Without a CFL season, the people at the Rod Pedersen Show created one of their own with a video game.
It ended Saturday with the make-believe Ottawa Redblacks needing overtime to defeat the pretend Saskatchewan Roughriders 20-17 in their version of this’s year Grey Cup game.
“[Nelson Hackewich] is the real hero of this whole thing,” said Darren Dupont, the co-host and producer of Pedersen’s local, multimedia sports show.
Hackewich hand-drew all the logos that accompanied the nine CFL teams’ simulated players that went through the 18 game schedule and playoffs. It was similar to a production from earlier this year when the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League simulated the end of their season, which was caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
“We did the SJHL Playoff sim, and it was so much fun. We were just sitting here in the springtime, being like is the season going to happen or is it not going to happen. If not, let’s start one of our own,” said Dupont on the whole creation of the CFL sim.
August 17, 2020, is when the CFL cancelled its season, and there was no football.
This problem meant the CFL would be without a champion for the first time since 1919.
The Rod Pedersen show used the Doug Flutie Maximum football video game for the CFL Sim because it followed Canadian football rules. They used the video game to simulate the entire season, plus the playoffs.
More than 18,000 people tuned into Facebook to see the simulated game, and there were more than 2,000 comments. That made the system that hosts comments play catch up since they only pop onto the screen one at a time.
According to Clark Munroe, a Producer for IKS Media and the Rod Pedersen show, “there were 400-750 comments made in a five to ten-minute span, so our machine was catching up for up to five minutes.
Hackewich is known as the VP of Sims. Nelson created everything as he explains, “it was about one month drawing the logos by hand in the game and doing the rosters.”
The players’ whole rating process was not as simple as it looked as they had to meet different requirements.
“We broke it down by position groups, and it was sorta based on salary said Hackewich. So obviously, if you are getting paid a good amount of money, the teams obviously favour your skills. Based on stats on the previous year, and then I weighted those stats over each attribute of the game,” said Hackewich.
Legendary broadcaster Rod Pedersen was hesitant at first with simulated games but realized times have changed.
“As a matter of fact, when they asked me to do the SJHL thing at first, I said no, that is the stupidest thing I ever heard, but they were getting thousands of viewers said, Pedersen. “So wait a minute, there is something here. I realized the business has changed from what I came up in”.