User Interview: Eblitz24

Q&A with noted Gridiron Dynasty user Eblitz24

As part of a new bi-weekly feature, WhatIfSports recently sat down with user eblitz24, inaugural Gridiron Dynasty Division-III national champion, to discuss his team - Monmouth, his strategy, the game and life as whatifsports.com's first king of GD.

WIS

Thanks for taking the time out to meet with us.

eblitz24

It's good to be here; you guys have a great site.

WIS

Who is eblitz24?

eblitz24

I am a 31 year old graduate of the University of Illinois living out my some past dreams in a unique way.

WIS

How did you learn about whatifsports.com and Gridiron Dynasty?

eblitz24

There comes a point in time when all of us realize that we cannot keep up anymore and we have to find a venue, whether it be coaching, or rec leagues or this, to stay in the game. A friend of mine and I heard about the site a couple years ago and immediately started playing in baseball leagues. I drifted away from the site for a little bit until my friend called me back up to tell me about Hoops Dynasty - where I could essentially be 'god' of my own basketball program - and I was hooked. I have had a couple of HD teams with some decent success. Then, when I heard about Gridiron Dynasty, I had to try it. As a former D-IAA wide receiver, I can try to stay active, but this keeps me close to the game.

WIS

Which coaches, past or present, did you draw on for inspiration?

eblitz24

I have the most respect for coaches such as Bill Snyder at Kansas State who can build a program from the ground level and then will stick with the team.

WIS

What drew you to Monmouth?

eblitz24

Actually, I almost missed signing up for World 1. So, by the time I got in, there were only ten or so teams left. I wanted to get a school in Illinois and Monmouth was the best option. Ironically, when my friend signed up, there were only a couple of schools left and one of them was his alma mater.

WIS

After originally looking over your team, what were your expectations going into the season?

eblitz24

I knew that I would be good on defense, but I had no idea how good. My top six defensive lineman were all rated above 600 and I had a couple of decent defensive backs and linebackers. On offense, my quarterback did not appear all that great, yet it appeared as though he had some good wide-outs available and the offensive line was probably around average. After my first scrimmage though, I had no idea what to think because my friend and I played a close game where neither offense did much.

WIS

How did you approach recruiting? Do you think this helped you gain an edge for the season?

eblitz24

The biggest goal for me was addressing defensive backs. I knew that my line would be solid and that, if I could get a qualified freshman starter for my secondary, my defense would be scary. Fortunately, I landed a DB rated 529 who started every game. I also targeted quarterback and offensive line without much success in terms of their ability to contribute for me immediately.

WIS

What style offense/defense did you choose to run?

eblitz24

Usually, in HD, I micro or over-manage my team, tweaking just about everything I can to try and gain an edge. In my first season of GD, I changed that philosophy to the point where I decided to run out of the 5-2 no matter what the formation or situation. Having five senior defensive lineman rated 600+ starting every game and involved on every play gave me an advantage every time I lined up on D. With the offense, I was much more liberal with a balanced attack and hopes that my receivers could make something happen if the quarterback could get them the ball.

WIS

Approximately how much practice time did you devote to schemes and how much did you devote to player improvement (conditioning, tackling, catching/punting, blocking, pass routes, strength/agility and study film)?

eblitz24

This is another area where I tried something vastly different than my usual strategy with HD. Instead of looking too deep into my team and practicing most on my weakest categories, I went with a uniform approach, giving 40 minutes each to my offensive and defensive preparation and 10 minutes in all of the fundamentals.

WIS

What players on your team surprised you and who, if anyone disappointed?

eblitz24

The 529 rated freshman defensive back that I started was even better than I had hoped. My quarterback's numbers far exceeded any preseason predictions. And, my special teams performed well. Really, there were no major disappointments.

WIS

What do you believe was your biggest key to success?

eblitz24

No matter what I did with it, I was pretty fortunate to be given a great team. The defense dominated and the offense was capable.

WIS

What team proved to be your biggest challenge?

eblitz24

Interestingly enough, it was my friend who I have played in countless baseball and HD leagues and who broke into whatifsports with me, who gave me my biggest challenge in our first exhibition game. His defense played well and I do not think that I had a great grasp on the offense at that point. Still, playing a tough opponent early, in an otherwise meaningless game, set me up well for my run.

WIS

Did you seek any help from other users?

eblitz24

I don't spend much time in the forums, but I read a few things in there. For the most part, I consulted with my friend and posted a few times on the standings page for my conference. When I got to the playoffs, I also went to the conference pages of my next opponent to see what is being said about having to play me.

WIS

Since you won the championship, what kind of feedback have you received?

eblitz24

Most of my conference congratulated me, I got a sitemail or two from users I know, and there is this interview, but otherwise it has been pretty quiet.

WIS

What do you think of the proposed changes (games by half, updated recruiting, always run/pass)?

eblitz24

I think they are great. I have never seen another site or many companies that respond to feedback as quickly as you guys do. We all know that there will be some glitches and difficulties, but every time an issue comes up, you fix it immediately.

WIS

Besides winning a championship, what is your favorite part of GD?

eblitz24

Just the idea, in all of these games, of being 'god' of your own program is unlike anything else that I have seen.

WIS

Least favorite? If you could change one thing in GD, what would it be?

eblitz24

Injuries. Gameplay evolved quite a bit and you have corrected any error that pops up. Still, dealing with injuries is so much a part of sports, especially football, and they rarely occur in this game. Outside of the defensive line, I was not particularly deep at any position, but no one got injured and I was able to get through the season unscathed.

WIS

With expectations now high at Monmouth, what's next for the first king of Gridiron Dynasty?

eblitz24

With the graduation of the defensive line and an all-sophomore defensive backfield, Monmouth probably will not be as good next year regardless of who controls it. So, I want to move up and I figure, as champion, I can have my pick. Eastern Illinois would be my top choice at this point, but I am not sure that I'll be able to jump straight to I-AA, so I have applied to a few Division II schools in Illinois. My main goal is to coach at Eastern before moving up to the University of Illinois to build a true dynasty there.

WIS

Thanks again. Good luck and here's hoping that once you get to Illinois, your career looks more like Bill Snyder's than it does Ron Turner's.

Return to Interviews

Gridiron Dynasty

Coach, recruit and run your own college football program.

Every DIA, DIAA, DII & DIII College Awaits


Hoops Dynasty

Coach, recruit, and run your own college basketball program.

Every DI, DII & DIII College Awaits


Hardball Dynasty

Run your own baseball franchise in this in-depth, multi-player baseball game.

Try It at a Discount

What is WhatIfSports?

WhatIfSports.com is a sports simulation and online gaming site providing free content and unique games for the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, NCAA sports and more.

Join WhatIfSports.com today to get these members only benefits:

  • Create your own Dream Team
  • Save your favorite SimMatchup results
  • Play a FREE SimLeague trial season
  • Start playing a Dynasty game
  • Manage baseball games LIVE
  • Access to SiteMail
  • Post in our Forums
  • Build a Buddy list to easily invite friends
  • Use our online Customer Service
  • Earn game credits by using our Referral & Affiliate program

New Terms of Use Customer Support Privacy Statement Advertising Choices

Popular on WhatIfSports site: Baseball Simulation | College Basketball Game | College Football Game | Online Baseball Game | Hockey Simulation | NFL Picks | College Football Picks | Sports Games

© 1999-2014 WhatIfSports.com, Inc. All rights reserved. WhatIfSports is a trademark of WhatIfSports.com, Inc. SimLeague, SimMatchup and iSimNow are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts, Inc. Used under license. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.