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FFToday: 2004
A New Look And Attitude

Welcome to the 2004 NFL season. What’s that? The 2004 NFL season started back in January as soon as the Patriots hoisted the Lombardi trophy? Or perhaps even earlier for some fans like me supporting the Bills, as I watched Drew Bledsoe get sacked and fumble for what seemed like the 75th time back in mid-November last year, catching myself muttering, “next year, maybe next year…”. Well, next year is here, and while we – by we I mean Krueger and myself – acknowledge FF Today is always “on” (there is no off-season), I needed a jumping off point to get us started.

So, what am I welcoming you to?

This year represents a significant shift in what is going on around here. I’m not just describing the look of the site – although M.K. has done a bang up job on that as well – but I’m talking focus. I’m talking culture. I’m talking a new attitude for one of the original groundbreaking fantasy football information services on the Internet.

Before I get any further, yes, it’s still free. Well, mostly free. There are some premium products and services, like the Cheatsheet Compiler and Draft Buddy, Mr. Fantasy Football Contest and FF Today Gear (the rumors are true…FF Today T-shirts do exist!), that FF Today cannot afford to provide free of charge. But overall, the same as last year and every other year, FF Today is a free fantasy football information service.

Some of you are probably wondering who I am. Even if you don’t know the name, you probably know me. I’m the Compiler guy who has been working with FF Today for 3 years now bringing our draft software to the masses of Geeks populating this site. I’m also the lesser known “FF In The Groin” column guy (think 2 years ago at FF Today), and to a somewhat smaller but loyal following, the IDP guy not named Tony.

Mike K. approached me about a possible partnership this offseason with the mission to improve upon everything that is done here at this site. This sounded like an excellent challenge. We’ve always worked great together – a more well-respected, trustworthy, stand-up guy than Mike Krueger you will not find – so the fit of us expanding our Compiler partnership to an overall FF Today partnership couldn’t make more sense.

Mind you, this was going to be no small task. Here you get the fantasy football bargain of the Internet, so no one would really blame us if we just kept the status quo. However, our goal is to improve FF Today leaps and bounds in terms of what matters most to fantasy football players like yourself. And this is where the new attitude comes in. Here (finally) are some of the changes we have in store:

Focused Content
There is a lot of great material on this website, but the difficulty is piecing it together into something to help you achieve your fantasy football goals – most often, to win your league. This year we unveil key content under umbrella categories resulting in easier navigation and a better user experience. Stay tuned for when we kickoff the release of our main pre-season focused content called “The Draft Plan”, a 7 step guide to a highly successful fantasy draft. Once the regular season rolls around, you can follow the “Road to Gameday”, with all of the required information you need to manage your team and march into battle week after week.

Better presentation
This improvement is a lot of things. First, the fresh new design for the overall site. The new design is better not only from an aesthetic point of view, but also will better organize the content so you can find what you are after, faster. Second, we want FF Today to deliver the information better than before. This means more dynamic, database-driven pages including stats, player pages, depth charts, NFL draft history, etc., etc. All sortable, and with more drill-down into the details capability and options to summarize the information as you see fit.

“My FF Today”
You’ve seen or used “My MSN” or “My Yahoo!”, why not “My FF Today”? This concept is where we make major strides to tailor fantasy football information to you and your league, your team and your players. It’s nice to know Priest Holmes scores a pair of TDs every week, but since I don’t own him, it is much more important to me that I get every shred of data, info and opinion on players I do own, highlighted and in my face. This is the kind of thing My FF Today will accomplish. The possibilities are seemingly endless and we’re extremely excited about rolling out applications focused on this “My” concept.

Quality, Not Quantity
A 10,000 page website does not impress me. It is not like I’m going to read 10,000 pages between now and September 2006, much less this season. There are going to be more strict guidelines on the quality of content published at FF Today. We’re raising the bar, so you get professional, informative, entertaining and well-opinionated (even if you don’t always agree with the opinion) articles and content.

A spin-off on the quality, not quantity point... we are here to help you win your league. Certainly we like opinions and different perspectives, but overall, you’re here for the main opinions from our top Offense and IDP gurus. These opinions will be clearly presented, and, FF Today will be accountable for the results. We use the toughest criteria of any weekly Start/Bench list anywhere (if other sites even bother grading themselves), and there won’t be any “cherry-picking” of results loudly stating, “we were right here” while coincidentally ignoring what parts we fell down on. We'll show you our success and failures and give you a chance to do the same through weekly Rankings and Projections contests.

Community Is Key
Community has always been a huge part of FF Today. That will not change. You guys are a big part of what goes on around here and we only want to broaden and strengthen the community aspect. Our new message board system will help us integrate many of the dynamic features mentioned above, as we bring FF Today and the Forums closer together. Other community building ideas are in the works, including contests and promotions exclusive to our loyal FF Today followers.

New Priorities
FF Today is dedicated to being your one-stop shop for all of your fantasy football needs. That is our plan and it won't happen overnight (as much as we would like it to). Therefore, our priority is relatively simple, in theory. At all times we must be doing something to achieve or improve the fundamental items a fantasy service must provide. We will put this theory into practice every day, morning, noon and night, and by doing so, we will be well on our way to making FF Today the best fantasy football service around.

Well, there you have it. I understand it is a lot to digest, but the most important thing to take from this is to understand we are making FF Today better. Better for you, for us, and our community. On that note, I have to run, as it would seem I have a ton of work to do.