Friday, April 18, 2014

It's Finally Time For The Redskins To Change Their Name

Europeans came to America, committed genocide against the societies that lived here, adopted a racial slur for these people, and then assigned that slur to the NFL team in our nation's capital. Even political conservatives like Charles Krauthammer believe that the team's name is "unmistakably patronizing and demeaning".

It's sad and horrible and shameful. It's as if the capital of Germany had a soccer team called the Berlin Kikes. Yes, it really is that bad. If you don't think it's that bad, it's only because you've gotten used to it.

But until now, we haven't had the cojones to change the name, because the Redskins haven't sucked badly enough. Nobody wants to change the name of their team when they make the playoffs and have the league's most exciting player under center (as was true in 2012, with a healthy Robert Griffin III at quarterback).

But after you go 3-13 and lose your last 8 games, your team is an embarrassment. And a name change starts to look pretty good. The last-place Seattle Supersonics changed their name (and city) in 2009. Two years later, they were in the NBA finals.

The Western Conference Champion Oklahoma Thunder (formerly the last-place Seattle Supersonics)

Picking a New Name

Thankfully, the Redskins' new name is obvious: the Washington Pitbulls.


The NFL team in our nation's capital needs to have a distinctly American name. We can't call them the "Eagles" or the "Patriots", because those names are already taken by teams within a 6-hour train ride. And we don't want to end up with a uniquely uninspiring name like the "Nationals" or "Senators" or "Capitals".

If you have been to D.C., you know that it is not a city about nature. Washington D.C. is not a showcase for pristine lakes and mountain views. It is not Portland or Denver or San Diego. You can't refer to a team from our nation's capital as the "Grizzlies" or the "Rockies". At the least, you can't do it with a straight face.

Washington is a city built around people: politicians and pundits, lobbyists and lawyers. It is a city of stubborn partisans who pick a cause, clamp down, and don't let go. It is, simply put, a city of pit bulls.


And a city of pit bulls is the appropriate capital for a country that revolves around our dogs. We love our dogs more than we love our people. We just cut $5 billion from SNAP (aka "food stamps") but we spend more than $30 billion each year on our dogs.

Mitt Romney lost the 2012 election because he strapped the family dog to the roof of his car. If he had done the same thing to one of his five sons, he would probably be in the White House right now.

          

The pit bull is the only truly American dog. "Pit bull" isn't even an official breed. Instead, the name refers to a variety of mutts that are loosely related to the American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier or the American Bulldog.

And just like Americans, pit bulls can be white or black, yellow or brown, large or small, energetic or lazy. It's time for the Redskins to change their name, and there is only one logical choice.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Creating an Expansion Team in Baseball Mogul 2015

This year's version of Baseball Mogul has a new feature: the ability to create a new expansion team and build it from players on current teams, using the current MLB rules for conducting expansion drafts.


When you choose "Expansion" on the New Game Dialog (above), there is a new button in the lower right with a question mark on it:


Clicking this button takes you to the Create Expansion Team dialog, where you select the city for your expansion team, and specify a team name, stadium name and division.

Note: The team name automatically includes your city name. For example, the above team will be called the "Las Vegas Dealers". You can use the League Editor to change this later (such as to the "Nevada Dealers").
After you click "Play", Baseball Mogul will automatically create a 2nd expansion team to ensure that there are an even number of teams. The computer analyzes the current city data and picks a city at random from among the best options.

Is it fair to assume that the "Oregon Cavemen" play in "GEICO Park"?
Baseball Mogul then hands you control of your team, at the beginning of the expansion draft.


Each of the existing teams is allowed to protect 15 players in the first round of the expansion draft, and 3 additional players in each additional round (and players drafted in the last 3 seasons, such as Manny Machado, do not need to be protected). For example, in the following list of third basemen, we see that the Yankees left A-Rod unprotected, because they would love an expansion team to take his contract off their hands:


At any point, you can use the Play Menu to let the computer complete the expansion draft for you. And, after the expansion draft is complete, you can still grab unsigned players to fill out your major-league and minor-league rosters.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Unnecessary Quotation Marks

Photo by "Camille" at UnnecessaryQuotes.com
In writing e-mails to people for whom English is not their "native language", I have found it quite useful to use "unnecessary quotation marks" to "emphasize a point" or demarcate an "important term". 

