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Jim Fitzpatrick

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Everything posted by Jim Fitzpatrick

  1. I play the game to the conditions that are currently outside. This game was played in light rain and overcast skies. I remember the old time games, played on natural grass, that often turned into mudders - for instance, the '64 Giants at Cards 10-10 tie, in which, by the second quarter, all players' numbers were completely obscured. Those were great times, a classic age! I'm in the off season now, and the big thing is adding one more player to each team's roster, bringing each team up to 31 players. To do this, I've been "modifying" certain figures by cutting off and repositioning arms. Thus, a tackle figure is changed into a LB or S; running backs become DEs or WLBs. Thus, each team will be able to field 6 DBs for next season. The results have been good, and I wish Tudor would consider selling individual figures instead of whole teams.
  2. The 29th Championship game (Super Bowl 29) has been won by the Lancers, over the Warriors, 23-7. The Lancers concluding their 2021 season at 7-2-1, met the Warriors, who finished 6-4, at Warrior Stadium. This was the fourth championship game meeting of these two teams. Interestingly, all have been played with Warriors as home team - and the Lancers have won every one. The first quarter opened with all the auspices of a defensive struggle, as the Warriors made a concerted effort to stop the Lancers' ground game. In this, they were quite successful throughout the first half, with the longest Lancers' run being a mere 7 yards. The first quarter ended in a scoreless tie, as both teams' quarterbacks had trouble hitting their open receivers - when they were open. Coverage was generally quite good for both teams throughout the game. The second quarter opened with the Warriors moving the ball downfield in an impressive drive. RB #5 ripped off a 54 yard run, and QB #12 finding the range, and hitting 3 out of 4 passes, the last being an 8 yard TD pass to WR #82, giving the Warriors a 7-0 lead, following the conversion. The Lancers responded by driving the ball downfield themselves. QB #6 hit WR #25 on a long pass (only one of three completions he made in the game), and the Lancers advanced to the Warriors' 6 yard line. But #6 was sacked by SS #30, and the Lancers attempted a FG - which went wide left. At that point, things seemed to be going the Warriors' way, but suddenly went south. On third down, inside the 10, #12went back to pass. No one was open, and the Lancers were getting pressure. He pitched the ball to #5, who, trapped, reversed his field, trying to avoid the safety. As he was running left, Lancers' FS #30, fell over (this is considered an injury, and he was out of the game for subsequent plays), but #5 ran right into him, making the score 7-2. The half soon ended. The Lancers got the opening KO for the second half, and replacing QB #6 with #9, began a drive in which #9 completed 4 out of 4 passes. The drive was capped off with #41 running for 3 yards and a TD. After the conversion, the Lancers held their first lead - which would not be relinquished - in the game, and the momentum shifted. The Warriors found it increasingly difficult to run the ball, with #5 losing more yardage than he gained (he finished the game with only 56 yards rushing). The Lancers continued to dominate, and #9 was on a roll, making several key completions. Late in the third quarter, he drove the ball downfield, and reserve FB #24 broke through the left side of the line for a 37 yard TD run. The Lancers now had a 16-7 lead. On the last play of the third quarter, #12 completed a pass to TE #88, who fumbled, and the Lancer's DE #98, quickly running downfield, recovered. On the very next play (the first play of the fourth quarter), #41 broke through the middle of the line, and scored on a 49 yard run. With the Lancers now leading 23-7, the Warriors replaced QB #12 with #8, but he too was unable to generate any offense for the team. #41 led all rushers with 86 yards; #9 (MVP offense) went 7-11 passing in the second half, and provided the spark the Lancers needed; #85 led all receivers with 4 catches. For the Warriors, #5 had 56 yards rushing, and #82 and #88 were the principal receivers, with 3 catches each. The Lancers had 3 sacks (2 by SLB #56 and 1 by DE #87), the Warriors only 1. The Lancers also had the fumble recovery, with dashed all Warrior hopes. There were no interceptions. Warriors' #61 (who replaced the injured WLB #91 in the first quarter) was the MVP defense for sealing off the weak side throughout the game.
