User Interview: R0b0t

Q&A with noted WhatIfSports user R0b0t

We recently contacted r0b0t to discuss Hardball Dynasty, the Scarlet Knights, Von Hayes, Earl Woods, Philadelphia, the WNBA and zombie infestations.

WIS

Who is r0b0t?

r0b0t

An inane time-suck; a cubicle jockey who should probably spend less time goofing off.

WIS

How did you find out about WhatIfSports.com?

r0b0t

My brother (babypop985) was on the website first and he brought me aboard. He never did get any referral credits for it, either. You should probably hook him up.

WIS

Which SimLeagues and/or Dynasty games have you played?

r0b0t

Pretty much all of them, in some capacity or another. I had only tested the soccer one, and I used a promo code and shared a team for the Clutch Dynasty when it first came out, I just couldn't get into it, and just let my brother do all the work.

WIS

Which do you prefer?

r0b0t

I'm only currently involved in Hardball Dynasty. I used to be more into Hoops Dynasty, but I lost some interest after hitting Division I, and I had to get a little more thrifty in regards to expenses so I cut down from like five HD teams to zero. Sorry Admin. But at least you've still got me on the hook for Hardball Dynasty.

WIS

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

r0b0t

I have a son, now, so he takes up a lot of my time. So my hobbies now include going all Earl Woods/Marv Marinovich on the kid to get him into athletics. I also tend to read more about sports than someone probably should. I like movies and music and stuff, too.

WIS

Which are your favorite teams of all-time?

r0b0t

I'm a native Philadelphian, so Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, and Sixers. I'm a Rutgers graduate, so I favor the Scarlet Knights. I also tend to root for whichever team has players on my fantasy team.

WIS

Did you play any sports growing up?

r0b0t

Yes. A lot.

WIS

What players did you admire most growing up?

r0b0t

Bo Jackson was always a favorite. Jim Kelly and Andre Reed were awesome. One of my first Halloween costumes was Von Hayes. He was pretty cool. Lenny Dykstra. A weird one that I always had liked without really knowing why is Chris Fuamatu Ma'afala. Maybe it was because of his name, or maybe I played a season as Utah way back when on an old NCAA video game. I forget the circumstances, but I used to think he was cool.

WIS

Who are your favorite players in today's game?

r0b0t

Brian Westbrook and Chase Utley, but I guess that's to be assumed as a fan in this city. I'm hoping Ray Rice sees some success at the pro level, and can get a shot at some more carries. Two players I'm hyping at the collegiate level are QB Robert Griffin from Baylor and TE Rob Gronkowski from Arizona. I'm sure they'll be more recognized in a few years, for sure, but Griffin is a very talented true freshman and Gronk is a beast at tight end. I might get an aneurysm if the Eagles draft him in two or three years. Seriously, my man-crush is so passionate that when he missed a few games with mono this year, I almost became infected.

WIS

What is the greatest sporting event you have ever attended? Watched? Participated in?

r0b0t

I was at the Rutgers vs. Louisville game a few years ago. That was a really awesome experience.

WIS

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

r0b0t

Go to a championship parade.

WIS

Who sits at your dream roundtable discussion?

r0b0t

I'll tell you about my ideal dinner party. John Wilkes Booth. Erik Breum. Osama Bin Laden. John Wayne Gacy. Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer. "Oh hey guys, welcome to my home. Oh, here comes the waiter with the soup, hope you guys are hungry." Meanwhile, the waiter suddenly nods at me. But I don't acknowledge him. But I know he's an assassin because I trained him. Boom. Two minutes later, five dead psychopaths at my dining room table. All that's left to do is dispose of the bodies and collect the reward. It's almost too easy.

WIS

What issues in sports today pique your interest? Why?

r0b0t

This whole naming rights thing for college players is interesting to me. I know the NCAA and CBS Sportsline in particular are actively fighting about whether or not an amateur player's real name can be used on a fantasy football website. This piques my interest because I'm in the Stone Age and running a college league by hand, doing the math and posting the transactions on my own. It'd make things a lot easier on me if I could just switch it over to a website to handle next year. Also, what's the deal with these super-shiny helmets nowadays? It's like some seven-year-old girl was gluing glitter to various college teams' helmets.

