Simulation junkie

I’ve recently retired from one of my “hobbies” – my basketball GM simulation league. The idea is that you take the reigns of one of the NBA’s 29 teams, leading them either to a championship or to the draft lottery, and keep control until you give up or retire. So, citing the need to be outside more during this wonderful summer, I gave up control of my Pacers team this season after winning the Retro ABCA Championship.

Now I want it back.

Help, I’m a simulation junkie.

It started back in April or so of last year. My friend John, from St. Cloud, had started an online simulation league based on a program called Fast Break Basketball. In these simulations, you control nearly every aspect of your basketball team. You trade with other GM’s, set your starting lineups and game plan, re-sign players and draft rookies, and trash talk the other GM’s on the message boards.

So when I caught up with John online and he told me about an opening with the Pistons (in his league, the ABCA, which was in the 2005 year) I jumped at the chance. From then I was hooked.

I put together a hell of a team, leading the Pistons from the cellar in 2005 to the championship in 2008. I was voted GM of the Year two seasons in a row by my peers, and I was writing weekly power rankings and press releases for various year-end awards. I was obsessed.

John chose to fold the original ABCA to start the Retro ABCA, a league that would start in 1989 with retro rosters. This gave me a chance to start over as the team I had always wanted – my Indiana Pacers. I led them to the championship that first year (1989) and then made at least the Eastern Conference Finals for the next three years (1990-1992) before winning my second (and third overall) championship in 1993.

Then I retired.

Now, when I look at an NBA player – a real, life-filled NBA player – I imagine how he would fit in with my game plan. I visualize the make-over of various under producing teams. I’ve always bought sports video games not for their game play but for their ability to realistically compound stats and simulate seasons. I’m a complete dork for running imaginary sports teams.

Now, I don’t have it anymore. I’ve given it up. I don’t know why anymore – I’ve actually spent just as much time on the message boards as I did when I had a team. It’s pretty sick.

I need help.

Of course, I’ll be back. I’ve already told John that in a few seasons, I’ll come crawling back to take over some horrible team and bring greatness, or bring back greatness, to the franchise.

Why? I’m a sports-simulation junkie. I can’t go long without it.

I’ll always need my fix.

This was lovingly handwritten on June 17th, 2005