Owner and News Editor
Cameron Irvine is the commissioner of the Simulation Football League (SFL). His play-by-play, heard live on twitch.tv, has been reaching a much broader audience recently. Many spend hours of their free time on a weekend listening to Cameron’s true-to-life broadcast of simulation football because it is compelling and entertaining. Joe Montana 16’s Damon Grow, who obviously has very limited free time, spent hours every Sunday last season watching the games, the fantastic All Pro Football 2K animations and listening to the broadcasts. It is simply that good! Cameron Irvine is the sports editor of the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung in Texas.
SimHeads (SH): Cameron, you have been called the ‘hardest working man in digital sports’ since you spend 8 hours per week of your free time providing play-by-play of simulation football, in addition to hours doing all the prep work for the games, website, league management, social media, etc. I guess a good place to start is to ask you the question, ‘Why?’
Cameron Irvine (CI): Many have asked this. The answer is always the same. It’s fun as hell. We are having a lot of fun, especially lately. The great thing about building a league around technology is that from season to season, everything always improves. Perfect strangers have been bonded together through the years of this project. Not many on this earth can say they made an impact like that. As we get better, it gets more exciting. It’s my second job. I’d love it if it was my only one. Hopefully, someday.
"I haven't been that emotionally invested in the outcome of a football game since the Patriots last played. Wow! was fun to feel the adrenaline pump again." -vertigho
SH: You will be launching season 5 of the SFL on Thursday, June 18 live on twitch.tv. There are a couple of exciting things happening with the league. First of all, you were able to convince a major sports company, Daktronics, to partner with the league. Daktronics is involved with the National Football League. Can you tell us what this means for the SFL and simulation football?
CI: What this means is owners and fans can view game box scores 30 minutes after a game happens. We can easily compare two team resumes, we can break down team strengths and weaknesses easier than ever before. They’ve been nothing but a tremendous asset since partnering with us. I had given up, given them my price, we were far apart on an agreement. One day, they changed their mind and got involved. I’d like to think that a company as prestigious as theirs getting on board is a sign that we’re doing things the right way.
"The SFL is such an awesome and unique product. Cameron is gifted. The game day experience is a blast." -tjspeaks
SH: There is also a yet-to-be named SFL documentary underway by Emmy Award winning Indie Film-maker Frank B. Goodin, II. What can you tell us about that project?
CI: I will be flying to Florida in October for development on the project. It’s a story about our great league, but it’s also a story about our struggles, trials and tribulations that got us here today. I can’t say much more than that at this time but just know Mr. Goodin is all-in on the league. He’s been a game-changer like CAG NFL was for Season 3. The more game changers who wish to get involved with us, like Daktronics, the more solid we will be in the years that come. We’ll be able to continue to elevate our product with them.
"What a great game... I was sitting on the edge of my seat the whole time. Amazing! Cameron was great as well. I can't wait for the next game." -RamosLynn
SH: The league just expanded by four teams, bringing the total to 12 teams across the United States and now Mexico. Can you tell us about the interest level in owning a team in the league and what these 4 teams mean to the league, besides more work for you?
CI: Haha. The work will pay off. It was the right time to grow. We saw an opportunity to grow. Six official applicants didn’t get in this off-season. That was really difficult. Hopefully, they will continue to be a part of our growing fan base and eventually want to get involved with the league however they can. These four owners once again raise the bar on what it means to be a champion. It allowed us to break into conferences, which I think is going to be very beneficial for us. They’ve done such a great job adapting to our operation system. The owners, who voted these four in, made the right choice in every regard.
"I find myself looking forward to the games each week. I love seeing the approaches different owners take to the games and the total experience of watching a game - the video, commentary, the chat - is one of a kind and awesome!" -tpaterniti
SH: On occasion, you have a two man broadcast booth. SFL analyst Greg Morris joined you for the SFL Championship Game and other select games. What does this bring to the broadcast for the fans and what’s it like having a second voice working with you?
CI: It’s a lot of fun. Morris is a great guy, much more laid back than I am. I think the fans really appreciate his analysis and having a second voice to listen to and I know I appreciate every time he speaks - I get to rest my voice! People don’t realize what we’re doing isn’t easy. It’s actually quite challenging to look at a video game screen that’s about eight inches wide and break down what we just saw. The fans get to relax and watch it on a 50” screen. We don’t. As those who have seen a SFL game before, I put everything I have into every broadcast. It’s nice to be able to take a breath and he adds to the realism of the entire presentation.
"Wow, this was an amazing experience, being able to see the action unfold before my eyes. Getting to share football talk with other football loving people was great - great camaraderie. Getting to hear Cameron Irvine live is absolutely amazing - his energy is like none other.” -HeavyHitter55
SH: What are your expectations for season 5?
CI: My expectation is to, as always, grow. But we can break the internet with this. If you’ve seen the first four seasons of SFL action, you haven’t seen SFL action like you’re going to see in season 5. These teams are so prepared, so well maintained. Owners across the league spending hours and hours test gaming, trying to get their team ready for what has become the toughest sim competition likely in sports gaming history. We want our presentation to blow your mind. The knock on All-Pro Football is that it’s old. You won’t be watching APF football this season. You’ll be watching SFL football.
"This is just remarkable! Call ESPN and get this guy in." -- KingJavo
SH: For the simulation sports fans who has yet to tune in to a SFL broadcast, why should they watch a league game which is the only live play-by-play commentary of simulation football in the world?
CI: You’ve never seen anything like it. You’ll be shocked how entertaining we are making watching video game football. We have these players’ stories - five seasons in the making. We’ve got history, we’ve got career stats, and we’ve got analysis only rivaled by pro sports. Plus, the chat is a fun time. Some of the most popular SimHeads out there are yacking with friends. It’s two hours of epic football fun, that you don’t always get with the NFL. The NFL isn’t in season, we don’t have commercials every five minutes, and we have fun every minute.
"The commentary is brilliant. The exciting back and forth game play kept me on edge… definitely entertaining." -Eddie Gauge
SH: What do you think about SimHeads.com?
CI: It’s a great site. Well organized. It’s going to grow. OperationSports is the instant comparison, but the vibe at SimHeads is just a better one right now. You’ve got some of the most dedicated and passionate people regarding simulation sports gaming here, working hard to make it popular and working hard to bring attention to the options people have that game developers didn’t originally give them. That speaks volumes to the belief in the product. We share a similar drive and dedication, I’m sure.
"My goodness...I'm finally starting to calm down! Great fun!" -dazzo47
SH: Thanks for your time and thanks for joining us.
CI: No problem, thanks so much for supporting us. Please go and subscribe to our YouTube channel - we’ve got brand new material dropping there this season, follow us on twitter for live score updates and visit our website daily at www.simulationfl.com. Most importantly, subscribe to our twitch channel at www.twitch.tv/simulationfl. You’ll get notifications when we go live. Stay on top of things, become a fan, have some football fun. We promise we will not disappoint you. Games are Thursday at 8 eastern, Saturday at 1 eastern, Sunday at 4 eastern and Mondays at 7 eastern. #unitedwesim