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Old 05-21-2019, 12:09 AM   #1
Wudu44
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Exclamation Football sim modding tool: Release party

Dear god, what have you done?

I made a thing! It's a spreadsheet modders can use to make mods much, much easier. The spreadsheet itself contains nearly every player who has played in the NFL, CFL, AAF, XFL, USFL, UFL, WLAF and it’s successor, NFL Europe from the years 1983-2018. Each player has their name, birthday, college, position, draft year, and other vitals necessary for that players inclusion in pretty much any football management sim draft file. And there are currently 21,471 players recorded, with a few hundred more incomplete records I’ve stashed for later addition. Will you find *every* player who suited up for every team? Alas, no. Some records of players who only were on rosters a few games were hopelessly incomplete. Will you find that assistant principal from your high school who had a cup of coffee with the Raleigh-Durham Skyhawks in the 1990s? I did.

Why did you do this?

I’ve been playing these games for 20+ years now (longer if you count roster fiddling in Madden and Tecmo) and I love doing the historical play throughs. The only problem is that I have niggling issues with the historical rosters that have been made. Most are great, but I don’t know how many times I’ve had to use draft files from two different modders and had a player appear twice (once when they went were drafted, again when they first started playing in the league) or had a fringe player I like left out or just had wild swings of player ratings from one author to the next. The logical solution was to make my own mod, but since I’m a damn idiot, I insisted on having ALL the data I could before even starting. I actually started this process because I like playing through the 1980s, and the two players strikes and USFL make the draft years ****ing goofy. It needed to be sorted.

Additionally, there are sim games out there that allow for more than 32 teams. Drafts in those leagues will need more players or else they will end up with fiction players with randomized names, like QB D’Brickashaw Polamalu from Shippensburg or something. And if Mr. Gindin is getting in bed with the Out of the Park Baseball team, we’ve got to up our game in the minutiae department. We need Japanese players, STAT.

What does it...do?

It provides a base for once and future modders of Front Office Football games past and future. As well as other games that might offer a historical draft option, like Draft Day Sports or even the Football Mogul series, if that’s your bag. The data included is parsed into as many editable useful bits as I could to make it useful for as many formats as possible. So instead of you having to hunt down and type out the names, positions and colleges of every player you want in your mod, I’ve done it for you in a format that should be pretty future proof. All you need to do is cut and paste.

What doesn’t it do?

Player skill ratings. That’ll be version 2, or maybe some other intrepid modder will beat me to it. This is where I figure people will want to do their own thing. Some players like it when you have a lot of maxed out HOF-level players with high injury rating, some like more nuanced rosters that require constant tinkering, and I’m sure some will turn the X Factor too 100% and have Kerwin Bell win multiple League MVP awards.

Ok, so what’s in the box?

First name: I’ve tried to keep most everyone as their functional given first name. So Boomer Esiason is in there as Norman. Also, people named James who go by J.T. or the like will be James, but people who go by Chucky won’t be Charles. I’ve tried to make the distinction between nickname and diminutive, but it’s a blurry line. Also I’ve probably been wildly inconsistent in my application.

Last name: Pretty straight forward, though it is worth noting that some players changed their names mid-career. Maurice Jones-Drew was just Maurice Drew when he was drafted, but soon after added Jones to honor the Grandfather who raised him. Though because the bulk of his career was “Jones-Drew” I’ve kept him as that and hopefully followed suit with any other players with multiple last names.

Nick name: I kind of fell in love with the nickname feature in FOF, so I’ve noted many nicknames for players that aren’t based on where they played or any specific happenstance that occured way after they were drafted. IE, Sage Rosenfels doesn’t have his awesome nickname Rosencopter, since that was based on a specific play of his professional career. I felt like that would make as much sense as nicknaming Willie Brown “Old Man Willie” as a 23 year old rookie. I did, however, make some exceptions for nicknames acquired later in the career but that still made sense, like Jerome “The Bus” Bettis.

Full name: Typed out as their commonly known name for ease of searchability. IE, “Esiason, Norman” is here as Boomer Esiason.

Jersey number: Honestly I added this one about ¾ of the way through the process, so I just did a quick Vlookup that gives you one of any number of jersey numbers that player has used in their professional career. If it’s not the number they are most known for, sorry, no refunds. Most draft files don’t use this data anyway.

Draft year: This is represented as the first year the player was eligible to be drafted into the NFL. This may result in players appearing (and performing well) long before they showed up in the NFL in real life. James Harrison, for instance, will show up in the 2002 draft, and likely be taken very high in the draft instead of bouncing around the NFC North for five seasons before earning a starting spot. This mostly affected fringe players in other leagues, however, as there seemed to be a trend of guys going undrafted, then either sitting around a year or being on a practice squad somewhere before playing in the CFL or AAF or what have you.

Games Played: Also added later in the process. This is just a reference I added to give context to how many professional games a player may have played across all leagues for when I (or someone else) adds ratings. This might be useful in differentiating XFL scrubs who played one game from CFL hall of famers you may not have heard of.

Draft round, pick & team: For reference. There are only 39 draft picks from 1983-2018 that I was not able to find information on yet, most of whom are later picks from the early 80s (when drafts were 10-12 rounds) that didn’t play a down.

