It’s a good thing nobody told Stephania Bell, PT that you can’t make a living playing fantasy football. Bell has done just this, as ESPN’s fantasy injury analyst. That’s right, Bell provides her take on the injuries that plague professional sports’ most notable players, providing fantasy sports participants with much needed information with regard to strategies behind sports trades and team builds.
Stephania is a physical therapist who still practices clinically, but travels to ESPN headquarters to provide much needed analysis of all of the recent sports injuries through television broadcasts, blogs and podcasts. Talk about crafting a dream career – way to go Stephania…now that’s entrepreneurship!
To the data-obsessed fantasy-sports community—a population numbering nearly 20 million and driving a $1.5 billion-dollar industry—Bell is a hero, one of a handful of analysts covering sports injuries for the fantasy crowd that forms a sort of parallel universe of analysts, beat writers, and producers alongside that of traditional sports (and, yes, she does go to spring training and the Super Bowl).
Bell discovered the unlikely profession after she sustained an injury, underwent physical therapy, and developed an increased sensitivity to both the physical and psychological components of a sports injury. After attending graduate school in physical therapy, Bell opened up her own practice in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The fantasy aspect came through pure personal interest in fantasy sports—football and baseball in particular. After she let it be known to one league that she was a physical therapist, a fellow fantasy player begged her for a medical assessment of an athlete’s injury. Soon enough, she became the go-to gal for injury tips in her league. Through connections, she landed a gig writing a column for fantasy-sports site Rotowire.com, which led to gig on XM Satellite Radio and ultimately caught the attention of ESPN. The sports channel flew her out to its headquarters, in Bristol, Connecticut, for a screen test and made her a regular on-air expert.