“Home Field Advantage”

Mr. Dan Flynn contacted me regarding his thoughts on replicating “Home Field Advantage” and wanted an honest opinion on some ideas he was kicking around. After a little back and forth, Dan decided to table it for now and asked me to hold off presenting his ideas at this time. During our discussion, Dan pointed out the “Home” teams win at higher rate than road teams on a very consistent basis.  He used 2005 card set as an example were the home teams won at .570 clip (that is very close to the historical average).

My problem with external factors such as home field advantage, weather conditions, crowd noise, injuries, etc. have already been “baked” into the cards. There are so many variables to consider, does each team actually play well at home? What is each team’s “strength of schedule”? Personally if I ever considered implementing any type of “home field” advantage, I would keep it very subtle and use a few of my friend Ray Dunlap’s innovations. For instance, on third and fourth downs, if the play resulted in exact yardage for a first down require a measurement. If my team had a real good home record, I would say on dice rolls of 1 through 5 the visitors were short by one-yard. I would implement his “Bonus A” innovation, if a B receiver catches three in a row without an incompletion, he is an “A” receiver on his next target. C” receiver only requires two in a row before earning his bonus “A” on next target. These type of innovations don’t tinker with the cards but could have a huge impact on the outcome of the game. On the flip-side, Dave Urban is someone who I have great respect for and I know that he adjust the home team split offensive index by one.

Listen, Dan certainly is not the first person to ever contact me regarding “home field advantage” so I would love to open this topic up for discussion and hear other folks thoughts, methods, and any hopefully some statistical data.

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.