I haven't written an article in a while but with all of the great seasons that have come and gone here in the PFL I figured a league success article and kudos to Leonard Barnhart and all of the great commissioners that have served in this league was probably overdue. Every so often you hear the grumblings in the forums from this or that disgruntled owner claiming that online madden isn't what it use to be or guys just don't care anymore. I am hear to tell you that not only is the PFL the best league that has ever graced our presence on the internet but that it's funny how people love to forget the past and find negativity where they can. This league has now been running strong for 27 seasons!!! This league has been virtually running with online madden versions since the year 2001. That's 13 damn years people! Let me remind those of you who like to claim that we aren't at our strongest about the so called, "Good old days".
Back when madden began in 2001 and people were using the 2002 madden version let's see if you remember all of these little inconveniences. The Madden community had 5, 6 or sometimes more leagues running at once. There were tons of young teenagers in the leagues who not only broke every rule in almost every game but got into the forums and flamed other owners so badly that we had to make separate sets of rules and remove owners for doing it. Do I miss those days of guys breaking rules in games and telling me to, "Get over it" when I called them out? Nope. Do I miss coming home from work and as people said getting into an "active" forum which meant reading 20 minutes of messages of which 90 percent were owners bashing each other, crying about an AI flaw or somehow pissing each other off? Nope. Then there were the versions of the game before 2008. Every one of them had flaws that made the ones in 08 pale in comparison. At least with this game we have had 6 years to work out every bug that we can and have the game play very realistic.
How about the good old days when turnover was so common that I remember that I rarely ever played the same divisional opponent twice in the same seasons because they either quit the first time they got beaten soundly or they jumped to a "better" overall rated team the first chance that they got. Do I miss those day? Nope. Do I miss the days of having open teams with no owner whatsoever and having to find subs all of the time because people couldn't play all of the games from all of the leagues that they were in so they only gave priority to the league that they were succeeding in the most to get that or those games played? Nope. Does anyone remember leagues like the CCFL where every single owner knew that the commissioner was cheating and making his own team better but people swallowed their pride and stayed anyway? I do. Does anyone remember back in the day that it was absolutely unheard of to be in a league and not be talking about a restart with new rosters by the 4th season in? I do. Does anyone remember all of that fun forum fighting and the, "This is bullshit, if there is a restart I quit" nonsense that we all had to deal with? I do. Does anyone remember all of the progression that was handed out like cake and candy to convince owners to be active which was what actually ruined the leagues faster than anything. By 3 seasons into a league no new owners wanted to join because there were already at least 4 teams in the league who were rated 99 overall and the team you were expected to take over was rated an 86 overall. To add to the fun, the guys that had the 99 rated teams were the guys like Frob who also loved to run up the score on any new owners that were brought in therefore crushing any desire that they had to stay in the madden community so they quit the league shortly after. I remember back in those days also when at the end of a league week it was common practice that two to three games were being "straight simmed" because of owners not making an effort to get them scheduled or played and no one blinked an eye.
Right now we have 32 mature adult owners, a commissioner who paid out of his own pocket to run the league for many many years before league pulse came along or anyone had the balls to start asking for donations. We have one of the only leagues where the actual owner of the league is so far from corrupt that he has never even won a championship in his own league before. We have a league owner who spent his own money to build better web sites back before league pulse. We have a league owner who spent his own money to have a PFL radio show when no one had even thought of doing such a thing. Now we have a commissioner in place who is doing such an amazing job that we are in like our 7th season with the same rosters without a restart and there is no envisionment of one anytime soon. We have advances that are always on time or early and the term, "That game had to be simmed" is no longer even a recognized term.
I think that if anyone doesn't enjoy the unbelievable compilation of coaching talent that we have here, the maturity of the owners that we have here and the way things are run here you have a short term memory or you haven't been playing madden long enough to remember all of the frustrations of the older days. Now I am not going to lie and say it's all rainbows and unicorns. Do I miss the fact that a new version of the game hasn't come out in 6 years for the PC? Of course I do. Do I wish that we had more owners in the community or that we could draw more interest from people to start playing a 6 year old game? Of course I do. But at the end of the day we are very blessed to have Lenny, Mike Kleinknecht and an amazing group of owners who have been playing this game for a long long time.
I salute the PFL for being hands down the greatest online gaming experience that I have ever had and for creating tons of friendships with guys I may not ever meet in person and for those that I have it proved that we do have some amazing people in this league.