Round 9

Round 9, and the end of innocence.

Thunder scares the Sophomores into pulling the sheets over their heads (119 v 108)

–          Thunderball re-enters the winner’s circle this week with (gasp) a well-earned win over the Sophomores.  While definitely a good win, with a good score over a good opponent, this new tack of winning-by-merit leaves a lot less ammunition for disgruntled losers in the lower brackets. Dammit.

–          The forecast was for clear skies, but Thunder rolled in anyway, complete with a couple of Mikes amplifying the volume.  Of particular note was another great performance from Mike “not Ike” Turner (180 yards, 2 TDs), with some pretty handy assistance from Mike “Sim-City” Walker (147 yards, TD).  When Peyton Manning throws 50 passes (for 300+ yards and a TD) and is STILL your 3rd placed player, you know life is good.

–          The Sophomore Slumps are slumping – back-to-back losses must be eating away at their confidence, especially given they had another good score this week.  Perhaps their top-scorer – Da-Angel-in-da-backfield Williams (161 yard, 2 TDs) – can understand, given his great personal stats on the weekend were undermined by his fumble with 2 minutes to go that lost the Carolina the game…

GotaBeatLarry squints at the page, sneaking by the Squad with a yard to spare (85.64 v 85.54)

–          The Practice Squad’s great run has ended, with a 0.1 point loss to the GotaBeats.  It seems that JR may very well have figured out that a combination of messy writing and a squinty-squirrel reading style can fool his team into beating opponents NOT named Larry. Nice Darwinian adaptation, JR.

–          One problem with the new squinty-squirrel reading style is that apparently ‘Bye’ can look like ‘Play this guy, he’s awesome’.  At least that’s the current theory, given Percy Penguin Harvin made the team, while technically out buying some bling (or whatever it is that millionaire sportspeople do on their day off). Fortunately Kurt “old dog” Warner came to the party with 264 yards and 5 TDs.  Yes, 5.  Perennial top-scorer Maurice Jones-Drew-a picture-of-a-silver-medal had to make do with second place, with 134 yards and a TD.  The 2-man team proved to be (just) enough for this matchup…

–          This is the second uber-close game the Practice Squad have been involved in this season, but this time they couldn’t pull it off. We won’t talk about the two bench players who could have won it for them, but rather revel in the great game from Randy “yep, still gathering very little” Moss (147 yards, TD, 2-PNT).  Second place was Matty “wow, I’m actually pretty good” Schaub (332 yards, TD, 2 INT) and, while one could argue that the double-INT was the reason why the Squad lost this matchup, Yahoo assures me that one of his INTs “wasn’t his fault”…  Oh, the agony.

Da Fury blatantly batters the teeny-tiny troops from Nittany (106 v 87)

–          Some players might feel bad about knocking about a bunch of height-challenged pointy-ears, but not the Fury.  Even with a completely scoreless result from their defense, the team brought home the bacon from a hungry and shrinking Nittany Gnomes.

–          The Fury went back to the basics on this one, with a team effort – 5 players in double-digits – getting the job done.  The top two – and only just outscoring several others on the team – were Frank “rated M for” Gore (158 yards, TD) and Cedric “the entertainer” Benson (117 yards TD). It’s worth noting that the Fury (through Byes and unexplained phenomenon) had SIX players with zero points this week, and all but one was kept on the bench.  Now THAT is coaching skill…

–          The Gnomes are wondering what the bejeebers happened to their aluminum ladder – it was here a second ago, wasn’t it?  This week the only player on offense whose score wasn’t offensive-to-the-nose was Chris “league leader” Johnson (160 yards, 2 TD), who also happens to currently have an NFL-record 6.7 yard per-carry average.  That pickup may well end up being the draft-choice-of-the-year… The Gnomes then had a bunch of non-performers turn up, with the lone exception of the Steeler’s D (2 sacks, 3 INT, TD).

The Giallorossi break the curse – get second lowest score and and beat Le Tromps! (73 v 64)

–          This is BIG NEWS. Could Giallorossi have turned the corner? They’ve never won with the second-lowest score before. In fact, they’ve never won even with the ninth-lowest score before.  One suspects Doug might be at the Lottery office this week.  As for Le tromps, well, unfortunately round 9 found them on the wrong end of the feel-good story of the week.

–          Make no mistake, Giallorossi picked up this win on the back of two, and only two, players.  Come on down Ray “steamed” Rice (135 yards, TD) and Ben “with cheese” Roethlisberger (230 yards, 3 TD, INT, FUM).  Regardless, a win against the odds (and against all previous experience or expectation) is simply something to savor while you can.

–          The Tromps didn’t have their heart in it this week. I mean, they obviously NOTICED that their TE was on a Bye this week (because he was moved to the bench), but leaving a player called “Empty” in his place doesn’t really inspire confidence in the coaching staff.  This is perhaps the first time that Empty got a competitive start in the history of the league… and it didn’t go well.   At least Philip “still crying” Rivers turned up (224 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs).

Top dog Miracles prove their worth with a pounding of the Lemmings (142 v 88)

–          Larry pulls out the high score of the season, just in time to teach those uppity 2-and-6 Lemmings some manners.  Is the title inevitable for the Miracles – who have long coveted this league’s championship?  Or are we headed for repeat of last season’s “be like NE” story, where the unbeatable go down in the final game?  It might be possible to talk about peaking too early, but the peak keeps going up…

–          The Miracles – what a week.  3 players in the 20’s, 4 players above 10, and the last 2 players getting 9.9 and 8.0.  It’s almost wrong to single out the top two, given that everyone contributed, but for consistency’s sake I need to congratulate Aaron “good stats, bad game” Rodgers (292 yards, 3 TD, 3 INT) and Larry “doing it for my namesake” Fitzgerald (123 yards, 2 TD).

–          The Lemmings continue to do what they do best – get a score right in the middle of the league (for those who found 5th grade math tedious, it’s called the “median”) – and then lose.  This week they lost big – and let me tell you, a 54-point differential is pretty hard to tell the kids about.  I hope you never have to look into the doe eyes of a child as they say “Dad, your team sucks”.  All you can do is point at someone like Tom-tom Brady (337 yards, TD, INT) and say something like ‘but he’s pretty good’.  Yeah, it felt lame when I said it, too.

Round 10 approaches, and I feel fear

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