Round 12 is done and dusted, leaving just two more matches before the finals begin.
While the Miracles are fading slightly in the sun, their early dominance guarantees them either first or second place, regardless of the next two games. That leaves just 3 slots open for the rest of us, and there’s a real log-jam in the 2nd-through- 7th positions. Any of those 6 players can still make it into the top 4 by the end of round 14…
The Troops sack another city, this time on Christmas Day (107 v 99)
– From nowhere, King Louie and his Hairy Troops have burst out of the pack and are now on a 6-game winning streak. This time they boldly flashed their nether regions in the general direction of the Festivus Miracles, who were out shopping for presents at the mall.
– Ever since Nate brought in King Louie, a master strategist, things have been looking good. The inclusion of a formerly disgraced QB – Michael “too quick” Vick (377 yards, 2 TDs, INT) – has been the catalyst of change, proving that no matter how hairy your arms are, no matter the slope of your forehead, it is possible for an ape to choose his troops wisely. They’ll need just a few more weeks of similar production to hold on to their current 4th position…
– Just a few weeks ago, the Miracles were strolling down Park Avenue admiring row upon row of hotels owned and operated by the Festivus brand. Now, after losing 2 in a row, the hotels are showing some wear and it’s (mathematically) possible for them to be knocked out of first place. Raging against that possibility is Arian “supremacy” Foster (218 yards). The Miracles only need to win one of the next two games to guarantee back-to-back-to-back Minor Premierships.
The Ant Hill Mob return to the scene of the crime and take out the bumbling Polizia (134 v 81)
– Apparently enamored with the rat-a-tat of their sub-machine guns, the short dudes with the cool hats and running-board cars have unleashed a load of lead for a second week in a row. This time it was Giallorossi – in the midst of drawing the chalk outline of the Miracles on the floor of week 11 – who was caught in the firing line.
– The Ants know the back streets of Sicily better than anyone, and they know that Aaron “The Don” Rodgers (395 yards, 2 TDs, FUM) will absolutely take no prisoners in any shootout. And, with the battlefield promotion of Wes “The Lieutenant” Welker (90 yards, 2 TDs), they made sure that no-one (especially uniformed losers in a Fiat) could come close. The Ants hold 3rd spot, and a handy “Points For” score that may become crucial in the coming weeks.
– Giallorossi’s Polizia were underpaid, under-gunned, and underwhelming in this matchup. Sure, they had a nice cappuccino for breakfast but, in the cutthroat world of fantasy football, they were more ‘delicate Tuscany’ than ‘hard-boiled Sicily’. One of the few to survive the bloodbath was Fred “not dead” Jackson (163 yards, TD). Currently in 9th, Giallorossi are going to need to win their last two to even have a CHANCE of making it into 8th place…
The Jinxes look in the mirror and inspire themselves. The Gnomes do the same and faint (148 v 73)
– I believe the Jinxes have figured it out. They’re so damn pretty that anyone who looks upon them is destined to run faster, jump higher, preen harder, than ever before. This week they used this power upon themselves, via one of those new-fangled looking glasses. The Gnomes, sensing the genius behind this plan, tried the same trick but were disappointed in what they saw…
– There’s nothing like self-belief, a close shave, and strong cheekbones to inspire greatness. This week two giants rose from within the Cover Jinx team – Peyton “pretty” Hillis (194 yards, 3 TDs) and Dwayne “delicious” Bowe (170 yards, 3 TDs). They were beauty and they were grace, they were Miss Fantasy States. Unfortunately, the league’s most attractive team is in 8th spot and has no chance of making the top 4 this year. But they should hold on for the lower-half finals.
– I’m not sure what was in the water in Nittany when the Gnomes were growing up, but for some reason I don’t think it was sugar and spice and all things nice. The Gnomes have been the very definition of “roller-coaster” this season, and (sadly for them) this was the week to be rolled. The only pretty thing in town – and he’s VERY pretty – was Tom “I was adopted” Brady (342 yards, 4 TDs). Currently in 6th position, the Gnomes will need a strong finish (and no mirrors) to make it to the top 4.
Mutation successful! The Flu now lethal for small amphibians (121 v 80)
– After a score or more of drops and pickups, the Swine Flu has finally found a combination that can score big. And by score big, I mean savagely kill its host. So far this particular strain of influenza is only effective on a body mass of about, oh, 8 ounces. The Salamanders weigh 7.
– The Flu have held nothing back, jettisoning one player after another as they attempted to truly earn their reputation as the biggest threat mankind has ever seen. For one week, at least, they’ll have to be happy with the amphibian body count. Top score came from an unlikely source – Deion “neon” Branch (113 yards, 2 TDs) – but when you’re firing off in every direction, it stands to reason that you’ll hit something eventually. In 5th place, but with a low “Points For” tie-breaker, the Swine Flu will need to expand their kill list to make the top 4.
– The Salamanders are on the brink of extinction. They’ve lost 4 in a row and don’t know whether they need to blame global warming (a myth), habitat loss (they can live in a bathtub, for pete’s sake), or simply their inability to store food for the winter (there’s no shelves in a bathtub). Top scorer was Peyton “San Diego makes me lie down” Manning (285 yards, 2 TDs, 4 INTs), and the chances of them moving into the finals from their current 7th position is more mathematical than likely. Still, hope springs eternal, and Salamanders love them warm springs.
Boo – the Jellies win despite idiocy. The Tromps continue their nap (64 v 59)
– The shame, the disgrace, the embarrassment of scoring a mere 64 points should have sent the Box Jellyfish off to their rooms without supper. But, as it turns out, it seems that there’s a reason why these venomous-but-brainless creatures can survive in the wild – it eats things that have even less intellect. The Tromps, perhaps trapped in a time-zone beyond this world, wandered directly into the tentacles of doom and were, well, doomed.
– As hard as I look for a player to be worthy of a mention in the write-up from within the Jellyfish team, I just can’t find one. Not even on the bench. This win is a modern-day travesty of justice. The team smells like the sea – you know, the seaweedy, bloated fish smell that the cast of Deadliest Catch have. Fortunately, the cool, coconut-flavored scent of victory washes it all away, and the Jellies move into 2nd position. They still need one more win to ensure top 4, though…
– Le Trompe d’oel – I’m using their full name in the same manner as Mom’s do all over the country when they find their child shoving the family cat into the dryer – simply have to come back to the party. We miss them. Sure, they’re in 10th spot and have lost 7 in a row, and have almost no chance of even making the top 8… BUT… now they have nothing to lose, and that makes the most dangerous opponent of all (right?). They play the Flu and the Salamanders to finish up the season. Spoiler, anyone?
Two weeks to go. Chin up, soldier on, and hope that Lady Luck loves your image in the mirror.