ESPN’s Fantasy Football site did it again. It crashed, just as it did two years ago, on the first Sunday of today’s NFL season.
Back then it was during Week 1 games that the ESPN Fantasy Football app suddenly went down, when ESPN’s technical team, as reportedly shown on its home page, was performing routine maintenance in an effort make game improvements to ensure that players would have the best experience possible.
Today, on the 15th anniversary of that awful day of 9/11, around 1 pm ET or 10 pm PT, just as the NFL games’ first round had just started, ESPN’s Fantasy platform suddenly went down again, crushing thousands, if not millions, of players’ excitement.
As Bill Chase of USA Today reported two years ago, “Having your fantasy football provider crash during Week 1 is like DirecTV going out during the Super Bowl, Netflix constantly buffering on the night of the Orange Is The New Black release or Twitter experiencing an outage whenever you feel the need to share your trenchant, pithy analysis of a major world event.”
Sharing today’s frustrations of probably a vast majority of American ESPN Football Fantasy app players, Luke Kerr-Dineen, also of USA Today, said, “The NFL’s opening Sunday isn’t the NFL opening Sunday to some people, it’s the time fantasy football gets seriously cooking. Except for those playing on ESPN, it wasn’t.”
As Fox 2 Now St. Louis reported at the very time that the ESPN Fantasy Football platform crashed, Jimmy Garoppolo was already “starting for the Patriots, Carson Wentz behind center for the Eagles and Shaun Hill or Sam Bradford _ who really knows? _ throwing passes for Minnesota, the first week of the NFL season will play out Sunday with plenty of uncertainty about what to expect.”
Expected to be absent on Week 1, Fox 2 Now St. Louis said, were “Patriots’ tight end Rob Gronkowski and Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, while some are returning from injury, including Green Bay wideout Jordy Nelson and Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.”
Included in the early games were “Tampa Bay at Atlanta, Minnesota at Tennessee, Cleveland at Philadelphia, Cincinnati at New York Jets, Oakland at New Orleans, San Diego at Kansas City, Buffalo at Baltimore, Chicago at Houston, and Green Bay at Jacksonville.”
Naturally, there came a tweet – or to be more appropriate, an announcement and apology – from ESPN Fantasy Sports team, about an hour or thereabouts after the crash:
We are aware of the current technical difficulties. We apologize for the inconvenience & are working to resolve the issue ASAP.
— ESPN Fantasy Sports (@ESPNFantasy) September 11, 2016
And naturally, too, there followed a string of reactions:
Congratulations to @ESPNFantasy for ruining the greatest day of the year for all of America. ????????????
— DK / Daena Kramer (@justkramer) September 11, 2016
— James Brashaber (@JBrashaber) September 11, 2016
— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) September 11, 2016
— Isaiah Truong (@isaiahtruong) September 11, 2016
— Andrew Rogers (@AndoRogers) September 11, 2016
And here is how ESPN’s public relations department attempted to sell the ESPN Fantasy Football app in a press release on August 10:
“The new ESPN Fantasy app updates the No. 1 ESPN Fantasy Football app on iPhone, iPad, Android phone, and Android 7-inch tablets and allows users to play Fantasy Football, Baseball, Basketball, and Hockey in the same application for the first time ever. Major enhancements this year include a brand new design and visuals that feature new game logos, player headshots, sticker packs, and animations; award-winning fantasy analysis and video accessible right from the app’s home screen; improved draft and live scoring features; and personalized notifications tailored to users’ rosters.”
According to CNN, it’s not the first time ESPN Fantasy Football players have dealt “with a massive glitch during game time. ESPN’s app has crashed during opening week in the past. And Yahoo, which operates the second most popular fantasy site, experienced a similar snafu in 2013 when the app crashed on the first day of the season.”
As of October last year, ESPN said, as quoted by CNN, that “the app had about 7.1 million unique users. Last month, it announced that during a period of less than two days, as its first televised fantasy football marathon event occurred, 1.7 million teams were drafted.”
[Photoby Matt Rourke/AP Images]