Two-Carded Players & Generic Cards

Let me just touch on the topic of two-carded players now. In the old days, everything seemed to fit on one card. After all, you had three columns. But, what would happen if the player rushed the ball, passed the ball, was a back-up punter, and returner kick offs and punts. With this situation, this guy would need five columns. Obviously he would need two cards. Additionally, with the new Extra Point rules, and the new kick off rules whereby the ball often goes into the end zone for a touchback, you may need a column for kick offs, one for field goals, one for extra points, and another for a pass for a Fake Kick, or one used as a back-up punter. Again, you have more than three columns, so you need more than one card. These players are actually kind of rare. I would estimate that there are only about 25 players in a season set that have two cards.

There are two final areas that we need to discuss before we can make our decision about which set to buy. Many face-to-face leagues, by rules, will drop the receiver’s card down on passing plays to indicate that that player is the intended target. But, how do you drop down Dez Bryant’s card, if you don’t have a Dez Bryant card? Well, APBA has provided APBA WR generic cards, or even APBA generic cards that resemble the regular football cards on the back, and those can be used as a substitute for the non-existent Dez Bryant (or others) card. Each set of blank cards cost $10, and is available, if needed. While many game players use the locator columns to determine who the pass is going to be thrown to, this blank card method is a way for those who like to personally make their selections.

That brings us to our final area of what to do if a player who doesn’t have a card is suddenly designated as intercepting a pass, or recovering a fumble, etc.   Well, if you have the Jumbo Set, your problem is solved. You already have a player card so you can proceed directly to that for your result. But, what if the player in question doesn’t have a card? Now what do you do? Well, APBA has created what they call GENERIC CARDS. These cards are all the same in each category, and actually have the same results contained as the actual player cards (in most cases) for those who do have cards in the Jumbo Set. The players are generally grouped by their position which is given a letter grade that corresponds with a generic card of that letter. For example, most offensive linemen are As, and most receivers and defensive backs are Bs, etc. Whenever an event comes up that requires a player who does not possess a card to do something, his name on the roster directs the game player to the corresponding card with that letter grade, and then that generic card is used for the outcome of the play. In most cases, these cards don’t usually amount to much of a return, but they do match the actual player card in the Jumbo Set, so everything is good. It really isn’t difficult, and it really isn’t as confusing as I may have made it out to be.



APBA’s New Extra Point Columns

It was once voted as being “the most boring play in football.”  Yes, I’m talking about the Point After Touchdown (PAT), also known as the “Extra Point.”

When I first started playing real football, and the APBA Football Game, the goal post was located on the goal line.  With the ball being placed at the 2-yardline, and the kicker a mere seven yards (at that time) behind the line of scrimmage, the kick only had to travel a total of nine yards to make it through the goal post.  No wonder it was so boring.  In fact, even a decent kicker on a high school team had no difficulty making that kick.

As a side note, I remember one year our kicker missed two Extra Points because he kicked the ball UNDER the crossbar.  He didn’t get the ball high enough, and it just went under it.   The OPPOSING coach was furious.  He yelled at his players because the ball barely went over their heads, and anyone could have easily blocked it. The issue was that every one of them were treating the play as being so routine that they weren’t even trying.  That’s why they got chewed out.  The Extra Point was really a big waste of time.

In any case, continuing with our brief history lesson, in the 1974 NFL season the goal posts were moved back ten yards to the end line.  This move wasn’t really intended to make the kick harder.  It was actually intended to protect the players as many of them had been injured crashing into the stanchion holding the goal post up.  As a Wide Receiver, I remember often trying to use the stanchions as a sort of “pick play” to get away from the pass defender.   So, even though the NFL had moved the goal post, the success rate for the Extra Point was still phenomenally high.

The NFL rules stayed the same until the 2015 season.  This time, it wasn’t the goal post that was moved; it was the yard line that changed.  The new rules called for the ball to be placed at the 15-yard line, instead of the 2-yard line.  Adding the extra 13 yards seemed to make a difference.  For example, in the 2014 season, only 8 PATs were missed all year.  That’s a 99.3 success rate.  (NFL kickers are really good.)  But, in 2015, the first year of the new rule, 71 PATs were missed.  That translates to a 94.2 success rate.  That’s exactly what the NFL wanted.

So, how does this affect the APBA game?  Well, I’ll go over that in the following paragraphs.

When the new rules went into effect, we were waiting to see what APBA would do.  I was certain that APBA would need to change their game boards.  But, I was wrong.  They didn’t take that approach.  Instead, APBA approached this situation from an entirely different perspective.  When they didn’t change the boards, I was certain that they would make the game player use the 33-yard line for the Extra Point.  After all, it would only make sense.  But, I was wrong again as that didn’t happen, either.

