Millions of fantasy football players were frustrated and angered yesterday as they tried to set their lineups and check their scores, as Yahoo! Sports, one of the world’s leading fantasy football services, experienced a large-scale service outage.
At about noon ET yesterday — just an hour before most NFL games kicked off — Yahoo began experiencing significant server issues. For many users, the site simply wouldn’t load. Others could get the site to load, after an extended wait, on their computers, but not on their mobile devices. This prevented users from picking up players and setting their lineups, which surely impacted thousands if not millions of weekly games. The issue lasted all day, making it nearly impossible for many users to track their teams’ performance.
Needless to say, many Yahoo! users became enraged. Fantasy football is like a drug and when you don’t get your weekly fix, the withdrawal symptoms can be unbearable. Many angered users took to Twitter to express their displeasure, with varying degrees of restraint:
— Stevan Rodgers (@CallMeSteveOo) November 11, 2012
Of all the days for the Yahoo fantasy football app to not work, it chose Sunday… #wtf
— Sadie (@SadieSpades) November 11, 2012
Thanks Yahoo for sucking so now im goign to lose all my fantasy leagues this week. #dicks
— Mikey (@mikeywaldo) November 11, 2012
Early this morning, Yahoo Sports! head Ken Fuchs sent an email to all users, apologizing for the issues:
I want to sincerely apologize to all of you about today’s Yahoo! Sports Fantasy outage. As the head of Yahoo! Sports and as a Yahoo! Sports fantasy player myself, I am disappointed that we failed all of our fans today. Our first priority is having the best experience for our users, and today we fell short.
The outage started around Noon ET (awful timing we know) and while our team was on it immediately we are still working on various pieces. Our team is continuing to work on identifying and resolving the root cause. We have restored full functionality on the website, and we’re working for a final fix for our mobile apps. Currently data and scores can be viewed but for now you cannot make transactions or change line-ups from the apps.
We will also use today as an opportunity to improve our set-up so that we hopefully never have an outage like this again. Our fantasy commissioners and players are our biggest priority – we pride ourselves in being able to offer our users with the best fantasy sports experience possible and we take our job to deliver that to you very seriously. Rest assured we will work hard to make sure we continue to deliver on that commitment.
It sounds like Yahoo! has the issue under control and a plan in place to prevent it from happening again (at least not on a Sunday), but it’s possible this incident will lead many users to seek out other fantasy football services, like ESPN or NFL.com, to host their leagues next season.