Councilman Lew Fidler, who’s currently running as the Democratic candidate in a high-profile special election for the New York State Senate, has a heavy background in rotisserie/fantasy sports: he ran the business for the folks who originally invented fantasy baseball and wrote the official rules for fantasy hockey.
“I’m a big sports guy: Mets, Jets, Knicks and Rangers,” Mr. Fidler explained to Politicker this afternoon. “If you’ve been a Mets, Jets, Knicks and Rangers fan for most of your life, in order to know the sweet taste of victory, you have to create your own fantasy teams.”
Mr. Fidler’s history in the fantasy games goes way back. “In the mid-80s, I ran the business of the people who invented rotisserie baseball, which is of course the granddaddy of all fantasy sports,” he said, adding that it’s an “undeniable fact” that he wrote the rules for hockey when they expanded to the sport.
During his tenure, Mr. Fidler helped solve the technical rules disputes for the associations. “If you had a hot issue … I was the guy that got the phone call. I might be the guy who’s as much an expert as anybody on the official rules back then.”
However, Mr. Fidler’s efforts, which were based out of his law office at the time, never resulted in significant financial gain for the company.
“By the time I got to the business, they pretty much lost control of their trademark,” he explained. “The irony is that these guys who generated what is now a multi-billion dollar industry across the United States profited in pennies and nickles.”
Mr. Fidler is currently campaigning for the state senate seat Carl Kruger left behind when he pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges. The election is March 20th.
Update: Politcker reached out to Mr. Fidler’s Republican opponent, David Storobin, about his sports team preferences.
Mr. Storobin splits with Mr. Fidler on baseball and football, saying he’s a “big fan” of the Giants and Yankees. However, the two competing candidates can find some common ground with the Knicks and the Rangers. Mr. Storobin, whose Facebook once featured him wearing a Rangers jersey, says he still has a poster of the 1994 Stanley Cup-winning Rangers team.