  3. I use time, with quarters set at 45 minutes each. No records yet. I much prefer defensive struggles (in real world games as well) to offensive blowouts. Play - especially passing - is commonly quite sloppy early in the season. There are particular running plays that usually seem to net big yardage and are difficult to defend against. I'm always looking for ways to stop them without instituting radical rule changes. This usually involves experimenting with different bases for the defensive players that are most often involved, or setting those players in different positions. The field which I bought a couple of years ago has some very unique vibration patterns which I'm not yet used to. The old field I knew by heart, having used it since circa 1970.
  4. In a surprisingly low scoring game, the Lancers defeated the Wildcats 17-6. The Wildcats, playing good defense, led the Lancers 6-3 at the half, but gave up two long TD runs to Lancers' RB #41 in the second half, and made 2 critical mistakes which led to their defeat. The first half was marred (as most early games are) by poor passing by both teams, including an interception by Wildcat rookie FS #25. Lancer QB #6, coming to the Lancers in an off season trade with the Thunderbolts for RB #27, was ineffective until just before halftime, when he led a long drive which netted the Lancers their first score, a FG. Previously, the Wildcats had taken a 6-0 lead on a pair of FGs - one set up by #25's interception. Both teams' high-powered running games were contained by good defensive play, although the Wildcats' #22 ripped off a 57 yard run in the second quarter to set up the Wildcats' second FG. In the second half, the Lancers' #41 exploded for an 80 yard TD run, giving them the lead for the first time, 10-6. The Wildcats continued to be ineffective in the third quarter, with QB #7 completing only 2 passes. Meanwhile, the Lancer's QB, #6, began to get the range, driving the Lancers deep into Wildcat territory, before settling for a 51 yd FG attempt. It was wide right, and the Gladiators took over, in good field position. Keeping the drive alive into the fourth quarter, the Wildcats faced a fourth and ten at the Lancer 19 yard line. Instead of going for the FG, which would have brought them to 10-9, with lots of time remaining, they opted to go for it, and #7 was sacked on a blitz, by reserve S #36. First mistake. But the Lancers, after getting one first down and running valuable time off the clock, were forced to punt the ball back to the Wildcats. QB #3 replaced #7, and RB #22 had a 41 yard run for the Wildcats, who once again drove deep into Lancer territory. Again they faced a fourth down situation (4th and 5). #3 went back to pass, and completed it along the sidelines to WR #85 for a first down. But as he turned and began running, the ball popped out, and Lancers' SLB #56 recovered at the 11 yard line. Second mistake. On the very next play, the Lancers set their TE #86 (their blocking TE) on the left (they had been setting TE right on all previous plays), and #41 exploded over left tackle for an 89 yd TD run, giving them a 17-6 lead, which they protected until the end of the game. Lancers' #41 led all rushers with 184 yards; Wildcats' #22 had 146 yards. Lancers' WR #85 had 4 catches to lead all WRs. Wildcats' QB #7 was sacked 3 times (one by CB #44 on a corner blitz, one by DT #78, and one by S #36 on a blitz); Lancer QB #6 was sacked once (DE #84 and WLB #52 sharing). This game concludes the opening games, and inter-league, for all teams. The current standings are: Old League: Lancers 1-0-0 Gladiators 1-0-0 Titans 0-0-1 Hawks 0-1-0 New League: Thunderbolts 1-0-0 Panthers 0-0-1 Warriors 0-1-0 Wildcats 0-1-0 Next games (beginning intra-league play): Lancers @ Titans Hawks @ Gladiators Warriors @ Thunderbolts Panthers @ Wildcats
  5. Incidentally, I was looking at Pro Football Reference the other day, and was quite surprised that the Browns highest rated (by their way of rating0 player of all time was NOT Brown, Graham, or anyone else you'd expect, but tackle Dick Schafrath, who played during the 60s.
