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EFL after a year (and some change)


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The EFL One Year Later

 

No fancy formatting, no fancy pictures today. Instead just a general overhaul of my perception of the league after an entire year and a month here. We've had a lot of people come and go throughout the seasons, people like @Jetsqb101 @Alecbama @OnMyWings @cody73 have all since left us from when I first joined back in S17. All of them played integral roles in our community and it was a real shame to see them all go within mere months of each other. We've filled the holes the left with people like @AW13 @Spartan @a_Ferk and @Siddhus, who either took over the GM/AD spot that was vacant or the head of department roles. But with users as important as they were leaving it would be nice to see some sort of tangible recruitment effort. Last time I heard of a recruitment drive was 2 maybe 3 seasons ago, and I don't think I ever saw an influx of recruits. @jhatty8 I know this is your department so I'll let you tell me if I'm wrong.

Right now it feels as if the league is stagnating due to a complete lack of recruitment, we are not getting enough new and fresh faces in to warrant having 12 teams in both the ECFA and EFL. The people we are getting are word of mouth recruits that the ADs find in other leagues such as the SBA and VHL. We can NOT afford to be pilfering recruits from the SBA and VHL as our main source of recruitment. We have tried to get on the social media train but many teams, myself included, do not have the time to manage their team and be the PR agent. @StackTheRacks12 and myself created a podcast that went up on Youtube, Sid and @Lefty_S had/have a podcast that goes up on Spotify if I remember correctly. Yet there is little to no influx of new recruits.

Personally I would like to know how the admins plan on tackling this issue. With @Turner stepping down it's my concern that this issue will continue to get pushed to the wayside. Meanwhile teams like Sacramento and Grand Rapids struggle to even get enough recruits to field a team. There needs to be a change, there needs to be a change soon otherwise we won't have a league much longer. It is natural for people to leave, we need a way to replace those who leave consistently.

 

The recruitment issue also ties into my next thing here, we don't have anyone interested in ADing, When I first joined our AD group was rock solid with users like @LittleRiDog @Playoff Lonzo @HuddleHussy leading the way alongside @TacticalHammer and @Wally who are still here infuriating me to this day because I can't out recruit them nor can I seem to beat them on a consistent basis. Now, we have a seemingly never ending rotation of people in the AD position because we can't get people to stick long term. Nor does it help that the moment we get someone who will likely stick, a GM position opens and either they go up in the case of @denns or experienced members such as the previously mentioned Lefty and Wally go up. I won't cry too much about Wally leaving since it means I might be able to finally beat HCP. Either way though, it's not a good look for the league when we are hiring people who don't even know how the weekly PT's work.

 

This revolving door of ADs and GMs needs to end. We need to find users who are going to stick it through for 6, 7, 8 or more seasons. We need people who are here for the long haul. Not people who are going to be around for 1 or 2 seasons only to get overwhelmed and quit. That last part is more on us, because we should be preparing people for ADing. Not everyone is able to get thrown into a shitshow such as say Lincoln in S20 and then thrive on it. It's a lot of work, and we need to prepare our new ADs for this, meaning lets start getting some Assistant AD's who can work with the experienced users such as Lefty, Wally, Spartan, @StackTheRacks12, Tac and Myself. Hell even @Turts and Ferk are getting up there in time spent as an AD and could possibly handle teaching a new AAD.

 

Now comes the age old debate. NCAA vs ECFA. I understand why we made the move away from branded collegiate teams. Do I really think we would get sued by the schools? Probably not, but I do realize the risk involved with it. But when we made that move there were a number of people who were concerned that the league would lose it's collegiate atmosphere. And for me it indeed has. Now we are just another minor league that's collegiate themed rather than the teams themselves being colleges. Maybe it's because we've lost our role playing player base, maybe it's because that uniqueness to the league died with the transition. In part it might even be the logo's themselves. 

If you think about it, most collegiate logo's have a stylized letter in or as their logo. No one has that here in the ECFA. Our divisions are not even close to sounding like a collegiate setting and even some of the team names don't sound like colleges. Teams like Death Valley, Savage City, Biscayne Bay and even Trenton aren't really Collegiate sounding names. You can make an argument for Trenton, but with New Jersey being such a small state it wouldn't make sense for them to have more than one major college.  All these things inevitably add up and we lose that immersion of college ball that was for so long the life and soul of this league. ECFA ball is still great, but it definitely feels different.