Quotes have proven more useful than capitalization or italicization, because Korean doesn't have capital letters or italics. Wikipedia claims that Koreans puts dots above each syllable block for emphasis but it also says "[citation needed]". And I certainly don't want to SCREAM at a colleague, just because THEY DON'T HAVE THE COMMON COURTESY TO SPEAK ENGLISH.

So the next time you are driving through Alabama and you see a sign for "pickled eggs" at a "restaurant", consider the fact that for Sally May Jenkins of Tuscaloosa, English may not be her native tongue. You don't have to get out of the car and "urinate" on her "sign" just because you are "very angry".

Simply go inside and kindly inquire as to what Sally May's first language is. Then "listen" to her. This will go a "long way" towards mending the "antipathy" that currently "exists" between the "educated elite" and the "ignorant pig fuckers".

You're welcome.

P.S. My reference above to "common courtesy" was taken from this Steve Martin bit.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Baseball Mogul 2015 Pre-Order



We are now accepting pre-orders for Baseball Mogul 2015, which will go on sale on April 11th.

This pre-order option is limited to only 20 customers, and can be locked down by pledging $25 at the Kickstarter campaign for Masters of the Gridiron.

I admit that it's weird to use Kickstarter for Baseball Mogul, a product that is now in it's 17th version. We have always wanted to allow pre-orders of Baseball Mogul through our normal ordering system, but we aren't allowed to process a payment unless we immediately ship the product.

So, here we are, selling Baseball Mogul 2015 on Kickstarter at a whopping 28% discount, and you won't even be billed until after the Kickstarter campaign ends.

(Note also that we have added an option to pre-order both Baseball Mogul 2015 and Masters of Gridiron for $47, including free shipping inside the United States).

Monday, February 3, 2014

Making The Pro Bowl Matter

If the NFL wants to boost ratings for the Pro Bowl, they need to make it count for something.

NFL fans are serious. They will show up in sub-zero weather to root for a last-place team. But they won't bother to turn on the TV for an exhibition game that doesn't have any effect on the actual season.

The solution: Give the top draft picks to the conference that wins the Pro Bowl.

Won-Loss records would still be used to rank teams within each conference. But the Pro Bowl winner is guaranteed to get the #1 pick.

For example, this is the current draft order for the 2014 NFL draft:

Pick #
Team
Pick #
Team
1
Houston Texans (AFC)
17
Dallas Cowboys (NFC)
2
St. Louis Rams (NFC)
18
New York Jets (AFC)
3
Jacksonville Jaguars (AFC)
19
Miami Dolphins (AFC)
4
Cleveland Browns (NFC)
20
Arizona Cardinals (NFC)
5
Oakland Raiders (AFC)
21
Green Bay Packers (NFC)
6
Atlanta Falcons (NFC)
22
Philadelphia Eagles (NFC)
7
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFC)
23
Kansas City Chiefs (AFC)
8
Minnesota Vikings (NFC)
24
Cincinnati Bengals (AFC)
9
Buffalo Bills (AFC)
25
San Diego Chargers (AFC)
10
Detroit Lions (NFC)
26
Indianapolis Colts (AFC)
11
Tennessee Titans (AFC)
27
New Orleans Saints (NFC)
12
New York Giants (NFC)
28
Carolina Panthers (NFC)
13
St. Louis Rams (NFC)
29
New England Patriots (AFC)
14
Chicago Bears (NFC)
30
San Francisco 49ers (NFC)
15
Pittsburgh Steelers (AFC)
31
Denver Broncos (AFC)
16
Baltimore Ravens (AFC)
32
Seattle Seahawks (NFC)

If this rule had been in place, and the AFC had won, this would be the resulting draft order:

