Thanks to cancer, a writer I've become. A cancer survivor transforms a disability and the passion for the game of football into an asset.
My name is John Cooney. I am a 57 year old happily married gentleman and proud father of a 13-year-old son. I live in the United States, in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Introduced to the world of fantasy football in 1989, I experienced immediate success, winning a championship 2-out-of-3 years (1989, 1991) of action. After a 3-year sabbatical from fantasy football (1992-94), I accepted an invitation to get back into fantasy football (1995) and immediately garnered another title. Since jumping back into the sport in ‘95, my fantasy teams have participated in post season play every season but two. In-all I’ve been strategically fortunate to have made it into 10 championship appearances, resulting in an 9-1 title record. In the title runs there were back-to-back championships in 1995-96, consecutive appearances in 1998-99 (winning in ’99) and another back-to-back run 2008-09. Playing fantasy football wasn’t enough for me, however. Compelled to channel my talent and passion for the game and possessing an education in communications and broadcasting (Temple Univ. in Phila, PA), I worked-up and implemented a plan for a fantasy football radio program. The kick off of “Fantasy Football Breakdown” took place in 1998. In 1999, I was joined in the studio by former Boston University QB Kevin Foley, brother of former Jets/Seahawks’ QB Glenn Foley. The radio program ran for three years on 2 Philadelphia radio stations, growing each year. Along with writing, supporting (advertising) and hosting the radio program I served as the football "expert" for South Jersey Sports, a radio program hosted by 610WIP voice personality Sue Shilling. Life events (marriage, new business venture) necessitated a break from the studio, with every intention of getting back in studio and on the air after two seasons.
In 2003 I was diagnosed with throat cancer, which coincided with the revelation that my wife was pregnant with our son. Thankfully, I was blessed and survived the daunting battle against the disease; the victory was not without consequences. Radiation and surgical side effects compromised and greatly hampered my ability to speak clearly, thus putting an end to the broadcasting dream. However the passion for football and fantasy football in particular continued to burn brightly and my desire to continue in the communications field never waned.
In the 13-years of post-cancer life many life-altering side effects continue to crop up, creating a communicating hurdle and difficulty maintaining my professional life. Undaunted, when new challenges arise I meet them head-on, with as much positive gusto as I can muster. Like most who have faced cancer there never seems to be an end to the introduction of new mountains to climb. Not one to sit idly and meekly accept my perceived fate, I refuse to give up being a positive contributor to community and society. More-so, setting a never-say-die example for my son and my loving wife is of utmost importance, and a well-received responsibility.
Thankfully I am blessed with many talents and great self-confidence to utilize and adapt those talents to meet life's unexpected turns and detours. When cancer entered into my life over ten years ago I adjusted my ways to continue being an effective professional. Now the compounding effects of radiation effects in post-cancer life leads me to once again identify, adapt and apply my talents in new and productive channels. Anticipating this probability over four years ago, I developed and set in motion a plan to re-invent myself and establish a new career that would address and overcome my handicaps, namely severely compromised speech. Having an education in communications, encompassing radio, television, film and journalism, has afforded me an avenue to continue working and an opportunity to create an income for my family. Having the talent to write, and do so creatively, it became clear to me that opening the door to a journalistic career was the most logical professional path to follow. In 2009 the plan to move into a writing career was initiated and I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to break into the arena of fantasy football with Michael Nazarek and Fantasy Football Mastermind. Now, the need to turn to my writing as a full time venture is truly present, front-and-center. The experience working with and for Michael Nazarek at Fantasy Football Mastermind has been incredibly rewarding and I look forward to continuing my association with Mr. Nazarek and FFM.
Player Analysis & Scouting Service is the culmination of 24 years of fantasy football success. Always an astute judge of talent, possessing a "scout's eye", I have been able to translate individual skills, performances and environments of football players on the field (and off) into fantasy football relevance. I am proud to say that I have been able to mantle an impressive trophy case of title hardware and have helped many fantasy footballers become champions themselves. Now, with PASS, I have the platform to bring a keen eye for FFB talent and some alternative paths to FFB success to a broader audience. Teaming up with Michael Nazarek at Fantasy Football Mastermind, PASS becomes a scouting arm of FFM, enhancing the great work produced by Mike Nazarek and the writers at FFM while expanding my own fantasy football knowledge and expertise.
MY WRITING STYLE The writing style of PASS takes on an aggressive, "play to win" attitude, rather than slogging down the path of conservative observations. Advanced scouting for fantasy football at PASS is done with an eye on "going for it". My job here is to bring new looks at the fantasy game, introduce unique breakdowns/information and creative insights into ways to get the most out of a roster. The fanballers of today are savvy and seasoned thanks to the avalanche of football statistics and player information out in the cyber-communications world. PASS doesn't "set" lineups for fantasy football coaches, but rather delivers advanced scouting that allows the FFBer to make the smartest, most educated and insightful decisions on their own. While I write "to win", the one thing I will NOT do in evaluating all things football is personally tear down a player, coach or personnel type. At PASS you will not read how much a player "stinks", off-field issues or over-the-top criticism. I respect the incredible hard work, dedication and time all players, coaches, owners and management put into their profession. That is not to say I won't be critical of poor on-field performances, bad decisions or questionable personnel choices by front office types, but when those situations are addressed it is done respectfully and without the venom that many in this field choose to utilize.
Like those who give it their all in the "real" game, I am dedicated in my own work and PASS. I breakdown game "tape" and player cut-ups every day, both at the collegiate level and in the pro game. The key in my own design of talent evaluation is recognizing skills that translate to fantasy football success, or lack of it. The NFL Combine measures players mentally and physically for scouts and NFL team decision makers; PASS has developed a "fantasy football combine", utilizing criteria that actually matters in the fantasy game for fantasy football decision makers. Most of the raw data is the same as that of the NFL Combine and Pro days, but where it counts in regards to fantasy football is in the PASS breakdown of that data. You'd be surprised how arm-length of an outside linebacker or a defensive end adds a point or two each week in IDP formats. The 40-yard dash is the eye-candy of the skill positions, but measuring 10-yard speed actually is a key for running backs, even those sporty home run hitting backfield blazers. Tie in 10-yard measures with offensive line effectiveness and you have a solid read of how a running back will perform. Arm-strength for a QB? Looks are deceiving and many a football reporter have incorrectly labeled QBs one way or another. PASS digs in and gets it right using some tried and true methods, and some creative ones developed by PASS. Anyone who knows me knows, I LIVE THIS! Coach Vince Lombardi, one of my heroes, stated, "You're not gonna' get perfection, but you're gonna' get excellence in the process."
That is Player Analysis & Scouting Service and John Cooney; not perfect, but excellent!
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