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Old 09-02-2014, 11:25 AM   #1
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
Fresh Start Challenge - House Rules FOF that really work

Still playing with FOF 2k7 (haven't shelled out for the new one yet), but y'all may nonetheless find this interesting: a set of house rules that maintains an IRL feel and is actually challenging.

Truthfully, this one has been kicking my butt (even with 2k7!) on multiple (failed) attempts.

Now, I have no interest in playing with house rules that are just arbitrary, that have no basis in a feasible narrative. Not being allowed to trade or renegotiate contracts or any other such construct just sucks the fun out of it for me. I want to be able to imagine the story and make it feel realistic.

Now, I've developed fantastical scenarios before (such as my "Des Moines Dragons" dynasty) where a crazed owner will only sign players from his home state, or other such bizarre rules, and those can be fun in a whimsical way, but this one requires only the game engine's constructs and a believable scenario to make FOF tough again.

Here's the narrative behind the "Fresh Start Challenge":

It's 2010. The Jacksonville Jaguars stink as usual, have lost their fan base, and a new owner has purchased the team. But this new owner is only interested in one thing - money.

He's decided to move the team to L.A., and he wants a ring and, more importantly, he needs a new stadium, but most of all, his credit is maxed out, and he needs the team to turn a profit.

He's hired you to G.M. this squad. Win eventually, build him that stadium, but most importantly: Never, ever, ever lose money - or you're out of a job.

It doesn't sound that tough. But put into place the following rules, and resist the temptation to sign that free agent, because - I've discovered - you're going to have to stay about $60 million UNDER the salary cap, and that's just painful. Sometimes the temptation ... is just ... too ... much ... and suddenly, you're fired.

So here's how to take on the challenge:

1. Move the Jaguars to Los Angeles through the Global Game Options menu and city affiliation (I like to rename them the "Lobos")

2. Let them play their last, miserable season without you, coach doing everything on autosim, sim the season.

3. Take over in the offseason, rebuilding the team with the following goals, settings and restrictions

Goals:
a. Save enough cumulative profits to build a state-of-the-art stadium with no public contribution
b. Win a SuperBowl
Settings:
Cap Range: 28-80
Injury: 150
Wall Street, no firings
Restrictions
a. In no offseason may the price of any ticket (in any section of the stadium) be raised by more than 10% (this eliminates the easy, jack up the luxury box price "cheat").
b. In no season (except the first, in which the Jags limp to an end) may you fail to make a profit. Lose money in any season and you immediately lose the challenge.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.


Last edited by revrew : 09-02-2014 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 09-02-2014, 11:26 AM   #2
revrew
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
It sounds simple, but this has proven more challenging than I expected. Making money the first and second seasons is not so hard, but then the desire to win, optimism about next year, or the desire to hang on to popular players or take that next ... little ... step, prove my undoing.

I've failed at this challenge 3 times and am now going on my fourth attempt.

The first time, I learned just how long and slow the process is of building a fan base, especially if you cut lousy but popular players (who knew cutting "fan favorites" can also devastate your attendance? I never really bothered paying attention before) and blew it by the third season. No problem; it was the first experiment.

The second time, I made it through the third season, but I was riding momentum, expecting to sell more tickets during the coming year, but when we lost some road games early in the season, it dampened fan enthusiasm, and we didn't sell as many tickets for the remaining home games. Curse you, scheduling gods! Finished 10-6, but attendance just didn't keep pace, and I lost $2 million. End of challenge.

The third time, I thought I had it figured out. By the third season, I traded the farm to draft a QB superstud who won the SuperBowl in his rookie season! But, oh, did the players want to get paid after that. I was pinching pennies, but in the attempt-to-repeat following season, I put up a 12-4 record and home-field advantage, so I figured I could grant fan favorite MJD the contract extension he was wanting and then franchise my stud LT the following year and thus, keep both of them for the next season. When the season concluded (we lost the AFC championship game), it turns out I lost money ... almost exactly the same amount as MJD's signing bonus. Aaaaaargh!

