Ask Your Fantasy Football Meteorologist: Rich Hribar of XN Sports

"Dolphins have allowed a TD to a TE in every game this season. Jimmy Graham has scored in every game this season. Fantasy 2 + 2."

It’s not surprising that a fantasy football expert who goes by the name of Lord Reebs would be a Game of Thrones fan. Fantasy geeks are often geeks in other areas of life, and Rich is no exception. I heard him on a bunch of podcasts recently and had to add him to the roster.

I’ve interviewed some respected fantasy names in the industry, but I’ve never interviewed a Lord. How do you prefer to be addressed? Growing up, my last name was constantly butchered. The H is silent, so it’s pronounced “Ree-Bar”, like in concrete. So by default, the nickname ”Reebs” was bestowed on me.

I’ve always played with the prefix when incorporating into my handle for sites (ex: on Skype I go by SkyReebs). At the time when I opened my Twitter account, the Game of Thrones (yes, I’m full nerd, not halfway) hype was at its apex. So I rolled with Lord Reebs. It’s easy to remember for followers (or bannermen, I suppose). My sigil is actually a Black Three-toed sloth on a black canvas for stealth purposes, because the three-toed sloth is the ultimate ninja of the animal kingdom.

How’d you get started in fantasy writing? Let our fine readers know about your current fantasy sites and projects. I’ve been a lifelong fantasy player and gigantic football fan for my entire life. Twitter gave me a voice to share my fantasy musings with whoever would listen, and for some reason unknowing to me, Denny Carter was actually following me. He must have liked one or two of my more coherent ramblings and approached me about joining the team over at what was then SportsJerks.net. Since then we’ve rebranded ourselves and are currently operating under XN Sports.

Of course once Denny brought me into the fold, it wasn’t long before I crossed paths with his cohort, JJ Zachariason. JJ added me to the team over at NumberFire and I try to get some content up over there whenever I can. So as of now, those are the two locations where you’ll find the sweet nectar of my fake football fruit.

The avatar is fantastic. Do you love the hidden gems of 90s TV? Showing my age, I grew up as a watching He-Man and Voltron while drinking Hi-C out of an aluminum tin type of kid, so my pre-teen and teenage years where smack dab in the eye of the early 90’s pop culture storm.

I can wax poetically all day on the nostalgia of Saved by the Bell, Fresh Prince or Boy Meets World but don’t forget about gems like Salute Your Shorts, Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, Alex Mack, Ren & Stimpy.

When the teenage years hit, it was all about NYPD Blue, 90210, Sliders, Just Shoot Me and more.

I can do this all day; can we just skip the rest of the questions and reminisce about when Dr. Quinn was one the hottest women on TV?

Are you a real meteorologist, or do you just play one on TV? That’s really what we are. Just like many of the great people that are in this industry, I loathe the term “expert”. So I dubbed the term “Fantasy meteorologist” since that feels more applicable.

All we are doing here is playing what we deem has the highest probability of happening, And just like a weather man, we are still at the mercy of Mother Nature (or improbability).

Being a sports weatherperson is just as rewarding as one on your local news team, too.

I can tell you that it’s going to be a sunny day outside, or play this player because he’s in line for success, and you’ll take your family out for a picnic (play that player) and he performs well) and you enjoy the sunshine all day.

But when I tell you it’s going to be a sunny day and you get your kids all packed up in the car, get out to the park and it rains (that player lays an egg), we become public enemy number one.

It’s a tough gig, but completely enjoyable. All we can do is use the information we have from the past and apply it into creating what we see as the probable future. Unfortunately the present doesn’t always meet our expectations. .

Congrats on holding out on the 49ers during their dark time. Are you all in on Harbaugh, and is Kaepernick going to settle down after his last two kind of iffy games? Growing up as a Niners fan was a magical time. Jerry Rice, Joe Montana Bill Walsh, Steve Young and so many more great players. It poetry in motion on offense and they were just surgical in the way they dissected opponents. As a child, I never thought that feeling would ever end, I genuinely believed the 49ers would never be a bad football team.

Then Dennis Erickson happened. And Tim Rattay happened. Then Mike Nolan, Mike Singletary and they went 46 -82 from 2003 – 2010.

I know I won’t get any pity from any other fan bases out there for going through that period as a fan, nor do I expect it. But being spoiled on that success as a child, then going to through that range of emotions made me really appreciate what being a fan of a football was all about. The 49ers of my lifetime are really a great metaphor for life in general and how learn to appreciate things as we advance through life.

Now, that I went all Hallmark there, let’s carry on.

Did the 49ers have a right move to make with Aldon Smith? I don’t think so, but that’s the world we’ve created in sports, the double standard that is. Sometimes it’s easy as fans, or players, or coaches, etc. to lose sight of the big picture and that these are human lives. This is a young man who has had a series of red flag incidents since January, and it’s culminated into this giant spectacle. Luckily, he didn’t hurt anyone or himself.

