After recent events, I wanted to take a few moments to give a bit of a backstory and wanted to address everything that has happened.
I joined this league when it was still fairly fresh and was part of the season 3 draft. I had immediately been seen as a pretty decent prospect and was touted in the first round of the draft, where several teams had an interest in me. Most notably there was interest from San Jose (who ended up taking a kicker), Arizona (Er was someone I talked to a long time) and Orange County. In the end I went to Orange County and in the end, I could not have been happier with that. Everything worked out amazingly well in my career.
I spent the first seasons of my career hyperactive, with many posts about statistical analysis and inventing statistics and going to crazy lengths to give people crazy articles. I was so excited by this league. It gave me an outlet for my writing, my interest in math, my sports knowledge and passion. I really could not have been happier.
During my second season, I started a project which I probably spent more than 10 hours on and which sadly never got finished. It was a huge project that included having to go through every boxscore at the time, and more. It included a lot of math and spreadsheets. It was done to invent a statistic for this league that would have created the equivalent of WAR, the baseball statistic, which aims to look at every player on one scale, regardless of position. The project was incredibly time consuming and I loved doing it, but it also cost me a lot of energy and not finishing it was also part of the reason why I ended up going inactive. I could not deliver on such a monumental task that I had set myself and that felt like a failure in some ways.
There were a lot of issues in this league at the time that also made me start to enjoy it less. After a wide range of scandals, I finally felt myself drained and less enthusiastic. Around the same time, the PBE started, and I became very active in it and after a season there I took over the GM position for one of the teams. With that, came even less time and energy for the NSFL. I regret that I did not continue at least earning easy TPE in the NSFL like activity, training, predictions, but you cannot undo what is done.
Even in my bouts of inactivity, I continued looking at boxscores, continued looking at results, but I was never active on the site. The Otters were doing incredibly well and overall so was my player. I had enough TPE at this point to kind of rest on my laurels and continued seeing good results week to week. One championship turned into two and now into three in a row, with my player having done a lot of work to contribute to it. I could not be happier about those titles. We all worked hard on them. I know that Molar and Timeconsumer and others like Teddy and Boss are doing tremendous work on this team and lead them to great success.
For me though, it was not the best scenario for my activity. I would see boxscores and see myself get decent amount of tackles and other stats, would see the team win big, all while I was inactive and doing nothing to add to my player. Why come back and be active? Why try hard or do anything? It was all going great anyway! I kind of lost that drive, that will to be the best, which I very much still had in the PBE especially. To me, it felt like I was no longer the underdog, no longer the one who chased. I lost that drive to compete.
At some point last season, I started to become interested in the NSFL again. I did some of the work again and slowly built my player up further. I felt that itch again. I had inquired how long my contract still was and learned it was another season. I became intrigued by the prospect of being a free agent, of being able to go to a weaker team, an underdog, a team that chases, a team that had something to prove. League parity has become a bigger and bigger personal issue to me, something that I truly wanted to contribute to, not leaving a weak team in free agency to go to the best team, like some others do.
I want to reiterate, I have nothing but joy and happiness about my time with the Otters, nothing but love and respect for the people on that team. I feel very close to Molar especially. Many of the players on that team are awesome people. I share like 4 different locker rooms with Teddy. This was not the case of me wanting to leave because I disliked the team at all and it kind of hurt even to make that decision.
Eventually though, I made my decision. Unlike some others, I also did not want Molar to be blindsided. He had given me a lot of opportunities on this team and I did not want to just announce leaving in free agency after all that, especially not out of nowhere. I am sure some of my experiences from the PBE have shaped that opinion but I did not want this team to suffer because of this. I did what I felt was right, which was to tell Molar my decision and to say hey, I know you would lose me next season so if you feel you can trade me to get some value back, I understand that completely.
He also had given other GMs the opportunity to talk to me, to discuss my activity and plans going forward. I heard from several teams which I am very grateful for. I am sure that my activity level here at times deserved the attention I was getting but I appreciate it nonetheless. Many of the teams in this league are great and I could have seen myself on their teams as well. Purely based on my earlier statement, about wanting to go to maybe one of the weaker teams, I had looked at standings as a gauging of where teams were at. I had looked at the needs of the teams at Linebacker as well and at rosters and people I was friends with or knew from other leagues.
One of the teams that stood out early and stood out most was New Orleans. There was an obvious fit in terms of team strength (with them having had the 2nd worst record in the league), an obvious fit in terms of positional need (even without my activity for a few seasons, my player has a better overall rating than any of their current linebackers) and an obvious fit with people I knew from other leagues.
I want to talk about that a tiny bit more since that was a big factor for me still. I wanted to go to a place where I would continue to be motivated and while the first two factors are huge for that reason, the last is as well. The Otters discord is extremely active and fun to be in, even if I was not always the most active in it. I wanted to go to a place where I could have conversations with people. With that, I want to talk about some of the people that made my mind go towards New Orleans.