Now, it's on to my fourth attempt.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 09-02-2014, 12:15 PM   #3
Kodos
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Join Date: Jun 2001
You should re-take control of Boston/Toronto over in the IHOF.
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Old 09-02-2014, 01:51 PM   #4
revrew
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodos View Post
You should re-take control of Boston/Toronto over in the IHOF.

I assume you've managed to destroy my once great franchise? From cream of the crop to crap in a few, short Kodos seasons?

Alas, I'd have to buy the new version of FOF and spend way too much time away from the fam. Can't do it right now. Miss you guys, but that's not in the cards.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 09-08-2014, 02:15 PM   #5
revrew
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
Now, it's on to my 5th attempt. In the fourth attempt, we had the 1.1 pick, and the signing bonus for our rookie QB was just too much to make up for in ticket sales. Lost money in my first season as GM. Grrrr.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 09-11-2014, 04:48 PM   #6
revrew
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
On to my 6th attempt. That first FA crop is just so talent-rich, you'd think staying 57 mil under the cap would be enough. But nope.

I've learned there's a hitch in the first season: You really have 2 choices. Either a) stock your team with cheap FAs, typically guys in their 50s who are starter-worthy and can really round out the team. A LB or 2 here, a safety there, a WR or 2 that could really be something; or b) sign that 1st round draft pick.

Doing both may not be possible.

The $20-30 million signing bonus on that 1st round draft pick just leaves so little room for error, even though you're bringing in quality guys in FA who are only asking maybe $300,000 in signing bonus and $700,000 in salary ... a million here and a million there, and pretty soon it's just too much. The "cap room" number isn't nearly as important as the amount spent in signing bonuses.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 09-13-2014, 03:21 PM   #7
revrew
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
In my 6th try, we had the 1.2 pick, and between his bonus, subsequent season-ending injury in the first game, and a woeful 2-13-1 record, we just couldn't quite squeak it out. Only losing $5 million, I think this was more bad luck than user error, so it's on to the 7th attempt.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 09-15-2014, 08:30 PM   #8
timmae
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Chicago
8th time is the charm??!!
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:56 PM   #9
revrew
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
Yes, timmae. It will be!

On the 7th try, we had the 1.3 pick. Traded down to cheapen it up, but still couldn't manage to make money. Did I mention this challenge was kicking my butt? On to 8th try. This time, I'm going bare bones. Cutting this team down to nothing. I WILL get into the second season at the helm, even if it means we go 0-16.

Odd that it was easier when I wasn't trying to chronicle it. My first couple of tries I at least got through the first %&#*# season!
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 09-21-2014, 01:27 PM   #10
revrew
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
Chronicling my 8th try - which had more success - will reveal why this is such a difficult challenge:

Step 1: Load a reboot where LA is in a high growth area
Step 2: Sim season, full auto
Step 3: End season, on to next, my first as GM - The Jags finished 8-8! This time around, hopefully the draft won't kill us with big signing bonuses.
Step 4: Cheaper, but capable staff
Step 5: Summer league a fella, but in this reboot, I'm going to resist franchising either of our stud LBs. Letting them both go will kill my defense, but will save over $5 million.
Step 6: In this reboot, expensive DE Aaron Kampman is an uberstud, creating a trade market. Awesome. Now to find some capable but cheap players ...
Trade executed with Denver to bring WR Eddie Royal, Punter Britton Colquitt and a future draft pick. Role players, but good 'uns.

Step 7: Release the bums - big ticket players like David Garrard, Daryl Smith and more are sent packing to avoid big salaries.

Step 8: Trade market? It looks like we may be able to get a solid WR in the draft, so we go looking for a QB. Pittsburgh's Dennis Dixon looks pretty serviceable, so we work out a trade.

