APBA-Football-Tutorial 4.1.

With each passing replay, I find myself thinking of the old adage attributed to Albert Einstein, “Once you stop learning, you start dying.” If I ever become stagnant, my passion for this great hobby most certainly would die. So I’m always trying to apply the “Quality Improvement” techniques that I use in the workplace to enhance the planning, execution and reporting of my replays. After a thorough analysis, I realized there was a lot of duplication of effort in my preparation process. For example, I would have to type actual statistics into the “Dice Range Calculator” and then either handwrite onto an index card or type into a locator table. To become more efficient, I enlisted the help of my partner in crime, Mark Zarb, to create a new locator spreadsheet that would allow me to only enter the information once. Another major change was the type of information that I entered into the calculator, I no longer solely rely on “seasonal” statistics.

I’ve also become more efficient “playing the game” by eliminating wasted steps resulting in my ability to complete a game in an average time of 1:20. I’ve revamped my procedures associated with “audibles” and introduced the “QB Sneak” innovation.

Over the last year, I’ve refined my reporting process. I’ve retooled my reporting template with the goal of making it as easy for the reader as possible. Using the “Less is more” philosophy, I wanted the audience to be able to know the answer with a single glance and still provide comprehensive statistics for those parties interested. My primary goal was to improve my reporting process on twitter to be able to reach a greater audience.

With all of these changes, I thought it was time to update my “Method of Play”. I’ve released a new PowerPoint presentation titled apba-football-tutorial 4.1. It’s not a regurgitation of old information but a complete revision describing my current methodology. Its chock full of information and ideas associated with the “preparation” phase of a replay and “pre-game” setup actions. I’ve also incorporated slides from other presentations to eliminate having to view multiple sources.


Oguard62’s Tabletop

Going down memory lane, my first replay was the 1968 AFL season using a card set that I purchased on EBAY from some stranger named, Mark Zarb. I followed that up with a replays of the 2006 AFC, 1967 AFL, 1974 AFC, 1968 AFL (again), 1997 Green Bay Packers – Denver Broncos (mini replay), 1968 NY Jets – Baltimore Colts (mini-replay), 2007 New England Patriots – NY Giants (mini-replay), 2008 AFC, and finally 1981 NFL replay. During this time period I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a thread by a fellow named, Jim Fraasch, who was selling customized APBA envelopes. Needless to say, Jim’s envelopes have been gracing my table top for the last 10 years and I’m proud to call Jim a friend. It was during my 2011 NFL replay that I came across a two different threads that completely changed the appearance of my tabletop. The first thread was by a gentleman named, Grant Baker, who created all the modern NFL fields. The second thread was pure gold, Art Hall did the graphic design of fields ranging from the 1960s to late 1990s in all different weather conditions. Art and I routinely email and I consider him a friend. I was determined to transform these images into an APBA style football field. Well after several failed attempts and multiple print and sign shops later, I finally had a prototype. From that moment on my tabletop never was the same. Oh, and that stranger I mentioned earlier, has become family and is the beneficiary in my will for all my fields and NY Jets memorabilia (no joke).

On the sidebar directly under the search field, is a new widget titled “Oguard62’s Tabletop”. I’ve posted images of the envelopes and fields that have been used during the following replays: 2011 NFL, 1967 AFL/NFL, 1985 NFL, 1969 AFL/NFL, 1999 NFL, 1998 NFL and vintage fields from yesteryear.

“QB Sneak” Chart

I want to share this neat “qb-sneak” chart created by Mark Zarb. This chart incorporates fumbles, first down measurements, penalties and lost yardage versus all three defensive alignments. For example, it’s third and one and offense is in A index against G defensive alignment and the play result off the QB’s card is 11. Refer to the chart and you will see (1-4)* indicating a measurement is required. Roll single die and if within 1-4 range it’s a 1-yard gain and a first down. If it was outside the range (5 or 6) there is no gain.

Mark and I incorporated this chart into our audible system. The QB comes to the line and “A” gap is not covered by a defender, the QB has the option to audible to a QB sneak or you can use this chart purely as a “standalone” feature. Either way it offers another alternative to playing this great game without slowing down play.

APBA Football Tutorial 3.1

“In Search of the Perfect Replay” is my motto. Now, my interpretation of a perfect replay has evolved over the years but the one constant is statistical accuracy. I’ve found to achieve the best possible results the cards must be used correctly and player usage should be math-based.  Now, this methodology only applies to replays, not face-to-face play or solitaire tournament play.  In these situations, I’ve always believed the coach should select the player and call the plays.

I’ve revamped the APBA Football tutorial to reflect how I currently play the game. My current methodology ensures the best possible results in the least amount of playing time because I’ve eliminated unnecessary dice rolls. I’ve streamlined this presentation to eliminate duplication, posted updated visual images and created new video demonstrations to coincide with the “new-look” Locator spreadsheet.   The “meat and potatoes” of the presentation are explaining the usage of the Locator spreadsheet during neutral/ situational downs.

In addition, there are several minor changes throughout the presentation. For example, I’ve eliminated the “Two-Minute” section because it was slanted too much in favor of the defense and took a lot of the excitement away from the last two-minutes of a game.

In closing, I just want to reiterate there is no “right or wrong” way to play the game. This is what is best for me and I hope it’s another “tool in your toolbox”.