Episode 204 – Bob Lung

Bob is a CFO & Fantasy Football Expert

Bob Lung, previously featured on episode 5, returns to talk about his latest achievements in the Fantasy Football world from launching his new website to publishing his first Fantasy Football book!

Episode Highlights

Launching his new website
Publishing his Fantasy Football Consistency Guides
Winning ‘Best Fantasy Football Magazine’ award
Starting the first Fantasy Football Expert Draft
How his passion continues to help create relationships with bankers and branch managers
Your passion does not have to be a hobby

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Bob’s Pictures

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Bob and Michael Fabiano of NFL Network at the Pro Football

John and Bob in NYC Subway

Bob’s links

Transcript

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    Welcome to Episode 204 of What’s Your “And”? Follow Up Friday Edition. This is John Garrett and each Friday, I follow up with a guest who’s been on the show in the past to hear what’s their new passion outside of work, how things are going with the one that they talked about, and maybe hear how the message has impacted them since we last talked. I’m so excited to let everyone know that my book is being published very soon. It’ll be available on Amazon and a few other websites, so check out whatsyourand.com for all the details or sign up for my exclusive list and you’ll be the first to know. You’ll even get a few tracks from my comedy album for free. And please don’t forget to hit “Subscribe” so you don’t miss any of the future episodes because I love sharing such interesting stories each and every week.

    This Follow Up Friday is no different with my guest and friend, Bob Lung. He’s the CFO at Red Head Brass at Northeast Ohio and now he’s with me here today. Bob, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?.

    Bob: Well, thanks for bringing me back. It’s been a few years to say the least since we did this the first time, but I’m really excited that this has exploded into everything you thought it was going to be. Thank you for allowing me to be one of your special guests to come back.

    John: Of course, man. You were Episode Five in 2015.

    Bob: That’s crazy.

    John: That was almost four years ago and that is unbelievable how long it’s been. It’s been cool to hang out when you came to New York when I lived there for the fantasy football draft and stuff, but I’ve mixed up the format of the show a little bit and we’ve got to do the rapid fire questions out of the gate. We’re just going to do seven on the Follow Up Fridays because it’s my favorite number and it seems to be the favorite number of everyone who’s on the show. Here we go. First one, brownie or ice cream?

    Bob: Brownie.

    John: Okay. How about a favorite TV show of all time?

    Bob: M*A*S*H.

    John: Oh! Solid answer! Okay. If you had to, Harry Potter or Game of Thrones?

    Bob: Since my three daughters basically forced Harry Potter down my throat on an obsession phase for years, I don’t think I have a choice but to choose Harry Potter.

    John: They would disown you if they listened to this.

    Bob: It would look like an accident, but yeah, I would be.

    John: They look dangerous from social media. That’s for sure.

    Bob: Yeah, they do.

    John: Cats or dogs?

    Bob: Dogs even though I have one of each.

    John: Oh, you do have one of each, but the cat knows.

    Bob: Yeah, the cat.

    John: When you fly, more aisle or window seat?

    Bob: Window.

    John: Okay. What’s a typical breakfast?

    Bob: Diet Mountain Dew.

    John: Nice! Okay, liquid breakfast. There you go. The last one and maybe the most important, toilet paper roll, over or under?

    Bob: Oh, it’s got to be over. That’s not even a question, is it? Is that really a question? I don’t know.

    John: You’ll never know. I just threw two curve balls at you to see if your family would disown you after both of those, the Harry Potter and the toilet paper, and you knocked them both out, so that’s awesome. What’s been going on with the fantasy football since we talked in 2015?

    Bob: I don’t think I’ve reached your level of explosion from excitement in everything you’ve done, but it has been an amazing growth for me. Just four years ago, I was kind of moving to my own website. I had written for sites for years with my Fantasy Football Consistency Concept, so about that time, I started my own website called Big Guy Fantasy Sports. The big guy scenario comes from my friends and I all of our lives. He was a big guy. I was a growing big guy. That was just our thing. I jokingly said, “I’m going to create my own fantasy football” and I said, “I’m going to call it Big Guy Fantasy Sports” and the guys all loved it, of course. So I started my own website and for years have been writing articles to put in other people’s magazines that you see on the shelves this time of year. I was always excited about putting it in, but I had all of this data that I wanted to add to their magazine in addition to that. I said, “Hey, can I put this data in your magazine? But it’s going to be more than just one article.” They’re like, “Oh, man, we don’t have room. It’s already crowded.” Finally, I realized — I don’t know how I figured it out or somebody told me about it. They’re like, “You know, you can self-publish your own book on Amazon.” I’m like, “Oh, that’s interesting.” So three years ago, I published my first Fantasy Football Consistency Guide and I put it out there and sold like 65 copies. I’m like, okay, that was cool. It was a nice start.