Step 9: FA signings (all players signing for less than $1 mil in signing bonus, most for less than $300,000)

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (19/30) cheapest mentor on the market
RT Jonathan Scott (37/52) decent backup, cheap and affinity match
OLB Zak DeOssie (45/58) well-rounded, will likely start at SLB
SS Melvin Bullitt (42/44) I think he's actually going to creep, and he's a mentor to boot.
OG Davin Joseph (43/43) We're getting very lucky with young mentors.
DE Victor Abiamiri (42/63) We may have gotten a steal here.
TE Dante Rosario (49/52) Fan Fave and another starter for cheap.

We're still a very weak team, but this was an excellent crop of cheap FAs.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 09-21-2014, 10:09 PM   #11
revrew
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
DRAFT:
1.15 WR Louis Henry 38/69 - 2 reds, 4 blues. Looks like a stud.
3.16 C Randal Foulke 24/55 - 2 blues, good bars
5.17 WR Lincoln Coleman 19/51 - kick returner w/speed
6.16 TE Ted Familo 24/48 - longsnapper, decent backup
7.15 WR Quentin Ford 26/47 - punt returner w/speed

Post-camp:
1.15 WR Louis Henry +6, +0 - he'll get better. I see him creeping.
3.16 C Randal Foulke +6, +1 - good deal.
5.17 WR Lincoln Coleman +2, -7 - never a good WR, he was a return man anyway.
6.16 TE Ted Familo +2, -3 - Longsnapper. Check.
7.15 WR Quentin Ford +4, -2 - never a good WR, he was a return man anyway.

Trading away some roster excess and future mid-picks brings in the inexpensive SS William Moore 48/62. Fills a big hole in the secondary.

Preseason1: v Arizona
QB Dennis Dixon was less than impressive, but not a disaster in his debut LOSS, 14-10.

Preseason2: at GBay
Our lack of pass rush may be a problem. Rookie 7th round WR Quentin Ford had a HUGE game. Wierd. Still a LOSS, 24-17. He's going to need to step up, because 1.15 stud WR Louis Henry was lost for the season to injury. DAGNABBIT!

Preseason3: at Seattle
Our scrubs look pretty bad in a LOSS, 25-22.

Preseason 4: v. Detroit
Our scrubs canNOT stop the run. Need to avoid injuries on defense this year. This was a LOSS, 20-13.

OUTLOOK:
Trouble. With Henry going down for the season, we could be looking at the 1.1 draft pick next year. But that also means we're losing games, losing fans, and we can't afford losing fans or the 1.1. Gotta pull some wins out of our butts to make this work, or I could be on to try #9.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 09-21-2014, 10:23 PM   #12
aston217
College Prospect
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
That's a pretty nice set of house rules. Although depending on the stadium you inherit, it probably wouldn't be hard to turn a profit regardless of how much salary cap you use. Though you could also play with house rules of rex ticket prices only!
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Old 09-22-2014, 10:32 AM   #13
revrew
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
[quote=aston217;2962443Although depending on the stadium you inherit ...[/QUOTE]

Hmm. I haven't thought of identifying how much the stadium changes from reboot to reboot. I will tell you, however, after 8 unsuccessful tries at beating these house rules, there's nothing "easy" about it at all. With my 10% limit on raising prices, it's close enough to rexing the ticket prices that I face a similar hurdle.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 09-24-2014, 10:58 AM   #14
revrew
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
WEEK 1: (0-0) v Houston (0-0)
WR Eddie Royal opens up the scoring and a Pick 6 by FS Melvin Bullitt seals our unexpected VICTORY, 21-10.

WEEK 2: (1-0) at Tampa Bay (1-0)
Two very inept offenses duke it out, but it was INTs by our MLB Niko Koutouvides and SLB Zak DeOssie that preserved the VICTORY, 10-3.

WEEK 3: (2-0) v Oakland (1-1)
Dennis Dixon really misses having the rookie stud at FL, as Tiquan Underwood isn't cutting it and Eddie Royal is only a complimentary player, not a star. Tough LOSS, 26-7.

