Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived
The other day I was playing Front Office Football 7 when I realized that I’d fit right in as an NFL owner.
Front Office Football 7 (FOF 7) is a management simulation (I’ve written about similar games in this space before) that puts you in control of an NFL franchise. But instead of mashing buttons and controlling players on the field like you would in Madden on the PS4 or XBox1, you call all the shots behind the scenes. You’re sort of a hybrid version of Ted Thompson, Mike McCarthy and Jerry Jones.
Want to take control of the Packers and see what happens if you ditch draft and develop and sign a bunch of free agents every offseason? Want to see if the Dallas Cowboys could actually make the playoffs with competent management? Want to take control of the Jacksonville Jaguars and see if you can remake their roster into a contender? It’s possible with FOF 7.
I like to use my brain more than my thumbs when playing sports games, and FOF 7 makes that possible. There are other football simulations on the market, but FOF 7 is the only career-based option. In FOF 7, your career lasts as long as you want it to (assuming you don’t get fired), putting you in control of the draft, free agency, hiring and firing of coaches, setting ticket prices, managing depth charts, designing gameplans and pretty much everything associated with running a football team.
It’s an incredibly immersive experience (I don’t call it a game, I call it an experience) and the perfect way to get through these next seven depressing months without Packers football. The FOF franchise has been around for a long time, but FOF 7 was just released a couple of months ago. It’s the first new version to come out since 2007, and the upgrades and improvements are instantly noticeable.
Anyway, the other day I was playing, and at the point in the offseason where you set ticket prices, I caught myself not caring whatsoever about my (pretend) fans. I just jacked those ticket prices sky high. I was coming off an appearance in the NFC Championship game and fan “loyalty” had increased substantially.
“Let’s see how loyal you fans really are,” I thought to myself. “Are you loyal enough to pay $10 more per ticket to sit in the nosebleed section?”
The game also allows you to ask for public funding to build a new stadium. If the proposal fails, you’re allowed to move the team somewhere else. Depending on how cold-hearted I feel in future game years, I might ask the voters of Green Bay to replace Lambeau Field with the Wisconsin version of the Jerry Dome, and if they deny me, I’ll take away their beloved Packers and relocate them to Los Angeles.
Yup, I’d fit right in as an NFL owner.
I’d definitely do better as an owner than I would as a general manager. Drafting is hard! I seem to have success drafting offensive lineman in early rounds, but I completely whiff on finding gems at other positions later in the draft. And not long after I jacked up ticket prices and made the NFC title game, both of my starting CBs and my second best WR decided to hold out for new contracts.
The worst is when one of your players goes down with an obscure injury or condition. I lost my starting left tackle for a few games once because he was dealing with tobacco withdrawal syndrome.
(Update: Turns out I wouldn’t be able to manage the salary cap if I were a real-life GM either. I just lost a future third-round draft pick because I was over the cap heading into training camp. I had to cut my punter so I wouldn’t lose another draft pick. Doh!)
Anyway, this is the third offseason that I’ll be doing a Surviving Sunday column to help you get through the NFL offseason. It probably takes about 5 minutes to read this column every Sunday, so that means you have to try and kill the other 10,075 minutes each week before Packers football starts again.
Front Office Football 7 will make that time fly by. Check it out.
Packers notes and thoughts
- The Packers won’t be bringing back assistant special teams coach Chad Morton. So the Packers have signed a free agent fullback and canned a special teams assistant this offseason. Talk about an organizational shake-up.
- Tickets for Packers games are going up in price…again. Raising ticket prices always comes with a public relations hit, but until people stop buying them, Packers ticket prices won’t be coming down any time soon.
- Nick Collins wants to play again and John Rehor has a few thoughts over at Packerstalk.com. Hasn’t Collins said all along that he wants to play? I don’t think this is a new revelation, but I could be wrong. If Collins is somehow cleared to play, I don’t think it will be by the Packers. Jason Wilde also landed an interview with Collins.
- As long as you’re at Packerstalk.com, check out all of the available podcasts. New podcasts from various members of the Packers online community are going up on a regular basis. It’s the best way to stay up to date on the Packers during the offseason. The entire crew over there just put up an offseason megashow and it’s a must-listen for any Packers fan.
- Jermichael Finley says he’s ready to play, either for the Packers or another team. I’m really curious to see how many offers Finley gets on the open market? My hunch is he’ll sign a one-year deal somewhere, hope to remain healthy and productive, then cash in during free agency in 2015.
- It’s mock draft season. Yay. Can you see how excited I am? Doug Farrar at SI.com has the Packers taking Oklahoma St. cornerback Justin Gilbert with the 21st overall pick. Personally, I think the Packers would select Louisville free safety Calvin Pryor before they took Gilbert, but if Thompson sees more long-term value in Gilbert, he won’t hesitate to take him.
Non-Packers news, notes and other nonsense
- The makers of Out of the Park Baseball announced that they are working on a football game for 2015. FOF 7 will finally have some competition and I can’t want to see what the Out of the Park developers come up with for a football game.
- This quote from Hunter S. Thompson sums up how I feel about the NFL offseason, and is yet another reason to read Surviving Sunday and play Front Office Football 7.
- I got my car stuck in a snowbank for 3 hours on Monday morning. But Monday was still a great day because it was announced that this tour is coming to First Ave in May.
- Here’s how a record corn crop makes for a better Super Bowl Sunday.
- Cookie dough is my favorite food. I also enjoy Oreos. Cookie dough Oreos may be the death of me.
- Be sure to read Jeff Pearlman’s in-depth story about the 1984 U.S. Olympic hockey team — the team that had to try and follow the Miracle on Ice from 1980.