Sports Grumblings Founder: John T. Georgopoulos
Learn about fantasy sports pioneer, podcasting trailblazer, and Sports Grumblings founder, John T. Georgopoulos. A giant in the industry!
Education and early career
John T. Georgopoulos graduated from the Bronx High School of Science in 1982, where he was classmates with Terence Tolbert, the late political operative for Barack Obama and Christopher “Kid” Reid, the rap musician and actor.
While still in university, his interest in meshing fantasy sports with computer science became evident as he created a fantasy wrestling game—dubbed Sgt. Slaughter’s Matwars—which was the basis for the formation of the Silverline Games entertainment company, formed immediately following his graduation in 1996.
While working as a programmer for a bank in 1994, Georgopoulos produced a website, with the goal of learning HTML. He chose this forum to express his views on one of his favorite topics: professional football (the NFL).
Fantasy Sports Journalism career
Georgopoulos’ website received enough hits to encourage Georgopoulos to regularly update his commentary, as well as recruit former owners in his college roto leagues to provide additional content. As a result, Gridiron Grumblings was born in 1996, one of the first independent sites of sports commentary.
The site received several industry awards, including Netscape’s “Cool Site of the Month” and “Cool Site of the Day“, a ‘Top Site’ recognition by Yahoo! Magazine, as well as a recommended site of FHM Magazine.
In 1998 Georgopoulos designed the “Fantasy Forecast Rating System” to enable the absolute valuation of players across positions. Following its success, the concept was applied to all the other major fantasy sports: baseball, basketball and hockey.As a result, applications of his techniques were picked up by SportsIllustrated.com, which ran Georgopoulos’ content.
As early as 1996, Georgopoulos was producing one-hour internet audio broadcasts– one of the forerunners to today’s podcasts. Dubbed “WGRD Radio”, there were 117 episodes recorded through September 11, 2001. His first-person account of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center marked the final broadcast of WGRD Radio. In 2004, WGRD Radio was reincarnated as Gridiron Grumblings Live!, a two-hour live broadcast covering fantasy football and topical events.
On Sept. 4, 2010, Georgopoulos premiered a new weekly show, Sports Grumblings Live!, on SiriusXM Satellite radio. The show was a three-hour broadcast focusing on all the major fantasy sports (and named to support the re-branded website of SportsGrumblings.com), concurrently entertaining and informing the listeners. The show had a time slot of 8-11 PM ET on Saturday nights, on Sirius 210 | XM 87. Sirius/XM decided not to renew the show for a second season.
In 2013, the time, effort and resources required to run an independent fantasy sports site became too much to handle, so Georgopoulos decided to sell the Sports Grumblings brand and properties to his friend and fellow fantasy industry pioneer William Del Pilar. Consequently, Georgopoulos accepted an offer to be a featured fantasy football writer at Fantasy Sharks.com.
Georgopoulos has also taken the time to dabble in the entertainment industry. He has written, produced, directed and performed in two comedy series for the Amazon Prime Video platform. Net News (2018) and Back to the Stone Age (2021). Additionally, he is credited as a writer and producer for the unreleased series Celebrapy (2015). Georgopoulos has co-hosted That Riot Show, a podcast found on YouTube, iTunes and other platforms, since 2015.