WEEK 4: (2-1) v Cincinnati (1-2)
A pair of Dixon INTs spoil what was a very winnable game. Our inept offense leads us to another LOSS, 9-7.

WEEK 5: (2-2) v Cleveland (1-3)
Another blown opportunity. The 2-0 start was a mirage. Dixon needs WR help, and he doesn't have it. LOSS, 19-10.

WEEK 6: (2-3) v Indianapolis (5-0)
Dennis Dixon comes out, plays his best game of the season, but it doesn't result in points. The defense really steps up, and we almost had a chance. A pick 6 in the 4th, however, ends the potentially HUGE upset and hands us a LOSS, 20-12.

WEEK 7: (2-4) at Pittsburgh (2-4)
Defense comes up big in this one, harrassing Ben Roethlisberger incessantly and snagging a pair of picks in a welcome VICTORY, 20-13.

WEEK 8: (3-4) at Baltimore (3-4)
Ray Rice and turnovers kills us in this one we could have won, but instead eat the LOSS, 27-13.

WEEK 9: (3-5) v Tennessee (2-5)
Completely devastated by injury, the Lobos had no answer for Chris Johnson, who handed us the LOSS, 20-17.

WEEK 11: (after the needed bye) (3-6) at Houston (5-4)
Our worst game of the year, Andre Johnson ate us alive in a LOSS 27-7.

WEEK 12: (3-7) v Carolina (4-6)
Dixon is missing 3 wideouts, including our 2 starters, and tosses 4 picks in an embarrassing LOSS, 33-0.

WEEK 13: (3-8) at New England (10-1)
So we have to play Manning twice and Brady this season? Ouch. Still, a respectable LOSS, 23-13.

WEEK 14: (3-9) v Atlanta (9-3)
Backup QB Ryan Fitzpatrick comes in, throws 300 yards, but is sacked 7 times and tosses 4 picks in a LOSS, 35-21.

WEEK 15: (3-10) at Indianapolis (13-0)
Incredibly, we're outplayed all game - as you would expect - but they fumble inside their 20, miss a field goal, and somehow, we come away with the miraculous VICTORY, 20-17.

WEEK 16: (4-10) at New Orleans (5-9)
Fitzpatrick plays outanding on 3rd down, converting 10 of 22, and our kicker boots EIGHT field goals to give us a huge VICTORY, 38-14.

WEEK 17: (5-10) at Tennessee (6-9)
CB Rashean Mathis and the secondary completely shut down the Titans and give us yet another VICTORY, 17-10.

Well, don't we have a QB controversy all of a sudden? Ryan Fitzpatrick leads us to 3 straight victories at the end of the season.

Indianapolis beats Dallas for the NFL title, FS Melvin Bullitt is one of the league's fastest men, LT Eugene Monroe is one of the strongest, but most importantly ... WE MADE MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! $19 million dollars, in fact. Enough to get us another season!
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 09-26-2014, 10:51 AM   #15
revrew
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
SEASON 2

Step 1: Keep coaching staff
Step 2: Fan enthusiasm is slipping with our 6-10 finish, so we won't raise prices, except on the luxury boxes
Step 3: Summer - since he didn't play at all last year because of injury, we're going to take a big risk and send our former 1st rounder, FL Louis Henry, to develop in summer league. (please don't get hurt...) Franchise: QB Dennis Dixon franchised, because I didn't want to renegotiate last season. I will this season.

Step 4: Renegotiations - Dennis Dixon and DE Derrick Harvey sign long contracts. RT Kevin Haslam signs. But we're almost out of bonus money already.

Step 5: FA acquisitions
DE Igor Olshansky (51/51) Perhaps the most expensive and oldest FA we targeted, he's a temporary stop gap to give us some semblance of a pass rush
CB Eric Wright (55/55) There was no way we could afford to bring back Rashean Mathis, so Wright signs a cheap, 1-year deal to play LCB.
K Garrett Hartley (41/41), Similarly, no way we could afford the spend the money Josh Scobee was asking, and the kicker talent in this reboot is abysmal, so we'll go with this guy's strong, but erratic leg.
TE Alex Smith (46/46) Devastating run blocker who was willing to come in on 1-year, minimum salary.