Pick #
Team
Pick #
Team
1
Houston Texans (AFC)
17
St. Louis Rams (NFC)
2
Jacksonville Jaguars (AFC)
18
Atlanta Falcons (NFC)
3
Cleveland Browns (AFC)
19
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFC)
4
Oakland Raiders (AFC)
20
Minnesota Vikings (NFC)
5
Buffalo Bills (AFC)
21
Detroit Lions (NFC)
6
Tennessee Titans (AFC)
22
New York Giants (NFC)
7
Pittsburgh Steelers (AFC)
23
St. Louis Rams (NFC)
8
Baltimore Ravens (AFC)
24
Chicago Bears (NFC)
9
New York Jets (AFC)
25
Dallas Cowboys (NFC)
10
Miami Dolphins (AFC)
26
Arizona Cardinals (NFC)
11
Kansas City Chiefs (AFC)
27
Green Bay Packers (NFC)
12
Cincinnati Bengals (AFC)
28
Philadelphia Eagles (NFC)
13
San Diego Chargers (AFC)
29
New Orleans Saints (NFC)
14
Indianapolis Colts (AFC)
30
Carolina Panthers (NFC)
15
New England Patriots (AFC)
31
San Francisco 49ers (NFC)
16
Denver Broncos (AFC)
32
Seattle Seahawks (NFC)

And this would be the draft order if the NFC had won:

Pick #
Team
Pick #
Team
1
St. Louis Rams (NFC)
17
Houston Texans (AFC)
2
Atlanta Falcons (NFC)
18
Jacksonville Jaguars (AFC)
3
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFC)
19
Cleveland Browns (AFC)
4
Minnesota Vikings (NFC)
20
Oakland Raiders (AFC)
5
Detroit Lions (NFC)
21
Buffalo Bills (AFC)
6
New York Giants (NFC)
22
Tennessee Titans (AFC)
7
St. Louis Rams (NFC)
23
Pittsburgh Steelers (AFC)
8
Chicago Bears (NFC)
24
Baltimore Ravens (AFC)
9
Dallas Cowboys (NFC)
25
New York Jets (AFC)
10
Arizona Cardinals (NFC)
26
Miami Dolphins (AFC)
11
Green Bay Packers (NFC)
27
Kansas City Chiefs (AFC)
12
Philadelphia Eagles (NFC)
28
Cincinnati Bengals (AFC)
13
New Orleans Saints (NFC)
29
San Diego Chargers (AFC)
14
Carolina Panthers (NFC)
30
Indianapolis Colts (AFC)
15
San Francisco 49ers (NFC)
31
New England Patriots (AFC)
16
Seattle Seahawks (NFC)
32
Denver Broncos (AFC)

This has the additional advantage of eliminating worries about teams "tanking". There's no point in intentionally losing games to get the #1 pick if you might drop to pick #17 after the Pro Bowl.

But, unlike some other other anti-tanking ideas, this system continues to give better picks to weaker teams, to help create parity.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Seahawks Win Super Bowl, 23-13!

We just simulated Super Bowl XLVIII using Football Mogul 2014. We just played the game once, (instead of simulating the entire season 100 times, like we did back in September).

The result?

Seahawks win 23-13!

Highlights:

1. Marshawn Lynch is the Player Of The Game, rushing for 135 yards in 26 attempts (5.2 yards per rush), and scoring both Seattle touchdowns.

2. The Seattle defense holds Knowshon Moreno to 31 yards in 10 rushing attempts.

3. Peyton Manning struggles against the Seattle secondary, putting up mediocre numbers. He has 24 completions in 39 attempt for 270 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception.

4. In the middle of the first quarter, Seattle's punt team pins the Broncos inside their own 10 and the Seahawk defense forces a 3-and-out.

5. Starting their next drive at their own 47, Russell Wilson completes two passes to Golden Tate and rushes for 5 yards. This isn't enough for a touchdown, but it gets Hauschka within field goal range to put the Seahawks up 3-0.

6. Richard Sherman picks off Peyton Manning in the 2nd quarter (on a pass attempt to Demaryius Thomas).

7. The Seahawks capitalize on the interception, as Lynch goes "beast mode" with a 48-yard touchdown run (Seahawks lead 10-0).

8. After forcing the Broncos to punt in the next possession, Seattle marches down the field and goes up 17-0 with a 2-yard pass from Wilson to Lynch.

