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Rookie Mentors

My Content
Jun 29 2018, 03:02 PM
271 words

After a quiet start to free agency, we are close to having some dominoes fall as Orange County wide receiver Carlito Crush decides where he will play next season. After being spotted by paparazzi heading into the local Bovo Temple speculation has run wild that he may sign with the upstart Second Line who recently solidified themselves as the best team in the NSFL by far and indisputably.

In order to sweeten the pot, so to speak, local restaurant NawlinsEats has promised Mr. Crush a lifetime supply of free dirty rice if he decides to sign with the Second Line. Dirty rice, of course, is the traditional creole rice dish with bell peppers, jalapenos, garlic, onions, bay leaves, lots of Cajun spices, and chicken liver.

Could this meal be in Carlito Crush's future?

Not to be topped, a local Orange County restaurant recently released a statement saying that if he re-signs with the Otters they will supply him with free quinoa and tofu burgers. Tempting.

The Beaver News Network has heard that New Orleans is putting the full court press on Carlito Crush as they look to build on their franchise's first postseason appearance last season as they lost in the Ultimus championship. Local artists have come together to record songs trying to entice him to come to the city and the mayor of New Orleans even offered him a key to the city.

In the end, this unbiased source of news and commentary expects Crush to sign with the Second Line for the simple reason that we all know what happens at the end of Season Two in Orange County...

Jun 23 2018, 05:19 PM
1212 words

Less than 24 hours after completing their first winning season in franchise history the New Orleans Second Line have been rocked by a series of allegations that have shed some light on the trade that sent young star safety Jaylon Broxton to Orange County. What was once seen as a trade to shore up a position of weakness by dealing a position of strength now has been revealed as nothing more than a petty locker room squabble.

Cult. That's the word that was most often given to our reporters when former New Orleans players were asked to describe the locker room. Before each game the team gathers at a shrine to a mysterious entity called "Bovo" that quarterback Borkus Maximus III feels is responsible for his development into a great player and the team takes turns making offerings to Bovo before doing some group chanting and silent meditation. The players themselves dismiss it as silly superstition in public and refer to it as the "Church of Bovosexualism" but behind closed doors it's anything but silly.

Like all cults the Church of Bovosexualism has a strict hierarchy. At the top is Borkus Maximus III as well as his longtime friend, business partner, and co-author Schmalex Schmuerrero. Schmuerrero, of course, has been in the news recently for his "alternative" medicine clinics. It is in these clinics that Schmuerrero leads more formal celebrations to Bovo and thanks to anonymous sources we have gained a glimpse into those rituals.

Schmalex Schmuerrero tailgating before the Second Line's Week 7 game against Colorado, they would win 38-19

It's a dark, smoky, windowless room about 25' by 25' with tapestries covering the walls. In the center of the room is a small bowl for a fire - the only light during these rituals - which is surrounded by several large bean bag chairs. Borkus and Schmuerrero sit on purple bean bags next to each other at what is considered the "head" of the circle. To the right of Borkus is a teal bean bag and to the left of Schmuerrero are 3 yellow bean bags. The rest are all maroon. Within this cult the color of your bean bag is everything, it is your worth in the eyes of Bovo and while none dare challenge for one of the purple bean bags, the title of High Shaman of Bovo and its accompanying teal bean bag is very much in demand. The High Shaman assists Borkus and Schmuerrero in carrying out the rituals and gets various preferential treatment ranging from getting first choice in seating for the team's many Office marathons to showering with Borkus after games all while commanding immense respect. Terrell Brister had been the most recent High Shaman but as he slowly eased his way out of the cult the teal bean bag sat conspicuously empty.

The three yellow bean bags are for the cult's "Lolitas" which are essentially rank and file members ("Yetis" in cult parlance, referring to their lowly existence) rewarded for their dutiful worship of Bovo and who are groomed to be future leaders of the cult. At the beginning of this season those three were Blackford Oakes, Jaylon Broxton, and Ardie Savea - only one of which could replace Brister in the teal bean bag. Oakes was reportedly unhappy when Brister was chosen to be High Shaman as he felt his longer tenure with the team should afford him more deference and was confident that he would be chosen, talking about it openly with teammates. Broxton stayed quiet, not challenging him but also secure in his own standing.

One day after practice, Oakes visited the clinic to get some treatment for his legs which had been feeling tight that day. Inside, he overheard Schmuerrero and Borkus talking about the High Shaman and their concerns about Oakes' sense of entitlement and arrogance. Their talk concluded with both in agreement that Broxton would likely be the next High Shaman. Oakes was furious and resolved that he wouldn't allow another new player to take his rightful bean bag chair. Over the next 72 hours he set his plan in motion.

