Site tackles the business side of sports

Posted: Dec. 21, 2001

Brett Longdin

When it comes to the Web, there are fans' sites and then there are FANS' sites., which recently celebrated its first year, definitely falls into the latter category.

Launched as the Web site for Real General Manager, Inc., tackles the business side of the National Basketball Association, which is a premise that is new to the online sports world, but one, according to RealGM Senior vice president of Web Content Development Jon Hamm says, that is gaining in popularity.

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"The NBA's Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) isn't fan-friendly, and accurate player salary information was hard to come by," said Hamm who doubles as a systems administrator for a credit union when he's not working on the site. "The idea was to create a system that condensed the entire 300-plus page CBA into a few mouse clicks. This way fans could try their own trades to see what would and would not work under the CBA."

Since its inception, RealGM has been a popular site not only among basketball fans but within the media circles, largely because of the up-to-date and accurate information about the CBA, which is something, Hamm says, the company takes a great deal of pride in.

In addition to the daily updates on the site, which consist of of trade rumors, news and team reports, RealGM Heads Up is a free daily newsletter with real-time media reports, scores, schedules, transactions, and features.

"It has been received very well and we're pleased with the response," said Hamm who is also planning a complete overhaul of the site’s draft coverage.

Next to the Trade Checker, which offers the opportunity for users to make up trade possibilities and see if the salary cap would allow the trade to occur, one of the more unique features the site has available is the RealGM Wiretap. The feature is comparable to ESPN Insider, on a smaller scale and free of charge.

While Insider deals with all major professional sports and relies on "sources" for its reports, Wiretap focuses exclusively on the NBA and collects material from established media outlets, which lends a certain amount of credibility to the various reports.

As the site continues to grow, Hamm says there are plans to delve into other pro sports outside of the NBA, specifically Major League Baseball and the National Football League. And as more content is available, RealGM has high hopes to make money through the site.

Without going into details, Hamm was optimistic about generating income. "There are some irons in the fire that could make the company extremely profitable," he added.

Sports Netcetera

Pro Bowl bound?

If the votes cast on are any indication, Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre might as well start packing his bags for another trip to the Pro Bowl. With more than 34 million votes cast by fans, Favre leads all NFL All-Stars in balloting for the 2002 Pro Bowl with 548,614 votes, the NFL announced Thursday. The total is more than 100,000 more than St. Louis quarterback Kurt Warner, who is second in fan balloting.

The 34,513,007 votes cast so far is up from 19,010,146 total votes on last season and is already the most ever received during Pro Bowl balloting. Voting continues on until Dec. 31.

Fan voting counts one-third toward choosing the squads for the Pro Bowl. It will be combined with coaches and player voting, which takes place Dec. 26 and 27.

Other Packers included in the top 10 of NFC voting are Ahman Green and Bubba Franks. Mike Flanagan (center), Darren Sharper (free safety) and Corey Bradford (special teams) are currently the leading vote-getters at their respective positions.

Calling all bidders

It was only a matter of time before the self-proclaimed "Worldwide Leader in Sports," ESPN, and the World's Online Marketplace, eBay, joined forces. The partnership comes in the form of where exclusive sports experiences and products from ESPN are available for bidding.

A piece of the champ

To commemorate the upcoming release of "ALI," Yahoo Auctions is taking bids on exclusive items from the movie starring Will Smith. The auction runs through Jan. 7, 2002, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Muhammad Ali Center.

Items up for auction include:

  • Boxing gloves worn by Will Smith
  • Original programs from the actual Ali vs. Joe Frazier '71 fight
  • Prop passes from the legendary '74 Ali vs. George Foreman fight
  • Padded black director's chair back featuring Michael Mann's name, used by the director during the filming of "ALI"

Still No. 1

Neither the return of Michael Jordan to the NBA, nor the tragic death of Dale Earnhardt could dethrone Anna Kournikova as the most-searched athlete on the Web for the second consecutive year, according to

The tennis beauty, who has yet to win a tournament as a professional, has resided atop Lycos' list since September 1999 - with two exceptions. For one week during last year's Olympics, pole vaulter Tatiana Gregoreiva replaced Kournikova and for two weeks following his accident at Daytona, Earnhardt was the most-searched athlete.

Below is the rest of the top 20 with last year’s rank in parentheses:

1. Anna Kournikova (1)
2. Dale Earnhardt (15)
3. Allen Iverson (5)
4. Michael Jordan (2)
5. Martina Hingis (6)
6. Kobe Bryant (10)
7. Tiger Woods (4)
8. Vince Carter (3)
9. Tony Hawk (7)
10. Jackie Robinson (8)
11. Muhammad Ali (13)
12. Venus Williams (-)
13. Mike Tyson (9)
14. David Beckham (-)
15. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (-)
16. Derek Jeter (18)
17. Babe Ruth (12)
18. Jennifer Capriati (-)
19. Serena Williams (20)
20. Lance Armstrong (-)

Locally, there weren’t any athletes that made any significant waves in Lycos searches, but the Packers did finish the year as the eighth most-searched sports team.

Self Promotion

Which Packers team will show up Sunday when the Cleveland Browns come to town? Why no one knows for sure, Packer Plus Online will be providing live updates from Lambeau Field, complete with post-game audio from the locker room. About an hour after the game, stay online for Packer Insider columnist Cliff Christl’s regular chat. Win or lose, Cliff always has something to say.
Analyst: Olympics not a big Internet event  (2/1/2002)
Controversy gives Olympic sites a boost  (1/1/1900)
Golfer returns to cross-country course  (5/24/2002) gears up for a new season  (3/1/2002)
Obstacles can't stop Olympics site  (1/18/2002)
Packers aim to bulk up their Web site  (1/1/1900)
RedZone is the place for NFL fans  (1/25/2002)
Site tackles the business side of sports  (12/21/2001)
Steroid admission doesn't surprise Gwynn  (1/1/1900)


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