9. Denver finally gets on the scoreboard (via a Matt Prater field goal) with 5 seconds left in the first half.

10. Percy Harvin starts the 3rd quarter with a 68-yard kickoff return! The Broncos defense holds, but Hauschka kicks another field goal to put the Seahawks up 20-3.

11. Peyton responds by marching his team down the field, capped off by a 7-yard TD pass to Demaryius Thomas. Broncos pull within two scores. (Seahawks lead 20-10).

12. In their next possession, Seattle holds the ball for more than 7 minutes as Marshawn Lynch racks up more rushing yards. Hauschka kicks the field goal to put the Seahawks up 23-13.

13. Peyton's last chance comes with 1:53 left in the 4th quarter. He has brought his team down to Seattle's 3-yard line, but the Seahawks secondary stops consecutive pass plays on both 3rd down and 4th down.

14. Seattle takes over on downs and runs out the clock.

Here's the box score: http://www.sportsmogul.com/football/Super-Bowl-48-Box.htm

And the play-by-play: http://www.sportsmogul.com/football/Super-Bowl-48-Recap.htm

P.S. You can get a download copy of Football Mogul 2014 if you pledge just $5 to Masters of the Gridiron on Kickstarter.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Adjusting Rookie Talent Levels in Football Mogul


Football Mogul 2014 has a new feature that lets you adjust the talent level, the talent distribution, and the improvement potential for each of the 15 position types in the game.

This is implemented by the addition of a file called DraftTalent.txt, located in the same folder with FB2K14.exe. If you have trouble finding this folder, you can choose "Open Game Folder" from the Help Menu.

DraftTalent.txt includes instructions, but I will include them again here for convenience.

The first 15 lines of DraftTalent.txt look like this:

  0,  0, 0, // QUARTERBACK
  0,  0, 0, // RUNNING_BACK
-30,  0, 50, // FULLBACK
-50,  0, 0, // TIGHT_END
-10,  0, 0, // WIDE_RECEIVER
 30,  0, 0, // TACKLE
 50,  0, 0, // GUARD
 70,  0, 0, // CENTER
-40,  0, 0, // DEFENSIVE_END
-60,  0, 0, // DEFENSIVE_TACKLE
-30,  0, 0, // LINEBACKER
  0,  0, 0, // CORNERBACK
  0,  0, 0, // SAFETY
  0,  0, 0, // KICKER
  0,  0, 0, // PUNTER

Each line refers to a position (shown at the end of the line, after the '//'). Football Mogul actually ignores all text after '//'. The position names are only there so humans know which line refers to which position. What Football Mogul does care about is the line order. The first line will always modify QB talent, then next line is for RBs, then FBs, and so on.

For each position:
First number = base talent level
Second number = talent level variation
Third number = "potential" (i.e. the difference between "Overall" and "Peak")

The default value is 0. A positive number indicates an increase. A negative number indicates a decrease.

Example #1: Your amateur draft has 10 QBs with the following Overall/Peak talent levels:
60/70, 63/73, 65/75, 67/77, 69/79, 70/80, 71/81, 73/83, 75/85, 77/87, 80/90

Increasing the first number will increase the entire talent pool, as in this example:
65/75, 68/78, 70/80, 72/82, 74/84, 75/85, 76/86, 78/88, 80/90, 82/92, 85/95

Increasing the second number will increase the talent level variation (while the average remains the same):
55/65, 59/69, 62/72, 65/75, 68/78, 70/80, 72/82, 75/85, 78/88, 81/91, 85/95

Increasing the third number will increase the amount that each player improves after the draft:
60/75, 63/78, 65/80, 67/82, 69/84, 70/85, 71/86, 73/88, 75/90, 77/92, 80/95

For overall talent level, changing a 0 to 10 *roughly* equals a 1-point change in the "Overall" rating.
For talent level variation, changing a 0 to 10 *roughly* increases the distance between the worst and best player by 1.

Note that college players are generated for the draft at the end of each regular season (i.e. at the start of the playoffs). So, in order to see your changes to DraftTalent.txt reflected in the game, you will need to make any edits (and save the new file) before the first playoff game.