Monday, June 3, 2013

The Morkert Innovation

The CFCL has gone through many changes over the last 30 years.  Many have been written about here and more will be identified as the year goes on.  Most of the changes have come from the Co-Commissioners and Executive Committee because it is their responsibility to identify the growing needs of the league.

Occassionally there will be suggestions from team owners (like Idea Man Matt Bentel) on ways to improve the league or tweak a rule.  And there are rare occassions when, if we are extremely lucky, we are able to capture the improvements on video or digital imprint.

Thus it was back in 2012 when Tim Morkert (owner of Morkertzuma's Revenge) gave us an Innovation.

First a little history.  Our league is an Around The Table Bidding League.  As I've pointed out in earlier posts, that means a player is brought up and we go around the table, owner by owner, either increasing the bid or dropping out.  If you drop out, you are out forever on the player - you cannot rejoin the bidding (unless we're bidding on Mitch Williams and then all rules are suspended

So back in the '90's to make it easier to determine who is in and who is out of the bidding, Commissioner Mahlan took some index cards, folded them in half and wrote the names of each team on the cards.  When we dropped out of the bidding we would flip our index card down and everyone could visually understand our status in the bidding.

Those cards were upgraded to Fancy Corporate Tri-Fold Name Plates (also courtesy of Commissioner Mahlan) and for many years we would use them in the same fashion.  Then came 2012.  We drafted at my office in the conference room around a long conference table.  With everyone's notes, laptops, snacks and the narrowness of the table, the sightlines provided a challenge for us to easily view the status of a team's bidding involvement.

That's where Tim leapt to action.  He came up with a simple solution.  But in its simplicity was its brilliance and so earned him the Innovation.  Forever going forward (or at least until we go big-time and get electronic name boards ala Jeopardy!) the Morkert Innovation will be a staple of CFCL drafts.  If your nameplate is standing, you are in the bidding.  When you're out you knock over the nameplate (sometime's forcefully when you have to drop out on a player you really, really want).

1 comment:

  1. I've got to give credit where it's due ... it was Six Packs' owner Kelly Barone who first introduced the folded name cards to determine who is in and who is out of the bidding (1991 or so). We referred to these as "Kelly's mongo-sized index cards" until we upgraded to the tri-folds in the picture.

    The "Ruffin Privilege" video actually includes some background discussion of Kelly's invention ( ... at the :54 mark in the video you can see new owner Paul Zeledon (2nd from the far left corner of the table) asking about the cards. Then, at the 1:47 mark in the video, 1992's other new owner, Tom Clark, asks about them and Kelly proudly takes credit for the invention (which Dave Holian promptly labels "The Kelly Incident").

    Kelly's Invention, and the subsequent Morkert Innovation, are certainly miles ahead of some of the early ideas that were floated for signifying who was in/out. A couple of the more absurd:

    1) Everyone wear hats, then take them off when they drop out.

    2) Everyone stand while bidding, then sit when they drop out. Something tells me that would have gotten old pretty quickly ... on the other hand, we would have been years ahead of the ergonomic calisthenics/stretch break craze, and it likely would have led to quicker bidding in some cases...