Perhaps few people have heard of Allan Blair, who, in 1933, made a black widow spider bite him.
There had been reports of black widow-bite victims suffering particular side effects, but nobody could be sure whether the effects were due to the spider’s bite, or other reasons.
Blair, of the University of Alabama, settled the matter decisively: the results of the poisoning landed him in hospital for several days in tremendous pain, but he had nevertheless arrived at his answer. Encouraging a venomous spider do its stuff is a bad idea, but doing so is the opposite of stupidity, because now you can say you understand something about the world a little bit better.
There are ideas which are (almost) as bad when it comes to Football Manager. You know the outcomes aren’t going to be in any way good, but having the evidence that they’re no good is useful. Like Blair, you know a little more about how things are, and so it’s a worthwhile exercise.
So, what if you devise a training regime that basically kills your players, just to see the effect on their attributes? It’s probably the least-suitable schedule you can think of – but at least your suspicions are proven correct.
For five seasons, then, with the same database, I broke the players of FC U Craiova 1948, the favourites to win promotion from Romania’s Liga II.
(A note on methodology here. I’d planned, as I alluded to in an earlier post, to use edited players, all with very similar attribute numbers, but it did not work as well as using actual players. I had a squad full of edited players whose attributes were all either 10 or 11, and a coaching team with similar numbers, but nothing very interesting happened. The outcome with actual players, though was very stark.)
You can see the outcomes of the five seasons here.