Happy New Year!
Good morning everyone – I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Years. 2018 was a great year for me (and League Crawler) and for many of you as well. Since I started League Crawler over 5 years ago, I’ve seen the number and quality of leagues get stronger and stronger despite the love that franchise modes tend to get with every installment. If you follow @leaguecrawler on Twitter, you may notice how from time to time I’ll tweet to EA how CFM for example needs to step their game up to match the quality and intensity of the people that play their game. Every podcast, playoff bracket, stats profile graphic, website, YouTube and/or Twitch broadcast you do is only more evidence that Franchise mode in games is not dead and indeed the contrary. Hopefully the trend will continue and the games we play will continue to take notice and focus more resources in the Franchise direction and give players more of what they want.
But enough of that! My commentary above is driven by the fact that the commmunity is out there doing awesome things, providing great content and immersive experiences for their members that go way beyond the game and this post is to recognize those efforts. Before I get into the winners though, here’s how this worked this year. I took the top 10/20 leagues based on activity on this site and put them into the Origianl User Survey that allowed Write-Ins. That was going smoothly until someone decided to screw with it and run a bot on it. At this time, I cannot confirm who it was but I will say, if I ever find out, I will ban that person and the league they are affiliated with from League Crawler entirely unless the league commish comes forward and tells me first. That said, I don’t jump to conclusions and just took the voting to Survey Monkey (which cost me $37 grrrr…). So from there I took all the unique values from the original survey and made them multiple choice with an “N/A” for all sections. The results are below. As I said in my first announcement, I reserved 25% for myself to vote in each category and what I did was take 25% of all the “N/A” votes in each category. That means, in some cases I may have swung the vote some or a lot, but you’ll see how it played out below. One final thing to note – charts reflect user voting only, my votes are on top of the totals in the charts.
2018 League Crawler MVP
WINNER – Shawn Soden (Soden Bowl)
As you may remember from last year, I gave out what I consider to be the most coveted and valuable award out to Matt Iarinelli from Synergy because of how much he has done for League Crawler. I specifically created this league to honor his efforts for championing this site and you know maybe half of our users are due to word of mouth from him. Big thanks for all he does and continues to do. This year though, I wanted to show some appreciation for someone that has quickly become a major supporter of this site, Shawn Soden from Soden Bowl. Folks – this guy is the real deal. To be honest, I think LC needs Shawn WAY more than he needs us. Shawn is the commish of Soden Bowl on XBOX1, a league that has been around since 2009. 2009! For you commissioners out there, you know that running a league is an unforgiving and usually thankless job. You do it because you have pride in what you do and love your members and take pride in providing a great experience. Shawn has been doing that for 10 YEARS! In addition to that, Shawn found out about League Crawler about mid-way through the year and quickly jumped on board with great advice and is the only person to jump on the Patreon bandwagon to financially support the site at $20 per month. FOR THE RECORD – no one purchases awards here. If so, I’d be beholden to many of you as so many have given money over time. Click here to see the list. On top of his financial contributions, Shawn has helped me with some ideas for the site both now and in the future and has been a great sounding board for things to come. Shawn – thanks you for all you do!
2018 Non-Madden League of the Year
WINNER – All American Classic (NBA 2K)
AAC Hardwood began in 2017. Users from our Madden league liked how well the AAC and Endzone Empire leagues were managed; so they pushed for me to start a 2K league. The biggest strength to any league is the users. User loyalty and dedication to leagues make it “home” and make the league known. Organization is also a key factor, keeping users in the know and being transparent as an admin. AAC Hardwood is continuing to strive. This year’s edition of 2K took a snag as the gameplay of 2K itself isn’t on par as with previous years. (Partly because of Park’s attention). Users can find AAC Hardwood on the popular sites LeagueCrawler, Operation Sports, and Gamespot forums. They can also inquire about Hardwood and any other AAC (and Endzone Empire) leagues by Twitter @Allamer1can or email me at email@example.com. Thanks to Matt and those affiliated with LeagueCrawler. Madden Football Radio on Youtube and respect to all long term Commissioners; especially those who assist me.
