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Yesterday, we set the rules for our team of small but feisty but also deeply underpaid NCAA football athletes who all happen to be Jeff Larentowicz.
We explained our reasoning for each attribute in detail and demanded commitment to a strict ball-control, triple-option offense from our players who all readily agreed and gave brief powerpoints on sacrificing big stats for the good of the team.
And then we turned on some podcasts and an Angel Olsen record and then a few more records and went through the L E N G T H Y process of making over 50 different Jeff Larentowiczes in NCAA 12. You can’t just copy stats or anything like that, you have to go in and make every single dang Jeff Larentowicz. Every one. This is the kind of undertaking that can only happen when the creator in question has no more finals and, very relatedly to the task at hand, no relationship.
Like the first edition of this series, creating the players had a meditative aspect to it. I became very in tune with what attributes needed to go where and after a while it almost felt therapeutic to repeatedly scroll down and slide the attributes left OR right. And then other times it felt like a colossal pain in the ass. Because it was. And there was that one time the ENTIRE GOT DANG GAME FROZE. AND I HAD TO REDO THE ENTIRE DEFENSE. BECAUSE GOD DOESN’T EXIST. THIS TOOK HOURS.
Let’s meet the Jeffs.
QB: Jeff Larentowicz
I guess you technically don’t have to be “remotely mobile in any way” to be good at being a quarterback. The problem here is mostly that we’re running the triple-option. So. Mobility helps. There’s a few good things here though. The first is that like all our Jeffs, the ability to keep his legs moving and break a couple of tackles and gain a couple of extra yards after contact is real. It will be huge for our ball-control oriented attack. The second is, sure he can’t throw the ball 35 yards (65 throw power), but when he does throw, it’s going to be accurate (95 accuracy). The five passes each game are going to be on target.
RB: Jeff Larentowicz
I guess you technically don’t to be “remotely mobile in any way” to be good at being a... [checking]...running back? Oooooooooo k then. The Jeffs 40 time is like 5.3 here. This game is really valuing that ability to break a couple of tackles I guess. And the lack of fumbles? I dunno man, I’m skeptical.
FB: Jeff Larentowicz
Yeah, that plays.
WR: Jeff Larentowicz
Ok, here we go. This is where the lack of speed really comes in. There’s only so many things breathtakingly crisp route running can’t bring you. This is by far our worst Jeff position group. Which is amazing considering he’s also a 175 lb. offensive lineman?
Fortunately, we’re not going to need blazing speed for our triple-option. Just solid positioning on blocks. We’re golden.
TE: Jeff Larentowicz
Uhhh. 175 lbs. But hey. He’s not gonna drop the ball? Look so maybe I overpowered a few attributes (especially blocking, which probably involves more than proper footwork) in the name of “a bit,” but look are you here for realistic football or escapism?
Offensive Tackle: Jeff Larentowicz
See. It’s not that bad. Well I mean the blocking is probably bad. But we’re boredering on realism here. Kind of. Look 90% of blocking is being in the way and these Jeffs will definitely be killing themselves to be as in the way as possible.
The brilliance of a triple-option blocking scheme is that you don’t need 350 lb. maulers to get the job done. Paul Johnson would have killed for an offensive line of Jeffs.
Offensive Guard: Jeff Larentowicz
C: Jeff Larentowicz
Don’t need to be quite as big at center. There’s probably a few 175 lb. centers out there. (At a small private high school in rural Georgia.)
DE: Jeff Larentowicz
A pretty common thing we’ll see on the defense is everyone...actually being pretty good. The game is banking on Jeff’s ability to recognize plays and take optimal angles to the ball (he went to Brown) counteracting all the physical limitations…
Hey this sounds pretty familiar actually.
Despite the whole 35-year-old in an 18-year-old’s body thing. That part is still weird and a bit unclear.
DT: Jeff Larentowicz
This is the defensive position where being the size of a soccer blogger is probably going to come into play more than the game wants to admit. But hey, at least he’ll know where the play is going. Will he be able to get there? Probably not, genetic monsters will be throwing him across the field. But hey, he’ll definitely recognize the play quickly.