Resignees of note:
CB David Jones (41/48) Solid backup/special teamer
WR Eddie Royal (41/46) Eddie had some drops, but still caught 58% of the passes tossed his way last year.
SLB Rob Ninkovich (39/54) Decent backup

Step 6: Draft
1.10 TE Derek Johnston (39/66) Even though there was a decent CB available, BTA was clearly Johnston, who at 6'5, 270 with 2 reds and 5 blues was just too much to pass up. The CB is solid-looking, but at 5'8 without much INT ability, had to go with the sure-fire stud in Johnston. (The CB went 11th).

2.9 CB Mo Barton (21/67) I don't expect he'll boom or max out those bars, but he was our second choice at CB and pretty happy to see him still on the board.

3.8 G Graham Dickens (26/52) Rolling the dice here on a bench-press guy our scout says is VU. But combine studs are growing few and far between, so now we're looking for guys with bars.

3.14 C Omar Winters (24/55) We're going way out on a limb here, as he seems to have zero run-blocking ability, but his combines scream boomer. One of the last workout warriors left on the board, and if he doesn't pan out, we have a young starter in front of him.

4.7 DE Randy Greene (12/26) Why take a guy with no bars? Because he's fast. Blazingly fast. WAY in the red. Also benched 31 reps, which is blue. Hoping he can boom and be a dime-rusher.

5.10 RB Tyrone Seignious (29/38) Overlooked this guy earlier, but with 4 blues and bars in good places, I'm liking this pick.

6.9 SS Marcus Lazuka (23/48) Hoping his blue in the bench makes him a better run defender than his bar suggests.

7.8 FB Randal Autry (16/48) All he does is block, catch on 3rd down and do special teams. That'll do, pig, that'll do.

Step 7: Post FA - We can't afford a penny more in bonuses, so there's no late FAs at all, save for URFAs. We also have 2 vets holding out. Tough. Can't afford it.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 09-29-2014, 09:31 AM   #16
revrew
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
Step 8: Post TC

1.10 TE Derek Johnston +6, +5 Boo-yah!
2.9 CB Mo Barton +4, -9 - Owie. A capable backup, but not the future starter we had hoped for.
3.8 G Graham Dickens -17, -36 - Aaaah! VSOD! Nuts.
3.14 C Omar Winters +3, +1 - oddly, our 2nd-year, starting C took a small hit. Don't see that very often.
4.7 DE Randy Greene +1, 0 - Really?? A guy that fast with a blue bar in bench is just a dud? Middle of our draft stinks.
5.10 RB Tyrone Seignious +2, +1 Nice
6.9 SS Marcus Lazuka +4, -3 OK for a 6th rounder.
7.8 FB Randal Autry +3, -5 , He'll stick around because of affinities, and I still think he could have a future

We slammed the first pick, got some value at the bottom, but the middle of the draft is a profound disappointment. Still, with Louis Henry returning, we hope to see a significant uptick on offense.

Step 9: Roster tweaking
We trade a future pick for RG Vince Sampson (36/54), who is only in his second year but had an outstanding rookie season. This enables us to cut a more expensive guard with no trade value.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 09-29-2014, 09:31 AM   #17
revrew
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
Preseason1: v Arizona
Six bloody turnovers, CB Mo Barton goes down for half the season, and we drop an embarrassment, LOSS 12-3.

Preaseason2: at Minnesota
Defense takes the week off and Adrian Peterson just pounds us into the ground, LOSS 17-7.

Preseason3: v. Seattle
Their scrubs annihilate ours in LOSS, 30-3.

Preseason4: at Green Bay
We get destroyed in LOSS, 38-13.

