Have you ever gotten into something where you realize you lacked some foresight, to the point where you can see your result is going to be undesirable?
That’s the story of my life as a handyman. Grills, lawnmowers, toys…I don’t think there’s an assembly project I’ve completed where I haven’t gotten 3/4 of the way into the build before realizing I used the wrong part in the wrong place. Or connected something too early in the sequence, such that a later step was impossible to complete. Or left off an essential component, and having a fully assembled contraption and one measly part staring me in the face saying, “Earl, you’re an idiot!”
Well my Second Season football project thankfully isn’t 3/4 of the way through…but I have realized that I made a significant error in my plans for carrying out the Nineacious Football League.
Bark-leying Up The Wrong Tree
The trouble came in the 3rd game, pitting 2016 Chicago against 2016 Miami. My original plan was to use each team’s depth chart as listed. Chicago proved to be the challenge. Matt Barkley is listed as their #1 starter, which is understandable since he started the most games of any Bears QB in 2016. But he was relied upon mostly because Jay Cutler and Brian Hoyer both sustained severe injuries in the season. Barkley’s 6 games started beat out the other two, who each started 5.
That leaves me very conflicted. I could just go with Barkley, but Cutler and Hoyer were both better than Barkley when they were available. I could go with Cutler, and let the game dictate whether he gets injured or not.
Or, I could do the preparation work to plan out the way the team’s fielded their squads in real life. That would mean I take Cutler & Hoyer’s injuries into account when the time comes.
But it also means I used Marcell Dareus in Game 1, when he was suspended by the league for the Buffalo Bills. And so my data is already tainted a bit.
Cut-lering a New Course
So my decision, since we’re only 3 games into a 72 game schedule, is to reboot.
I had some similar quandaries in the first Tenacious Baseball League, where I had not planned rest days and such into the schedule. That was easy to remedy – just start adding them from the point you realize. No team had unreasonable adverse effects from a lack of rest.
But in this project, I felt that the Buffalo-Oakland and (more crucially with a 3 point margin of victory) the Tennessee-Jacksonville results may be tainted by the inclusion of unavailable players.
So I am going to restart my league with Game 1, Buffalo at Oakland. It’s true that it is wiping a 48-7 loss off the board for the Bills. Trust me though, if I thought this wasn’t a necessary change, I would stick with the results and just move forward.
A few other items:
- My offensive personnel & playcalling are changing slightly. I am setting up sets for each team on a game-by-game basis using:
- 21 (2 RB/1TE/2WR)
- 12 (1/2/2)
- 10 (1/1/4)
- 22 (2/2/1)
- I will make all offensive calls without the aid of a D20 – set, play-call, rusher, and/or intended receiver. Upon further understanding of the rules of Second Season, there are significant penalties for overusing receivers and running backs. So it doesn’t make a lot of sense to try and gin up a result by overusing a receiver with a high R rating, as R passes are nullified once a receiver exceeds his catch limit.
- The defense is set using Al Wilson’s simplified play-calling method. I have also considered changing over to a more complicated defensive coordinator, such as the one Replay Games designed. One thing that detracts from using the latter charts: they are set up to factor in the tendencies of the opposing offense, working hand-in-hand with the accompanying offensive play call tendencies. Therefore, for the solo player calling plays for the offense, it may be best to have a generic DC sheet that doesn’t skew too far to passing or rushing.
- The previous recordings of the two other games on Tabletop Baseball + will be made private. I’m hanging onto those results and such for posterity sake, but the videos will be taken off our feed.
- If I am going to record future game coverage of Second Season and the NinFL, I will probably stick to the 4th quarter only unless the game has significance.
- I will try to post game recaps here on the blog or on the TTB+ Facebook page.
Thanks for understanding!