My first impressions of ScreamingSports.com

Screaming SportsScreamingSports is a relatively new web site for sports fans and fantasy sports players in particular, which I actually am only aware of because their banner started appearing on this blog today (our advertising is all context-sensitive and managed by Google’s algorithms; we never know what’ll show up there and are often amused by what does). According to TechCrunch, this is the niche they’re aiming to fill:

ScreamingSports lets you create your own personal fantasy sports profile (blog, pics, friends) and aggregate all of your fantasy sports teams by just dropping in your credentials. You can connect with other players, compete for points, and get updates on general sports news. For your teams, SS will let you know how they’re performing, what games are coming up, as well as last minute game breakers like injuries or expulsion. Any changes you make to you teams in ScreamingSports are reflected in the hosting site and vice versa.

I signed up for it today, and here are my initial thoughts.

First off, I don’t know if they’re doing an advertising blitz at the moment or what, but the site is really sluggish for me right now. No biggie as long as it isn’t always like that, but I immediately am thinking of ProTrade here, which is a cool idea that was ruined (for me, anyway) by its extremely slow interface.

Adding teams was pretty simple; though I had to give some thought as to whether I really wanted to just hand over my Yahoo account login and password (required to add teams), given the fact that I buy things from Yahoo and have my credit card information stored with them. Now that my teams are in there, I can’t think of any reason why I’d want to use their interface to make changes, which a) isn’t as nice as Yahoo’s, b) isn’t what I’m used to, and c) I simply don’t trust yet, so I’d be going back into Yahoo to see if my changes were really made. Even if I used a bunch of different fantasy sites like ESPN, NFL.com, and FleaFlicker (which I don’t – all Yahoo baby!), I still think I’d prefer to use those sites’ own interfaces.

It sounds like SS will be providing me with some information on my teams like injury updates and that sort of thing, so I’ll have to wait and see how useful the information they provide is.

What I find to be most intriguing and useful about SS is the ability to access the information and make roster changes via mobile devices, PDAs, cell phones, etc. At least, they tell you that you can do this during the “tour” before you sign up, but there’s no indication of how to do it once you’re in. Luckily, a little google-fu turned up this discussion, and this answer: Point your cell phone at mobile.screamingsports.com.

I gave it a try, and the interface is as bare-bones as it comes, but at least it does let you change your roster – say, if you hear your starting running back is injured, you’re nowhere near a PC, and you need to swap in your backup at 12:30 on Sunday. Nifty – well, in theory, because it doesn’t quite work yet. As mentioned in the discussion linked above, you can change your players around, but there’s no way to save the changes. “Shaynie,” who obviously works for SS, says he’ll have a fix up “in 24 hours.” He said this 48 hours ago, as of this post, and I can verify that it ain’t fixed.

So in conclusion: I’d probably just use it for making roster changes on my cell phone, but that in and of itself it pretty useful. Clearly they’re still working out the kinks. I’ll play around with it some more and post another review once I’ve had some more time playing, and they’ve had some more time fixing.