Outlook - another poor year, 6 wins seems like the goal.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 09-30-2014, 12:25 PM   #18
revrew
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
WEEK 1: (0-0) at Indianapolis (0-0)
Missing our top 2 linebackers, who are both holding out, is it really fair to start at Indi on the road? Still, our only other starting LB, Dannell Ellerbe, played very well. If only we could get Louis Henry going. Tough LOSS, 19-10.

WEEK 2: (0-1) at Detroit (1-0)
When they're favored by 16, it's not good, but the stats were pretty tight. WR Louis Henry had a bit of a breakout game, outdueling Calvin Johnson to the tune of 9 catches for 113 yards. Somehow, however, the score wasn't even remotely close in a big LOSS, 34-9. Jahvid Best ran all over us. We NEED those LBs to end their holdout!

WEEK 3: (0-2) at Cleveland (1-1)
Louis Henry's first TD, an 80-yard catch and run, is ruined in the last minute, as the defense can't stop Michael Vick from handing us a LOSS, 24-21.

WEEK 4: (0-3) vs. Jets (2-1)
We punt only once in what is a blazing shootout. Rookie TE Derek Johnston explodes onto the scene with 4 catches for 101 yards and 2 TDs, propelling us to our first VICTORY, 38-31. See, fans, we CAN have exciting games!!

WEEK 5: (1-3) v Miami (4-0)
With nearly identical stats in a back-and-forth game, it all came down to an INT by our CB Eric Wright in the 4th quarter, and Dennis Dixon tossing his 3rd TD of the day. It proved enough to pull off the upset VICTORY, 27-24.

WEEK 6: (2-3) v Indianapolis (3-2)
The Oline played well, but fumbles killed us an inopportune times, dropping us to a LOSS, 17-10. Sadly, the game was poorly attended, and I fear we may not be selling enough tickets.

WEEK 7: (2-4) at Tennessee (3-3)
Our defense went bat-crazy in this one, racking up 8 sacks - EIGHT - and a pair of picks. Louis Henry notched 118 yards, and we - for once - look like the team I imagined we could be in a resounding VICTORY, 26-7. C'mon, fans, we're starting to make some noise! (even with our best 2 LBs still holding out!)

WEEK 9 (after the bye): (3-4) at Buffalo (3-4)
Our defense needed to step up again - I think MJD is out of gas - and FA DE pickup Igor Olshansky answers the call, harrassing the QB and helping us eke out a VICTORY, 10-6.

WEEK 10: (4-4) at New England (2-6)
QB Dennis Dixon was highly efficient, and the defense kept up the streak (still without our top 2 LBs), shutting down the run, batting down the passes, and we grab another VICTORY, 17-16.

WEEK 11: (5-4) v Houston (5-4)
It was close at the half, but then QB Dennis Dixon and the defense took OVER. WR Eddie Royal goes for 100 and a TD, rookie TE Derek Johnson catches another, and CB David Jones adds a pick 6 to put this one away in style. VICTORY, 41-13. Good news, the fans are starting to notice. But is it too little, too late? And what's this? Our starting MLB finally ends his holdout!

WEEK 12: (6-4) v Minnesota (5-5)
Perhaps our MLB Niko Koutouvides shouldn't have come back right before facing Adrian Peterson. Regardless, it was a second-half fumble returned for a TD that sealed our fate in this LOSS, 24-17.

WEEK 13: (6-5) v Denver (8-3)
The defense struggled mightily in this one, but played lights out in the red zone. Meanwhile, QB Dennis Dixon played mistake free, enabling us to pull ahead in the second half and hang on for the VICTORY, 17-16. Injuries, however, are mounting.

WEEK 14: (7-5) at Chicago (4-8)
With Louis Henry going down to a short injury, WR Eddie Royal takes the game on his shoulders from the gun, and the defense gets the turnovers needed to seal the VICTORY, 20-14.

