WhatIfSports User Interview: awags From WhatIfSports.com image

User Interview: awags

Q&A with awags

Some have more total championships. Others have more consecutive championships. But only one Gridiron Dynasty player can claim four consecutive championships at four divisions. Awags won titles at Huntingdon, Ashland, Monmouth and Baylor - DIII, DII, DIAA and DIA, respectively - in the Yost world. We interviewed awags to learn more about how he was able to accomplish the feat.

Gridiron Dynasty Overall Records
Username Seasons Record Conf. Champs Ntl. Champs
awags1051,315-254 (83.8%)4620
cgreenemax84940-321 (74.5%)234

Gridiron Dynasty World Records - Active Teams
World Current School Overall Record Conf. Record Conf. Champs Ntl. Champs
LeahySE Oklahoma-Durant135-30 (81.8%)77-15 (83.7%)21
YostPenn State781-146 (84.3%)470-65 (87.9%)2818

WIS: Who is awags?

awags: I am a father, husband, businessman and all-around good guy. Nothing too complicated. I figure out what needs to be done and get it handled. I am also known as cgreenemax to some video gamers and some of the older users of this site.

WIS: How did you find out about WhatIfSports.com?

awags: My wife saw something about a website that would let me recreate the golden years of the Celtics. Coaching Bird, Parish and McHale seemed like a cool thing to do. We had just moved to the Midwest where college football was so much more important than it was back East. Everything exploded from there.

WIS: What are some of your interests and hobbies?

awags: My whole family plays video games. Our family room looks like a college dorm. But, we play together, and that's what's important. Outside of that, I love the Patriots, the Red Sox...actually all New England sports. I grew up in Rhode Island. I suffered through the hard times. The Grogan years. The Buckner years. I deserve the spoils I have grown to enjoy in the last ten years.

Kevin McHale, Robert Parish and Larry Bird How many championships would Kevin McHale, Robert Parish and Larry Bird have won with awags at the helm?

WIS: Which five people, past or present, sit at your dream roundtable discussion?

awags: Well, obviously we start with Tom Brady, Coach Belichick, Carl Yazstremski, Larry Bird and Cam Neely. These are the heroes of Boston sports and I'm sure I could get some great stories out of them.

WIS: Did you play any sports growing up?

awags: Yes. I basically played everything growing up. I was always playing and always competing. I played football, baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer, wrestling, and I was a national champion in Wiffleball!

WIS: Who are your favorite all-time players?

awags: Larry Bird, Carl Yazstremski, Cal Ripken Jr., Tom Brady, Cam Neely, Steve Grogan, Big Papi and Dustin Pedroia.

WIS: Do you have any sports-related items on your bucket list that you have not yet done?

awags: I've been to a few Super Bowls, two college football National Championship games, and many NCAA Basketball National Tournament games. I would like to see a World Cup or Stanley Cup game.

WIS: What is your favorite WIS moment?

awags: My favorite WIS moment happened IRL. I met with a bunch of WIS coaches down in New Orleans a couple of years ago. We hung out at some awesome bars and restaurants and talked shop for a few days. It was great to put faces with the profiles and teams that I knew and had played against for years.

WIS: You joined the Yost world in its first season and in seasons three through six, you won consecutive championships at DIII, DII, DIAA and DIA while compiling a 72-0 record. How were you able to accomplish that feat? Did any circumstances work in your favor to make it possible?

awags: I joined Yost and took on a Huntington team and intended to stay in D3 and compete with other D3 coaches. In the third season, after winning the National Championship, I decided to look at moving up. Ashland was a two-time D2 champion and I applied for the job when it opened up. Because of its championship status, Ashland had a large vision advantage over the other D2 teams. I was able to recruit a great class and win a title there also. After that season in Ashland, the National Championship team in D1AA opened up - Monmouth. I decided to apply, not thinking that I would get it. I got the job, & its team had enough talent to win a National Championship. Once that happened, I knew I had a very good chance of getting an elite D1 job, so I applied at Baylor, because it was in a great recruiting area - Texas, and it had many open scholarships which would allow me to add a lot of talent. I was pretty surprised to win the championship that year, but it allowed me to get the best job in D1 at Penn State.

WIS: After winning the national championship with Baylor, you jumped to Penn State. Was there any temptation to stick with the Bears or was Penn State always the intended destination?

awags: Penn State is the best job in D1. Whenever a new world rolls out, many veterans join up and enroll in D3 and compete in "The Race." It's everybody starting on equal footing and trying to get elite jobs. When I had the opportunity to get the best elite job, I jumped at the chance.

