Who Has the Inside Track To The Virgin Bowl XXII? And Where’d That Reference Come From?

19 06 2008

I am really good at photoshop. Except not.

If you were worried about Mitsubishi’s commanding lead in the Race To Name Everything Related To the Arena Football League, a challenger approaches: Virgin Mobile! The league entered into a partnership that includes calling the Arena Bowl “Virgin Mobile Arena Bowl XXII,” hereafter referred to as “The Virgin Bowl.” Because I am 12.

That said: who’s going to the playoffs? Who did what last week? What the flying ass happened last weekend. All that, and less, after the page break.

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Week 14 Power Rankings, Picks, and Pillow Fights

6 06 2008

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Shockingly, the sun hasn’t set on LA’s 4-9 season yet.

The playoffs are starting to shape up: Chicago already clinched a week-one bye; Dallas, Philly, San Jose, and (you’re reading this right) Arizona have all clinched playoff berths. That means pretty much everyone else still has a shot, which is kind of a slap in the face to the National Conference’s 8-win teams (Georgia, New Orleans, and Orlando) and 7-win teams (Cleveland and New York) (Tampa Bay hovers at 6 wins… for now?) since the remaining American Conference teams that have yet to clinch a spot in the playoffs, but are still eligible, are at 3, maybe 4 wins on the season (looking at you, LA, Utah, Colorado, Grand Rapids, and Kansas City).

Wow, Run-On-Sentences much?

Anyhow, there’s quite a bit at stake this week for all the teams on the bubble, as one of my camp directors used to say, “go big or go home”. After the jump, we have this week’s Power Rankings from ESPN’s Grampa “Find An Intern to Write This Damn Thing For Me” Gary Horton; arena football betting advice fit for an emperor with no clothes, and a sneak peek at this weeks’ certifiable Pillow Fight. Read the rest of this entry »





Playoff Week 2 Point/Counterpoint Mercifully Ends With Los Angeles At Chicago

6 07 2007

DeJuan Alfonzo Wants To Know “How much for the women? Your wife, the little girl…”

 I’m calling this game the “Where Should TC Live?” Bowl. Metropolitan areas that both of the ISF editors are familiar with to some degree face off on Monday Night. This’ll probably be the game we “live”blog, too, as TC has a wedding to go to and assorted other dorkitude to attend to this weekend. And J has a date.  <Full House Studio Audience> ooooOOOOooo…. </Full House Studio Audience> ANYWAY.

MONDAY: Los Angeles at Chicago, 8:30PM ET. ESPN2 (If you’re curious.)

TC SAYS: This game makes me nervous, as a fan of the Rush. The Rush are the ricketiest of the 4 bye-provided teams, and the Avengers are probably the most solid of the other four, with the possible exception of the Soul. The win over Utah last week shouldn’t have surprised anyone (AHEMJoeAHEM), but they showed surprising resilience on the defensive front and capitalized on five Utah turnovers. Chicago was pretty banged up in the week 14 loss to the Avengers, but they rattled off three straight impressive-ish wins, and then had a week off. Hohensee used most of the bye week lightly, in order to keep everyone healthy, and that’s good for Matt D’Orazio, because it means Bobby Sippio is at-or-close-to 100%. The Rush had DeJuan Alfonso and Jeremy Unertl named to the All-Arena team. Jeremy was also named to the All-Needs-A-Vowel-Or-Two team.

J SAYS: Good call on Utah losing, Friday Morning QB. Likewise, I’m a little nervous for the Rush’s prospects – Bobby Sippio’s Bear-Claws can only carry the Chicago so far, and if LA surprises All State Arena with a little defense, it could be a long night. Also, you can’t write off LA QB Sonny Cumbie – he does have “all the clubs in the bag”.