WEEK 15: (8-5) v Tennessee (4-9)
QB Dennis Dixon is really starting to come into his own, rewarding us for his contract with a top-5 in the NFL year. Last season's 7th round pick WR Quentin Ford keeps impressing his coaches, this time with a punt return for TD to put the nail in teh coffin of this VICTORY, 37-10.

WEEK 16: (9-5) v Green Bay (7-6-1)
The Gandalf defense comes up big with 3 sacks, 3 turnovers and defensive TD en route to a VICTORY, 27-8.

WEEK 17: (10-5) at Houston (6-9)
Win and we're in th playoffs, lose and we could be out.

Neither defense even tried to show up in this one; ours forgot to get off the bus. Houston puts up 21 points in the first quarter, and we begin the catch-up run. Dennis Dixon leads a furious charge, Eddie Royal gobbles up 111 yards of real estate, but in the end, we fall just short in a LOSS, 33-27. The good news, however, is that Denver also lost, allowing us to sneak into the playoffs!

Our stupid SLB, nonetheless, is continuing his assinine holdout. Won't even come back for the playoffs. Jerk. I should trade him next season just for being a cancer in the locker room.
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Old 10-04-2014, 10:25 AM   #19
revrew
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Join Date: Jun 2001
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WILD CARD ROUND: (10-6) at Jets (9-6-1) - we won the first matchup in a shootout, 38-31. It was our first victory of the season.

This one was inexplicably the flip opposite. MJD and Rashad Jennings had daylight all game long, so we pounded the rock and owned the clock. Dennis Dixon struggled. Their offense, meanwhile, couldn't find a way to run, and a CB Derek Cox INT in the game's final minute sealed for us the VICTORY, 13-10.

CONFERENCE SEMIS (11-6) at Oakland (12-4)
We put up a heckuva fight, showed we belong, but WR Louis Murphy was unstoppable in the red zone for the Raiders, and CB Nnamdi Asomugha got a case of sticky fingers to hand us the LOSS, 28-17.

Oakland went on to win the Bowl.

Amazing, amazing year. Started off so slow, I thought we were done for, but we hit a winning streak right before our longest homestand, and the attendance started to pick up ...
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Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 10-04-2014, 10:27 AM   #20
revrew
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But ... we still lost 9 million dollars. Bonuses killed us. Just had too many draft picks and kept 1 too many veterans. Even refusing to negotiate with the holdouts wasn't good enough. AAAAARRRRRGGGHHHHH!

In hindsight, it was the Dennis Dixon contract that got us. Had I traded for a QB with just 1 more year on his contract instead of Dixon, we'd be on to our 3rd year with the income increase that comes with a playoff team. Instead, I'm fired. One veteran contract and one draft pick too many is all it took to end the 8th try.

On to the 9th. Despite the frustration, I'm really enjoying the challenge.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 10-28-2014, 10:25 AM   #21
revrew
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
9th try was much more successful.

Won the SuperBowl in our 4th year. Attendance was up. Profits were soaring over $25 mil per year. In the 5th year, we decided to sign some building-block players to contract extensions and sign min sal guys to make up for greater signing bonus budget.

Alas, we failed to secure homefield advantage, as we did in the 4th year, and despite a 7% increase in fan attendance over the regular season, we LOST money in ticket sales off the year previous, when we hosted playoff games.

I was fooled into thinking we were in better financial spot than we were. Lost money on the 5th season. Fired. Time to start over:

10th attempt coming up.
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Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 11-04-2014, 09:12 AM   #22
revrew
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
I blew it in season 1 of the 10th attempt. Just couldn't resist keeping the high draft pick for that killer WR, and the signing bonus killed me. Should have known better.

On to try number 11.

BTW, I'm documenting each attempt. When I finally succeed at one of these, I'll chronicle it here.
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Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 11-18-2014, 11:52 PM   #23
revrew
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Made it through 3rd season on try 11.

On to try 12.
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Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 02-04-2015, 10:19 AM   #24
JMocks
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Any luck?
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