 

Finally, on my list of complaints is our connection to the SBA. Since the introduction of EFLO (Which still uses the SBA logo as a tab icon) we have slowly become the SBA 2.0. Our presentations of games are no longer unique to us as the SBA will do play by plays of big games as well. Our update system is obviously the exact same as theirs. Our recruitment system is the exact same as theirs, as is our minor league system. Only difference between our minor leagues is SBA you get a max of 3 seasons and EFL you have a max of 4. Whoopie. There is about 0 difference in how our leagues are structured. You can put as much fluff as you want on the outside to try and hide it, but the bones are the same.

 

When I first joined, this league had some unique things about it. The NCAA, the presentations were still ours alone at that time. We had an independent portal to update on. We had our own identity. Now thats all gone. When the effort to align our seasons was made so that people could cross claim  their media weeks it was game over. Thankfully we operate on our own schedule now, so we have gained a shred of autonomy.  Personally I'd like to see us move away from doing everything the SBA does and more towards doing our own thing once again.

 

So now that I've bitched a lot, I wan't to tell our users that not everything has been bad. There have been plenty of good times in this league. I remember winning DRotY in my first ever season here playing for the Alabama Crimson Tide. I remember being drafted in the first round by then Winconsin. The decision to name the awards after influential players in the league was something huge that made the award that much more special. On top of that, splitting the DBotY award into both CB and S of the Year awards was an excellent decision.

 

When the league expanded it really gave me hope that this league would prosper for a long time. That S20 draft was ridiculously deep. Pengu Lee @Pengu was a 3rd round draft pick for the LA Reign kinda deep draft. There has been plenty to remember here and I encourage the new users that end up reading this article to stick it through. There is so much this league has to offer, there's just a few things that need to be fixed.

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8 minutes ago, Caboose30 said:

I won't cry too much about Wally leaving since it means I might be able to finally beat HCP.

❤️ come back to AD chat damn it.

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Just now, Wally said:

❤️ come back to AD chat damn it.

Not sure if I ever will. That discord has thoroughly pissed me off between the Real Life channel and constantly getting ganged up on by others whenever I want to try and praise my team. I'll consider it though 

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10 minutes ago, Caboose30 said:

Personally I'd like to see us move away from doing everything the SBA does and more towards doing our own thing once again.

I think the weekly games for the EFL are a nice touch, now if I could just remember to play the damn things lol

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Just now, Wally said:

I think the weekly games for the EFL are a nice touch, now if I could just remember to play the damn things lol

Which reminds me... I need to go get my Fantasy and Predictions done

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4 minutes ago, Caboose30 said:

Not sure if I ever will. That discord has thoroughly pissed me off between the Real Life channel and constantly getting ganged up on by others whenever I want to try and praise my team. I'll consider it though 

I actually went through that phase before... I think the biggest benefit in having Shark is that he immediately can tell when I'm getting or going to get pissed off and shoots me a nice smile-able message :)  It calms me down every time lol  He has saved me from looking like a bigger idiot than I already succeed at haha

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1 minute ago, Wally said:

I actually went through that phase before... I think the biggest benefit in having Shark is that he immediately can tell when I'm getting or going to get pissed off and shoots me a nice smile-able message :)  It calms me down every time lol  He has saved me from looking like a bigger idiot than I already succeed at haha

Haha, that's Flex for me but he can't always be there

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Agree with most of what you said. This is probably a pivotal point in the leagues existence with both relatively frequent turnover and Turner stepping down. I trust the admins but it will be interesting to see how this goes.

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35 minutes ago, Caboose30 said:

It's a lot of work, and we need to prepare our new ADs for this, meaning lets start getting some Assistant AD's who can work with the experienced users such as Lefty, Wally, Spartan, @StackTheRacks12, Tac and Myself. Hell even @Turts and Ferk are getting up there in time spent as an AD and could possibly handle teaching a new AAD.

@firstfray is my AAD and has done an amazing job in his current role. Straight up beast Haha

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39 minutes ago, Caboose30 said:

Last time I heard of a recruitment drive was 2 maybe 3 seasons ago, and I don't think I ever saw an influx of recruits. @jhatty8 I know this is your department so I'll let you tell me if I'm wrong.

There was a push with the Reddit Recruitment this past season but I believe it fell through with the amount of subreddits we had authorization to post on

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I agree with most of the topics upthere Boose. 

 

I would keep ADing but I already have too much on my plate in the two league's I'm in. Altough I named someone who's very capable of emerge himself in it and will do an amazing job and is doing fairly well in getting new users, mouth to mouth, it doesn't matter, as long as they stick.

