Midge: Ice, Ice, baby…. Just couldn’t get the song out of my head in preparing for this interview… anyways, welcome to the ever growing list of people who have dedicated most of their free time to swimming in what has become a fairly large ocean… I gotta start off by asking about the scruffy looking guy in your avatar… what possessed you to post your own mug and is Ben Ice your real name?
Ben Ice: I originally was TB_Bucs_Fan, but when I started writing for Fantasy Sharks, Tony asked me to post my mug. So I did, and of course changed my name. No rocket science there. And yes, Ben Ice is my real name
Midge: Speaking of, how long have you been with the tank and how did you get into the whole column thing…?
Ben Ice: I started with Fantasy Sharks last year while looking for an edge in my leagues. My office league especially is cut throat…all the guys are savvy fantasy players. I followed the shark advice I got while chumming around the tank, and won three of the four leagues, losing to Poe’s Dogs in the Title game of my office pool. Now of course he is in my Atlantic Hammerhead League so I just can’t escape him. I saw a post from Tony looking for help writing columns. I love to write, and have penned several web sites and newsletters over the years. In fact, one of my babies, The Cert Times just turned three years old and has over 286,000 subscribers. So I volunteered, and the rest, as they say, is history
Midge: plug the cert times for me real quick.. What’s it all about?
Ben Ice: IF you are a techie you often need to certify your skills. There is a lot of adversity regarding the subject since so many careers have been outsourced overseas. The Cert Times is a funny, non-politically correct newsletter that features study guides, career information, and some edgy copy from myself and one of my favorite geeks, AJ Axline. Techs read it for the Moron of the Month, the Wierd News, and of course our monthly contest where we give away free software. It’s a labor of love and is now becoming a new website, which we lovingly refer to as “Project X”
Ben Ice: Can’t provide it at the moment or you’d have the guys in black suits and memory erasers at your door. Project X will launch next week on a limited beta so we can break it down, and will be publicly available in January. You can check out the Cert times by going to http://www.examforce.com/customer/newsletter/current/
Midge: Keep us updated… Lets talk about your radio show you guest on… seems like you are more of an expert then the guys that are actually plugging you for info… how much of an impact does the tank have on that? How did you get into that as well….
Ben Ice: Tons. The tank is a microcosm of the entire fantasy football universe and the best training ground for someone who wants to do radio. The questions that come up during the show have usually been covered in the tank, so I use it for prep. I did it when Paul Fountain wasn’t able to due to a recent move and family addition. Tony asked for volunteers and I jumped at the chance. I’ve always wanted to do radio, and this was a great opportunity. Corey Dragge will be doing a radio show on ESPN radio Sundays in Miami Florida, so the word about the tank is spreading.
Midge: Too cool, so are you saying Tony hooked you up with the radio show?
Ben Ice: Yup. Paul did the show last year, and when he couldn’t this year Tony asked those of us doing columns who would be interested. I’d spoken to Tony by phone a few times thanks to the shot we took at taking on CBS Sportsline and he threw me the bone.
Midge: thats awesome… maybe well branch out and get our own serious network, those guys need some help…. I guess I should get to the initial question most are asked…. tell us a little bit about yourself
Ben Ice: I was born a poor white child second son raised in the wilds of Washington state by my mom, Camille. God Bless her for somehow managing to raise five kids in the 60’s and 70’s by herself. Hi Mom! (She reads everything I write)
Midge: isn’t that rule # 5 or something “never tell you mom about the tank” lol
Ben Ice: IF my mom played fantasy football I’d have sent her to Fantasy Football Cafe :}
Midge: love that reference
Ben Ice: Anywho, fast-forward I am 44, divorced dad of four awesome kids Matt, Kaitlin, CJ and Nicole. I am a partner in a software company and handle all the marketing as well as PR and of course anything that includes the written word. I’ve written columns on Investing, called the Profit Prophet, which ran on Investment Hotlines from 1996 to 1998, and a lot of little stuff in industry rags and such.
Ben Ice: Lately I’m beginning to spell like Ackshun
Midge: lol… took me a minute to get that one. I’m guessing he had a lot to do with the new spell checker tool
Ben Ice: He invented it from what I hear… or is that here?
Midge: all right… lets cover your favorite team and how long have you been dedicated to them?
Ben Ice: My new favorite team is the Tampa Bay Bucs. I say new because before that I was a Seahawks fan, but when I moved to Tampa Bay almost fifteen years ago, I decided this was where I wanted to live and adopted them. I’ve suffered through a lot, like many Bucs fans, and had season tickets until they built Raymond James, at which point my seat went from the 40 to the end zone. Hindsight, I wish I would have kept the tickets but at the time all we had were promises from the Glazers and a long memory of skinflint Hugh Culverhouse. Now I bleed Pewter and Red, as do my sons.
Midge: sweet… how many games to you make it to a year, and how many do you take your sons with…?
Ben Ice: My company has season tickets to just about every sporting event within a hundred miles, so I get to about half the home games, and always make at least one with my son CJ. Matt is in college now and too busy chasing all the hotties at USF to worry about the Bucs
Midge: Is Stunt your son?
Ben Ice: There have been rumors, but I can’t remember doing anyone ugly enough to produce such a, ahem, interesting looking scion
Midge: So home town TB… what’s your favorite bar for those of us who may someday visit?
Ben Ice: I have a couple. I am a big karaoke fan and a couple shots of liquid courage (Cuervo) don’t do to badly. I go to a dive called Whistles, but my fav is Mugs N’ Jugs, which is a sports bar with killer boneless wings and hot waitresses
Midge: I will keep those in mind next time I go through…. So your favorite drink is Ta kill ya…?