WIS: Your Penn State dynasty has seen its share of ebbs and flows. You've won four championships in the last six seasons, but you've also gone as many as 14 seasons without a title. What has caused the fluctuations?

awags: Some of the fluctuations are caused by time constraints from work and family. Mostly, when the game engine changes, because I only play one or two teams, I'm pretty slow to adjust to it.

WIS: You recently won a DII title at Southeastern Oklahoma State University - Durant in the Leahy world. Do you plan to stick around awhile or work your way up to a higher division?

awags: After winning the title, I was looking at D1AA jobs, and even applied for one. I didn't get the one I applied for, but that may have been a blessing. I stayed in Div 2 and recruited a monster class that should turn into a title or two. I enjoy competing in this conference with several old friends. Three of us from this conference have won a national title recently. Now that's great competition.

WIS: What is your strategy for recruiting?

awags: Recruiting is by far my strongest attribute - and I am fanatical about it. My strategy is to get players that will grow into strong contributors as juniors and seniors. I compile a very large list of players and use tools such as Google Earth and Yatzr to keep track of all the recruits and all of the schools in the surrounding area. I know how much scholarship money, bowl/ playoff money each school has. I know what their needs are and which players will fit their game plan. I choose my battles very carefully, and make sure that I discourage any school from battling me.

David Ortiz Awags celebrated the Red Sox championships right along with Big Papi in 2004, 2007 and 2013.

WIS: What is your strategy for game planning?

awags: That is something I really struggled with in the latest version of the game. So much so that I reached out to an old friend, slid64er. He has always been an innovator in the game and he put together a very successful game plan. I don't do too many adjustments to my game plan during the season. It is usually the same at the end of the season as it was at the beginning.

WIS: When checking game results, do you generally go directly to the Office home page or do you view the play-by-play or WISCast first?

awags: I go directly to the Office home page. I think I'm too impatient to watch the game. After checking the score, I will check the box score and the play-by-play to see how we got there.

WIS: Do you have any favorite players from any of your GD teams?

awags: My current redshirt senior at Penn State - Shawn Proctor - is the best QB I've ever seen. So currently, he's my all-time favorite. He won a national title last season and we have high hopes for this season.

WIS: How much time do you spend on your Gridiron Dynasty teams? How much do you think is necessary to be competitive?

awags: During recruiting, I check my team every cycle, but during the regular season, I pretty much set a game plan and let it go. If you have a good game plan, I don't think you have to spend much time during the season on GD at all. I do check on my players' playing time almost every game and adjust the depth chart when needed.

WIS: If you were to give one piece of advice to a new user, what would it be?

awags: If I gave one piece, then I'd have to give two. First of all, be patient. You cannot learn everything you need to know about the game in a couple seasons. Second, find a friendly veteran coach and ask him specific questions about the game. That's how I learned it.

WIS: What is your favorite aspect of Gridiron Dynasty?

awags: The community. I've met many players IRL. These guys are from different walks of life, but we all share a similar passion. I've gone to football games, bars, restaurants with these guys and friended many of them on Facebook. Many of them are part of my everyday life, just like my other friends.

WIS: Least favorite?

awags: I think the game is under-developed. I don't know that the company uses many resources on the development of this game. Sometimes many tickets go unanswered and developer visits to the forums are very infrequent. This game has so much potential and a very helpful and willing community behind it. I wish that the company would use the knowledge base of the users to help the game grow and progress in a way that benefited all users of the game.

WIS: What is one feature you want to see implemented in a future update?

awags: I would like to see position changes closer to what is was in 1.0. That version allowed the recruiter to be very creative and is more like the situation when an actual college football player arrives on campus.

WIS: Who are the users you respect and/or enjoy the most?

awags: First of all, there were the coaches of Dobie Div. III. Many no longer play the game, but Jasonfreeman and owenj24 have been friends of mine for years.

There's the group that met in New Orleans: acres1972, jas_illini, buffalo_rob, dwhit34, darryljones2, iamthetwo__2, and obtuseangle. We had a great time at our unofficial GD summit.

There are my mentors: nelsonba25, slid64er, bhazlewood, and mele316. Those guys were all instrumental in my GD education.

And there are other guys that I talk to quite often and play games with in the forums (Survivor, etc.): Arfy, mr_mojo, mikesy, polabonez, gator1time, zerfo, dublinuf, and buckicoyote.

There are so many other people that I have had a relationship with in this game, and that is what makes it such a great community.

WIS: If you were in one of our games, what sport would you play, at what position, and what would you be rated?

awags: I would play college football and be a defensive end. I would more than likely be a Sim AI signing at a Div III school that failed to sign a full class.

WIS: We thank awags for sharing with WhatIfSports.com and the Gridiron Dynasty community.

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