OLB: Jeff Larentowicz
Holy smokes. Ok. The front seven doesn’t look too bad here. And play recognition *is* important.
I should note that I bumped up his tackling pretty high. It’s at 80 out of 100 possible attribute points. Remember that you’re here for escapism. This is all about his ability to make a tackle on the soccer field and his presumed, totally made-up ability to wrap up with perfect form. DEFENSE IS ABOUT GANG TACKLING.
MLB: Jeff Larentowicz
It’s always been said that the middle linebacker is the quarterback of the defense. It’s not coincidence quarterback Jeff and middle linebacker Jeff have the same overall imo.
CB: Jeff Larentowicz
Maybe he’s not the fastest. Maybe this is like asking real-life Jeff to man-mark Alphonso Davies with no one behind him for the entire game. But uh...I don’t know.
Honestly, the secondary as a whole is the most interesting part of this. Will technique be able to make up for a serious difference in physical ability?
I think it’s clear that to make up for the lack of speed you’re going to have rely on a consistent zone defense to even hope to not get torched for like 400 yards passing against Miami (Ohio). Will the AI be smart enough to run cover 3 the entire game? Will the other AI be smart enough to exploit the least athletic kid on the playground?
Probably not on both counts, this game is stupid dumb.
Safety: Jeff Larentowicz
Everything I said about linebackers and cornerbacks applies here too.
P: Jeff Larentowicz
K: Jeff Larentowicz
Jeff could start on the Falcons tomorrow. I dare you to @ me.
Fair enough. The Fightin’ Jeffs were never gonna light up the scoreboard. That’s not the point of football anyway. Yes, I am a Georgia fan, why do you ask?
Aww yeah. This makes us probably the best defense in the MAC. Barring the whole “not being able to outrun a middle schooler” thing, this unit should actually be pretty darn good. This feels very on-brand.
Steady. Tasteful. The perfect Larentowicz grade.
I think now is as good a time as ever to remind y’all that everyone here is a freshman. We’re doing all four years of eligibility over this series so there’s some real growth potential. Gotta feel pretty confident about all this. Real quick though, I’m gonna go ahead and play a quick game as the Larentowiczes and…..
THE FIRST DRIVE IN FIGHTIN LARENTOWICZ HISTORY IS INTENSELY, PROFOUNDLY BEAUTIFUL.
Playing seven-minute long quarters, the Jeffs do this:
17 plays. 77 yards. A field goal from the one-yard line. And. My opus.
TEN MINUTES AND EIGHTEEN SECONDS OF POSSESSION.
WE MADE IT THROUGH A QUARTER AND A HALF OF GAMEPLAY.
I swear on Josef’s ACL that I played this as legitimately as possible. This was not intentional, this was an act of a higher power.
This also excellent news for fans of the Fightin’ Larentowiczes. Sure it was nearly impossible to move the ball because every single player runs like they have a refrigerator attached to their back, but dang it this is proof of concept. You just need to move the ball a little at a time. Heck there’s only three minutes left in the half now, all the defense needs to do is get a stop and Oregon won’t even get the ball ba—
So yeah, that thing about the defense being too slow to be competent...very, very, very real. The Jeffs get torched. They just can’t keep up. You can tell they’re trying like, really hard, but it’s just not a fair fight. Oregon is clearly going to do whatever they want on offense, and the Jeffs playing catch up goes.....poorly. Passing the ball to players in jail cell sized windows with a
Jake Fromm quarterback who can’t throw the ball more than 30 MPH is highly problematic. And there’s a distinct lack of explosiveness in the run game.
There is one benefit to the physical mismatch though.
See that penalty stat? The Jeffs are so slow that the AI has no idea how to handle it. Oregon consistently runs too fast into the backs of the Temple defense. The three block in the back calls are keeping the Jeffs in the game.
At halftime there are earthshaking speeches. Calls to glory the likes the world has never known. A commitment to brotherhood. To honor. To demanding the best of each other for the sake of the bond.
Well. You know. You win some you lose some.
Part III tomorrow...
Annnnyyyyway, donate to Fugees Family here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/dss-drive-for-the-fugees