THE BOTTOM LINE: (TC) Matt D’Orazio isn’t as fidgety as Joe Germaine, and Bobby Sippio salvages most of the mistakes he does make. Utah wasn’t a good defensive team this year, and Chicago is. Sonny Cumbie has been good, but erratic. They’ll make the game interesting, but that’s probably the best they can hope for. (J) Chicago is a stronger team than Utah overall, but they’ll have to dig deep to keep a comfortable lead in this one. LA shouldn’t be written off, especially since they surprised Georgia in an upset victory last month. If Chicago’s D shows up strong, though, D’Orazio and Sippio should be able to keep LA in check.

TC’S PREDICTION: This might be close, but a healthy Chicago means they should control this game. Los Angeles can’t afford to make any mistakes if they want to stay in this one.

J’S PREDICTION: TC will most likely decide to stay in Chicago if he bases his life decisions off a football game. Which didn’t work out so well for this guy.





Yes, It’s Playoff Week 2: Point/Counterpoint (Columbus at Dallas)

5 07 2007

Brooke Makes Me Feel Funny Inside This Will Become Familiar

Last weekend’s games were exciting and dramatic! This weekend’s games look to be a little less so! Will the top two seeds in each conference remain intimidating, or are major upsets afoot!?! (Hint: no.)

SATURDAY: Columbus at Dallas, 8PM ET.

TC SAYS: I’m not going to use any “stats” in this one. Stats are for sissies. I may not use any “facts,” beyond the one that says Dallas lost but once this year, and has looked like assassins in doing so. Columbus’ quarterback and offensive coordinator don’t seem to get along. I executed some precision TiVoing to get that conversation verbatim, by the way. If Seth Marler hadn’t gone all Xavier Betitia in the last 5 minutes, we’d be having a much more interesting discussion about Brett “Dammit, I’m From Kentucky, I Only Played In Finland” Dietz vs. Dr. Clint “I’m Sorry, I Have Trouble Hearing You Over My Cheering Fans” Dolezel. But noooooo. Instead we get Cranky Matt Nagy stomping his foot ineffectually as Dallas DBs run in the other direction with the ball.

J SAYS: Verily. This is a classic David and Goliath story minus David, Goliath, and slingshots with rocks. Stats are for sissies, you say? You are right. J’S JAWS-LIKE REFERENCE OF MEANINGLESS STATISTICS: Columbus was the only team to make it into the playoffs with a losing record (7-9). Also, the fact that I was cock-blocked in Nagy’s SportsNation chat a while back doesn’t bode well for the Destroyers.

THE BOTTOM LINE: (TC) I don’t think Columbus has a prayer. Dallas has made next to no missteps all year, is led by a veteran with an outstanding supporting cast, and – most importantly – hasn’t been caught by the Magic ESPN Microphones getting into catfights with his coaches. (J) When I think about Dallas playing a football game, I get all tingly and goose-pimply. When I think about Columbus playing a football game, I get bowel obstructions.

TC’S PREDICTION: The only source of drama is whether or not Dr. Dolezel will also sleep with Matt Nagy’s wife/significant other/sister. His prescription: scoring.

J’S PREDICTION: The only source of drama is how many times Dr. Dolezel will sleep with Matt Nagy’s wife/significant other/sister. And whether Brooke (below) will be in the mix (yes, she will).

Oh, and to make up for the potential dullness of this game, I need to share Dallas’ representative to the Aaron’s Dream Team:

Brooke’s Interests Include: “Japanese Inspired Cuisine, Harry Potter, Donnie Darko, The Three Amigos, and Steel Magnolias.”

(TC) Brooke, I cordially invite you to sleep with me immediately see The Order of the Phoenix with me next weekend when it comes out.

(J) Brooke, I cordially invite you to move into my apartment play naked Twister re-enact the “Call On Me” video a fine dinner of sushi and screening of the Director’s Cut of Donnie Darko.





Playoff Week 1(2?): Point/Counterpoint (Colorado at San Jose)

5 07 2007

John Kaleo (#3) is no Matt Nagy, but this could be a common sight Saturday

The playoffs have arrived. Are you ready for the action? Are you ready for the drama? Are you ready for Jaws to perform in-depth game tape analysis while wearing casual-Friday attire?

