Turkey Day, Iron Bowl and Next Replay

My dear friend, Mark Zarb, came down to visit my wife and me for a few fun-filled days. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving together and enjoyed the various sites and eateries that Huntsville has to offer. My home is a “House Divided” since my wife is an Auburn fan and I’m all “Bama” which makes for a great Iron Bowl. Not only does my APBA Football brother and I root for the same professional team but we both have been lifetime “Tide” fans as well. The game most certainly didn’t disappoint and will be remembered as another “classic” in Iron Bowl lore.

Of course, we still found the time for some APBA Football. Mark got to watch me roll a couple of games of my current 1985 replay. Tampa Bay with their -10/-15 rated offense jumped out to an early 23-0 lead over New England much to our delight as die-hard Jet fans. Unfortunately New England’s +17/+12 offense generated 27 unanswered, second half points for the come-from-behind victory. The dice seemed determined for an upset as the lowly Atlanta Falcons with their (-7/-4) offense defeated the Dallas Cowboys (+14/+11) by the score of 27-23. I had the privilege of watching him work on the 1969 Baltimore Colts. Mark has begun the lengthy process of carding both leagues for my next replay of the 1969 AFL/NFL season ending with Super Bowl IV.

Thanksgiving (Mark and Greg)Iron Bowl

Jim McMahon – 1985

McMahon 85 Card (APBA)

I’m not sure if there is a more discussed APBA Football card than Jim McMahon’s 1985 card (see above). During the 1985 season, Jim McMahon posted a completion percentage of 56.9.  I realize there are countless factors which impact the performance of a QB’s card ranging from hot or cold dice, frequency in A, B, or C passing indexes, defensive alignment, keying, blitzing, nickel or dime defenses to name a few.   Each time that I used his card over the years, it underperformed for me. So much to the point, that I quit using this card set and eventually sold it.

His card has become a topic of conversation again, ever since I’ve started a replay of this season with an exclusive card set created for me by Mark Zarb. Now, Jim hasn’t thrown a pass yet in my replay and I have no idea how his card will perform but when I input his passing numbers into my unofficial “QB Calculator” posted on my site, it estimates a completion percentage of 56.6.  When I input the “Official” card above, it estimates a 48.3 completion percentage.

The card I will be using during this replay is displayed below.

McMahon 85 Card (ZARB)

APBA Football “Brothers”


This past weekend I was lucky enough to play host to my dear friend, Mark Zarb.  Our friendship was forged several years ago through our shared love of APBA Football and the New York Jets.  Over the last two-days, we enjoyed countless hours talking APBA Football.  Our discussions ranged from the intricacies of card making, Phil Molloy’s allocation system and Read-Option innovation, criteria associated with determining team ratings, extensive review of statistics from my 2011 NFL replay and an evaluation of several quarterback cards from the 2011 set.  Mark was extremely impressed with look of the new cards and that every player was carded.  However, we both wish APBA would quit carding kickers/punters with a fumble number who never had an actual fumble but besides that he came to the same conclusion that I did several months back, that whoever is carding the modern football seasons is doing a really good job. 

One card that we spent a lot of time reviewing was Aaron Rodgers.  The top line of the stat sheet is the result of my replay and the bottom line is actuals.   






















Rodgers Replay


























I was very pleased how Aaron Rodgers performed for me but Mark was concerned about the touchdown disparity.  So for the next 2-hours I had the pleasure of being “Behind the Curtain” and watched him card Aaron Rodgers.  I joked with him that people would pay good money to be sitting in my chair but I came away with even a greater appreciation for the pain staking effort that goes into carding a set.  I won’t post his results but they were slightly different than Rodger’s official card.

Afterwards, Mark wanted to watch me “roll a game” of my current replay.  So I took him to Memorial Stadium and he watched the Baltimore Colts take on the Los Angeles Rams. Besides the bantering back and forth and the countless laughs, he thoroughly enjoyed watching firsthand the impact his innovations had on the game.  For instance, Roman Gabriel tossed 5 interceptions in the game with two of them coming off of the Colts +13 interception rating.  On another occasion, I rolled a “Full Fumble” number (33) on a Ram’s player, however, after consulting the “Forced Fumble” table it was determined that another dice roll was required and if the result was 24-66 the fumble would stand.  I rolled a 22 nullifying the fumble and jokingly said the Colts just got “Zarbed”.  Trust me when I say, Roman Gabriel is still muttering it under his breath.  On countless occasions, he witnessed the power of the “Yards per Catch” innovation, especially with Jack Snow.

The following day, he watched me roll a game between the Boston Patriots and the Miami Dolphins.  In real life, the Patriots routed the Dolphins 41-10 and the replay didn’t disappoint with the Dolphins getting crushed 48–14.  I kept telling him how Babe Parilli has enjoyed “hot dice” during this replay and Mark guaranteed me that the Babe would toss 3 interceptions against the Dolphins.  Parilli opened the game going 7 for 7 with dice rolls of 11, 22, 66, 44 (laughs) and he finished with only 1 interception.  Needless to say, Babe Parilli is still mocking Mark Zarb.

In the below photo, Mark Zarb is on the left and I am on the right. 

Mark Zarb - Greg Barath