    John: Better than zero, man.

    Bob: Better than zero.

    John: Which is what you’d have simply if you didn’t write it.

    Bob: Right. Then 2017, I improved a little bit, wrote it, put it out there, and sold like 850 copies. All right. People are liking this. I guess I’ll continue to do that. That year, I submitted my book to the Fantasy Sports Writers of America, which is an actual organization that I’m a part of, of course. It was nominated for Best Magazine of the Year in only my second year. I was just stunned.

    John: Congrats, man! You’re way bigger than me. Look at you especially considering your Lotus 123 back in the day. I remember talking about that.

    Bob: Right, yeah, but then last year in 2018, I sold over 2000 copies, submitted my book again for that award, and not only did I get nominated again, but I won the award for Best Fantasy Football Magazine last year by the FSWA, and so that was like a peak of honor there that I just never thought I would ever reach.

    John: Congratulations! I’d like to say that the podcast gave you the bump, but I think you got it on your own, man. You got it on your own.

    Bob: John Garrett, friend, check. Okay, you’re in.

    John: Right. That’s so cool, man. The website is going strong and you’re able to write your own content and put as much as you want out there.

    Bob: And I’m selling it. I’m selling subscriptions to it, probably not ever going to get to a point where I can quit my day job, but it’s that nice little side hobby that’s gotten to a point where hey, in ten years, maybe I can just do this when I’m retired and not doing accounting anymore, but my website’s been great. I put together probably the biggest fantasy football expert draft that’s held at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which is my hometown at Canton, Ohio. That started last year. We brought in 24 of the best well-known sites. Sirius Radio actually flew to Canton and put it live on the air for six hours. We were the fifth highest trending hashtag that day for the name of our draft and that was just the first year. We’re doing that again August 17th, then August 18th, I’m putting on the first ever Fantasy Football Expo here in this area and we’re going to have 40 of the best experts come to that where people could come in and just one-on-one chat with their favorite fantasy people, talk about all the different things we do live onstage, Q&As, just your typical trade show for six hours to get fantasy football nuts. That’s on the 18th. It’s called the Midwest Fantasy Football Expo.

    Every year, I try to think of some new things to build and add, just continue to benefit from the fact that I’ve been in this world long enough that I’ve got a lot of street cred and a lot of support from the community and everybody. We all help each other out. We do a lot of fundraisers too. I’m involved in a lot of things where we do fantasy football drafts and big drafts and throwing ten bucks each and all the money goes to Toys for Tots or this organization or that organization, so that’s a lot of the fun things and giving back that we like doing too because there are very few people in this world that do this as a full-time job. We’re all doing this as a hobby/something that is exciting and fun to do, so a lot has happened in the last four years.

    John: Yeah. Look at you, man. I remember you talking about wanting to do the expo concept or the draft at the Hall of Fame several years ago and you did it. That’s really cool. Is there something that you’re talking about at work? Because I remember when we talked before, plenty of clients enjoyed talking to you right about now so they could help draft for their team and then maybe get some accounting work done on the side.

    Bob: You know, it doesn’t happen as much now because I’m not in that public accounting world. In the private industry, it’s a little bit different. The banker knows I do it, so he and I would chat in August, so that’s always good. It just isn’t the same like it was when you’re in public accounting and you’re meeting with lots of different bankers and lots of different lawyers. I still get texts or calls this time of year from those same people, the bankers. “Hey, Bob! You’re with this bank and you’re probably never going to change. Could we meet so I can get your fantasy football magazine? I’m buying lunch.” I’m like, okay, I’ll take a free lunch for that, sure.

    John: That’s awesome.

    Bob: Yeah, certainly. It’s continued to carry forward and as fantasy football continues, it just gets bigger and bigger. Last year, 60 million people played.

    John: Man, I think it’s interesting that none of them called you for tax advice.

    Bob: Yeah. No, because I’m not good at that.

    John: Right. You know, they’re not calling you for accounting questions. They’re calling you for real, legitimate questions for things that both of you are passionate about.

    Bob: Right.

    John: That just shows that that relationship is legit because it can transcend no matter what job you have. You’re super passionate about fantasy football and whatever job you have, you can still keep those connections even though it’s not really a business case anymore. That’s really cool. Do you have any words of encouragement for people listening that think that, “My hobby or passion has nothing to do with my job”?

    Bob: I do. I think the key is talk to people. If you’re out with your banker, if you’re having lunch with a coworker, ask them, “Hey, what are your hobbies?” because you’d never know. Fantasy football is a little bit easier. Any male between 18 and 45 pretty much either plays or know somebody who does.

