After three grueling rounds, Justin Bonnema won TheFakeFootball.comâ€™s Fantasy Football writing contest on July 11, bringing home $285 in cash and prizes for winning the five-week event. The contest started on June 3 and was co-sponsored by DraftDay.com and FantasyPros.com. He won $150 in cash, along with $100 in credit on DraftDay.comâ€™s Daily Fantasy site, and a Fully Loaded Draft Wizard from FantasyPros.com.
“Obviously, it’s nice to have a confirmation that what I write is quality material as judged by other writers,â€ť Bonnema said. â€śThat’s what was so great about the whole thing. Winning is good, but getting feedback from an industry of people I have a ton respect for was the best prize.”
TheFakeFootball.com Fantasy Football Writing Contest
TheFakeFootball.com’s Editor and Co-Founder, Jeff Brubach, was happy with the participants, and with the winner. “In addition to purchasing a 5,000-square-foot home in Hollywood and a Lamborghini with his prize money, Justin Bonnema has joined our writing staff at The Fake Football after winning the competition,” said Brubach.
Bonnema wrote three separate pieces that were judged by several established Fantasy writers, including myself. Each of his articles ended up placing in the top-three of each round.
“We will be posting a couple of his pieces from the contest throughout the next week or two while he works on his next articles for the site,” Brubach announced. “We are very happy to have Justin in The Fake Football family and look forward to his weekly column this NFL season.”
The winner’s first piece involved some in-depth research on late-round quarterbacks, and it finished third in the first round of voting. He won Round 2 with a convincing column about why Ravens RB Ray Rice is his top player to avoid in 2013.
Finally, he came in second place in Round 3 with a bold prediction about how well Cowboys WR Dez Bryant will be a dominating force, despite being a second-round pick.
Bonnema also said he believes writing Fantasy Football is tougher than people think. “There’s pride and money on the line,” he said. “Being accurate is almost as important as being articulate.”
“I would like to thank Chet [Gresham] and Jeff for hosting the contest and judging it,â€ť Bonnema went on. “It’s very difficult to have a unique voice in this crowded landscape and truly believe The Fake Football has it, mostly thanks to those two guys.”
The winner also says he’ll still cover the Dallas Cowboys for Bleacher Report, Yahoo! and Cowboys Nation. â€śWriting about the ‘Boys is what got me into this mess and also what thickened my skin. Cowboys fans are brutal,â€ť he said.
Contest Guest Judges
The guest judges for this contest included:
- Author of â€śThe Rookie Scouting Portfolio,â€ť Matt Waldman, who also serves as a staff writer at FootballGuys.com and FootballOutsiders.
- FSWA Hall of Famer Bob Harris, who currently writes for FootballDiehards.com and can be heard on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio.
- TheFakeFootball writer C.D. Carter, who also authored â€śHow to Think Like a Fantasy Football Winner.â€ť
- SI.com NFL columnist Chris Burke, who has also been featured in SIâ€™s 2013 Fantasy Football preview issue.
- RotoArcade.com writer Dalton Del Don, who covers three sports for Yahoo! Fantasy.
- 2Mugs Fantasy Football co-founder @RumfordJohnny, who is notable for his sharp Twitter wit.
- Ken Griggs, who writes regularly on Dexters Library.
- FantasySports.org partner and grizzled Fantasy veteran David Gonos, who also contributes to SI.com and his own blog at DavidGonos.com.
When asked about possible changes for next year’s contest, Brubach said, “We will probably keep the format the same for the most part. We may spice things up with some new celebrity judges to keep things fresh, and we will probably debate limiting the experience criteria for writers in the contest to keep things focused on giving more inexperienced writers more exposure. Of course, 225-lb bench-press reps and 40-yard-dash times may be included, so aspiring writers should be sure to keep plenty of deer antler spray on hand.”
Fantasy writers and bench press? Unless there’s a cheeseburger underneath a bench, it just doesn’t sound right.
The overall runner-up for this Fantasy Football writing contest was Scott Watson, who took home $185 in cash and prizes, and third place went to Jay Mitchell, who won $60 in cash and prizes.