New Ratings Guides Track Pro Football History
By Glenn Guzzo
            Long the leader in re-creating pro sports history, Strat-O-Matic soon will offer an encyclopedia’s worth of Football Ratings Guide spreadsheets for all of its previous pro football seasons (1957 to present).
            They are the work of Mike Kane, who has been part of the team that develops Strat-O-Matic’s retro pro football seasons.
            The spreadsheet guides debuted a couple years ago for current seasons. Now, gamers can have any favorite season, or all of them. Packed with data for every team and every player, the guides are ideal for gamers playing a series of retro seasons. The data will help any coach draft and craft game-plans. Aside from their usefulness, the guides are a fascinating study in pro football history.
            There is nothing like these guides to compare players, which give basic information like positions, base ratings and actual stats, but also calculate the value of each Strat-O-Matic card.
            For instance, the section on quarterbacks – there are separate spreadsheets for running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, offensive lines, defenses, placekickers, punters and return men – have 102 columns of data.
            The QB data begins with a QB Rating column for overall value. For example, Cleveland’s Brian Sipe is calculated to have the highest QB Rating for 1980. Then there’s the SOM-card value for overall completion percentage and yards/attempt. That’s followed by completion percentages Right and Wrong, then for Flat Pass, Short Pass and Long Pass Right and Wrong. Interceptions and yard/play get their due in each passing category, following by Must Run average and End Run averages.
            Each guide is priced at $13.50 and comes loaded with a composite player database with many thousands of data entries for positions, ratings and NFL stats. The stats can be sorted for leader boards. Owners of multiple ratings guides can develop a multi-year database showing each player’s career development and all-time leader boards. That’s both an aid in drafting, and a source of entertaining information.