 

Recruitment is something that's hardly NEEDED and we as a league need to constantly work towards finding ways of making it return to a considerable rate which at the moment, it's not. The Twitter idea is a fun a concept and can be very valuable. The using of #CFB ; #Football ; #NFL when you post something can be a small breach in getting some new faces so then as a league we can retain them. Yes because, our community can retain users. 

 

The reddit policy hurts the whole sim league world who used it to present the league and IMO that's a pretty tough platform to replace even with no matter what we can think of. I don't fault @jhatty8 in anyway because I'm sure he made it everything possible. 

 

I believe in our Staff and I'm fairly sure they can and will find ways of fixing the faults that appear throughout the path of the league.

 

Although getting new users is the key for this to be surviving and we surely have to brainstorm ALL together to find new ways. 


Fingers crossed all goes well.

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44 minutes ago, Caboose30 said:

If you think about it, most collegiate logo's have a stylized letter in or as their logo. No one has that here in the ECFA. Our divisions are not even close to sounding like a collegiate setting and even some of the team names don't sound like colleges. Teams like Death Valley, Savage City, Biscayne Bay and even Trenton aren't really Collegiate sounding names. You can make an argument for Trenton, but with New Jersey being such a small state it wouldn't make sense for them to have more than one major college.  All these things inevitably add up and we lose that immersion of college ball that was for so long the life and soul of this league. ECFA ball is still great, but it definitely feels different.

I can agree on most of these points, mostly on the conference names. I can speak on my personal experience where I always bring the collegiate feel in my movements as the head of the Pirates. Mostly because I recruit as my AD name, not my username. There's certain nuances with us as ADs can improve on that can help build that college environment within the ECFA. 

 

One of those things is obviously how we pitch recruits where in my personal opinion all of us can use some tweaking and refining. 

 

One thing I've thought of possibly doing is something similar to what @Wally did with his academic side of Hades Creek. It's a spot where each of us can show off for new recruits because we can't sell a product that doesn't appear appealing. That's one reason teams like DVR, BB, HCP, LIN, ATH, etc. is ahead of the pack as far as having a foundation to build on. 

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2 minutes ago, StackTheRacks12 said:

I can agree on most of these points, mostly on the conference names. I can speak on my personal experience where I always bring the collegiate feel in my movements as the head of the Pirates. Mostly because I recruit as my AD name, not my username. There's certain nuances with us as ADs can improve on that can help build that college environment within the ECFA. 

 

One of those things is obviously how we pitch recruits where in my personal opinion all of us can use some tweaking and refining. 

 

One thing I've thought of possibly doing is something similar to what @Wally did with his academic side of Hades Creek. It's a spot where each of us can show off for new recruits because we can't sell a product that doesn't appear appealing. That's one reason teams like DVR, BB, HCP, LIN, ATH, etc. is ahead of the pack as far as having a foundation to build on. 

For sure, I've definitely thought about adding an academic side to things for people to enjoy and grow their players storyline. 

As AD's how we pitch is definitely going to grow the immersion, I always start my pitches with the University of Lincoln. I want the players to understand the setting at least they are getting into here. There are definitely things we can do to help it out. 

Personally I would love to see a bowl game for the teams that make the playoffs but lose. I think that would really be cool for the league and also help keep players engaged in what feels like a horrendously long off season despite it only being a week or two.

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Alright I always appreciate these - let's crack into it. 

 

Re: recruitment. Definitely something we're cognizant of. Hatty tried a Reddit recruitment last offseason, but with the NFL season at its busiest, subreddits weren't really keen on letting us post. We figured that would still be the case this offseason, so instead we sent out a mass email to inactive former members - I saw a couple folks come back through that. We plan a big reddit recruitment push next offseason, once the NFL season is over, and we're always open to other ideas. Shark's been great with the EFL twitter account - the idea of adding some IRL hashtags to the tweets isn't a bad one. 

 

2 hours ago, Caboose30 said:

This revolving door of ADs and GMs needs to end. We need to find users who are going to stick it through for 6, 7, 8 or more seasons.

I don't think this is realistic sadly. Having watched 25 seasons of this league, the SBA, and the VHL, it's just the nature of the beast that you're going to cycle through people, especially in AD roles. We're actually far more stable at AD than we were in the S1-S12 era, when 1-2 teams had a functionally inactive AD any given season. I also don't necessarily agree that you want every AD sticking around for 6+ seasons - that makes it far more difficult to get new blood integrated. I also think a recruitment surge will largely solve any AD-related issues, as it will give us a greater pool to draw from. 