*Note – LC did not cast any votes in this race since the 25% would have swung the voting too much.
2018 Best Graphics
WINNER – DaDynasty
First on behalf of all 32 members of Da Dynasty we would like to thank League Crawler and his continued support for the CFM community. We would also like to thank everyone who took the time and voted for DaDynasty as the Best Graphics league we truly are grateful to each and every one of you! Over the last 3 cycles we have been on a constant grind of trying to push the limits of what a CFM could do graphics wise has been one of the driving forces that has kept many members of our graphics team working late into the night in-order to put out great content not only for our members, but for anyone that enjoys watching CFM content. Heading into 2019 our content guys are preparing again to head to L.A for EA Play and are currently working on some new and exciting ways of reporting back live in-order to share any news on Madden 20 and a few other titles with the community. Da Grind never stops so we won’t stop…
Runner Up – MSR
2018 Best Live Content
WINNER – MBL Live!
Runner Up – DaDynasty
LC cast 6 additional votes. All 6 go to MBL Live. I’m a big fan of MBL’s live content, viewership and energy. Very classy and professional and they even have some of their content streamed on EA’s official Twitch channel. Pretty hard to beat that.
2018 Best New League
WINNER – Cross Fire
Back in Madden 16, our league first started with four friends wanting a hobby then it flourished from there to becoming what it is now. When we first started, we were just small league with only little knowledge on how to run it. We ran into the good, bad and ugly but eventually we learned on how to be a successful league. On our way to success, we found the best and trusted users out there that helped us on expanding our community. We eventually grew to a 32-user league and is now opening up to the social media world. Our next mission is to get everyone involved on the same page with the social media team page and soon enough of opening up with our brand new YouTube Channel. We would like to get all the help and recognition we can get so people around the madden community know that we are the most dynamic and innovative league out there. We are affiliated with Madden Accord and now found on Daddy’s League, League Crawler, Twitter and YouTube.
Runner Up – The Void
**Note, I did not cast any votes in this race.
2018 Best Podcast / Radio Show
WINNER – PRESS PASS LIVE (OMFL)
When we started doing a weekly podcast in 2014, I had no clue that we’d get to a point of having a full team who would be doing an hour plus show each and every week. Some of my favorite moments are when guys stop being ‘nice’ and are really honest about what they think. Of course, we have some of the nicest guys on the planet, so those moments are very few and far between, but when they happen – its great podcast material. It’s also really a testament to guy’s dedication that every week we work around 4 guy’s schedule to find an hour plus section of time to talk about the OMFL and Madden. It’s really an honor to be a part of this team. We are starting to host more games with commentary, add more shows, and continue to grow what we do best – our draft shows.
As we look towards future Madden games and future podcast, we are constantly looking to up our game in quality of content. Watching the content that our friends like the MBL (@MBLNetwork), Xpert (@DmlXpertsCorner), and even out friends in the e-fed world with the OCW (@ocwfed) are putting out, makes us want to continue to be better for our owners and fans. The last couple of years since starting the GrownFolks Online Community, it’s been a real pleasure to see all of the great people that we’ve meet, added to our team, and the new friends we are making like the good folks here at League Crawler.
Runner Up – Xperts Corner, DaDynasty.
2018 PS4 League of the Year
WINNER – SYNERGY
How and when was Synergy started?
Synergy was started in Madden 16 when a league a few of us were in folded when the head commish went MIA. At that time a Co-commish of that league wanted to spread his wings and decided to make a league of his own. He brought along another co commish or two from that league and asked me and a couple others who departed with him if we wanted to co commish and start our own league which came ot be known as SYNERGY League. I always wanted to just be a piece in the Synergy puzzle and play the player participant role and be the best co commish I could be. towards the end of Madden 17 I believe it was life hit the old commish and he had to step away from the league, We are still in contact to this day and speak sparingly with each other. When he stepped away at this point I was doing a lot of the day to day operations as is and even though I never wanted to be the top dog and only ever wanted to be a player and make Synergy great as a whole. It was nominated and asked to lead the league to where it is today and it only felt the natural thing to. Especially since I was doing all the recruiting for the league and getting the name of the league out there people were already familiar with me the team and I took it to where it is today.