But by playing him in the game (and the 49ers aren’t the first team to handle a situation like this in a similar fashion), you’re sending the wrong message out not only for your own brand, but for young athletes all over. Hopefully he gets the help he needs and his life and career get back on the right track.

What’s the experience like of doing the Sunday morning XN Sports hangout with Salvatore? Who has the better mustache? Sal is the freaking man. He’s exactly what you want out of a partner in crime. He lives in the Pacific Time Zone, so his dedication on Sunday mornings is unparalleled. He does a fantastic job in his work, but more importantly steering the ship of the Hangout. As you’ve noticed, I tend to get in runaway train mode. So I need for him to reign me in sometimes.

As far as mustaches go, I’m the only one currently sporting one, so by default, I am the winner. There’s two ways to initially judge another man. The first is by his handshake, the second is a well-manicured lady tickler. Tom Selleck, Alex Trebeck, Clark Gable, Errol Flynn, Wyatt Earp, Martin Luther King Jr., those are men who get it. [Zach note: By that measure, I’m half a man at best.

Do you have a go-to beer for Sunday football watching? Sundays I go quantity over quality and always go domestic. My go to domestic is regular Bud Heavy (light beer is for men without mustaches). I’m no cerveza connoisseur like you, but at home I’m usually stocked on La Fin Du Monde or anything from Great Lakes (since I live outside of Cleveland). Octoberfest, Dortmunder and the liquid crack known as Christmas Ale.

Does your wife/girlfriend/sig other have any issues with your football obsession? None. Not only because I generally operate in the black (non humble brag) when I’m putting our chips into play, but because she’s just as much into it as I am. My wife, Jennifer, is a huge football fan herself. She’s a big Colts fan too, so let’s just say that this week has not been enjoyable for me at home.

Football or sex: which do you think of more? Going on seven years of marriage this December, I wish I could say that answer was still sex. But I’ve only had sex with my wife only twice and we have two children, so I am far too potent to be spending my time between the sheets. I’d like to think I’m like 2001 Barry Bonds when it comes to coitus. I’ve hit every fastball I’ve ever gotten out of the park. [Zach note: You couldn’t relate to Antonio Cromartie or Travis Henry.]

Where are you on the usual football Sunday? I assume there’s a man cave. Every Sunday I commute to friend’s man cave where we have five televisions. We cover as much ground as we can while also punching the clock on our friendship. Sundays are dads’ trip to the toy store, and luckily I’ve got four months’ worth of Geoffrey dollars to spend.

Tell me about a hobby/interest outside of football. I think I’ve been pretty clear in establishing that I am an uber nerd I’ve also established the generation I’ve grown up in, meaning that I’ve always been a huge gamer. I wish that I had more time to play, but I still get in whatever I can. Lately I’ve played through The Last of Us, Bioshock Infinite and Tomb Raider.

I’m also a huge strategy board game junky. Risk, Scrabble (yes, there’s a strategy to Scrabble with offense and defense), Stratego are some of my personal favorites. I’m pretty much the Bobby Fisher of Stratego, so I can’t get anyone to play me anymore.

Which football writers are on your must-read list? C.D. Carter is my guy, not only because he opened a door for me and believed I had something to bring to the party, but because his perspective on the game of fantasy football is so much different than what many of us are out here doing. He’s really incorporated the mental aspect of yourself, your opponents and all of the moving pieces that are involved throughout the decision making process. I just wish I could turn off my lizard brain more often.

After him, I’m always headed to RotoViz to see what those guys are up to. The team that Mr. Dupont has assembled over there has just crushed it this offseason. While I may not always agree with the things over there, they always bring a fresh slant to the table on a topic.

I know I’m leaving so many people off of this that I enjoy reading, but I try to soak in as much as I can from everyone. Twitter makes it much easier to access all of this information. If I’m following them, I’m reading their work.

Is there anything I failed to ask that you’d like to address? Ben Affleck has been cast as Batman.

Tell me about any plugs that you’d like. Sites, podcasts, projects, anything. You can find my work over at XNSports.com and Numberfire.com. Mr. Sal Stefanile and I do a weekly hangout every Sunday morning at 10 AM ET covering the latest news, injuries and who to get into your lineups for that day. You can find that at XN Sports as well, or find a link on twitter.

I’ll be making a return appearance to the fantastic 2 Mugs Podcast on October 1. If you have never listened in on the show done by Ryan Forbes and John Sarmento you are missing out on great fantasy content coming from two genuinely knowledgeable and hilarious guys.

Thanks for answering my questions and predicting the fantasy weather, Rich. Follow Lord Reebs on Twitter.

Want to support the site or just like reading about fantasy football experts? Then buy my book There Still Is No Off Season: Interviews 51-100 of the Ask Your Fantasy Football Expert Series. If you want to know more about the experts I interviewed, and what they’re up to lately, check out the experts page.

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