WIS

If you could be commissioner of any sport, what sport would it be and what would you change first?

r0b0t

I'd be the commissioner of the WNBA, and my first change would be to throw regional rec league tournaments to determine the four best all-amateur men's teams in the country, and I'd let them join the WNBA. It would almost certainly add interest to the league. I'm sure there are a ton of guys out there who think them and their buddies could take professional women's players, so it'd be fun to watch.

WIS

Do you draw on the philosophies of any past or present coaches in our games?

r0b0t

I run my Hardball teams similar to a modern franchise. I guess Moneyball-esque. I'm never very active in the free agent market with my teams; I usually just sign the leftovers when the market subsides. I tend to just overvalue training and the draft, put a lot into my amateur budgets and try to get at least four ML quality players every year out of it. Then I usually just get bored at work one day and actively pursue trade avenues to improve my team. Either trade prospects for a veteran or vice versa.

WIS

What is your greatest WIS moment?

r0b0t

The day the shtick died.

WIS

What is your favorite aspect of our website?

r0b0t

The community aspect of it. Being in leagues with people that I've become familiar with helps me sustain interest. Between the trash talk and the small talk, it's pretty fun.

WIS

With a Forum post to Championship ratio of over 40,000:1, why are you worthy of an interview?

r0b0t

Because I'm fun. And it's not that I have a bad record in any of the games, I do well. And I do know a lot about sports, particularly football. I could talk about it endlessly. I could probably turn this interview into a 5,000 word diatribe on a player transitioning from a spread offense in college to professional football. So you were probably expecting something more insightful than this drivel. My bad.

WIS

How much time a day do you spend on your teams? In the Forums?

r0b0t

I spend time on my teams, I waste time on the forums. There's a difference. Depending on the juncture in the season, I probably check each of my teams for 5-10 minutes after the results for that cycle are in, and then I'll come back to look at them every so often after that. It really depends on the day. The bulk of the time I spend on the forums nowadays involves tabulating the fantasy college football scores, but we've got another 1,000 post day coming up that'll definitely boost my count. Watch out, servers.

WIS

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

r0b0t

There are a lot to mention because I've crossed paths with a lot of decent people, but I guess if I wanted to offend people, I'll just name some people in the Core and a few others: gin, jwelsh, tylermathias, dherz, hugenuge, tracyr, vandydave, tisi, dmurphy, urdanick, jlovicz, bret, rlahann, fregoe, Mrs Murphy, babypop, sergei, cbriese, random other SHoFers´┐Ż Everyone I'm in a league with. Princep, who could have me killed. Jktcat, kbjone, and robusk: Don't kill yourselves. The FCF league. Tinmanpb or patrickm, whichever of you sends me that t-shirt first. Alcheez, acecards, antonsirius, dmang0, breum. Kelby when he's in a good move. People who responded kindly in the Random Correspondence thread. It's easier just to say everyone. I should have stayed succinct.

WIS

What can you tell us that other users would be surprised to know about you?

r0b0t

I kind of want there to be zombies for real. I like zombie movies within the horror genre, and it just seems like it'd be fun, but only if they were the slow-moving kind. Those fast ones would be a hassle. Slow-moving zombies that I could just wail on with a shovel or an aluminum bat would be awesome. As long as I could keep my family alive, I'd be cool with the living dead.

WIS

You say that you know a lot about football. How did you get so smart?

r0b0t

I guess I just read a lot and I pay attention. I have that English degree, so I can read fast and I tend to retain information well. I watch a couple games each weekend and I read all the box scores. I feel as though I could talk football with anyone, and I probably know way more college players than the normal person should.

WIS

Go Rutgers?

r0b0t

Yeah. Of course, I am disappointed. I'm always cautiously optimistic, but even in my most pessimistic projections I would have expected better than this. It seems to be an issue of play-calling and their quarterback. Now maybe Mike Teel isn't the problem, an issue is that they lost most of their offensive line from last year, and their best returning lineman, Anthony Davis has been banged up all season. They aren't getting the protection they're used to having, and Teel hasn't really shown himself to be the most poised during his time. In 2006 they led the nation in fewest sacks allowed. In 2007 they were second. So even though the sacks against them hasn't progressed dramatically, it seems to be more of an issue of rushed passes as a result of newfound pressure. And as the Pro Football Prospectus article highlighted, there isn't really anything better to improve line play than to achieve consistency. So having a new line and already missing starters on it is going to hinder the team's chance at success. But at least they beat UConn.

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