  6. Love the old time games! I've been a Giants' fan since '62, and I remember the players of that era well.
  7. The Gladiators erupted for 17 second quarter points, and held on, to defeat the visiting Warriors 17-7, in the season opener for both teams. The first quarter was marked by good defensive play, and sloppy passing by the Warriors' QB #12, who missed several open receivers. Meanwhile, the Gladiators began to establish a running attack, based on FB #35, who wound up the game with 85 yards total to lead all rushers. After the scoreless first quarter, in which the Gladiators' QB #15 was sacked 3 times, the Gladiators put together a drive which featured a 39 yard run by #35, and ended up with a TD pass from #15 to TE #85. After the Warriors failed to do anything on their next possession, the Gladiators got the ball back, but were also unable to move it. The Warriors blocked the ensuing punt, but failed to capitalize, missing on a 45 yard FG. Taking over, the Gladiators once more drove down the field, and scored on a pass from #15 to rookie RB #44. As the quarter waned, the Gladiators kicked a short FG, giving them a 17-0 halftime lead. In the second half, the Warriors replaced their starting QB with #8, who, on his first attempt, threw a 71 yard TD pass to WR #82. Despite this, and despite an improving running attack, the Warriors still were unable to sustain any drives. In the middle of the fourth quarter, they drove the ball down to the Gladiators' 18 yard line, but, instead of going for a field goal on fourth and ten, opted to go for the first down. A blitz by WLB #66 forced #12 to throw early, and the pass was incomplete. From that point, the Gladiators ran time off the clock, punted once again, and stifled the Warriors on their final possession by playing a prevent defense which allowed short completions, but took up too much time. The Gladiators' DE #92 had one sack in the fourth quarter. There were no interceptions by either team. Next up: Lancers @ Wildcats, which will complete the first games for all teams, and complete the inter-league games for this season.
  8. Last year's last place New League team, the Panthers, at the Old League champion Titans. This was almost an upset, as the lowly Panthers came into the 4th quarter with a 17-13 lead, largely due to the Titans having missed an extra point and a chip-shot field goal early in the game. The first half was marred by sloppy play on both sides. The Panther's rookie QB, #17, opened up with an 80 yd TD pass to WR #16, who wound up the game with 4 catches and well over 100 yds receiving. As expected, the Titans relied on their running game, and FB #39 finished with 112 yds on 12 carries. But starting QB #18 had a bad day, eventually throwing 2 interceptions, to Panther FS #42 and CB #37. He was finally pulled in the 4th quarter for #15, who went 5 out of 7 and the game tying TD, to TE (and wingback) #84. Earlier, #18 had thrown a TD pass to WR #87 on what should have been an interception, the ball deflecting off CB #43 on hitting #87 on the fly in the endzone.. FB #39 also had a #13 yd TD run in the second quarter. The Titan defense pretty much controlled the Panthers' running attack, but had some difficulty against the pass. Despite throwing an 80 yd TD pass to #16 on the first play of the game, #17 completed not a single pass for the rest of the time he was in. He also threw an interception to Titans' SLB #55. He was pulled late in the first half for veteran QB #11, who, although not outstanding, made some critical throws, including a 37 yd very tight throw to #16, just before the half, which set up the Panthers' first FG. In the third quarter, Panther HB #25 scored on a 6 yd run, giving them a 17-13 lead. Early in the 4th quarter, the Panthers kicked another FG, giving them a 20-13 lead, and 2 drives later, Titan QB #15 threw his game tying score to #84. The extra point was good, and since I only have OT games in playoff or championship games, the tie remained. Even though a tie, it has to be regarded as a major upset for the Titans and something of a moral victory for the Panthers. Those extra points can be critical. DT #92 had a rare sack for the Titans, and DE #96, who brought pressure the entire game, had one for the Panthers. Next up, Warriors at Gladiators.
  9. I pulled the starting QB late in the game because he was clearly overmatched by the defense. #27 had about 14-15 carries, including a couple of very long runs. He had previously been the Lancers' backup RB, but he was traded in the off season (including the base) to the Thunderbolts for their backup QB, who will be the Lancers' starter when their games begin.
  10. I time each quarter to 45 minutes (except championship game, which is 48 minutes per). This allows for the exchange of offensive and defensive units. Thus, an entire game lasts 3 hours, about the same time as a live game. The number of plays, of course, will vary.