Positions 1 & 2: I started the process with the intention of forcing everyone into one of the specific but not too specific position designations from FOF, since that seemed a happy medium between calling everyone just “LB” and going gnats ass and finding out who played strongside LB and who played mike LB. But part of the way through the process I decided this did a disservice to true multi tool talents like Kordell Stewart and guys who were forced to change position in the pros, like Denard Robinson. I added that Pos 2 for two reasons, really: 1. In case a future game has the ability to designate multiple positions for a draftee and 2. For leagues with way more than 32 teams, there might be room for a player like Shoelace to stay as a QB.

Height & Weight: As accurate as I could find from my source.

Birthdays: As accurate as I could find from my many sources, special thanks to Rotoworld, Facebook and the spooky-ass Mylife.com website. Protect your data people, or you might end up in a video game or a spreadsheet somewhere.

Colleges: As indicated, these colleges are the universities that players were drafted from. Since I have yet to see a game accept a player with two colleges like Russell Wilson or Troy Aikman, I defaulted to the final college a player attended before going pro. Problematic here are the Canadian players, many of whom played for Canadian Juniors teams that were not affiliated with Universities. Those players will have to be satisfied with the “No College” designation. I’ve included this data as a standardized text with the modern name of the University (So most of the Cal State schools like Chico State or Fullerton might sound a bit off on the older players) and also as the FOF8 numerical value. Alas, a great many of these smaller colleges are not included in that data set (especially Canada), so you’re going to see a lot of “250 - Small College.”

Hometown: This is where things get a little wild west. After all, if someone asked you where your hometown was, what would you tell them? Where you were born? Where you grew up? Where you graduated high school? Since I didn’t have *each* of those data points on each player, I tried to default to where players were born. Unfortunately, many college websites (where I could get data on a good many players) only listed what high school where they played, which isn’t necessarily the town where the player may have lived. Best I can say about this category is that the player probably has been in or near this town at some point in their lives and that including this slightly fudged data won’t likely mess up any game you use it for. I’ve also parsed this data in a few ways. First is the text with just “City, State” or “City, Country” for games that might take one text string. I’ve also split that data out into City, State and Country columns in case some smart young game might want to have that data input separately in a CSV or the like. And finally I’ve included the FOF8 city code. Since some of these cities aren’t in that database, these have been fudged a little. But who doesn’t love fudge?

Sooo...what else is wrong with it?

Well, this data is only as accurate as my sources, which include Pro Football Reference, Pro Football Archives, The Stats Crew, NFL.Com, Wikipedia, Rotoworld, MyLife.com, a bunch of other websites I can’t remember and even a few data gleaned from Facebook. There’s likely typos. I tried as hard as I could to remove any duplicate players, but with guys out there going by nicknames or abbreviations or diminutives and changing their last names and positions, it was a struggle to eliminate them all. Could be some of the Clone Menace among us so if you see something, say something.

Ok, so I’ve downloaded this and am immediately overwhelmed. What do?

Well, if you’ve always wanted to do your own mod, now’s the time. Pick your game of choice and look at the mods that are already out there. Play with the data, you can’t break it. See what happens Think about what those mods and even the base game did well and what they perhaps didn’t do well and fill in those gaps. Or just waste your time building something that will be fun for you and don’t even think about releasing it to the savage public until you’re done with it. You’re also free to do whatever you want with this data file; post it, send it, grip it, rip it, and watch it go. Just don’t sell it. Don’t be that guy. It’s just data.

So what will you do now?

I finally rest and watch the sun rise on a grateful universe. Or perhaps I’ll finish the 2019 draft prospects. It’s still too early for much of that data to be readily available and maybe 20% of the prospects I want to include are missing a birthday or hometown. Then maybe I’ll add the rest of the Arena League, once I get a good source on that. Or maybe you’ll all bombard me with boneheaded mistakes I’ve made and I’ll rush to correct them? The future is an empty canvas.

Ok, I'm sold. Where do I get it?

Click the following link:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...ub?output=xlsx

Or this link:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...gid=1025730600

Last edited by Wudu44; 05-22-2019 at 12:26 AM.
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:47 PM   #2
ajaxok123
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The download link doesn't appear to be working, just gives me an error

Last edited by ajaxok123; 05-21-2019 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 05-21-2019, 08:16 PM   #3
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Great build up.....link doesn't work
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Old 05-21-2019, 09:31 PM   #4
Wudu44
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Well, that's annoying. Try this link directly to the sheet.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...gid=1025730600
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Old 05-22-2019, 01:59 AM   #5
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New link worked, thanks
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Old 05-28-2019, 09:00 AM   #6
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It's missing Walter Payton
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Old 05-28-2019, 12:18 PM   #7
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Payton was drafted in 1975. This list only goes back to 1983.
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Old 05-29-2019, 08:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wudu44 View Post
Payton was drafted in 1975. This list only goes back to 1983.
Future versions?
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Old 05-29-2019, 11:54 PM   #9
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Tough putt. A lot of data on fringe NFLers are harder to find the older you go, and CFL, WFL and all the other minor leagues are worse. Plus, my personal real time pro football knowledge doesn't go further back than the 80s. Right now I'm working on the ratings of the players from 1983-2019, and that will take me another month or so. After that who knows.
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Old 05-30-2019, 08:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wudu44 View Post
Tough putt. A lot of data on fringe NFLers are harder to find the older you go, and CFL, WFL and all the other minor leagues are worse. Plus, my personal real time pro football knowledge doesn't go further back than the 80s. Right now I'm working on the ratings of the players from 1983-2019, and that will take me another month or so. After that who knows.
Fair enough.
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