What is Synergys biggest strength?
I believe Synergys biggest strength is in it’s leadership. The leaders of the league stay consistent and unselfish whether it be advancing at a consistent time/day each advance or making sure advancing the stages of free agency in the offseason prompt and on schedule so there arnet any sneak bids. or if and when God forbid a rule is broke and have to discipline it doesn’t matter if it was head commish(Would never happen lol) or video guy or just a regular everyday user. We try to stay consistent within the trade committee within reason. Which in turn leads us to having very little turnover in the league. So most everyone is up to date and knows the rules and expectations. Which in turn leads us to possibly our biggest strength and that is the users is the league. We have a handful of users still in the league since day 1!! Half the league if not more have been with us double digits seasons. and now going into our 4th season of Madden 19 we still have 3/4 plus owners that started day 1 with us….So in closing are biggest strengths is our users who stick with us through the ups and downs and are willing to grow with the league and for that I would like to say thank you to those who call Synergy their 1 and only home league….
What’s next for Synergy in 2019?
in 2019 We are looking to continue to increase our twitter presence and get all 32 teams on board and writing team content weekly. We are looking to get better and put out more content with our graphics. We are hoping to be more consistent and continue with our Last Word youtube show. We want to get more of our users willing and actively doing play by play for league games and on the shows and being a bigger part of Synergy. We look to go from Madden release to madden release and get in another 8 seasons. As I write this we are currently celebrating our 25th season in Synergy which these days is not easy to go madden2madden 32 strong consistently
How can people find your league and content?
Runner Up – DaDynasty
LC cast 4 votes, all went to OMFL. If you know anything about League Crawler, you know my appreciation for Matt (Synergy League Recruiter) and all he’s done for this site. I’m a big fan of his league but also OMFL as well. OMFL’s umbrella of leagues outside of just Madden makes them my choice, but as you can see, the votes from the community pushed them just above the other wildly popular DaDynasty for 2018 PS4 League of the Year.
2018 XB1 League of the Year
WINNER – MSR (Madden SIM Revolution)
How and when was MSR started?
MSR was created October 4th, 2017. It was created by me, (Andrew Linhart) and my best friend, Bryan Baker. We both were previously on the staff team of other Madden Leagues and we always felt like we wanted more out of it. We recruited the help of a few guys who we met over the previous years and assembled a solid staff team and a solid core group of members to help get us started. Having that solid core and staff team is what has helped MSR really grow and become what it is today!
What is MSR’s biggest strength?
MSR’s biggest strength is by far its members. Over the past 15 or so months, we have continued to build upon the core group we started with and we’ve gotten lucky by finding guys who want more out of Madden and love the immersion aspect of Franchise Mode. I want to say we have a strong media team that helps, but in reality our media team is more than half the league. It’s really nice to have a lot of members who are helping to create content in various ways. The only reason MSR has grown to what it is today is because of the members. That includes the members who aren’t with us anymore. We wouldn’t have been able to grow with their help.
What’s next for MSR in 2019?
I have some personal goals for MSR in 2019. I would love to expand our impact on the community. I want to increase our visibility in the Franchise community by further supporting other leagues. The biggest thing the franchise world is missing is a true community feel.
How can people find your league and content?
The main places to find us would be the LeagueCrawler website where you can read member comments and learn about us. Daddyleagues is where you can see a lot of our content as well as stats and team information and Twitter (@msrleague) is where we post tons of content and information about the league. If you wish to apply to join the MSR/Genesis community, you can do so by clicking “Apply Here” on the Daddyleagues page.
Runner Up – MBL (Madden Bomber League)
This one was was tough to cast my votes. I remember how MBL burst onto the scene a few years ago and raised the bar for all leagues. Similarly, MSR burst onto the scene recently and is doing great things to push leagues forward. LC cast 27 votes, 20 for MSR and 7 for MBL this year.