User Interview: Showrunner

Q&A with noted Gridiron Dynasty user Showrunner

We recently contacted noted GD user, Showrunner, to discuss recruiting, winning a national championship with Notre Dame, Bela Karolyi, the great game of soccer, Vanessa Marcil, the World Cup, Jim Craig and the Walkerton Wackos.

Showrunner

Thanks for contacting me as I really enjoy doing these type of things. Scottso14 has something similar going over in the GD forums that I recently participated in, so I'll do my best to eliminate duplication. Unfortunately the interview was pretty extensive so I may have used up all my good material, but I'll give it a shot.

WIS

Who is Showrunner?

Showrunner

I'm from Cincinnati, a born and raised west-sider. I'm an IT Director for a FORTUNE 50 company, but my real passion is for sports. I've been married for just over 10 years and have 5 very active children. Between the girls' gymnastics classes and coaching my son's teams, I have very little time to for my two side businesses (Internet Web site development and a contributing writer for getsportsinfo.com). Throw in my wife's pharmacist schedule and we are definitely busier than Paris Hilton's publicist.

WIS

How did you find out about WhatIfSorts.com?

Showrunner

Not exactly sure how I happened onto the site first, but I remember checking out some college basketball sims around tournament time years ago. Then one day I noticed the Gridiron Dynasty thing and I was hooked.

WIS

Why do you think that sports are so big in our culture?

Showrunner

Are you kidding? You can't go anywhere now days without seeing Tiger Woods, Derek Jeter, Peyton Manning, etc. Billboards, buses, TV, grocery store, you name it sports icons are everywhere. Love it or hate it, but ESPN took pro and college sports to a new level back in the late 70's. Society ate it up and it snowballed to the point we are at today.

WIS

Who sits at your dream roundtable discussion?

Showrunner

Let me begin by saying I don't do anything memorable without my father, brother, and son. We've done and seen more amazing things in the world of sports than many sportscasters and writers. With that said I'm going to bend the rules a little and add five people to OUR table.

Jim Craig - What he did, when he did it, and the bond he had with his family is more special than anything I've seen in the sports world. The image of him wrapped in the US Flag scanning the stands for his father to share that moment is something I could talk with him for hours about.

Knute Rockne and Lou Holtz - As a huge Notre Dame fan and a coach myself, the opportunity to listen to the views of these two great men and understand their motivational tactics would be priceless.

Bela Karolyi - My 7 year old daughter was recently recruited to join the US Junior Olympic team, and since I don't know the difference between a back hand spring and spring roll, and I have three more daughters in the program, any information he can give me in regards to what my future holds in this area would be appreciated. On top of that maybe he would give me a discount.

Vanessa Marcil - We would need something to look at.

WIS

What is your favorite sports moment?

Showrunner

It's definitely the Miracle on Ice, but that is way too easy, so let me come up with something else. I envision a cornucopia of sports moments with things like, Justin Leonard's Ryder Cup putt, Kirk Gibson's fist pump, Tiger's fist pump, 4192 and the expression on Eric Show's face, Michigan kicking to the Rocket...AGAIN!, the Immaculate reception, the band is on the field, down goes Frazier, Jordan from the top of the key, Montana to Rice, Manning to Harrison, Marino to Duper, Flutie to Phalen, Stewart to Westbrook, Hill to Laettner, Arnie's Army, Secretariat turning for home, the cancellation of the World Cup (FOREVER) and the bra and panty WTA Tournament for charity. Those last two will be coming soon, and I will definitely celebrate hard.

However all those things fail in comparison to seeing your son's excitement when he throws his first touchdown pass, or your daughters expression when she sticks her first back hand spring. Those are the truly great moments sports can bring you.

WIS

Which are your favorite teams of all-time?

Showrunner

The Notre Dame Football teams of the late 80's, the Xavier Musketeer Sweet 16 and Final 8 teams, the Elder Panthers 2001-2003, and based solely on accomplishments during the time period (more of a respect thing) the New England Patriots of today.

WIS

Did you play football (or any other sports) growing up?

Showrunner

Like most kids I was into almost every sport. Luckily, I was fairly athletic so I never had to relegate myself to soccer. Football was my favorite, but basketball and golf were probably my best. Lately, due to time constraints, I've eliminated almost everything, but I have picked up fishing. It's a new challenge and I enjoy it much more than I thought I would. I recently caught a 6 lb. large mouth that has helped me understand the excitement of the sport.

WIS

What is the top sports related thing you want to do in life that you have not yet done?

Showrunner

About 10 years ago I made a list of the top 100 places/events/things etc. I wanted to do/see in sports. As of today I've completed 45 of them. I've seen Final Fours, BCS Bowls and National Championships, Indy 500's, Ohio St. vs. Michigan, World Series games, NFL, NBA, and NHL Playoff games, and the Kentucky Derby. I've played golf at over 150 courses nationwide, been to Spring Training, football and basketball games at over 65 Universities and Colleges, and met my share of athletes. With all that said there are still a majority of things I want to do; attend the Olympics, Super Bowl, The Masters, and Ryder Cup, and I desperately want to hit a hole in one, and catch a 10 lb. bass.

WIS

What is your favorite WIS moment?

Showrunner

Winning the National Championship in Heisman with Notre Dame. I urge you to read the interview on Scottso's page as I go into it in detail.

