APBA Pro Football Replays

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I’ve used the APBA Football Master game to replay several seasons.  The Master game provides the “ebb and flow” of an actual contest and allows the “coach” the opportunity to deploy multiple personnel packages to mirror today’s game or the single platoon system of yesteryear. On numerous occasions, I’ve matched team records and have come extremely close to replicating team and individual statistics.

My purpose for creating this blog is to present my current and previous replays, offer “method of play” alternatives, share innovations, provide tools for evaluating individual cards, post links and informational tips to assist with preparing for and conducting season replays.     

For any APBA Football related questions, feel free to contact me at Oguard62@yahoo.com.       

 APBA Football Cover

NFL Player of the Week (9 November)

AFL Player of the Week (November 9)

APBA Football Field

Several months back, I received an email from John Herson thanking me for the 1960’s style Lambeau Field that I gave him at the Convention the previous year. In addition, he asked me if I would be interested in creating an APBA Football field and that he would authorize me to sell it at the convention and afterwards by mail. I told him that I would put a prototype together and get back with him. Unfortunately my sign shop I used went out of business forcing me to locate other options. After several failures, I finally had the prototype I envisioned to take to the convention to obtain John’s blessing. He was pleased with it and so were several others who were present. However, the current price per field is “cost prohibitive” in my opinion, to be able to lower it to a more acceptable level (between 25 – 30 dollars) I will need to obtain thirty pre-orders.

I must say that the workmanship of this field is a big improvement over the previous fields that I’ve purchased. I tried to use the color scheme of the player’s uniform on the Basic/Master Game booklets. In addition, I had the corners rounded to give it that APBA touch.

If interested in placing an order, contact me at oguard62@yahoo.com.

APBA Field

“A Day with Denny”

After corresponding via email and “Between the Lines” forum countless times over the years, it was an absolute joy to finally meet Mr. Denny Hodges (a.k.a. Zinnastone). This past Saturday morning I found myself deep in thought worrying about my ailing mother and my wife’s upcoming scan, when all of a sudden someone touched by shoulder and I turned around to see Denny. From that moment my day instantly improved, we headed down to the tournament room for a day filled with APBA Football, some good conversation and a lot of laughs. Denny hadn’t played a face-to-face game for several decades, so we started out with the Basic game. He used his homebrewed 1963 Cleveland Browns and I used the 1993 Dallas Cowboys. I forgot how good that Dallas team really was with their 45 rated offense and 42 rated defense, however, Cleveland’s tandem of Jim Brown and Ernie Green each averaged over 6.0 yards per carry. Denny’s ice cold dice coupled with Dallas’s four “A” rated receivers proved to be too much for the Browns. Jim Brown soon realized the defenders in 93 were slightly bigger and faster than their counterparts of 63. Jim Brown was held to nine-yards on eight carries and as a team, they finished with 27 yards on 14 rushing attempts. Frank Ryan had a decent game, going 8 of 18 for 179 yards and two touchdowns. But the difference maker of the game was Troy Aikman, he was 36 of 41 for 335 yards with one touchdown and one interception (which came off the penalty boards). Within the final five minutes of the game, I was telling Denny how Emmitt Smith was complaining because he was stuck on 99-yards. If you don’t know Denny, he is a very reserved and thoughtful gentleman, however, he looked at me and said “Emmitt is NOT breaking a hundred.” Needless to say, I knew what the defensive play call was going to be, “Standard, G alignment, key Smith”. Emmitt lost four yards on his next carry and only gained four yards on his next seven carries to finish the game with 98-yards.

Cleveland                              0          7          0          7          – 14

Dallas                                     7          17        3          6          – 33

Dal – E. Smith 1 run (Murray kick)

Dal – Novacek 3 pass from Aikman (Murray kick)

Dal – FG Murray 27

Dal – Johnston 1 run (Murray kick)

Cle – Kreitling 65 pass from Ryan (Groza kick)

Dal – FG Murray 43

Dal – FG Murray 42

Cle – Kreitling 80 pass from Ryan (Groza kick)

Dal – FG Murray 23

Well now it was time to graduate to the Master game, so I let Denny take the 2011 New England Patriots and I took the 2011 New York Jets. The first half was a defensive struggle and the Jets entered the locker room at halftime with a 9-0 lead. I started to feel really good about my chances after Shonn Greene scored a 4-yard rushing touchdown to put the Jets up 16-0 early in the third quarter. All of a sudden a funny thing happened, Denny started to master the line changes and with it his dice heated up. To put it bluntly, he was unstoppable. Tom Brady completed 23 of 41 attempts for 357 yards with three touchdowns. Wes Welker and his A* rating finished with six receptions for 164 yards and one touchdown. Deion Branch had eight catches for 142 yards and one touchdown. The Jets were penalized 13 times for 134 yards with the majority occurring in the second half. Mark Sanchez finished with 23 completions on 35 attempts for 184 yards and one interception, however, he guided the Jets to 20 first downs. The forgotten aspect of the game, Special Teams, proved to be the difference in the game. Steve Gostkowski missed a 45-yard field goal and Nick Folk made four of five attempts. The Jets punter, T.J. Conley, averaged 50.4 yards per punt and Joe McKnight returned a kick 102-yards for a touchdown.

