WhatIfSports.com is proud to feature jeremylewosu, nominated by the Gridiron Dynasty community, in our latest User Interview. Jeremylewosu makes time for his GD team between - and sometimes during - his deployments as a member of the United States Army. Jeremylewosu generously fielded a few questions regarding his role in the military and the challenge of maintaining his team when duty calls.
jeremylewosu Gridiron Dynasty Overall Records
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jeremylewosu: First let me say that I am honored to be selected for an interview. There are so many fantastic coaches who play this game and are much more worthy of this honor. Thank you for giving me this moment and it really is a reflection of those that I have learned from and played this game alongside.
WIS: Who is jeremylewosu?
jeremylewosu: I am a husband, father, brother, son and a Soldier. I have been married for almost 11 years and we have four children. I am a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army and currently serve as a Battalion Commander. I have served for slightly more than 16 years.
WIS: How did you find out about WhatIfSports.com?
jeremylewosu: I was going to graduate school and came across an advertisement as part of a fantasy football league.
WIS: Which of our games have you played? Which do you prefer?
jeremylewosu: I have only played Gridiron Dynasty. Of all sports, football is my favorite and therefore, I have enjoyed playing GD. If I had more time, I might venture out into another sport, but I really do not have the time available.
WIS: What are some of your other interests and hobbies?
jeremylewosu: My main interest is making lasting memories with my family. Being gone quite often, I really try to maximize the time spent with my family. If we have free time, we are heading out somewhere, either for a short day trip or an extended trip to visit family or friends.
WIS: Which five people, past or present, sit at your dream roundtable discussion?
jeremylewosu: I would say Abraham Lincoln, Harry Truman, Black Jack Pershing, Dwight Eisenhower, and George Marshall. All of these men were faced with a tremendous complex challenge. They held to their values and the idea of what America is. Through this they stood-fast, faced adversity and never gave up. They sacrificed a significant part of their lives and faced harsh scrutiny to secure the United States of America.
WIS: Did you play any sports growing up?
jeremylewosu: I did, as mentioned above I am a brother. I have five brothers. So everything was a sport. As for organized sports, I played summer league baseball, junior high and high school athletics which included football, wrestling and track. There were plenty of unorganized baseball, softball, basketball, fighting, and pick up football games.
WIS: Who are your favorite all-time players?
WIS: Do you have any sports-related items on your bucket list that you have not yet done?
jeremylewosu: I would love to see the Ohio State Buckeyes play in the National Championship Game. Other big ones include the Super Bowl, World Series and I really need to see an Ohio State vs. Michigan game in Ohio Stadium (I had tickets this year but had to pass them on due to my duties).
WIS: What is your favorite WIS moment?
jeremylewosu: Winning my first National Championship, granted it was DIII and I think everyone was on Christmas break but it was nice to get my one and only under my belt. I think there was a glitch in the system.
WIS: What branch of the military are you in and what role do you serve?
jeremylewosu: I am in the United States Army, I am a logistics officer and command a support battalion.
WIS: Where have you been stationed and deployed?
jeremylewosu: I have deployed to Bosnia in 1997 as a Platoon Leader with the 1st Infantry Division. This was a great way to start an Army career. I gained a wealth of experience. I later deployed to Kuwait and then into Iraq in 2003 as a Company Commander with the 3rd Infantry Division. This was part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the initial ground war, this was an incredible and humbling experience. Then in 2005, I was asked to deploy again to Iraq to train and advise Iraqi forces. In this role I was a Special Police Transition Team Executive Officer. We were part of B Company, 3-187 IN Rakkasan's in Samarra, Iraq. My next deployment, I was part of the United States Forces – Afghanistan where I served as a planner and was part of the planning team for the expansion of U.S. Forces into Afghanistan. My most recent deployment, I served as a battalion operations and executive officer of a support battalion in Afghanistan where we worked with local Afghan government officials and the military on transition. I have been stationed in Germany, Georgia, Ohio, Kansas, Virginia and Colorado. This is all part of serving our nation.
