WIS TURNS 5!
WIS was conceived in late 1999 - I'd had a few drinks that night and I think she (I'll call her P.C.) was buzzing too. Now, don't get me wrong, this wasn't a one night stand - I'd known P.C. for years (I actually dated her cousin Apple for a while in the 80's, but that's another story) and while I'd always secretly been attracted to P.C., I didn't realize she felt the same way about me - of course, that could have been her buzz talking. Well, one thing led to another and on February 28th, 2000 WIS was born.
Like any newborn, WIS needed a lot of attention and nurturing. We did the best we could and we took a lot of advice from people that were coming to visit WIS. WIS started with SimMatchup for college basketball and eventually we added SimMatchup for the NBA, MLB, NFL and the NHL. WIS grew much faster than we had expected (breast-feeding didn't last long) and by the end of 2000, WIS had doubled in size, requiring 2 servers. When we taught WIS how to run a "SimLeague," things really got crazy. I remember WIS being mentioned in Sports Illustrated and ESPN the Magazine by WIS's Godfather Bill Simmons. It was just like a Field of Dreams moment (as Chris Farley would say - "Remember that time, when you were, you know, like throwing ball with your dad in the movie? Remember that? That was awesome.").
Anyway, I can't believe it's been 5 years. It's gone by so quickly, it still doesn't seem possible. Suffice it to say, I've been married to P.C. since WIS was born and, although she's getting better, she's still high maintenance. I barely have time to hang out with my buddies Woods and Irons and, if I do, she's always got a huge list of things for me to do with WIS when I get home. The great thing is that we've had a lot of help raising WIS, almost as if WIS has an entire community watching out for him - making sure WIS is on the right path. And for that, I say thank you.
Meet Mike999, the fossil.
Five years ago, after reading about the site briefly in the paper, Mike999 ventured to WhatIfSports.com to view an NCAA "Tournament Tracker." What he found was a site devoted to sports history, simulation, strategy and competition. Mike999 became one of WhatIfSports.com's first users. Today, the site has over 290,000 registered users and includes professional baseball, football, basketball and hockey as well as Gridiron, Hoops and the soon to be released Clutch Racing Dynasty games. With 250 leagues and 27 championships, Mike999, who has been active on the site longer than any other user, is also still going strong. WhatIfSports.com recently contacted its oldest acitve user to discuss the evolution of the site, SimLeague baseball, Reward Points, Ted Simmons, the DH, Whiteyball, pitch counts, Bob Milacki and theme leagues.
WIS recognizes these users:
As a token of respect and appreciation, WhatIfSports.com would like to present the following users with a $50 gift certificate for their hard work and dedication to the site in the following capacities:
"In a way, then, for thirty years I have wanted and waited for this web site to exist. So to everyone at WhatIfSports: thanks for this marvelous invention! Im sure there have been more important inventions in the last fifty years, although none come to mind."
"My own third anniversary of joining WIS is tomorrow (21 Feb). In that time I have seen what I thought was a good site with excellent simulation of baseball management become the monster it is today. Yes, I have teams playing all four sim sports and both Dynasties. I've tried the baseball and football head-to-head. Future improvements and expansions into other areas sound appetizing."
"5 years ago, I sure as hell didnt think I would have a WIS tattoo on my leg!"
"The past three years at whatifsports has always been eventful. Whether it was changes in the sim engines, player salaries or funny threads in the forums, I've always been able to find entertainment at WIS."
"From back then, I remember there being no injuries or fatigue factors in baseball, so catcher Duke Farrell's 72 AB .404 BA season was an absolute god... And, I've always thought the best thing about the site is competing against and getting to know other sports nuts. I really feel like some of these folks are friends, even if I haven't met them personally."
"Back in 2002, we received a call from a guy's wife asking why they were still 'subscribed' to WIS. I explained it's not a subscription like AOL, you only get charged if you purchase a new team. She then asked for her husband's entire purchase history as I kept reading the purchase dates, she became angrier and angrier. I said, 'well at least it's not porn' she didn't find my humor amusing. The best (or worst) part of the story was the guy came home from work while she had me on the phone and I could clearly hear her tell him, 'get up stairs right now, we need to have a talk!'. He didn't make a peep. I still wake up in a cold sweat thinking about what that poor guy had to go through.
Quotes From the "I Remember When..." Forum
"I remember back when 2 pitchers with the same era and innings pitched had the same salary no matter what their other stats were and when I picked them both I couldnt figure out why one sucked and one did ok."
"I remember when a guy could waive a player from a free team and pick him using his full-season team."
"I remember when my credit card was under its limit."
"I remember living and dying with every game John Tudor pitched, thinking he could get the all-time WIS ERA title(he got rocked in his last few games and it got up to around 1.80)."
"I remember having a couple pro basketball teams really suck, that was before I had a credit card, so I had to send in a money order."
"I remember when my wife saw all the teams I had, and she asked how much it cost? I lied and said it was free. I wear my one championship T-shirt (now opt for free team), and convince her I'm the greatest and I've earned all the free teams."
"I remember when WIS first launched hockey. I was thinking to myself when they announced hockey was coming that there is no way they are going to be able to capture the game of hockey in a web simulator. Once again, they proved me wrong!"
"I remember when I made a stupid mistake and waived the wrong player. I contacted support a little after midnight hoping something could be done. Not only did they fix my mistake, they did it and responded within 20 minutes on a Sunday night!"
"I remember when the local radio sports guy first tried WIS and got hooked. He must have spent about 20 minutes of his show talking about how addicted he was! I chuckled thinking 'I feel his pain!'"