    John: And there are a lot of women out there too that are kicking butt at it. It’s crazy.

    Bob: One year, I went to breakfast with one of the branch managers and she just happened to mention it because I didn’t bring it up. She goes, “I got my draft this weekend in my husband’s league and man, I so want to kick his ass this year.” I’m like, “Oh, really?” Her eyes lit up. I walked out to the car and I always keep books in the car in case I run into that situation. I came back and I handed her the book and I said, “Here you go. This might help” and she’s like, “Oh my gosh, this is going to be so awesome. I can’t wait. I am going to hide this from him and I’m not telling him about it. When I win, you’re the first person I’m going to call” and I go, “Don’t make it so obvious because he might check your phone records and I don’t want to be shot by your husband. He’d think you’re having an affair with me when it’s really fantasy football.

    John: I love all that and what great words of encouragement for people to just be a part of it and ask that question.

    Bob: Yeah. You’ll never know what the connection is because even though — maybe they have a hobby or they’re doing something. I think a big thing too is your passion, it doesn’t have to be a hobby.

    Your passion can be a nonprofit organization. My wife and I do a lot of nonprofit stuff still, helping with various organizations, and you’ll never know when that may be what really is the passion that you’re sharing not a hobby, not gardening, not woodworking, but more of give my time and my money to this children’s organization that helps for afterschool programs. “Oh, you do that? Oh, geez, I’m over here in this side of the city and I do that same thing with this organization. We should try to get the two organizations together.” The next thing you know, you have a bond. It may not be a hobby, but it’s a passion and I think that’s the key. Regardless of what you call it, you may be on the same page and you don’t even realize it. Don’t be embarrassed by it either. People shouldn’t be like, “Oh, I’m bragging if I say I help this nonprofit.” No, you’re not. You’re sharing your passion. That’s not bragging. Bragging is, “Well, I wrote a check for X amount of dollars.”

    John: Right. Exactly.

    Bob: That’s great, but hey, I have this passion for this group or this organization. Passion is passion, so yeah, definitely get out there. Share it. Talk with people. Don’t be embarrassed by it.

    John: Yeah, all great advice. It comes up in conversation like the woman with the fantasy football team that wants to beat her husband. It’s going to be so awesome when she does and that’s going to be hilarious, so yeah. Before we wrap this up because this has been really fun, it’s only fair that I let you rapid fire question me, so if you’ve got two or three, I’m buckled in here.

    Bob: All right. Well, the first thing is since you’re a comedian and one of the tens of people that have your CD still — and I know this is supposed to be a “yes” or “no” or this answer or that answer. Favorite comedian?

    John: Oh man, there are so many great comedians. My go-to is always Brian Regan. He always makes me laugh and he’s a really, really, really nice guy.

    Bob: There’s a new guy out there that you probably have seen and he reminds me of you, and that’s John Mulaney.

    John: Oh yeah, John Mulaney, and he’s not even that new for people that had been around. Yeah, Mulaney is great. Ryan Hamilton is a little bit of my doppelganger. He’s a good friend of mine as well. Tommy Johnagin is really funny as well.

    Bob: Yeah, I think I’ve heard that. I listen to a lot of comedy when I’m driving to and from work.

    John: I remember that. It was great.

    Bob: Favorite city you’ve lived in, Denver or New York?

    John: Oh, Denver. Denver is so amazing. I can’t even list all of the reasons of why Denver is so amazing.

    Bob: And every New Yorker just got mad at you.

    John: Well, that’s fine. They know. It’s like the cats. They know.

    Bob: All right. Since we’re doing sports, how about favorite sport to watch?

    John: College football, hands down.

    Bob: Favorite sport to play?

    John: Growing up?

    Bob: Whatever. I know you’re a band geek.

    John: I always grew up playing soccer and I was pretty good at it.

    Bob: That’s cool now. Now that World Cup is in, all of a sudden, soccer’s cool again, so that’s fun.

    John: Yes, exactly. It’s a fun game. Sweet! Well, thanks, Bob! That was awesome. Thank you so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?.

    Bob: Thanks for having me. I really appreciate being a part of it.

    John: This was so fun, and everyone listening, if you want to see some pictures of Bob, he does some really cool stuff with all that football NFL Hall of Fame or connect with him on social media. Also, check out his bigguyfantasysports.com. Go to whatsyourand.com. All the links are there. And while you’re on the page, please click that big button and do the anonymous research survey about corporate culture. It’ll really help for the book that’s coming out very soon. Thanks again for subscribing on iTunes or whatever app you use and for sharing this with your friends so they get the message that we’re all trying to spread that who you are is so much more than what you do.


		

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