WIS

Having played in well over 50 seasons with a winning percentage over .800 and jobs at three different DI elite schools, what do you believe is the biggest key to GD success?

Showrunner

Dedication and communication. GD is like everything else in life. Victory and success go to those that work the hardest. I believe recruiting is the most important part of the game and understanding talent and getting that talent on your team is the first step to success.

WIS

What is your approach to recruiting?

Showrunner

The same approach Captain Kirk used during the Kobayashi Maru. Everyone is afraid of "THE SHOWRUNNER." In all seriousness, I approach recruiting very diligently. I evaluate the talent of every player listed and rank them all. I then list the schools that could/would challenge me for each. With my good teams (ND and USC) I hit early, as I have the prestige and cash advantage over almost everyone around me. With Auburn (I'm rebuilding), I lay low for a few cycles and start grabbing value guys that will upgrade my current roster. The key to recruiting is to use your head and stay smart. It is not personal so don't let it become that way.

WIS

Who are the users you respect and/or enjoy the most?

Showrunner

As far as respect goes, jeffkahleb, carpediem33, ddingo, cravedogg, and michaeldartt are probably the best 5 coaches in the game that I've come across. Those guys win at every level and with every type of team. Paranoid and GT have been great for the GD community with their extensive work on ratings and contributions to the forums. I enjoy almost every coach I've met over the years; Plague, DKC, birdieparma, webs, enchanter, 3putt, E3racer, dwhit, siap, cebrake, all the coaches I've coached against over the years in the various conferences, and all the coaches I play against now in the Big 10, Pac 10, and SEC.

WIS

You currently have three teams in 'BCS' Conferences - Notre Dame, USC and Auburn. What is your ultimate goal in Gridiron Dynasty? Or have you achieved it?

Showrunner

I already achieved it. I thought the Notre Dame National Title was the Coup de grace for me and GD, however, I've found some new interests in the game. The rebuild at Auburn (Washington, GTech, and N'western prior to that) has helped keep my interest, but ultimately co-coaching with other GD greats has re-energized me. It's eye-opening working with some of these guys on a daily basis trying to achieve a common goal. I would advise everyone to try it out at least once. It's a great twist to the game.

WIS

What would you tell new users to the site who want to get the most out of WhatIfSports.com has to offer?

Showrunner

Get involved. Read the forums and ask questions. Find your niche, and do the things you enjoy most. There are some really good people in this environment, and everybody can use more friends. I've sent Skyline Chili to Minnesota, worked on websites for people in New Orleans, had books sent to me from California, and attended sporting events with various other coaches all because I became active in the community.

WIS

GD is undergoing a massive update slated for completion by the real-life college football season. What would you most like to see be added to this update?

Showrunner

There are so many things, and they have been debated to exhaustion on the forums. Anything that is added to the game is going to help keep it fresh, and give the old coaches like myself something new to explore. With that said, I'd really like to see the 5/8 schedule that allows coaches to schedule their own OOC games, a box score that tells you every player in the game on each play, a bigger out of position penalty (within reason of course as RB and some DB's should be able to play WR in some situations), and a formation IQ similar to HD.

WIS

If you were in one of our games, what sport would you play, at what position, and what would you be rated?

Showrunner

I would be the slow QB with bad arm strength and extremely high GI and TECH. I'm the type of guy that the other team laughs at during warm-ups, and then after the game they are left scratching their head trying to figure out how that un-athletic guy just beat them.

Showrunner

Also, before we close I want to give a shout out to my boys the "Walkerton Wacko's", and extend an open invitation to all the WIS brethren out there. Many of the GD coaches are aware of what I'm referring to, but for those of you on the site who don't pay attention to GD this is for you.

The Walkerton Wackos are basically a group of guys (with the two new families that just moved in, we're up around 10-11 guys now) that refuse to grow up. Our claim to fame is the big screen TV. When I say big I mean BIG!!!! It stems from the mutual enjoyment of College Football. We all feel that the first college football game is "The greatest day of the year!" Better than Christmas morning, better than daisy duke shorts on Jessica Simpson, better than beer, and even better than the day they cancel MLS FOREVER!!!! But the bottom line is, COLLEGE FOOTBALL is the GREATEST!!!! Each year as our eight month wait finally ends, like Hugh Grant in West Hollywood with a pocket full of $20's and Divine Brown on the corner, relief and total satisfaction are only moments away. I was happier than the "spritzer boy" at a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit shoot when ESPN introduced ESPN GAMEPLAN a few years back, but then along came WALKERTON Cinema. Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey have nothing on the "Walkerton Wacko's". The Greatest Show on Earth isn't in some Big Top Tent, it resides in the cul-de sac of Walkerton Drive. I would give my wife and four daughters my credit card and a weekend on Michigan Avenue just so I could watch college football on the 15' X 18' HUGE Screen. I would wear spike heels, a see-through muumuu and RuPaul's curlers if it were the only way to get a seat around the fire pit on Walkerton.

If you like in-your-face football, a trash can full of ice cold beer, beef and chicken on the grill, around a fire pit in the great outdoors, this is the place for you. The only thing that beats watching football with these guys in this atmosphere are the actual matchups on schedule for this year. So if it's a circus you want to see, complete with high flying acts, lions, tigers, leprechauns and goofy clowns (we have plenty of those right Webs?). Don't waste your money at Cirque Du Soleil, drop in on the "Walkerton Wackos" they definitely won't disappoint. Sitemail me for the newest schedule.

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