 

2 hours ago, Caboose30 said:

The recruitment issue also ties into my next thing here, we don't have anyone interested in ADing, When I first joined our AD group was rock solid with users like @LittleRiDog @Playoff Lonzo @HuddleHussy 

We still have a shortlist of folks who would like to AD - of course it could always be longer. For perspective though - the names you listed here were no sure thing when we made them ADs. You don't know who is going to be rock-solid until you see them in the job for a couple seasons. 

 

2 hours ago, Caboose30 said:

Now we are just another minor league that's collegiate themed rather than the teams themselves being colleges. Maybe it's because we've lost our role playing player base, maybe it's because that uniqueness to the league died with the transition. In part it might even be the logo's themselves. 

I agree with this, and it's too bad that we've lost some of that college flavour. I do think that this is largely up to ADs to promote - for example, I do a yearly article congratulating graduates, tag guys in the LR as freshmen, sophomores, etc. We can always do more though. 

 

2 hours ago, Caboose30 said:

Personally I'd like to see us move away from doing everything the SBA does and more towards doing our own thing once again.

Some examples here would be helpful. I have no problem doing some things differently, but I also don't want to change things just for the sake of being Different. 

 

2 hours ago, Caboose30 said:

t's a lot of work, and we need to prepare our new ADs for this, meaning lets start getting some Assistant AD's who can work with the experienced users such as Lefty, Wally, Spartan, @StackTheRacks12, Tac and Myself.

We are discussing some options here this offseason, including potentially making AAD a paid position. More to come. 

 

1 hour ago, denns said:

The using of #CFB ; #Football ; #NFL when you post something can be a small breach in getting some new faces so then as a league we can retain them.

This I like. Thoughts @Sharkstrong and the Twitter team?

 

I think I hit everything here. Happy to follow up if I missed something. 

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12 minutes ago, TacticalHammer said:
1 hour ago, denns said:

 

This I like. Thoughts @Sharkstrong and the Twitter team?

 

I think I hit everything here. Happy to follow up if I missed something

Tagging @oilmandan, but as the other person that posts on Twitter, we can talk about it.

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2 minutes ago, TacticalHammer said:

Re: recruitment. Definitely something we're cognizant of. Hatty tried a Reddit recruitment last offseason, but with the NFL season at its busiest, subreddits weren't really keen on letting us post. We figured that would still be the case this offseason, so instead we sent out a mass email to inactive former members - I saw a couple folks come back through that. We plan a big reddit recruitment push next offseason, once the NFL season is over, and we're always open to other ideas. Shark's been great with the EFL twitter account - the idea of adding some IRL hashtags to the tweets isn't a bad one. 

Ok that's understandable, all I ask for on this is transparency. It's definitely getting tough to find new blood in general. So anything you guys are doing to combat this I'm all ears to hear. More or less i just want to feel like at least this is being looked into and worked on.

 

4 minutes ago, TacticalHammer said:

I don't think this is realistic sadly. Having watched 25 seasons of this league, the SBA, and the VHL, it's just the nature of the beast that you're going to cycle through people, especially in AD roles. We're actually far more stable at AD than we were in the S1-S12 era, when 1-2 teams had a functionally inactive AD any given season. I also don't necessarily agree that you want every AD sticking around for 6+ seasons - that makes it far more difficult to get new blood integrated. I also think a recruitment surge will largely solve any AD-related issues, as it will give us a greater pool to draw from. 

I definitely understand people will cycle through. However teams do need some level of stability. Savage City had at least 3 or 4 different ADs in the span of 2 seasons. Grand Rapids had borderline IA guys ADing and it just didn't look good for the team or for the league. Our GM's should be the ones that are going to be reliable for 6+ seasons though, ADs I can understand if they stick around for maybe 4ish seasons and call it good. But GM's should at least be the people that you know are going to stick for a long time. It sucks because we have lost so many GM's over the past couple seasons that we're seemingly running thin. I do agree that a solid recruitment drive will help fix this though.

 

8 minutes ago, TacticalHammer said:

I also don't necessarily agree that you want every AD sticking around for 6+ seasons

I assume you and Wally are the exception to this statement 😛

 

9 minutes ago, TacticalHammer said:

We still have a shortlist of folks who would like to AD - of course it could always be longer. For perspective though - the names you listed here were no sure thing when we made them ADs. You don't know who is going to be rock-solid until you see them in the job for a couple seasons.

