POMPANO BEACH – Few aspects of modern life are less interesting than listening to some barstool sports hero drone on about his fantasy football team.
Overcoming that universal truth is the biggest challenge faced by South Florida comics Nik Macik, Vital Dieujuste and Lonnie Cox when contemplating a fantasy football podcast.
They decided to combat disinterest with comedy, blending their humor with insights and advice for daily fantasy performers who play on Draft Kings.
“Most fantasy football podcasts you listen to are pretty informative but not really funny – there are some guys out there doing that kind of thing – but I thought our take on the thing would be different,” Macik said.
Three years ago Macik and nine other South Florida comics formed a fantasy football league.
One year later Macik, Dieujuste and Cox launched their fantasy football podcast, discussing not only their league, but the entire fantasy football landscape.
Now in its second year, the Fanta-CTE podcast continues to grow. The league now has a waiting list. The podcast adds new followers every week.
Like so many projects over the past couple years, the Fanta-CTE podcast’s genesis can be traced to pandemic-induced free time.
“We really didn’t have anything to do,” Macik said. “It was almost as much out of boredom – just wanting to do anything at all.”
Conducted via Zoom every Monday at 6 p.m., the Fanta-CTE (The name, which Macik credits fellow comic John Loveless, incorporates the degenerative brain injury that affects many football players) podcast is broadcast live on YouTube. The timing allows the podcasters to give their take on NFL news from the weekend while it’s still fresh.
“It’s stuff you’re not going to necessarily hear other broadcasters talk about. It’s not a clean take, but it’s real,” Macik said. “We’ll say what we think about anything. We’ll also try to put a funny twist on things.”
They’ll also offer what can be week-winning tips regarding that night’s game for listeners who increasingly write in with questions.
They’ll also dip into some daily fantasy propositions that could help that night’s Draft Kings players.
“Every week I go back and review the advice that we gave and the first season I was amazed at how well we did,” Macik said. “We give really good fantasy advice because we do take it seriously. We follow the football games, we watch all the games and we pay attention to what’s going on.”
But Fanta-CTE differentiates itself from the vast sea of bland fantasy football podcasts with humor. Along with Macik, Diejuste and Cox – the latter missed the most recent episode for personal reasons – the group invites fellow comics and league mates to join them from time to time. The most recent episode, sans Cox, appears to the right.
Two weeks ago, for example, league-leader Jay Guy joined the conversation (top video).
“Elements of funny, elements of statistics and football elements – all those things make for great entertainment,” Guy said.
Prior to launching Fanta-CTE, none of the three main podcasters had ever produced their own podcast. In that respect, Fanta-CTE is a learning experience.
That doesn’t mean the trio doesn’t have high hopes for its future.
“We’re trying to develop good content because that is ultimately how we are going to get good at podcasting, and then eventually get a following, and get, maybe, syndicated,” Macik said.