September 2016 League of the Month – Synergy!

Happy Madden Season everyone!  We skipped League of the Month for August, paid tribute to our tournament winners in July which means, it’s time to feature a great league for September!  I’ve gotten to know these guys a little bit over the past few months and I have to say, they seem like a really great group of guys.  I had a chance to talk to their commissioner, Phil Tracy (props for having two first names Phil) about what is driving him and his league to stand out in the CFM community so much in such a short time.  His answers are below but before you get there I need to let you know how helpful his right hand man has been to me at League Crawler in the past few weeks.  As we’ve grown here at League Crawler there have been some glaring issues that I’ve been unable or unwilling to fix that he’s been kind enough to point out and help me get that much needed feedback to help in the process of enhancing and de-bugging the site.  You can thank him for inspiring me to renovate the User Profile Page and fix the User Registration so you don’t have to wait for an email.  Since then we’ve seen the number of people that register and login right away and actually do something rise dramatically.  So, thank you!
Now, on to Synergy!  These are a great group of guys that from what I can tell are surveying the CFM community, drawing from past experiences, seeing what other leagues do well and finding ways to implement the best parts of these ideas into their league to make it great.  Remember folks, not everything has to be a revolution to be successful.  Many of the greatest things are evolutionary.  Whether that means implementing something great that another league is doing, expanding on it or taking what you do best and making it even better – the key is generating buy-in and interest to help your league grow!  So, only thry know the specific ingredients are that go into making Synergy a very popular league, but there is no doubt, people clamoring to get in.  For more on this, check out what their commissiner has to say!
How long has Synergy been around and why did you decide to start the league?
Synergy Football League is a fairly new league with it’s birth being the start of Madden 16. We decided to start the league when the previous league I was in kind of fell apart with the owner going MIA mid season. I had a great core of guys in the league and decided that rather than keeping the name of a league that fell apart, it was time for me to spread my wings as a commissioner and see if I could run a successful league.
With your league being pretty new to the scene, where do you see your league fitting in to the CFM community?
Being that we are so new, I feel like we have done a pretty good job of meshing into the community and getting our name out there. As I said we had a good core group of guys who played in multiple leagues and did a great job of getting us out there as far as spreading the word.
What has been the most difficult thing so far in getting rolling with Synergy?
The most difficult part of getting Synergy up and running would have to be getting our name out there as being different from the previous league that fell apart. A lot of people think that we are the same league with a different name but the same person running it and that is not the case at all. Although I still talk with the owner of the previous league, he has nothing to do with Synergy.
Have you been in or are you currently in other leagues?  If so, what is one thing you learned from other leagues that you’ve applied to Synergy?
Personally, I am a 1 league kind of guy, I was a co-commissioner in HAM League for quite some time as one of the co-creators of the league. I really took that time to learn the ins and outs of running a league. I feel that the time spent there allowed me to kind of get a feel for creating rules and how to handle some of the characters you encounter in the CFM community.
What is your favorite part of running a league?
My favorite part of running a league would have to be seeing how much fun these guys have. Personally I am not that great at Madden at all. I have been playing competitively for years and never once have I made it into the playoffs. That’s not what I’m here for and I tell my members that all of the time. I am here to provide a free league that pays out its top performers while also providing what I would consider some of the toughest competition the community has to offer.
Least favorite part?
My least favorite part of running a league would be the time that it takes to make things run smoothly. As any owner knows, there will always be those people that make things difficult. Although we don’t have a lot of churn in my league, we do still have a few people that try and spoil the fun. I know that if I was trying to do all of this myself it would have never gotten as successful as it is today and I owe a huge thanks to my board members who have been able to hold things together when I have been unavailable.
How many people are a part of the Synergy staff?  What are their roles?
At the end of our run in Madden 16, I reduced the number of staff members from about 10, down to 6 and then decided to add a 7th person as the Players Association President. I have one guy who is in charge of our Daddy Leagues Site as well as our YouTube Channel. Another guy is my right hand man who takes care of the league when I’m not available. I have a guy for advances and another for rules interpretations and then a guy who deals with all trades. They all play very important roles in assuring that the league runs as smooth as possible.  (more on the staff of Synergy below)
What are the two or three things that your league does best?