Tbone – I had drafted him this prior season in the PBE and we have gotten along well, plus his player kicks ass. Naturally, he was one of the people that stood out to me as someone I could want to be on a team again.
Bovo – I had contacted Bovo ahead of his PBE draft and we had a very interesting good interaction there. I felt like he and I would get along well and I think he had felt similarly.
Beaver – Beaver and I had some very good interactions and he had once given me one of my favorite compliments ever, and I still remember that.
Not to take away from anyone else but those three were the main factor in that sense. And just everything together made me feel like New Orleans was the perfect place to go.
After all though, I had not yet been traded and free agency was still a year away. Would I just go to a different team via trade and then leave in free agency next season? I was unsure about everything and had felt like maybe New Orleans was not trading for me after all, as some time had passed and no news were given.
Then suddenly, yesterday, seemingly out of nowhere it happened. I was traded to New Orleans, my number one destination and I could not be happier. I want to thank Molar again for his tremendous work and friendship and for his understanding of my wishes. I want to thank the Otters organization and teammates. I wish you the best of luck and I am sure you will do well for many seasons to come.
My time in New Orleans starts now and I have many goals. I want to help this team win, I want to improve my own stats, I want to grow TPE wise. I want to be as excited as I was when I joined this league and so far, I can feel that childlike excitement returning. The discord already seems a ton of fun and also slightly ridiculous though I fear I only contributed to that. I am very hyped about every opportunity I have here and hopefully I can show that my decision was a good one. I think this team can achieve a lot, maybe not next season yet, but down the road and I want to be part of this process that can lead the team from the bottom to the top. I want to win a championship again in my career and I think it will feel incredible if it were to happen with this team.
All this being said, yes, I do plan on signing a contract extension in New Orleans, as soon as it is allowed in order to show commitment to this team and to improve further. I want to be here for several seasons at the very least and see where this team can go.
I want to talk a bit more about my player and my goals now. I have obviously seen some success as a linebacker in this league although I would argue that I was never quite at the top yet. I have excelled in several areas of the game but don’t seem to have one that stands out. I am a good overall player I guess. My player rating is already 89 so there is not a ton I can improve on, but I still want to reach my potential. It looks fairly good for me being a pro-bowl player again for I believe the 2nd time in my career, but I am hoping to return there many more seasons to come.
One of my favorite aspects of this league and any sim league for me are the career statistics. I love rankings, leaderboards, etc and so for me, the career leaderboards are one of my favorite things here. Right now, I am not found on any of them for the regular season (I am on a couple playoff top tens). I want to change that for sure and that is a huge goal for my career still. By being active fully again, I am hopeful that my career can go several seasons deep into regression while still being an active starter on a team. I am hoping that I can delay the ultimate decay and continue finding roster spots on teams, even if it is just for a few snaps to add a few more tackles for the leaderboards. I want to especially end up on the top 10 leaderboard for career tackles, which is a huge goal of mine. I also think this move makes it more likely to achieve that. Evok’s player Stone had more than 100 tackles on this team last season and her player was not rated as well as mine is currently so my dream is to be able to top that still next year. Being the main focus on a defense is new for me and hopefully I can live up to that. The middle linebacker has a lot of responsibility but I think I can live up to that task. I also know that in the last two or three seasons, my player was very good for a linebacker in terms of sacks. That also means I may have an outside shot at the top ten in leaderboards for sacks as well.
What these goals mean is that ultimately, my goal is to fight regression as long as I can, despite the couple seasons of inactivity I lost. I will have to really try hard, but ultimately I do think I will be able to fight it, especially if I stay humble and excited for this league. The further we go in this league, the better this will go, I think. I want to achieve a lot!
I mentioned above that I was on two career top ten lists for playoff statistics, which are sacks and tackles. Neither of which, I am in the top seven for, so going from a playoff team to a weaker team is definitely not helping my case there. I am very hopefully that I can help lead this team to playoff appearances in the future and that would also help my own case for those leaderboards.
Seasonal top ten lists will already be very hard to get into. My player is not close to the league leaders in terms of TPE or ratings and some of the top 10 seasons are already amazingly great. To get to the top 10 in tackles in a season, you already need 121, which is insanely high. I also know that my sack count should be fairly high, career wise and going forward again next season too hopefully.
Now, finally let me give a little conclusion. I am very happy that I was traded, but again, I loved my time with the Otters and could not be more grateful for the opportunities I got with them and the titles we won together. I am excited for this new chapter of my career and being able to have a new challenge has revitalized my effort and my excitement for this league and I am hoping to keep that going for as long as possible. This is an incredible league and it gives me an opportunity to live out this cool fantasy we all seem to have in common of what a professional sports career would be like. I guess I had to experience a trade too in order for it all to feel realistic
Thank you for reading!