Here’s our opinion of this weekend’s games, presented in a totally hip-n-fresh point-counterpoint format (in real-time!), which will be all the more fun because we’ll probably agree with each other on every game.

SATURDAY: Colorado at San Jose, 3pm ET.

J SAYS: On paper, both San Jose and Colorado are pretty similar – the SaberCats have only netted about 200 yards of offense more than the Crush have during the regular season, they have roughly the same number of turnovers, their uniforms appear to be inspired by the WAC conference.

The difference in this game, though, is (surprise!) the play at QB. For San Jose, Mark Grieb has averaged a completion percentage of 71%, compared to John Dutton’s 60.9%; Grieb has 99 TDs for the season, Dutton a trifling 80. Holy shit. I’m talking stats. This is disgusting.

TC SAYS: Regular season storyline of note: Damien Harrell is considered a Reasonable Bobby Sippio Facsimile, or perhaps vice-versa. In 2006, Damien Harrell set the AFL record for recieving TDs. This year, in both C/Rush bowls, Harrell was even with – one could even make the argument that he outplayed – Sippio, in two duels of the AFL’s star wide recievers. Neither of those games were won by Colorado.

THE BOTTOM LINE: (J)San Jose clinched their division with a 13-3 record and outscored their opponents by a net 251 points this season while Colorado limped to the playoffs with an 8-8 record, and were outscored by 65 points on the year (dammit, more stats – sorry!). Colorado, who traded blows with a mediocre Kansas City and won possibly in part due to a late-game fumbled snap, is playing San Jose, who is anything but mediocre, at home. (TC) Yeah, we’re probably going to agree on a lot this weekend. So, I’m goign to digress: Colorado’s backup QB is Former Purdue Whatever-The-Opposite-Of-Standout-Is QB Brandon Kirsch.  Who is notable for – according to those in the know – being a legend in his own mind, and subsequently forgoing his senior season at Purdue for no rational reason whatsoever. It also gives me the opportunity to reminisce about the year that the Purdue team was portrayed as comic book heroes. Including – and I didn’t notice this until now – one section of the marching band.

J’s PREDICTION: San Jose is going to walk away with this one. Elway will be able to spend his free time next weekend figuring out how to stage a coup and make the AFL into the NFL’s minor league.

TC’s PREDICTION: San Jose in a walk you say? Pretty much. I’m thinking that this week begins my triumphant “I Told You So Tour,” as San Jose has been rocking my face off since Week… 7? I think? Mr. Chairman, I yield the remainder of my time to my collegue.





The Wild Card games: reportedly they will be ‘wild’

28 06 2007

Good and Gooder

Likewise your other co-editor needs to apologize for a lack of activity around here heading into the playoffs. I blame a very busy work week/weekend capped off by a mid-week trip to San Diego – which ended with yours truly waking up at 5:30 to catch a flight, which would have been a painless venture had I not woken up drunk and naked with cartoons blaring from the television. Needless to say, the AFL ranks a little lower on the Priority Ladder than trying to not be drunk and naked in San Diego.

Anyhow, we have four games this weekend – exciting match ups between teams that limped through the regular season, playing somewhere between “acceptably decent” and “somewhat reminiscent of slightly more than mediocre”.

ESPN is likewise so excited for the weekend’s games that in addition to Monday Night (Arena) Football on ESPN2 (Utah vs. Los Angeles), Philly versus Orlando is on ESPN Friday night, and Saturday’s action is the afternoon lineup on ESPN. You can also catch the games on tape delay on ESPN at 2am if you’re not in the mood to spend the first weekend of July indoors. Looks like I’m dusting off the ol’ VCR.