The next day Oakes dropped in unannounced at Broxton's house and the two watched some television. By the time Oakes left 3 or 4 hours later he had created 69 fake twitter and instagram accounts and had begun spamming Borkus' accounts with things he knew Borkus was self-conscious about, such as his cancelled engagement to Terrell Brister, his hairy feet, and his tendency to throw the football to the wrong team when he's on the field. It took more than 24 hours but eventually he was able to wear Borkus down and got a few angry responses.

That night he sent Borkus a text message asking if he thought Broxton had been acting oddly recently. Borkus said he hadn't and Oakes followed it up by saying that Broxton had been ranting and raving about Borkus and Schmuerrero's incompetence in being so slow to fill the High Shaman position. After planting that seed he returned to his burner accounts and resumed flaming Borkus.

On the third day of this all-out assault on Borkus, Oakes "let slip" some information in his flames that only a teammate and dedicated member of the cult would know: the collection of moles on his left buttock that are arranged in a smiley face. After Borkus responded to the posts, Oakes deleted them and ceased all flaming to make the slip seem accidental. This had the exact effect Oakes intended as Borkus was now sure that Broxton was behind the accounts because he was unhappy with not being named High Shaman yet. That night Borkus contacted management and demanded Broxton be traded, presenting the burner accounts which he had linked to Broxton's internet as evidence.

12 hours later Broxton was sent to Orange County, never getting an opportunity to defend himself.

Broxton posted this wistful photograph from his flight to Orange County, it was captioned "It's something unpredictable but in the end is right, I hope you had the time of your life."

So now, as the season draws to a close, Oakes has been anointed High Shaman and enjoys his newfound power within the cult, often making Yetis retrieve beer for him and having them clean his house. This whacky story is too weird, too bizarre to be real and yet multiple sources close to Broxton have confirmed that discovered this soon after the trade but has kept it quiet to avoid discord in the cult. These sources also say that Broxton assembled a mountain of evidence against Oakes, including video clips of him saying negative things about The Office - a capital crime in the cult, in the immediate aftermath but never exacted his revenge. "What's done is done, [he] just wants to move on and he knows that this coming to light would hurt Borkus, someone he still has immense respect for and cares about deeply, and wouldn't bring him back to New Orleans," one source told me.

This story should add another dimension as the two teams and the two former teammates prepare to face each other in the playoffs this week. To stay informed as this story develops be sure to stay tuned to BNN, the worldwide leader in factual, unbiased reporting.
Jun 21 2018, 11:30 AM
1004 words

With New Orleans' victory over the Baltimore Hawks on Monday clinching the franchise's first ever playoff berth the team now has their sights set on winning an Ultimus. It'll be a tough road, of course, since no matter how you slice it their path requires a win in Orange County.

Just two games remain in the remarkable turnaround season for the Second Line as they sit one game behind the Orange County Otters, winner of three straight Ultimus Trophies. However, there's only one game that matters - the two playoff-bound teams meet in Week 13 for all the marbles.

That's not strictly true. If Orange County loses to New Orleans they will still get home field if they win at Arizona and New Orleans loses to San Jose at home in Week 14 - but that is the only way that the winner of the showdown doesn't wind up with home field advantage for their playoff game and is incredibly unlikely. This also isn't taking into account the possibility of ties because they're so rare and would complicate this immensely.

New Orleans welcomed the Otters in Week 10 and the Second Line cruised to a 33-10 victory that was closer than the scoreline would indicate on the back of a very strong second half and winning the turnover battle 2-0. This win would prove important not just because it presented the Second Line to the league as contenders but because the two-win swing in both overall record and conference record is what has kept the Second Line in the race and has given them a real possibility of hosting at least one playoff game.

Whether it's in Week 13 or the first round of the playoffs, the Second Line will have to beat the champions on their own field if they hope to dethrone them, which is exactly the way it should be.


Home Field in the championship is quite a bit less cut and dry. Between the games involving Orange County, Yellowknife, and New Orleans there are 32 possible outcomes and of those Orange County gets home field in 9, Yellowknife in 8, and New Orleans in 7 while 8 more will come down to the Points For tiebreaker between Orange County and Yellowknife that is far from settled.

What's more is no team completely controls their own destiny. If Orange County and Yellowknife both win out (far from unlikely as the latter faces Colorado and Philadelphia at home) they each be at 11-3 with perfect 6-0 conference records. Yellowknife would have the edge in Points For but only by 13 points and each team would have one game against a team in the bottom 3 of Points Allowed.

New Orleans doesn't have a path to home field in the Ultimus that doesn't involve beating Orange County and the only way they can get it without winning out if it both the other teams to lose out - incredibly unlikely.