New England                        0          0          7          17        – 24

New York                             3          6          10        7          – 26

NY – FG Folk 34

NY – FG Folk 39

NYJ – FG Folk 46

NY – Greene 4 run (Folk kick)

NE – Welker 65 pass from Brady (Gostkowski kick)

NY – FG Folk 38

NE – Branch 80 pass from Brady (Gostkowski kick), 14:46

NY – McKnight 102 kick return (Folk kick), 14:30

NE – Welker 50 pass from Brady (Gostkowski kick), 9:30

NE – FG Gostkowski 43, 4:30

Greg and Denny

Friday Night “Clash”

I always look forward to my annual Friday night clash with APBA Hall of Famer, Greg Wells, at the convention. This years it was a matchup between the 2004 New England Patriots and the 2004 New York Jets. My strategy facing the Super Bowl champion, New England Patriots, was simple, on offense, establish some sort of running game to limit New England possessions and take some risks on defense. On New England’s first play from scrimmage, they broke the huddle and lined up in a Pro Set formation any my defensive call was “Standard, G alignment, Goal Line, Key Dillon” and to my delight it resulted in a four line drop once the play card was revealed. However, my joy was short lived and it was all New England for the entire first half. New England’s offense generated 18 first downs in the first half and entered the locker room at halftime with a 14-0 lead. Tom Brady was 16 of 18 for 162 yards and one touchdown. Truth be told, the score should have been even worse. Twice rare plays resulted in Brady fumbles inside the New York ten-yard line. New York only made three first downs the entire first half and an injury to offensive guard, Pet Kendall, put the Jets in “C” passing index for the majority of the first half. Curtis Martin was having minimal success running out of a three wide receiver set (7 carries for 48 yards) until a key third down and three from the New England 42-yard line. The play call was an inside run from a three wide receiver set but Greg’s defensive play call was brilliant, “Standard, S alignment, key Martin” resulting in a four line drop and a loss of yardage and any momentum that I had.

Determined to make a game out of it, New York opened the second half with a 7-play, 78-yard touchdown drive. On a third and one from the New England 27, it was a 2TE offense versus a goal line defense in G alignment, however, the play call was a medium pass resulting in a 27-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Becht from Chad Pennington. After New England answered with a 47-yard field goal to make the score 17-7 a key coaching decision on my part changed the game. Realizing the Jets had three capable running backs (Curtis Martin, LaMont Jordan and Jerald Sowell), I decided to go to a “Full House” backfield with 5:00 remaining in the third quarter. It changed everything, New England was completely off balance on defense. It reminded of the game in 08 when Miami unveiled the “Wildcat” and ran the Patriots out of Gilette Stadium. The Jets marched right down the field and Sowell finished off the drive with a 26-yard touchdown run. New England closed out the third quarter with a 20-yard field goal to make the score 20-14.

Faced with a third and nine, I went three wide and called a draw play to Curtis Martin. To my delight, Greg not only went “Dime” but he blitzed resulting in a 22-yard touchdown run and New York’s first lead of the game. On the 26th play of the fourth quarter, New England had a first and goal from the New York six-yard line. New England went 2TE and called an inside run with Dillon, I decided to let them score and called “Dime, D alignment” and watched Dillon reach the end zone untouched. Vinatieri booted the extra point before Greg realized there was the two-point conversion during the 04 season. This kicked off a lively conversation between players and participates. Armed with all my timeouts, I reached the New England 27-yard line with one play remaining in the game. I went three wide and called a medium pass to Wayne Chrebet but I rolled a 46 resulting in an incomplete pass.

New England                                     7          7          3          10        – 23

New York                                          0          0          7          14        – 21

NE – Givens 3 pass from Brady (Vinatieri kick)

NE – Givins 5 pass from Brady (Vinatieri kick)

NY – Becht 27 pass from Pennington (Brien kick)

NE – FG Vinatieri 47

NY – Sowell 26 run (Brien kick)

NE – FG Vinatieri 20

NY – Martin 22 run (draw play) (Brien kick)

NE – Dillon 6 run (Vinatieri kick)

                                                                          NE                           NY

First Downs……                                               25                             14

Rushed – Yards…..                                          25-110                      24-155

Passing Yards……                                          272                           115

Sacked- Yards Lost……                                 1-4                            1-4

Return Yards……….                                      82                              127

Passes………………                                      27-34-2/0                  11-19-1/0

Punts ………                                                  0-0.0                          5-37.8

Fumbles-Lost………..                                    2-2                             0-0

Penalties- Yards……..                                   3-20                           8-66

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

PASSING–

            NE: Brady 27-34-272-2-0

NY: Pennington 11-19-115-1-0

RUSHING–

           NE: Dillon 21-71, Faulk 2-10, Patten 1-29, Brady 2-0

NY: Martin 13-71, Sowell 4-43, Jordan 6-33, Pennington 1-8

RECEIVING–

          NE: Branch 8-126, Givens 11-92, Faulk 3-32, Graham 2-7, Patten 3-17

NY: McCareins 1-12, Moss 1-23, Martin 3-3, Becht 2-31, Chrebet 4-52