FRIDAY: ORLANDO vs PHILADELPHIA

Squads JBJ and Other Gruden only squared off once this season, but when they did, Orlando was rolled up like an illegal substance and smoked by Philly, courtesy of a non-mangled Tony Graziani, who led the Soul to a 63-49 victory. Why is this important, you ask? Because it was last week. PREDICTION: Philly advances, we lose our Other Gruden jokes for the rest of the year.

SATURDAY: COLUMBUS AT TAMPA BAY

By the numbers, these teams are on the same level. Take into account the glory and majesty of Turku Trojans veteran Brett Dietz, who led the Storm to an 8-1 record since suiting up (including a win over Philly), and what we have to look forward to is a good ol’ fashion beat down. PREDICTION: Dietz’ first game was against Columbus, a narrow win of 34-32.  This one will not be that close.

COLORADO AT KANSAS CITY

Raymond “SillyName” Philyaw won 4 of the Brigade’s last 5 games of the season – but the final game was a crushing loss at the hands of the Chicago Rush. Regardless, KC has the home field advantage (they routinely draw more fans than the Royals)(I have no idea if that is actually true, but it wouldn’t surprise me) and Colorado is on a 4-game skid. PREDICTION: Colorado beat Kansas City both times they met in the regular season, but it was by margins of 4 and 3 points. Saturday’s W is going to the home team.

MONDAY: UTAH AT LOS ANGELES

When the dust settles from this shootout, it’s altogether possible that the game will be decided by whoever scores last (insert your own “bad at scoring”/”mediocre at sex”/”AFL < NFL when it comes to picking up strippers” joke here). While Exploding Peep Head Joe Germaine has had flashes of brilliance for Utah, LA has had better luck staying in close games, even though LA lost 47-37 to Utah last week. PREDICTION: This one kind of beats the hell out of me. Grandpa Gary says Utah. Works for me.

Also, it looks like TC and I may attend Arena Bowl XXI after all. We’ll keep you updated on how we do, as this would make the best use of our “the worst idea ever” tag to date. Even worse than trying to catch a flight out of San Diego while drunk and naked.





Week 17: Yes, the regular season is over

22 06 2007

PeytOWNEDWow. This is it. This is the end of the regular 2007 season of the AFL.

We’ve had laughter. We’ve had tears.

I’d go more in depth at the present moment, but (not to bitch about non-AFL trivialities such as work) I need to seriously get back to work – two nights with an extra four hours at the office, any my boss just totally caught me in the act of starting this draft. Sorry, Boss. At least I’m not across the street at the strip club [Ed. note for new readers: there is a strip club across the street from my office. I can see it from the window. Sometimes when I leave work late, there are women in minivans co-opting our parking lot like vagrants in an ATM vestibule, scowling, waiting for some poor dumb putz to wander out in a lusty-seedy haze to get slapped with a palm and divorce papers. It’s fantastic. Fantastically depressing].

Before we jump into it, note that there are four teams that could get two playoff spots this week, and the various scenarios are batshit insane. By the way, I never thought I’d write this, but if Columbus wins their final game, they will clinch a spot in the playoffs. Amazing.

LAST-EVER REGULAR SEASON CMRP: Tampa Bay and Austin. Do you think I’ll go with Team Brett Dietz? Does the Pope shit in the woods? Tampa Bay 72, Austin 45. CMRP hopes to finish the season with a playoff-worthy record of 9-6.

WEEKEND PILLOW FIGHT: Nashville and Grand Rapids. Should be a piece of cake for the Kats to win and clinch a playoff berth, right? Sure, except that last week Nashville QB Jeff Pole Smoker was benched after missing team meetings. Let’s hope Jeff pulls his head out of his ass and gets the W for Nashville, because we’d love to have a few more weeks to call Jeff Pole Smoker “Jeff Pole Smoker”.

Lastly, as an apology for missing my promised weekend coverage and in anticipation of not being able to deliver this weekend (Lumberg’s gonna make me work this weekend, I can feel it), please enjoy this picture of Peyton Manning looking delightfully uncomfortable with having his photo taken with an underaged member of the opposite sex.

PeytOWNED