up on the day’s games. Further, if you get bored with one game, hit 0, choose a different one from the menu, and you’re good to go.

Again, not a great idea for cell phones. Total minute-eater. But nobody counts minutes at work. That’s the target market. All ESPN has to do is get a giant automated switchboard set up, connect it to some radio feeds, ???, profit!

But again, we digress. Fantasy stuff over the phone that doesn’t include start/sit advice? Our interest is a little more tepid on this.