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Yahoo fantasy football goes down at worst possible time

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Sunday, around noon, it was as if millions of football nerds cried out, their clicks silenced.

An hour before eight of the the week’s fourteen NFL games started, Yahoo Sports Fantasy’s website went down. Anyone who wanted to tinker with their roster before players were locked in for the week, or had just received word that a star player was too injured to play and needed a substitution, was out of luck.

“Awful timing we know,” Ken Fuchs, head of Yahoo Sports, admitted to users in an email. “I want to sincerely apologize to all of you about today's Yahoo! Sports Fantasy outage.” He didn’t indicate that Yahoo would institute any kind of scoring adjustment.

More than four million people played fantasy football on Yahoo’s servers in 2011. While anyone can adjust their roster earlier in the week, it’s common for people who play to wait the last minute to make changes, especially because coaches often don’t announce whether injured players will play until gametime. Once a game starts, owners can’t move a player to the bench or vice versa.

According to Fuchs’s email, Yahoo restored web service sometime around 10:00 p.m. Sunday, which was after the final game of the day had started. Mobile apps got service back soon after.

Twitter exploded with anger at the outage Sunday, with many fantasy owners blaming their losses on Yahoo.

“Yahoo Fantasy Football site is down,” tweeted @fullsteve. “The apocalypse is upon us.”

“Gas could go to $7/gallon and people still wouldn't be as upset as they are now with the Yahoo Fantasy Football server crashing,” tweeted @TuxedoYoda

Photo by Ed Yourdon/Flickr