Might I suggest that we move those people into AAD roles so that they can start getting trained?

 

10 minutes ago, TacticalHammer said:

Some examples here would be helpful. I have no problem doing some things differently, but I also don't want to change things just for the sake of being Different. 

I mentioned adding Bowl games into the mix. That's something that is unique to collegiate football and would definitely help distinguish us from the SBA. We could also remove the media week claims from either end. For example, you can't claim SBA Media week as your EFL Media week and vice versa. 

 

17 minutes ago, TacticalHammer said:

We are discussing some options here this offseason, including potentially making AAD a paid position. More to come. 

Definitely keep us posted here

 

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2 minutes ago, Caboose30 said:

Ok that's understandable, all I ask for on this is transparency. It's definitely getting tough to find new blood in general. So anything you guys are doing to combat this I'm all ears to hear. More or less i just want to feel like at least this is being looked into and worked on.

It was mentioned in the Discord, but we need to do a better job of remembering that not everyone is on Discord (not just you lol). 

 

3 minutes ago, Caboose30 said:

Our GM's should be the ones that are going to be reliable for 6+ seasons though, ADs I can understand if they stick around for maybe 4ish seasons and call it good. But GM's should at least be the people that you know are going to stick for a long time. It sucks because we have lost so many GM's over the past couple seasons that we're seemingly running thin.

I think this was a bit of a "everything happens at once" situation. We went through quite a long stretch (I want to say like S17-22ish) with nearly no movement at GM, so when it came, it came all at once. I know we have one more move coming in the next season or so, but I'm hoping we have some solid stability now otherwise. Real life can always happen of course. 

 

4 minutes ago, Caboose30 said:

Might I suggest that we move those people into AAD roles so that they can start getting trained?

If we do decide to go with this (I think we're leaning strongly that direction) it will be implemented for the coming season!

 

4 minutes ago, Caboose30 said:

I mentioned adding Bowl games into the mix. That's something that is unique to collegiate football and would definitely help distinguish us from the SBA. We could also remove the media week claims from either end. For example, you can't claim SBA Media week as your EFL Media week and vice versa. 

Ah! This was the one thing I forgot to respond to. I love the idea of the bowl games, and assuming that our simmers are willing to take on the extra work, this is definitely something I'll push for. Re: the Media Week thing, I see both sides of that argument - when the decision was made to allow cross-claiming, I was on the losing side of the argument. That being said, I don't see this changing in the near future, but you never know!

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19 minutes ago, Siddhus said:

Tagging @oilmandan, but as the other person that posts on Twitter, we can talk about it.

I think this is a good idea. I think I had added some hashtags like simfootball and simleague but usually my tweets are too long for hashtags. Need to do something as our team and league Twitter activity is pretty small or nonexistent aside from current members 

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10 minutes ago, oilmandan said:

I think this is a good idea. I think I had added some hashtags like simfootball and simleague but usually my tweets are too long for hashtags. Need to do something as our team and league Twitter activity is pretty small or nonexistent aside from current members 

For me personally, I have too much on my plate to try and manage the teams Twitter account. Maybe make it a paid job to cover some teams on Twitter? I'll happily hand over the account to someone who can actually take the time to post.

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5 minutes ago, Caboose30 said:

For me personally, I have too much on my plate to try and manage the teams Twitter account. Maybe make it a paid job to cover some teams on Twitter? I'll happily hand over the account to someone who can actually take the time to post.

I think the way it was going was the EFL “official” Twitter was paid and then the individual teams were just doing it on their own. It’s not a mandatory thing by any means. Just a fun thing to add more personality to teams 

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1 minute ago, oilmandan said:

I think the way it was going was the EFL “official” Twitter was paid and then the individual teams were just doing it on their own. It’s not a mandatory thing by any means. Just a fun thing to add more personality to teams 

Ah ok, it would be cool to see teams get that kinda like the beat writers. but totally get it if its not logistically possible

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5 minutes ago, Caboose30 said:

Ah ok, it would be cool to see teams get that kinda like the beat writers. but totally get it if its not logistically possible

The beat writers hasn’t been super successful so far. The league is spread thin with getting users to consistently do the current jobs without adding more. Also throwing out a tweet or two doesn’t take much effort. So not sure it would warrant being a paying job

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