Buffalo Bills Miami Dolphins New England Patriots New York jets Baltimore Ravens Cincinnati Bengals Cleveland Browns Pittsburgh Steelers Houston Texans Indianapolis Colts Jacksonville Jaguars Tennessee Titans Denver Broncos Kansas City Cheifs Oakland Raiders San Diego Chargers Dallas Cowboys New York Giants Philadelphia Eagles Washington Redskins Chicago Bears Detroit Lions Green Bay Packers Minnesota Vikings Atlanta Falcons Carolina Panthers New Orleans Saints Tampa Bay Buccaneers Arizona Cardinals St. Louis Rams San Francisco 49ers Seattle Seahawks

Green Zone League Articles

S2016E02:: GM2GM - Anthony Fernandez
By Justin Herr
Special to gzl-football.com

S2016E02:: GM2GM
Justin Herr sits down with GM Anthony Fernandez in this exclusive interview.

Friday, December 13th, 2016
Justin Herr, GZL Media Committee


JUSTIN::
1. Who is your biggest threat to you in the NFC South and why?
AF:
This is a tough question because last year was so NOT a reflection of how tough the NFC South is. The Falcons come to mind first, which may sound funny considering they were the 2nd worst team in GZL last year, but they were without the two most important positions in these leagues - QB and GM. Former GM Matt Davis is a good guy, and a great GM, but he was a ghost as COACH and it showed. They have a ton of talent, the #2 overall pick, and a returning GM with a track record of winning in Dave Bauer. They will be very tough. The Panthers have got better every year of GZL's existence and are very close to competing, potentially this year. The Saints have long been my biggest NFC South Rival though, and behind new GM Mr. Sloat, I have a lot of confidence in 2016 they will be a pain in my side. In fact, I don't even know that I'll be going into 2016 as the favorite to win the NFC South. It will be fun.

JUSTIN::
2. If you had to pick one AFC team to play in a Super Bowl who would it be and why?
AF:
The Steelers came to mind first because they beat us in Super Bowl III, but the mystique surrounding that game was that it was my mentor Brian Brown. We'd flirted with a Super Bowl matchup for a long time, and finally got a shot, and the better man won. I'd love to try again, but BB's retired and in the GZL Hall of Fame. Travis Robbins is a fantastic GM who I'd love to play in the Super Bowl, and really thought I was going to this year, but we really blew a great shot when Freeman went down on the 1st play of the 2nd round. I wanted that Steelers rematch, and while I was mad I didn't get it, it surprisingly only lasted about a couple days. So that tells me that is probably not the matchup I'd most desire. So glancing over the AFC scene, I'd say John Stanley and the two-time Super Bowl Champion Chargers. The Steelers have been the best team in GZL history, but Stanley has been the best GM in GZL history. It would be an honor to play and beat him. I'd also get my rocks off for a Super Bowl clash with Spencer and his Patriots, or Miller and his Chiefs (but we all know a K-State fan will never win the big one... just ask Josh Freeman).

JUSTIN::
3. If you could GM any GZL team besides your Buccaneers who would it be and why?
AF:
Another tough question. I'm fortunate in the fact that I helped birth the concept of GZL, so secured my RL favorite team the Buccaneers. I am a diehard fan (when we are out of it, I start rooting for losses to get a better draft pick - I'm a lifer). For that reason, it's hard for me to root for another team, even in these leagues. The last time I can recall being a team BESIDES the Buccaneers was as the TWR Vikings. I actually really enjoyed my time there, but most of it was probably because the league was so old that there were few real players anyway. The only other team I root for even a little is the San Diego Chargers, and that's just because a dear friend/lover of many years was a die-hard Chargers fan. But I couldn't be them in GZL because I could not surpass the legacy Stanley has built there - it would be like Saban uncomfortably answering questions at Alabama. So if I had to choose another GZL team to be, I'd probably take the Miami Dolphins. Benny has amassed a lot of draft pick assets, and the team was in pretty good shape to start with thanks to Joe Gaspar. They have Mike Glennon, who I love from the RL Bucs, and I'd get to play in a division with Spencer, Breck, and a Jets franchise that has had some fantastic GMs over the years (Corey Smith, Terry Gall, Douglas Williams). Yea, I'd take my talents to South Beach.

