User Interview: Bearjd18

Q&A with noted SimLeague Football user Bearjd18

We recently contacted SimLeague Football standout Bearjd18 to discuss game plans, durability, Bruce Pearl's orange blazer, holding hands, Antonin Scalia, halftime adjustments, intramural football and William Rehnquist.

WIS

Who is bearjd18?

Bearjd18

I am a 27 year old lawyer from Tennessee that is 6'3" with soft blue eyes, I enjoy long walks, holding hands and snuggling til 3 in the morning while watching romantic comedies - aw wait, this isn't the online personals. Oops. Seriously though, I am a huge sports guy, especially when it comes to my Vols (when you go to school there they give you the orange and white blood transfusion when you walk into Neyland.).

WIS

How did you find out about WhatIfSports.com and SimLeague Football?

Bearjd18

I ran into whatifsports sitting in class in law school surfing the internet. I think it was a link where whatif had simulated the national title game. I clicked over, got in an exhibition league and then I caught the bug.

WIS

Besides simulation sports websites, what are some of your other interests and hobbies?

Bearjd18

Seriously are you wanting to find me a date or interview me about whatifsports? But I must say that right now my extra time is few and far between, but I am still a sports guy. I am trying to put my golf game back together; I play a good bit of pick up basketball; and, there are few thrills better than sitting back with a beer and taking idiots money at a poker table.

WIS

What dynasty or simleagues games have you played?

Bearjd18

I have stuck mainly to SimLeague Football, but I am beginning to branch out. UtahCub started a King of WIS simleague event that includes all of the SimSports. That has gotten me motivated to pickup a couple of basketball and baseball teams (have no fear puckheads, there will be a redneck hockey team on the way as well.). Who knows maybe in a few months you will be interviewing me about those sports as well.

WIS

Who sits at your dream roundtable discussion?

Bearjd18

From reading a few of these interviews before, I think it is a requirement that you find five people who are profound and cool. So here goes - Jack Nicklaus, Stan Musial, Bill Walsh, William Faulkner, and Hugo Black. And personally I had rather it be beers and a ball game at Busch Stadium.

WIS

Who are your favorite players of all-time?

Bearjd18

Golf - Jack (Nicklaus), Bobby Jones;

Baseball - Ted Williams, Stan Musial Ozzie Smith, Will Clark, Albert Pujols;

Football - Peyton Manning, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice;

Basketball - Larry Bird, Tony Delk

WIS

What are your favorite teams of all time?

Bearjd18

1998 Tennessee Volunteers (Jeff Hall in the Carrier Dome, Clint Steorner, a year of destiny), 1989 Niners (Roger Craig, Tom Rathman, Joe, and Jerry - come on), 1985 St. Louis Cardinals (It was the first World Series I remember watching. Damn Don Denkinger.), 2006 Tennessee Vols Basketball (How can you not love Bruce Pearl? The big orange blazer, Chris Lofton and no one ever shooting inside the 3pt arch. We have blocked the Sweet Sixteen Meltdown from our memory though.).

WIS

Did you play any sports growing up?

Bearjd18

I played just about everything I could. In High School I played football, baseball, basketball and golf. In college, I was in a fraternity that took intramurals extremely seriously so I got into flag football, basketball, and softball. In Law School I organized, coached and played in the IM Flag Football, Basketball, and Floor Hockey Teams. Now out in the real world, I am going through withdrawal.

WIS

Talk about your greatest WIS moment.

Bearjd18

I can't remember if it was my second or third title, but I had a team that went 8-8 during the season, snuck into the playoffs as a 6 seed and proceeded to hammer 4 teams in the playoffs, riding Randall Cunningham and the 86 Bears D to the championship throwing 2 shutouts along the way. Classic!

WIS

All of your teams are named after Supreme Court chief justices? Who is your favorite Supreme Court chief justice of all time? Why?

Bearjd18

Hugo Black - he was an unassuming country boy from Alabama but one of the great minds to grace the Supreme Court. His opinions on substantive due process are works of art. Plus he was the member of that Warren Court whom you could never quite pin down to one side or the other. In a time when The Court was all about politics, he was about the law. That is why if you see a HUGO BLACK football team in your league; just get ready to take a butt-kickin'. Only my proven team's wear that tag. I am also a huge fan of Scalia, Rehnquist, and Marshall.

WIS

At this point, SimLeague Football is not as popular as some of our other sports. What can you tell users who may be unfamiliar with the game about the merits of SimLeague football?

