A year ago today, I began rolling the 1981 season and embarked on a venture that the replay gamers take every time they begin a project.
It is a long venture, one that is drawn out for months upon months, game upon game, dice roll upon roll.
I’ve played 1,543 games in the year’s time. That averages to 4.2 games when you divide it by 366 days (I’m including the Leap Year Day of 2012). I don’t know how it compares to other people’s replay schedules; it may be more than an average daily amount for many people. On the same hand, it may be slow. I average playing a real day’s slate of games in about four days. A four-to-one ratio is not a great pace to knock out the games quickly.
But I plod on, determined to finish the season.
And this one is a bit different. In the real 1981 season the games were disrupted by a player’s strike in June, resulting in the loss of 50-60 games per team. It was followed by a goofy playoff format akin to minor league baseball where the league winner of the first half of the season played the league winner of the second half to move onto the World Series.
In APBA, there was no strike. The games are played as scheduled. So that makes the season longer for me. Throw in the fact that I don’t do rain outs and every team plays its full schedule of 162 games.
A lot has happened in the real world this past year while I played the fictional season. As a news reporter, I covered a lingering drought in this state for many months. I wrote about several trials, detailed several murders and other crimes in my coverage area and scribed numerous decisions made by city and county leaders. Life moves on. And the progression of real life is mirrored somewhat by the progression of the 1981 replay days.
I keep a small desk flip calendar on the table where I play the APBA games. But rather than keep it current with the present day’s date, I set it to whatever day I’m playing the season. So, the calendar will stay on Aug. 18, 1981, until I finish that day’s slate and move on to the next day.
I still have 563 games remaining to complete the 1981 season. If I maintain my 4.2-game a day pace, I’ll wrap this up in 134 days. So, by mid April I’ll have finished this season and gear up for the next one.
It’s never ending, this obsession with the game. And the pace I keep means one of two things to me. Either I possess the dedication and the determination to complete seasons (I’ve finished six seasons so far since 1998 when I started playing the baseball games), or I totally don’t have a life.