JUSTIN::
4. If you could pick any GM to face and beat in the Super Bowl who would it be?
AF:
I covered many of them in #2 - but to recap my dream is to play and beat Brian Brown in a Super Bowl. I'd love to play Stanley and the Chargers, Spencer and the Patriots, or Miller and the Chiefs. If I could just pick any GM though, regardless of conference, that opens up some great rivalries. Kevin and I have been brawling for as long as I can remember in RZL. I'm not sure what the overall tally is on Division titles, Conference titles, and Super Bowl wins - but we've both shown well over the years. He really roughed me up in a somewhat meaningless game at the end of last season in Green Bay that I really thought I'd get a chance to avenge, but it wasn't meant to be. But I think I got him in the last "big" game, eliminating him from the RZL playoffs in New Orleans last year en route to winning my 3rd RZL Super Bowl. Booya! Nic was on my Madden Bucket List too, but I crossed him off when I beat him in said RZL Super Bowl. KVW and I have had a nice rivalry over the years, that might be fun, too. If I went any NFC GM though, it would be JP and his Giants - and I'd want to lose. I love that crazy fkr, and I legitimately got more joy from watching him win SBV here than I got from any of my 3 Super Bowl wins (even if he was unbearable for a couple months after). Love that guy. But ultimately, if I could pick any team - it would be Stanley and the Chargers.

JUSTIN::
5. Say you could relocate your team to any city - what city would you pick and why?
AF:
Hmm. I don't really know, I'd never considered it since Tampa is so nice. Great weather, absolute hotties all over Clearwater Beach and Sarasota. Amazing Spanish food in the heart of Tampa - you can get a cuban sandwhich and stuffed potato there that are so good... forget about it. An accessible airport, a decent mall, Lee Roy Selmon's Steakhouse, CHECKER'S Restaurants (!), and the finest full contact strip clubs in all of the land on Dale Mabry directly connected to the stadium. What more can a guy ask for? Florida was a long time ago though, so the now-married father-of-three new-middle-school-teacher would probably pick Denver. (Not for the weed!!)

JUSTIN::
6. Who on your team was the biggest surprise during the last season?
AF:
We had lots of them - HB Eddie Lacy probably taking the prize. I traded a 2nd for him not really expecting much, but he developed into a 1400YD, 11TD monster that really slowed down games for me. He was better than Blount was in any year other than his outrageous rookie season, and Lacy didn't even play the final week. Signed cheap for two more years, it will be hard to take him off the field, regardless of how much I love rookie Knile Davis. Also was very pleased with LG Frankie Gerard (in his sophomore season), LT Anthony Costonzo (who we signed from FA), FS Kyle Nelson (who played way better as a rookie than I expected), and CB Claudio Ambellina (who far surpassed expectations in his 1st year as a starter).

JUSTIN::
7. If you could Pick any player in the GZL to be on your team who would it be an why?
AF:
Bull Griggs - let's talk! Just kidding, but not really. I am so set at RB though, that I'd probably be inclined to pick Dominique Cromartie - the lynchpin in San Diego who doesn't get enough credit for their success. Plus RZL vets know I've got a soft spot for Cromartie (or DRC, as we call him in the "biz".)

JUSTIN::
8. A lot of teams wont trade within their division but seems you dont have a problom with it. Any reason why that is?
AF:
I love to trade within the division because I'm confident in my trading ability. I think GMs who refuse to trade within the division should probably be careful trading with any GM - as that already tells me they are prone to mistakes.

JUSTIN::
9. I myself like cold weather snowy games. If you were in the big game and you could choose the weather in an open stadium, what would you pick and why?
AF: Sunshine. I like to run the ball, but I would not want to limit myself to just a rushing attack. I'd just want a nice sunny day and a nuetral field and see who out-GMs who.

JUSTIN::
10. In the span of the next 3 seasons, how many Division Championships, Conference Championships, and Super Bowl Championships will your team have?
AF: Judging by my track record, probably 3 Division Championships, no NFC Championships or Super Bowls. I'd love to sit here and say I'd win one, but I just don't see it happening at this point. When we started GZL, I thought for sure it would happen by our 3rd season. I got to Super Bowl III, I was playing my mentor, and I really thought it would be a storybook ending. In retrospect and knowing that BB was on the verge of leaving, I'm glad it happened the way it did. He had such an outstanding career and gave so much to the Madden Community that he deserved to go out on top. I don't think my legacy is winning Super Bowls, I think my legacy is being extremely consistent, and making any league I am in more interesting and fun for the other GMs in it. I think I'm very successful in that role. I am the only GM in GZL history to make the playoffs every season. Unfortunately, in this league and in so many others, I historically either win the Super Bowl, or get bounced in the first game. Last year was proof I'm still flirting much more often with the later. We'll see what happens.

JUSTIN::
BONUS. If you were picking [1.1] this year who would you pick and why?
AF:
QB Jonathan Higgins. I've actually had talks to get to [1.1] to take him, just to sit him behind Freeman for 2 years - but ultimately the cost to get up, plus the cost to pay him to sit on the bench two years is too much for ME. However, he's going to make someone very happy, and he'd be my pick if I were on the clock.

WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT AF?
Catch up!

Justin Herr covers GZL for the Media Committee.

2016 All Rights Reserved. GZL Media Committee.
Discuss this Article in our Forums Replies - 0 :: Views - 38

Green Zone League Articles

Powered by League Pulse.  League Pulse was written by Brad Mallett (btmlltt).