WIS: Are you able to maintain your GD team while deployed?
jeremylewosu: Sometimes and sometimes not, in some cases I stopped playing, others I have had help and a couple I was able to use my free time. Most of the time I give up my team, there is typically too much work to do and my free time is contacting my family or trying to stay physically fit. On some occasions my league mates step up and help me out. It really depends on the longevity that I am gone. The main reason I play is for the camaraderie with those in my conference. They are the ones that have taught me the game, continually keep it interesting and support me when I am gone. It is great to win and see the rebuilding of a team, but it really comes down to the discussion we have in our conference. The great part is many of those players are in my conference now, swooft01, bullfrog333, champ83, and bhouska. But through the years there have been quite a few other players that helped or encouraged me, like jmason, specialk, lyonzfan37, badaxe and so forth. I am amazed at the help people offer. Looking at the time and effort bhazlewood, yatzr, dukelegend, and the like put into make this a fun experience in a very professional way is amazing.
WIS: In 17 seasons at Montclair State, you built a team from the ground up to a consistent playoff contender. Now you are in the process of another rebuild at DII Harding. Do you prefer the challenge of building a program versus taking over one that's already built to win?
jeremylewosu: I love building a team from scratch. It takes some time and it is about the loyalty and dedication. The main reason though is it comes down to my conference mates. For both of those teams, I had and have great conference mates. If they all voted to move up or down then I would go with them.
WIS: You took some seasons off between coaching at Montclair State and Harding. What brought you back to Gridiron Dynasty?
jeremylewosu: I thought I would come back and see what was going on, and it just so happened that quite a few other coaches did also. When I realized we could get the band back together, I was all in.
WIS: Do you have any favorite players from any of your GD teams?
jeremylewosu: I really don't, I have not really had any super standouts….each season I check the multiple list of preseason/postseason all American lists. I really never have any. I never have the vision like Swooft's teams :).
WIS: How much time do you spend on your Gridiron Dynasty team? How much do you think is necessary to be competitive?
jeremylewosu: It really depends. Right now my job doesn't allow much time, but I can still remain competitive if I keep up with the recruiting. I might be able to sneak in some extra time over the holidays.
WIS: If you were to give one piece of advice to a new user, what would it be?
jeremylewosu: Find veteran coaches to teach you the game. They are out there and willing to dedicate their time to show you the keys to building a solid team. Again, this game is really about people and there are so many coaches willing to help someone out. I would not have won a fraction of the games if it were not for Bullfrog, Champ, Swooft and so many others.
WIS: What is your favorite aspect of Gridiron Dynasty?
jeremylewosu: Again, it is the camaraderie in the conference. Without it, the game would be a bunch of 1's and 0's. But reading the trash talk and humor makes a big difference.
WIS: Least favorite?
jeremylewosu: Those who get really worked up and start targeting other people, in the end this is a game. Not at all worth anything less than fun and professional.
WIS: What is one feature you want to see implemented in a future update?
jeremylewosu: Safety, we really need to increase safety when it comes to our athletes and coaches.
WIS: Who are the users you respect and/or enjoy the most?
jeremylewosu: I have mentioned this already, but my main mentors who taught me the game and helped support my team while I was deployed or training are Bullfrog333, Champ83 and Swoof01. Others that are no longer in the game or I have enjoyed playing with are Bhouska, Specialk, Jmason, Lyonzfan, and Badaxe. All these coaches at one time or another offered me help or just smacked me down in good fun on the message boards.
WIS: If you were in one of our games, what sport would you play, at what position, and what would you be rated?
jeremylewosu: In reality, I would be in the stands at the GD DI National Championship game, but if WIS could up my skills….I would love to be a hard-nosed Linebacker that could stop the run, lead the league in sacks and pick off any pass across the middle. So really I am asking to be 90s across the board (except blocking, no real need for that…..unless…)
WIS: A heartfelt thanks from everyone at WhatIfSports.com for your service in protecting our country. Thanks also for taking the time out of your busy schedule to share with the Gridiron Dynasty community.