  11. In the opening game of the 2021 season, the world champion Thunderbolts defeated the visiting Hawks, 31 - 21. The Thunderbolts are coming off an undefeated, untied 2020 season (being only the second team to have a perfect record in 28 years), and remain unbeaten to this point. Thunderbolts' QB #7 stared slow, but came on to finish with 2 TD passes (both to TE #82), and RB #27 had 197 yds rushing in a dominating performance. Besides #82's 2 TDs, #27 (40 yds) and #23 (51 yds) both had rushing TDs. On defense, the T-bolts had 2 sacks and an interception (FS #20). The Hawks, except for 2 long runs (by #36 and #40) never could get their running attack going, and their passing game was inconsistent. Starting QB #12 had TD passes to WR #88 and FB #36, and back-up QB #17 had one to WR #86. The defense had no sacks, but did have an interception (FS #26) in the first quarter - which came to nought. Next up: Panthers at defending Old League champion Titans.
  12. My "training camps" are almost complete. The regular season will begin around Memorial Day with: Hawks at Thunderbolts (last year's champions) Panthers at Titans Warriors at Gladiators Lancers at Wildcats These are all inter-league games - the only ones scheduled this year. I begin to have qualms about allowing the offensive linemen blocking angles of less than 90 degrees. Training camp has revealed it give the OL too much of an advantage. Last year, defense was dominant, and scores were mostly very low, compared with previous years. I love a good defensive game, so I was quite happy. I can't seem to get the hang of passing the current felt footballs available from Tudor. Fortunately, I still have several of the older style. I guess I'll have to take very good care of them.
  13. Your regional lineups are very interesting. I recall that in the original NFL-AFL merger, one of the major considerations was keeping particular rivalries. Have you developed your own rivalries?
  14. No '62 Packers? I remember their loss to Detroit on Thanksgiving Day. It was the only game they lost that season.
  15. Interesting geographical arrangement. As I recall, the original merger of the NFL and AFL, and the subsequent divisions, also took into account special, existing rivalries. Do you have any such rivalries in your league?
  16. Yes. I use "conference" here, but I refer to them as the "old league" and "new league", hearkening back to the time when there was the NFL and AFL, as separate leagues. OLD LEAGUE: Lancers Hawks Titans Gladiators NEW LEAGUE: Thunderbolts Panthers Warriors Wildcats
  17. In my off season, I've had the draft, in which new players from imaginary colleges have been selected, older players have retired, and newer players have moved up. Currently finishing sticking on the new numbers, and getting the rosters fleshed out. Soon after this is done, "training camp" opens, in which teams practice, offense against defense, new bases are assigned - in some cases changed, paint is repaired or touched up. I bought a couple of bags of new bases and tested them, to determine the direction and severity of the motion curve, and marked then accordingly. To be fair, I'm arbitrarily assigning 4 new bases to last place teams, 3 to 3rd place, and 2 to the conference champions, to start out with. We'll see how that goes before assigning more. I've already held a mini-camp for O-lines of each team, to test the possibilities of my new rule which allows one O-lineman to angle his block (on a running play) at less than 90 degrees to the line of scrimmage (the O-line may pull any number of players at angles of greater than 90 degrees). The results were mixed, and I'm going to allow the first "set" (4 games) to play out and make a final decision then. Most promising was angling the LT on the weak side in on the DE on that side. It creates some interesting possibilities and combinations. My season will open sometime in May, with each team playing 10 games in the season - up from 9 games in all 28 previous seasons. The schedule is broken down into 3 sets of 4 games (first set), 3 games (second set), and 3 games (third set). The first set has the odd game out, which is an inter conference game as the first game of the season. The inter conference match ups are: Panthers at Titans (conference champions) Warriors at Gladiators Hawks at Thunderbolts (league champions) Lancers at Wildcats Each team has 29 players, not counting QBs and Kickers
  18. Go Giants!! (I've been a Giants fan since '62)
  19. Are the old, regular felt footballs no longer available? I can't get used to these rounder balls (saturn and 3rd and long)). It makes passing very difficult and kicking much poorer. Also, Are burgundy varsity numbers no longer available? I'm running low and will have to come up with a substitute soon, if they're not.
