This is the story of the most amazing, most absurd, and best system-fit player I saw in about 75 seasons of play. First, a brief background. I bought the game during the NFL playoffs this year. One of my favorite features is the great playbook variety. In real life, my favorite offensive system is the Run and Shoot. When it was at the height of its popularity, I used to watch every pro and college team using it whenever I could, even if I had no other connection to those teams. So that is what I used in Football Mogul in my first long career of 30+ years. I loved it and had a lot of success. But since it was my first career, I made the mistake of playing on Fan difficulty level. It was too easy to fleece the opposing GMs. So I knew my next career would be on Mogul difficulty. Before that, I played the 2022 season a bunch of times using different quarterbacks and learning some of the other playbooks. I decided to use the Air Raid system for my Mogul career.

I started with a random/random fantasy draft, using fictional names. I had a lot of success in those first six years, and I was enjoying it more because the other teams were more competitive. The story really kicks off in the 2028 draft. In that draft was a quarterback named Dann Mirza. He was listed as 79 Overall/87 Peak. Good, but not one of the top players in the draft or one of the obvious superstars. But he had an 83 Accuracy rating. That was one of the highest I had ever seen on a young quarterback. In my testing of quarterbacks and playbooks in the 2022 season, accuracy seemed to be the most important factor with the Air Raid playbook. Plus, even though it might not directly affect the game, I liked his height (6-7). Since I was using Arizona, a team that uses a short quarterback in real life, I felt that would be a nice balance to have them use a tall quarterback in the game. I drafted Mirza and had him start immediately.

From game 1, he was far better than his immediate predecessor, with the same playbook, and basically the same players. Not only that, he was far better than any of the top 2022 quarterbacks that I tested with, all of whom had better Overall ratings than he did. He won Rookie of the Year and MVP his first season. I continued to be impressed with him for years, and then I noticed something. He hardly ever missed a game. I always tried to be #1 in the Medical spending and my starters tended to miss around 15 games per season collectively. So I never had major injury problems, but he was on a different level. Mirza would seemingly get knocked from a game once or twice each year, but only ended up missing a few playoff games over his entire career.

As his career continued, his Overall rating moved gradually higher. Eventually, when he was 40 years old, he had his peak - a single season with a 95 Overall rating. That was also the year of his career high in quarterback rating and touchdowns. His decline was much quicker than his rise, but he still remained effective on the field. At age 46, he had four wide receivers and a tight end who each had 1000+ receiving yards. That was the only season I ever saw something like that. In both careers and in the 2022 testing, I only had a single other season with four players with 1000+ yards - no others with five. By that point, both of my backup quarterbacks and at least a dozen free agents had better ratings than Mirza, but I decided to keep playing him.

It was around this point that the second part of the post's title came into play. I noticed that his first two seasons were no longer listed on page two of his scouting report. Then I noticed that the most recent seasons weren't listed on page one of his scouting report. The career totals line would be updated, but I no longer had any way of seeing some of the individual seasons. Ironically, while the game was breaking a bit, Mirza was finally beginning to feel the effects of aging, well after his ability numbers had declined. It seemed like he had no arm strength left. I would call medium and long passes like I always had, but he always threw it short. His accuracy climbed while his yards per attempt declined.

Finally we get to 2059. Mirza is 54 years old. His Overall rating is 56. His Accuracy rating is 52. Every starting quarterback in the league is better than him, as is every primary backup. A few teams have a third quarterback that is around his current ability levels. His scouting report shows some of my favorite lines that year - "Mirza will be the iceberg to this team's Titanic if he isn't released immediately.", "I'm afraid Mirza is more scar tissue than football player. He should retire and think about coaching.", "Mirza's glory days are behind him, and the dog days are all that's left.", and "The years have not been kind to Mirza. He's a detriment to the Cardinals."

And it was here that I noticed the most troubling bug I had seen. The game was resetting his number of years played down to 30 - both on his scouting report and the career leaders lists. It would get to 31 and then go back down to 30. When I noticed that, I figured the only thing that could still break is the career totals. Since that was that was the most important thing to me at that point, I figured this would be Mirza's last season. He might have known that as well because he put on one final show. He finished his thirty-second season with 628 completions on 911 attempts for a 68.9% completion rate, 6214 yards, 44 touchdowns, and ZERO interceptions. It was the only season of this career, the previous career, or the 2022 testing where my quarterback did not throw an interception. Before that, I think I had one season with two interceptions and a few with four interceptions. In his final regular season game, Mirza threw for more than 500 yards. His mic drop moment.

He continued to stay remarkably healthy his entire career. In the second Football Mogul career, I only had two other players who started one-third as many games as he did. In my first career, it was similar, though I didn't track that in the first career. And two of those four players were receivers where I was pushing them beyond Jerry Rice's records and it was like trying to get water from a stone in their mid-30s. And even with playing those players when they shouldn't have been playing, they didn't get to half as many starts as Mirza. Beyond his incredible career passing numbers, there are some other great numbers. He was no running quarterback, but his 119 career rushing touchdowns would be on the all time leader board in real life. Not in game, though, since quarterbacks are apparently ineligible for that career leader list. Also his 1315 sacks are more than twice as many as any other quarterback in history.

Ending this by going back to the title. Although I had decided it was going to be his last season anyway, there was one more reason for him to retire that year. Despite his amazing season, he didn't win MVP that final year. It was the only year in his career that he didn't win MVP - he finished with 31 of them. The winner in 2059 was Jacksonville's quarterback who finished that season with 379 completions on 564 attempts for a 67.2% completion rate, 5243 yards, 34 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, and a 113.0 quarterback rating. An excellent season to be sure, but only his quarterback rating was better than Mirza's that year.

All of this was on Football Mogul 23 version 20.0.2. Besides the fantasy draft and the fictional names, I think everything else was default settings. Commissioner mode was never used.

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