Is it normal to be envious of a friend's success in a FM? Is there anything more pointless? Probably not, but that was what I was feeling when my buddy, GD Dave, took Shamrock Rovers to the Champions League title in Football Manager 2011. It wasn't that he'd won the title. It was that he'd won it so quickly and with a player that I desperately wanted on my Bohemians team. Addo, a Ghanian DC, was the heart and soul of his team. A towering defensive player that put in nearly as many goals as his strikers. I didn't even realize that FM tracked the best players in the world (World Best 11) until GD Dave told me that Addo had made the list in his game.
What makes it even crazier is that Dave and I weren't playing a network game. We were playing independent games, but we both happened to pick teams in the Irish league. Somehow Dave managed to sign Addo very early in his save and by 2016 he'd won the Champions League. My Bohemians teams weren't chopped liver. Zeke, my Argentinian striker, pumped in over 100 goals in a season. He was paired up front with the captain of the Brazilian national team, Big Al. Both of those strikers ended up in the World Best 11, but it took until 2021 for Bohemians to finally win the title. Every year prior to winning it Boh's defense would give up a crucial goal and get knocked out. I always felt like I was missing an Addo-caliber defender so when GD Dave would ping me about his exploits with Shamrock it would piss me off. A couple of times I had to tell GD to stop giving me updates because it was making me not want to play my Bohemians save. I was jealous of a friend who's success was drawn from a digital soccer player in a game completely unrelated to the one I was playing. I acknowledge how crazy that sounds.
So that's how we arrived at the current system. Our jealousy of one another led us to share a team in FM. We picked Swindon F.C., a team in nPower League 2, mainly because Dave's a pussy and hates watching the horrible FM players that fill out the lowest leagues in England. We convinced Travis to join us given that he's the only one of us that has taken a team from the bottom of England's leagues to the top. Each of us takes control of the club for a month with June and July combined into a super-month so that year-to-year everyone plays different months and everyone gets a crack at the transfer windows. During your month you have complete autonomy over the team. Even the most radical changes are be greeted by the other players with the team moto: "Boatmurdered". Under no circumstances are you allowed to reload to a previous save when things don't go your way. Taking a job at another club is about the only no-no.
I'm recording our ups and downs at Bossing the Midfield. You can find the entire season 1 story here. I'm currently working on season 2.
Wish us luck.