I feel like our league does several things really well, but the most important things that we do right would have to be our social media presence. We upload at least once a week on YouTube with a weekly blog and have even done Super Bowl commentaries in the past. We also have a very strong recruiter who always makes sure that the league is full with competitive players and keeps our waiting room stocked in the event that we have spots to fill. There hasn’t been a time since our inception that a team has went without an owner for more than 24 hours, which I think is amazing!
What are one or two things that Synergy is doing that people may not know about?
As stated above, we have our weekly YouTube blog that went away for a little while due to some disagreements between myself and the person who was recording them, but you can expect those to be back with the start of the Madden 17 season. These will include weekly power rankings, player stats, trade talk, upsets, highlights, and possibly some commentary. Another thing that people may not realize is that there is also a lot of work being done behind the scenes. We are actively researching the possibility of an official website, we are working on growing our Facebook Group and may even eventually introduce some apparel for people to buy (All proceeds being put back into the league for bigger and better prizes). Also, being that we have a waiting list of about 14 people, we also run waiting room tournaments in which the winner earns the number one spot if a team opens up in the league.
What’s next for Synergy?  Development league?  NBA2K?
As far as the future of Synergy, the possibilities are endless. We are in talks among ourselves about expanding the league to the Xbox One platform as some of our users use both consoles. We currently have about 17 users interested in getting that started so I’m sure that will become a reality in the coming weeks. We have also considered trying to create an all women league but that seems to be a little far fetched at this time as you just don’t see as many female ballers out there. Another possibility would be running a development league as we currently have about 14 people waiting for spots to open up so if we get enough interest in the waiting room we may actually expand there as well.
User Spotlight – Synergy’s Top 3 Members
This one was tough for us as we have a lot of people who deserve the recognition, but we have narrowed it down to our top 3, which was based off performance as well as gameplay activeness and chat activeness. They are:
Coach_James85: Current owner of the Vikings. He is a pop warner coach. He has been with our league for a few seasons now and has always been in the playoff picture. This fella is a lifetime Madden player, even spent years playing Tecmo Bowl and Super Techmo Bowl. His YouTube channel can be found at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnFZEawGmCumrjOcQejCA6w
BlizzyMeock (picture below): Current owner of the Bills. Blizzy has been with Synergy since day one and is currently the Players Association President. With a strict gameday diet of Four Loko and Beef Jerky, this man is the defending Tribute Tournament Champion and is a force to be reckoned with in Synergy. His YouTube channel can be found at https://www.youtube.com/user/alpeterson68
SimplyReady123 (picture below): Hailing from NJ, Simply has been playing madden for about 5 years. He believes that a strong running game is needed in order to control the clock and set up the pass. Defensively he believes that blitzing is a way to force quick decisions and ultimately mistakes. He always shows respect to his opponents because at the end of the day it’s all about having fun. He can be found on twitch at SimplyReady.
As for the staff of Synergy and their roles, they are as follows
DroppinDucesOnEm
League owner, I have been playing madden for about 4 years and decided to create this league to give people a free prize league that promotes competition as well as fun.
CheezMontana
My right hand man and recruiter for the league, he has been with us since the start and used to play Semi-Pro ball.  @SynergyLR12 on Twitter and youtube.com/studlymatt12 on Youtube
WorldsFinest39
Been with us for about half of Madden 16, he is in charge of advancing the league, and setting up all sims. Although new to the game, he is very active and is getting better at the game.
BlizzyMeock
Been with Synergy since its inception, Blizzy is our Players Association President or voice of the people. Whenever someone in the league has a grievance, they take it to him and together they come up with a solution to be presented to the rest of the staff so that we can collectively come to a resolution.
DaGreat98
This fella has been with the league since its birth and is actually the person who provided the league with a name. He is a football coach and also used to play semi-pro ball. His role in this league is to enforce and review all rules and violations.
MrShoots (apparently too good looking to provide a picture)
Shoots has been with the league from the jump as well and acts as the first contact for trade approvals. Mainly the sole decision when it comes to trades but if he is hung on a trade it is then presented to the rest of the staff.
OfficialTG88
This guy is a personal friend of mine and has been with the league since the beginning, A former semi-pro football player, he is in charge of our Daddy Leagues site, as well as weekly YouTube video content and presentation.
SimplyReady123
Although he has been with the league since its birth, Simply was just added to the staff in the past few days. With his dedication to getting games played and his strict following of the rules, he will be utilized in assisting punishments for rule violations and interpretations on the rules.
Contact Info:
Twitter- @SynergyFBL