Featured links for 9th August: Fantasy Football, Pick the Score

A few links I’ve come across recently that you might enjoy:

  • Official Chelsea FC Fantasy Football – It’s that time of year when fans should be thinking about their fantasy football teams. These days most fantasy football games are very much alike, so this season I decided to give the official Chelsea FC Fantasy Football a go. Its biggest plus is that you can include up to four Chelsea players in your squad of twelve if you so wish, and there are some pretty decent prizes up for grabs including signed Chelsea shirts and match tickets. It’s also free to enter. More information about rules etc. is available here. I’ve set up a Chelsea Blog League which you can join using the code 2451-185. Currently the League comprises of just three teams including my own Mellow Yellows. It would be nice if a few more joined Allison’s AK-47s and Stowe’s Sandwiches FC (note that teams are only viewable once Gameweek 1 has started). That code again: 2451-185. Sign up and select your team before Gameweek 1 starts on Saturday, 11th August at 11:30am BST.
  • The Fantasy Football Bargains XI – Looking for a few cheap buys for your fantasy football team? Who Ate All the Pies has selected a team of players who represent good value, players that could amass you loads of points for little outlay. Pick them and you will still have the funds to sign a couple of big guns like Didier Drogba and Wayne Rooney. Ex-Chelsea utility player and all round nice guy Geremi makes it into the Bargains XI.
  • Pick the Score – Guardian Unlimited’s new online football game. Free to enter and incredibly easy to play. Simply predict the results of upcoming Premier League matches. You can challenge your mates or colleagues in a friends’ league, and pit yourself against the Guardian’s football correspondent, Kevin McCarra, and the rest of the sports writers. I’ve set up a Pick the Score Chelsea Blog League; email me and I’ll send you an invite.
  • How fantasy took grip on the world – Times Online looks at how a hobby created among friends has evolved into a multimillion-pound global business. Did you know that 60% of fantasy sports players spend more than an hour a day thinking about their teams, according to a sociological analysis of online fantasy players for Fortune magazine in December 2005?
  • Season 2007-2008 Preview – Guardian Unlimited’s Special Reports section on the forthcoming season. Includes a Premiership team-by-team guide, features and comment, and a Coca-Cola Football League preview.
  • Premier League Preview – Times Online’s football writers take an informative and irreverent look at what the new season may hold for each club.
  • Top 10 smartest transfers of the close season – Guardian Unlimited’s Kevin McCarra picks 10 new signings most likely to succeed in the Premier League. Florent Malouda is included. The new Damien Duff, apparently.
  • Football’s 50 greatest hard men – “Football isn’t always the Beautiful Game. Sometimes it can get ugly. Really, really, ugly. And nobody has done more to bring the threat of menace or the whiff of danger to our sport than the following merchants of mayhem.” The first half of another Top 50 from Times Online. Chelsea old boy Ron “Chopper” Harris is sure to feature in the top 25.
  • So which type of fan are you? – Formative years of football-watching shape the way you view the game for ever more. Find the era that first got you hooked. For me it was the 1980s: “Used to rage against Saint and Greavesie but, now he’s seen what was to follow, can’t help getting a bit wistful for those gags about Scottish goalkeepers. Remembers when you could watch football on TV for 10 minutes without knowing the score or how long was left. Likes it when old replay footage shows a sizeable white “R” with “BBC TV action replay” caption. Still regards Oxo as a drink.”