Bearjd18

SimLeague Football is the best game on the site. To me, it is just less quirky than the other games. The thing I have noticed in my limited time in the other sims (which by the way I like too) is that you see that certain players (and they aren't necessary great players, just statistical anomalies) are on almost every successful team. In SimFootball the salaries are fairly representative of the impact the guy is going to have on the game. Additionally with SimFootball, you get to put together a playbook that plays a substantial role in who wins and loses the game. You have the ability to look at a team's tendencies and take steps to slow them down. Plus SimFootbal gives you the added benefit of halftime adjustments. If you try something in the first half that isn't working, change it.

WIS

Having played primarily in football, do you prefer open or theme leagues? If theme, which types of themes are your favorite and why?

Bearjd18

I still prefer open leagues although I am starting to get a little more involved in the theme leagues. In the 60 million dollar open leagues I like the fact that every team has a weakness (just like with real football.). It is the player who can gameplan to exploit the other team's weaknesses while dampening his own who is going to win. As for theme leagues, I am not overly picky. My favorite one so far was an alumni league (Although, I should have known when putting Peyton on a Tennessee team he would torch everyone during the year and then choke when it counted.).

WIS

How do you approach drafting players in SimLeague Football?

Bearjd18

Every penny has a purpose. If I put a player on my team it is because he can do something to help me win. The first step in figuring out who can help is to figure out what type of team I am building. Am I building a defensive team that controls the ball on offense? Am I building an offensive team with a weaker defense who can make big plays? On offense, do I want a team that grinds the ball on the ground and makes big plays in the passing game or a team that slings it around but can gash you with the run? The great thing about SimFootball is that you can find players who can fill roles on all of these teams.

After deciding what type of team I want, I try to find starters with high Durability ratings and enough Stamina to get them the amount of touches/throws I want them to get. Then I look for reserves that can step in and create a spark with big plays. I also always make sure I have enough players with 90 DUR or better to fill out my starting roster. Forfeiting a game is not cool.

WIS

What offensive and defensive styles do you prefer?

Bearjd18

My offensive and defensive styles do change from time to time. For the most part I like offenses that run first, but make big plays in the passing game. And as far as defense, I normally look for defenses who are balanced against the run and the pass (you run into both types of teams and it makes it is easier to make adjustments) and I like to have a defense that is capable of making big plays through sacks or picks.

WIS

What do you believe is the overall biggest key to success in SimLeague football?

Bearjd18

I think winning in SimLeague is like winning in real football. You have to have a team that can dictate to the opposition what you are going to do and what they will not be able to do. And I think you have to build teams and create gameplans that facilitate that.

WIS

Do you approach the playoffs any differently than the regular season?

Bearjd18

The biggest difference is the amount of time I spend looking at opponents. I look a little harder at what they do on offense in certain situations and set my team to slow them down.

WIS

Which SimLeague Football users have proven to be your biggest challenge?

Bearjd18

I guess I can give you my top 5 guys who I least like to see between me and a title:

5. Pugsly - He is tough always, but really steps it up in the playoffs.

4. Slinger - His style has changed a lot with the new salary structure, but he is always tough.

3. Tisi - There are times I have run into him and not have any idea on how to beat him.

2. Ziggy - It is usually just sit back and pray his QB gets hurt.

1. Iron - He has just had my number here lately after me beating him like a red headed stepchild for a while. Plus, there is no one in simleague who talks better trash.

*Honorable Mentions have to go out to Fuzzy, blitz, and toth.

WIS

What advice can you give to new WhatIfSports.com users who want to have fun and get the most out of the site?

Bearjd18

Get out of it what you want. If you are ultra-competitive and need a venue to vent, come, hit the forums learn the sim engines, and try to compete with the best of us. If you love sports and want to have a good time, draft a team that sounds cool to you, join a league, talk some trash and have fun with it. Either way, just don't get disappointed when I beat you like a drum.

WIS

If you were in one of our games, what sport would you play, at what position and how much would you cost?

Bearjd18

My best chance for SimLeague immortality would be in Basketball. I am a pure shooter from long range who can run an offense and pass the ball (plus I tend to get left open early in games because nobody covers the fat guy from 25 foot.). At 6'3" and having to play the 3 or 4, I am an absolute defensive liability although I can help out on the defensive glass (i.e. Classic 6th Man material.). As for salary, I am thinking 2 or 3 mil. The hours logged in the law library over the past couple of years have reduced me to a spurt player, but I can get you 10-15 solid minutes a game.

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