Ben Ice: Nope, my favorite drinks are (beer) Heineken and (aclkyhaul) Crown Royal. If I am going to get up on stage and do Pictures, I need a couple shots of liquid courage (ta kill ya) and it’s gotta be Cuervo
Midge: Brings back some good memories south of the border…. I digress… lets move on to some tank info…
Ben Ice: I could swap some south of the border stories, TJ, Nogales…
Midge: Out of all the people in the tank, who are your favorite sharks or who do you want to send a shout out to?
Ben Ice: Well, lets see there are tons of guys and gals in the tank that make it rock…yourself of course (props to the interviewer) 5X champs, besides being a fan, is one of the neatest guys. He is calm and temperate, a true gentleman and all around great guy. Agenda is a guy that even though I’ve had some arguments with I have a tremendous respect for. Action, as much of a pain in the butt, New England stuffed shirt homer, is one of the best pure football minds except when it comes to Tom Brady. Stankweasel, Dgack, Killer B’s Hemol, man I could write for a long time. Any body foolish enough or bored enough to read this far, there are just so many great people in the tank. A special shout to Viper and all the other maniac mega posters who keep it entertaining and real.
Midge: Guessing I should probably start the questions I have pre-scripted now…
Ben Ice: ok
Midge: <sound of Santa’s list being unrolled>
Ben Ice: I don’t have to sit on yer lap do I Santa? My momma says to stay away from strange men with bananas in their pockets
Midge: That’s not a banana and that isn’t your mom
Ben Ice: No wonder she does those strange things at night
Midge: And your favorite rookie that is moving up in the tank?
Ben Ice: lol…there are rookies in the tank?
Ben Ice: I’m a bit out of the personalities in the tank, mainly because of the job, kids, writing two columns and doing a radio show for Fantasy Sharks. Then there is the research, emails to newspapers, radio and TV stations….I love this community and want the world to know about it..and maybe get my fifteen minutes of fame along the way. But if I had to think about it (checks the tank)
Midge: come on… I know you want to say Action….
Ben Ice: Oh, yeah….but he ain’t no rookie…in fact he’s gettin a bit long in the tooth….
Ben Ice: I think for me it is the emergence of the ladies in the tank and on the site…The Bomb, FF Chick and so on, who if you read their posts are proving to have sound strategy and well thought out posts. It just shows how pervasive fantasy football has become, and the tank welcomes the ladies with open arms, big hugs, and such
Midge: agreed… pretty cool stuff, and they get the guys all worked up
Ben Ice: Shark Tank Calendar? Hmmmmmm…..come on ladies, what do ya say?
Midge: What tank/forum do you spend the most time in?
Ben Ice: The main tank, and article discussions. Article Discussion gets so little traffic but it is a great place for feedback, so I often make comments and start threads in hopes that others will check it out. I also like to go into WSIS, but there is a lot of repetition in that forum. It is also the one that is most valuable, especially to chum
Midge: And what tank do you wish you spent more time in if any….
Ben Ice: Main tank. I go there every Thursday before the radio show on Fox to see what player’s people are talking about. It almost always coincides with the questions on the show.
Midge: What’s the one thing in the tank that you would like to see improved…. other then just more, and more, and more people…
Ben Ice: That is also where the true character of Fantasy Sharks is most apparent…or is that characters?
Midge: Now adays… the additions of forums has really changed the look of the main tank
Ben Ice: More interaction with the newbs in WSIS (Who Should I Start) but also more organized way to categorize the questions and get rid of the masses of dupes. That more than anything else lessens the valuable input. Yeah, forums have had a big impact on how the tank works, but as time goes by and the Mods get more organized it will get better
Midge: So TB is your favorite team… lets hear the bowl predictions for the record again…
Ben Ice: Um, yeah, I did that for the record didn’t I. I believe it was the Bucs and Indy…not really sure at this point. If I get a mulligan, I’d go with the Steelers and someone from the NFC…not sure who that would be though (Come on Bucs…all ya gotta do is run the table…)
Midge: Sleeper of the year for the rest of the season?
Ben Ice: Santana Moss
Ben Ice: Fred Taylor
Midge: that pains my ears… I need him in a league where Holmes is looking like he may miss a few weeks
Ben Ice: lol..can I change it to Q?
Midge: lol… How would you rate your advise in the tank on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest? You can break it out into FF/non FF if you want
Ben Ice: I’d say a six. Some things I’ve been pretty solid on. Others, like Q, Hasselbeck I’ve been off. But I think that is part of the game. Injuries, luck and coaches can really screw up the fantasy landscape. Ask anyone trying to figure out what Minnesota RB to start…
Midge: ok… speed round, seen this in a few other interviews and have to give it a shot
Ben Ice: ok
Midge: Coffee or Tea?
Ben Ice: coffee
Midge: Jack Daniels or Guinness?
Ben Ice: jack
Midge: Favorite TV show? (old and new)
Ben Ice: Star Trek, CSI
Midge: Favorite Movie? (old and new)
Ben Ice: Trains, Planes and Automobiles, The Terminal
Midge: Favorite vice?
Ben Ice: women, trust me they are a vice….
Midge: Legs or breasts?
Ben Ice: I was born to the breast and I’ll die to it
Midge: Butter or Margarine?
Ben Ice: butter
Midge: Old school or new?
Ben Ice: new
Midge: all right, last question, your on a desert island… you get one song and one shark to listen to, what and who?
Ben Ice: Shark, that would have to be Stank…he is one of the most entertaining guys. Song….”If I ever get outta this place…” not sure of the name, I think its by Jim Morrison
Midge: Lots of fun man… thanks for taking the time, great interview