User Interview: Dick Butkus

Q&A with noted SimLeague Football user Dick Butkus

We recently contacted iceman5 to discuss SimLeague Football, Dick Butkus, gameplanning, walleye fishing, submarines, George Allen, Socrates and KISS.

WIS

Who is iceman5?

iceman5

First off, let me thank you for the opportunity to expound. Just how much time, or space, do you have? Simply put, I take great pride in telling anyone, I am a retired US Navy Submarine Chief Petty Officer, having spent over 20 years in the Navy and roughly 7 years under water. The one question that is always asked, "How did you keep from going nuts?" Well, we were all a bit nuts so it worked out quite well. Consequently, with everyone trying to drive the other guy crazy, the playing field was pretty level. The 'iceman5' moniker came from that era, as we went under the polar ice five times on my patrols. I'm now semi-retired living in Indiana working as an electrician and running a little computer business. Rather boring stuff, but I find myself adapting quite well.

WIS

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

iceman5

I've always loved football and was enthralled with the fantasy aspect, having played for years, even winning a couple of championships along the way. I found you guys on the web a couple years ago and have been hooked since. This is truly a quality venue!

WIS

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

iceman5

Every year the family takes a trip to the UP of Michigan walleye fishing for a week. This year for example, there were five generations in attendance. It takes a boatload of fish to feed over 30 people, plus bring back enough filets to feed everyone at home. I also get great pleasure bow hunting deer, more for the solitude than the kill. Golf, when I get the chance, and I always have time for a chance…

WIS

What dynasty or simleagues games have you played?

iceman5

I am a die hard SimLeague Football fan and that's quite enough, I think.

WIS

Who sits at your dream roundtable discussion?

iceman5

George Allen, Sparky Anderson, George Patton, Socrates, and Golda Meir - all Type A personalities. The opening question would be "Barring biblical characters, who were the greatest 5 people of all time?" Then just sit back and watch the fur fly.

WIS

Who are your favorite players of all-time?

iceman5

Football players, hands down. Dick Butkus - he was one channeled man. Anyone who calls time out down 28-10 with 5 seconds left just so he can hit the center one more time is a hard-nosed player. Sonny Jurgensen - he was unique for his skill on the field, and his social life, before Lombardi. Arnold Palmer - for making golf popular, and his great sportsmanship.

WIS

What are your favorite teams of all time?

iceman5

"The Big Red Machine" - Cincinnati in the '70s. Now that was a complete team at all levels. George Allen's Redskins were, in my mind, of the same caliber. In the dead of winter, I live and die with the Detroit Red Wings.

WIS

Did you play any sports growing up?

iceman5

One of the bits of advice my Dad gave me when I was 8 years old: "Son, you can play baseball if you want to for a while, or you can play golf for the rest of your life!" I still love the game of golf. Coming from a small town, if you could do anything physically – you played in high school. Football, basketball, track, I was one of the jocks. Then I went to Purdue and found out I was just a tackling dummy. So I became a social legend.

WIS

Talk about your greatest WIS moment.

iceman5

There are many. Championships are great. Being selected for an interview is possibly my "15 minutes of fame." But the moments I cherish most were when I was frustrated and going nuts, then I asked some Hall of Famers for help and advice and they graciously responded.

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?

iceman5

WHAT??? Wake up people!!! This is a great Sim venue. It's simple and complicated, it's frustrating and rewarding, and it's just plain fun. Besides, there are a lot of great guys in SimLeague Football. What's not to like???

WIS

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

iceman5

I really prefer the open leagues. The 60M salary cap leaves no room for error in the draft. You must make every dollar count. However, theme leagues offer a great change of pace. With their varied rules and salary caps, they are also a lot of fun.

WIS

How do you approach drafting players in SimLeague Football?

iceman5

To draft in the Sim, you need a mental picture of exactly what you want to accomplish, then, draft the best players possible to achieve that goal. However, you must keep in mind the salary cap. It's a juggling act that only gets better with experience. In all the leagues I've participated I don't think I've drafted the same team twice. I'm always "pushing the envelope."

WIS

What offensive and defensive styles do you prefer?

iceman5

Offensively, I prefer a balanced approach, leaning toward the run most of the time. Defensively, I use the same approach, but I try to favor stopping the pass. It seems like a lot of players draft '07 Brady. Defensively, if you can slow him down you can slow anyone.

WIS

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

iceman5

There are three factors here. The knowledge that comes with experience, mentors are a hidden asset, and KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid).

WIS

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

iceman5

Early on I switched gears for the playoffs, with disastrous results most of the time. Now, I change very little. "If it ain't broke – don't fix it." KISS!!!

WIS

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

iceman5

It's not the users that are the challenge; it's the teams in the league. Be it a rookie or a hall-of- famer, each game must be approached on its own merit. And sometimes, because of my draft, my team is my biggest challenge.

WIS

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

iceman5

For the newer guys, remember knowledge is power. Look at every question mark on the site, this is an immense asset. As the season progresses, look at the winning teams offenses and defenses for ideas. Always search for a better way. KISS. Of no less importance, find a mentor. I would not be where I am without the help of bearjd18 and heavyhammer.

WIS

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

iceman5

Hands down, football is the game. Strong side linebacker is my position. My salary would be hidden in the cost of the defense, for which quite a tidy sum would be paid.

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