  20. Now, in my off-season, I'm considering rule changes and clarifications. Also trades between teams. A trade may, or may not, involve the player(s) base. With the base, of course, the trade value is worth more. Also dealing with retirements, so some new numbers will have to be assigned. The new figures I've made still have to be allocated to the teams. This will give each team 30 potential players. Later, during "training camp", I'll change bases if necessary, and work on new plays. This year I've decided that the first game of the season will be inter conference, and the season will expand to 10 games per team (1 inter conference and 3 sets of 3 games each). One rule I'm considering is allowing the offensive team to have 1 angled blocker (OL man) per play. Previously, I've only allowed pulling OL men - angled greater than 90 degrees from the line of scrimmage; any number could be 'pulled' on any given play. The new rule will allow 1 angled (less than 90 degrees) and up to 2 pulling OL men per play. I'm skeptical, but I'll see how it goes during the inter conference games at the beginning of the season. One thing about numbers. 'Way back when, the only numbers available were black. Then, I discovered Datak dry-transfer lettering (numbers), and I then had a variety of colors. That company isn't around anymore, and re-discovering Tudor numbers (now in color!), I was very happy. But my only problem was getting then to stick properly. It really bugged me that they didn't sit flush on the player, and would come off fairly easily. I've tried wetting them, using glue (paste) sticks, but nothing worked well. Before the glue paste sticks, you could get liquid glue in a small bottle with a sponge applicator top. I discovered this is Korea in the early 70s. Can't find it here, though. So, I eventually tried "Elmer's Washable Clear Glue" in a 5 oz. bottle. I have some very small tools from when my wife worked in the electronics industry, and I've found that taking a small, curved dental pick-like instrument, touching it into the glue to get a small drop - or less - then applying it to the player, letting it dry for about a minute, then putting the number on, works great. I have to smooth and press down the number several times for the next 15-20 minutes to get a flat number on the surface, but I'm very satisfied with the results. And, when I change numbers, it peels off very well. Any dried residue will just rub - or can be picked - off, with little or no damage to any paint on the player. One other tip about applying numbers, in any way you choose to do it: clean the surface first with alcohol, and, if possible, sand it slightly to roughen it. The numbers seem to stick better that way, if you're not using glue.
  21. Excellent! We've been playing about the same number of years, but there were some years I didn't play, because of other commitments (e.g. Army), and, until recently, I haven't kept too many stats. I guess I'm also a statistics nerd in some ways, and can get lost for hours on the Pro Football Reference site, or The Gridiron Uniform Database site. I'm also something of a throwback, preferring the way the game was played in the 50s, 60s, and 70s to the present state of affairs. One of the reasons I try to avoid inter-conference play is that when the championship game comes around, the idea of 2 teams that have had little experience of each other meeting to decide it all, is intriguing. I remember what the first Super Bowl was like, when Green Bay and Kansas City met - two teams that had never played each other before. So I keep inter conference meetings rare.
  22. Very true. But there also seems to be another: battery life. I've noticed that as a season wears on, and the batteries are drained, the speed control needs to be adjusted to provide performance equivalent to when the batteries are fresh. Are there any battery curves per hour of usage available (probably not)? How often should the batteries (regular alkaline) be changed?
  23. Thank you. And that's right! It satisfies me (mostly), and that's what's really important. The roughness of the glued joints are usually masked by paint, when I'm using the figure as a home team, with painted jersey. I currently have 8 teams, two offences (home and away), and two defences (home and away) for each. The Wildcat home uniforms I'm working on now, so by next season every team will be complete. As for the figures I'm modifying, I'm planning on incorporating 2 each per team. At this point, I'm not sure whether to make them the same player (i.e. the same number - 1 home, 1 away), or 2 separate players. Typically, each team has a game-day roster of 14-15 players (total 28-30 players, offence plus defence). This is about the limit I can handle for any game, given situation substitution (e.g. bringing in 5-6 defensive backs in long down situations, replacing DL men and/or LBs), so I'm reluctant to increase my rosters much more. But I am considering increasing my schedule by one game. Currently, each team plays each other team in its conference 3 times per season, or, if there's an inter-conference game (which only happens every 2 years) one team will have only 2 conference games. If I go to 10 games per season, I could have the 3 conference games per team, and 1 inter-conference game per team. Something to think about during the off season. The off season is when I do maintenance on the teams - touch up paint, evaluate and change bases (if necessary), decide on rule changes, make up schedules for the next season, and try out different plays and schemes for the teams. I'm interested in how others treat an off season - if they have one.
  24. A linebacker (all the same figure), made from a RB:
  25. I realize the painting and gluing leaves much to be desired, but I'm improving as I get more practice.
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