Tom Mees And Fantasy Hockey Part 1
WRITTEN BY CHRIS WASSEL | 02 JUNE 2011
Yes we are going down a road most would not just with the video above. Then again that is what The Program does best. We push outside the envelope considerably. The interview above is former ESPN hockey guy (Rest In Peace) Tom Mees talking to Ron Hextall after Game 7 of the 1987 Stanley Cup Finals.
Granted this was not the kind of fantasy aim we were looking for but Mees was one of those fantasy sports nuts that many often forget was quite the supporter of fantasy hockey. He was also quite the proponent of promoting college hockey and that was another fact lost on many.
The bottom line is Tom Mees was way more than just a sports or hockey guy. He loved numbers and he loved a meat and potatoes approach to them as well. As passionate as he was on the air, Mees enjoyed the same intensity in so many other forms of competition. One of the first fantasy hockey leagues I had ever heard of had Mr. Mees in it. It was partly what fueled my interest in fantasy hockey and it has never waned to this day.
It is going to be 15 years in August that Tom Mees sadly passed away much too soon. Fairly or unfairly, ESPN’s coverage died a good bit that mid August day and a missed opportunity of sorts for fantasy hockey fans. By the early 1990’s, it had become rather known that Mees regularly played in leagues. It was commonplace to hear some in the business (which was in its extreme infancy) say hey I am in a league with Tom Mees.
I had the chance to play in one league with Mees in the 1995-96 season. I never felt more schooled in my life but in a good way. Mees not only won that league but ran away with it. I think he won all but one week. His approach was extremely simple. Play with common sense was his mantra. Never did I see Mr. Mees make a move out of anger or disgust as he often waited for his opponents to do that.
Mees was truly a man of patience and passion for what he did. Yes fantasy sports is something that Tom truthfully did on the side but just imagine today what he could have done just with that knowledge alone.
Thankfully we have the chance to not waste such knowledge in a roundabout way of course. Over the next few months, we will be using some of what Tom Mees taught many of us as a way to assess some fantasy hockey talent. It will be different and some of it will generate some strong opinions. However the goal is to always make you the hockey fan a better fantasy hockey player. That is our bottom line in all of this.
Hopefully these learning experiences can help our fans and readers gain a different perspective that spans from an era long gone by to the present time. Tom Mees will be forever in this hockey fan’s heart and his knowledge and message should be spread everywhere.
Part two coming same time next week……..