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Sorry for disappearing so suddenly


Jim
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I started to explain my rules and regulations, but got so involved, and then started to write them down, and realized most all of them were in my head.  Then, it was time for my season to start...
Well, I, at about that time, took the idea presented by one of the members here, to expand, by painting "home" jerseys to go with my existing whites, and then switching bases for home and away games, according to my schedule.  I'm afraid I really don't have the skills necessary to do such a good job as I've seen from the examples of others, but I tried.  Being old, and having arthritic hands sure doesn't help!  Still, I did well enough to satisfy myself.  It's still on-going, and I have 2 more teams (Warriors and Wildcats) to finish up.  Warriors is no no problem.  Wildcats involves a more complex paint scheme, similar to that of the Green Bay Packers.  As it was, I managed to get most teams done in time to play at least some of their home games in their new colors.    I'm using Apple Barrel acrylic ipaints, and colored sharpies for detail and touch up.  I've found the Tudor colored numbers are sometimes not particularly good for the colors I'm using.  For example, the silver numbers are difficult to make out on the "moody blue" colored jerseys of the Gladiators, so I had to switch to white numbers.  Similarly, I've got a couple of teams that I'd like to have yellow (or gold) numbers, but the Tudor numbers don't show up very well on the colored background, so I use the white numbers and ten go over them with a yellow sharpie to produce the effect I want.

Another thing I've been doing is modifying some of the basic figures, by cut off arms, reshaping the cut edge with a sanding stick, and gluing them back on at different angles. This has produced some very interesting (unique) figures.  I did this initially because I was short 1 DB for a team, and I didn't want to buy a whole team for just 1 player.  So I took a Tackle (Tudor now refers to them as "general purpose", of something like that), removed an arm with an Xacto saw, and repositioned it.  I was amazed at how well it worked!  Of course, my skill set (and age, and arthritis) leaves it rather imperfect, but sanding and a coat of spray paint, leaves a pretty good effect.  I have a bunch of RB figures I wasn't using, and proceeded to modify those.  I've come up with some pretty good LB shapes, DE shapes, and even some different RB poses.  I'll include some photos with my next post.

As for the season, the Thunderbolts became only the second team ever to finish with an undefeated and untied season.  They went into the championship game against a Titan team that hadn't been there for a long time.  The two teams had the top defenses in the league, with the Titans giving up an average of 12.7 points per game, and the Thunderbolts 12.8.  In the championship game, the Thunderbolts defeated the Titans 28-24, which really wasn't as close as the final score indicated.

 

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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.

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Love what you are doing with your teams and league. Just one word of advice . Keep things as simple as possible. I see way too often coaches way over complicating things and never finsihing seaons and it just becomes a burden. The most important thing is to do what you enjoy and what makes the game and hobby the most interesting for you to enjoy. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY "Just have fun and play the game!!"  

As for what I do in the off season, pretty much what you are doing. I look at expansion with adding more teams, painting new teams and  touching up old teams. Examining the rules and refine them to more suit the style of play that I want to use and experimenting with offensive and defensive play schemes. I also look at different season and tournament schedule formats.  

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Jim, I've operated my solitaire league since 1966, so I have my off season routine pretty standardized.  I use rosters of 54 (offense and defense), plus kicker, punter and taxi-squads (10 players each for offense and defense).  I have 16 teams divided into 4 division (2 conferences) in my league and play a 16 game schedule, plus playoffs. Each team plays its division teams twice, remaining conference teams once, and 6 teams from the other conference.  The division winners and 1 wild card per conference play to determine the conference championship, and the two conference champions play in the Super Bowl.  Then I play an inter-conference All-Star game.  I actually do finish my seasons, it just takes about 8 years per season.  For some reason, it has never become a burden for me 😊, as I enjoy playing the games and keeping statistics on all the players in my league over the course of their career. I'm kind of a statistics nerd, I guess.😊 I'm in my 7th season now and many of my players have been there for all seven seasons. (i use NFL players who were active in the league from 1960 through 1999.)

Anyway, in the offseason, I touch up paint, replace worn numbers or change numbers, re-rate my players to determine who is retiring, whether I am bringing in new players, who is starting, who is on the bench or the taxi squad.  I usually re-race my bases and re-allocate them to my players based on the players' new ratings.  I develop the Excel spreadsheets I use for each team to track the statistics for each play and players for each game.  I also create the schedule for the new season.  I am pretty happy with my teams and division and conference arrangement, so I haven't added any teams or moved teams around for the last 3 seasons. I started out with 5 teams, and kept expanding until I hit 16 and decided that was enough. 😊 I also contemplate rules changes, based on what the NFL is doing (although I don't always adopt their changes).  I used to draw up new offensive plays and defenses.  I don't do too much of that anymore, as I've got a pretty extensive pile of 3x5 cards with offensive plays and usually 2 or 3 basic defensive sets with different blitz and coverage packages for each team.  

Sorry for the long answer to a short question.

 

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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.

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I lost about 5 years when I was living in Italy and England, but other than that I've played pretty steadily around traveling for work and my college years.  I have the same problem with the Pro Football Reference and Gridiron Uniform Database sites! 🤣 I'm not much of a fan of the game the way it is played now.  I always preferred two back sets where both backs were dangerous ball carriers, rather than the one bac sets or blocking back and running back sets of today.  I agree, the version played in the 50s, 60s, and 70s was more to my liking.

I used to keep my two conferences separate for the same reason you give, but I changed to inter conference play about 3 seasons ago.  I also liked the idea of two teams not having played each other until the Super Bowl (especially considering the results of the first 2 Super Bowls - Go Pack), and sometimes I still experience that.  But I also liked the idea of interstate rivalries, such as Steelers/Eagles, Giants/Jets, Cowboys/Oilers (I still have the Oilers in my league - just couldn't let them go), Rams/Chargers, etc., which was the reason I went with my format.  I like both formats and have considered going back to intra-conference schedule.  Maybe I'll do that again if I live long enough to start another season after this one (projected to end in 2027 if all goes well 😊).

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  • 3 weeks later...

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.

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