So, what did they do, you ask?  They changed the cards.  Some kickers, for example, were able to hit long field goals, with a very high rate of success, but for some reason, the same kickers had trouble making the now 33-yard Extra Point.  It was really difficult for APBA to make a good kicking card with so many variables.  So, APBA did something really clever.  The kept the Extra Point Chart, but some kickers, who had some unique kicking stats, are made to use one of the other columns to determine Extra Points.  So, if they are attempting a Field Goal, then they would use their traditional K-column to determine the outcome of the kick.  But, if they were attempting an Extra Point, then either the R-column or the P-column would be used.  To me, it was a stroke of genius.  By using a separate column, the Field Goal and the Extra Point stats can be accurately accomplished.  Keep in mind many kickers also use one of the other columns for their Kick Offs, as well.  So, many kickers use all three columns.

On occasion, you will even see a kicker with TWO cards.  Why? There are actually several reasons. That kicker may also be the back-up punter, or he could have thrown a pass or run with the ball on a Fake Kick.  With two cards, the player could have as many as six columns to work with.

I’m very impressed with how APBA has approached this.  To test it out—because that’s what I do–I took five different kickers and had them try Field Goals and Extra Points, and the stats were incredibly close to real life.  They sold me with their accuracy.

As a last point, I wanted to mention this.  Don’t think that all kickers will all have these special columns, however.  I don’t know APBA’s formula for making cards, but some stats can apparently work fine by simply using the K-column for both Field Goals and Extra Points, while others need two.  In fact, the majority of the cards don’t require a separate column for Extra points and Field Goals.  So, until you get the hang of all of the ratings, just double check that you are using the appropriate column for the kick that the player is making.

Overview of Jumbo Set

But, if there are 751 cards in the Basic Set, how many of them are in the Jumbo Set? The Jumbo Set is like the old card set that you remember, but it now contains EVERY PLAYER who played that year. So, if that player played one down during the whole season, then he has a card. The answer to your question about how many cards the Jumbo Set has is in the current set is 2022. That averages out to about 63 cards per team, and that’s just about triple the amount of cards contained in the Basic Set. In fact, if you purchase the Jumbo Set, you get two envelopes for each team because one obviously won’t hold all of them.   But, if you desire to have a card (sometimes two) for each player, just like the good ol’ days, then the Jumbo Set is for you.

But, before you go and make your decision, let’s explore some other things.   Price: The Basic Set is listed at $70, while the Jumbo Set is double that, and is listed at $140. That’s certainly a consideration for some potential buyers.

Another potential issue could be that 2022 cards are just too many cards and can be a storage nightmare. That’s probably sacrilege to say, but 2022 players really are quite a few cards. Why would anyone want that many cards? Well, from what I have observed, many game players who play in leagues like to have a card for each player. It certainly does make it easier when that player is involved in a return, and a card wasn’t issued for him. We’ll get to that in a minute, as well. With all of the players you never have an issue with trying to establish your depth chart. You can see all of the players, and arrange them in the order that best suits you.

Overview of Basic Set

The new Basic Set is not what you remember it to be. The old Basic Set had 34 cards, and contained the most-used players. With the set, you got all of the starters, and most of the back-ups. For most people, the Basic Set was fine.   But, if you really wanted extra flexibility, you could always purchase the XF set, which added another six players per team (at an additional cost, of course), bringing your total up to 40. So, 40 cards per team was the maximum amount that you could ever have, at least until the 2014 season.

As of 2014, APBA changed its season set plan. At first glance you will notice that the new Basic Set, as a rule, no longer provides cards for linemen. In fact, the set does not provide a card for any player if they didn’t pass/run/kick/or return the ball in some fashion, or another.

Notice, I didn’t say “catch” the ball. A receiver, such as Dez Bryant, doesn’t receive a card if all he did was catch it. This caused a huge stir during the 2014 season, but since then, many have adjusted to the concept. It seemed very weird, indeed, that a seldom known receiver on the team like Dwayne Harris, who rushed for four times for 7 yards and who only caught 7 passes all year, would get a card when a super star receiver like Dez Bryant who caught 88 passes would not. But, that is how it is set up.

So, how many cards do you get with the Basic Set? Well, with the current 2016-17 season, you get 751 cards. Notice also, I said cards, not players. Some players actually have two cards, but we will address that a little later.

The cost for the Basic set it $70.

Basic or Jumbo Football Set

Okay, you’re getting back into APBA football, after taking a bunch of time off for real life, and you have just purchased your new game with the four teams that come with it. After playing a few games, you are now ready to buy your first set of season cards since….well, Nixon was president? Wow, that’s a long time isn’t? But, you know that APBA doesn’t change things very much, that’s for sure. You know that you will get the set of 34 cards per team with your new purchase, and then you can add the six more XF cards, if you like, and you are good to go. But, wait! APBA did change. The 34-card set is gone, and so are the XFs. What happened? Well, we are about to find out.

When purchasing cards sets, you now have two options which are called the Basic Set and Jumbo Set. Each type of set appears to appeal to certain buyer groups, and each group will insist that their set is the way to go. Over the next few days, we will explore the differences between the two sets.