To me the mostly likely outcomes are:
Orange County wins out
New Orleans beats San Jose
Yellowknife wins at least 1 game (doesn't matter which)

In that scenario, Ultimus home field would come down to Points For between the Otters and Wraiths if the Wraiths win out and Orange County takes it if the Wraiths slip up against either of the teams battling for the final playoff spot.


The Yellowknife games, as alluded to earlier, are doubly important because they play two of the three teams fighting for the only unsettled playoff spot. A Yellowknife win over the Yeti, a Liberty loss to Arizona, and a Hawks win over the last-place Sabrecats in Week 13 puts the teams into a three-way 6-7 tie going into the final week where Philadelphia travels to Yellowknife and Baltimore hosts Colorado. In this case, Philadelphia would have an inferior conference record to whichever of Baltimore and Colorado win their game so they would be in the unenviable but mildly hilarious position of rooting for a tie.

Without taking ties into account by far the funniest scenario is one where all three teams lose out and Baltimore beats Colorado, sending all three teams into a 3-way tie with 6-8 overall records and 2-4 conference records. Philadelphia currently has the edge in Points For but Baltimore isn't terribly far behind and in this scenario they win a game while Philly loses both so it could come down to the wire. All-in-all, there are 16 paths for Colorado to claim the final spot (they're very unlikely to win a Points For tiebreaker) with 9 for Philly, 1 for Baltimore and 6 various flavors of Points For tiebreakers, all of which involve Philadelphia.

The Hawks have an incredibly slim margin for error. If Colorado wins either of their last two games, the Hawks are eliminated. If Philadelphia beats Arizona, the Hawks must win out, the Yeti must lose out, and Philadelphia must lose to Yellowknife for the Hawks to get into a Points For tiebreaker. If the Hawks lose at San Jose, both the other teams must lose out for the Hawks to get into a Points For tiebreaker.

The Yeti, meanwhile, are over 100 points behind in Points For and so must secure the playoff spot before that tiebreaker. They're the only team to control their own destiny - if they win out they're in. If they win 1 of the last 2 they're in a pretty good spot but need Philadelphia to lose to Yellowknife.

The Liberty are sitting between the two. Their most important game by far is at Yellowknife in Week 14. If they win that game the only way they don't make the playoffs is if Colorado wins out. The Arizona game helps them in some scenarios but ultimately a loss against Yellowknife gives them a 2-4 conference record that's rarely good enough to take advantage of their 7-7 record.

Should be a good stream tomorrow.

You can play along at home with this image for the NO-OC and overall home field scenarios and this image for the PHI-COL-BAL scenarios.
Jun 6 2018, 12:49 PM
3792 words. Not sorry.

Usually when someone rips the “Tale of Two blanks” title it’s to set up an article that follows the same sort of motif that Dickens utilized throughout the novel - that is, a stark and direct juxtaposition. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness. It was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity. It was the season of light, it was the season of darkness. It was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. We had everything before us, we had nothing before us. We were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way. This isn’t meant to be a literary review (and if it was I certainly wouldn’t choose someone as boring as Dickens, I welcome your @s if you’re wrong and disagree) but simply to set up that despite ripping that title, that is not what I’m doing here.

In this tale of two rebuilds there are no best of times and it certainly doesn’t describe a season of light. "It was the worst of the times, it was the worsterer of times" would be more appropriate because what follows is the story of two rebuilds that got kicked off in Season 3 and centered around accumulating Season 4 draft picks. I know, looking back at (and usually mocking) the Yeti rebuild has been done over and over. Yes, this is another one of those articles. Though I think I'm more sympathetic than kckolbe was.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Season 4 draft here’s a link. Check that out. Perhaps you’re new to the league, perhaps you’ve scrubbed it from your memory but either way you probably recognize very few names there unless you’re involved in the DSFL. It was a truly abominable draft because the draft class was sliced in two in the midst of the first DSFL season. Players who created before the 7th of September were Season 3, players who created after the 4th of October were Season 5, and everyone in between formed the worst class in NSFL history.

A month of recruits may not sound bad but it was moreso how that stacked up with the league calendar that season. The 6th of September was the S3 draft and the 4th of October was Week 10 of S3. That meant, of course, that there was no offseason recruiting involved for this draft, it was solely in-season recruits. This minor snag in the creation of the DSFL makes the Season 3 rebuilds of the Colorado Yeti and Las Vegas Legion look hilarious and sad in hindsight. So in short (lol this isn’t going to be short at all), this is a tale of two rebuilds that were doomed from the outset because life is bleak and pointless and depressing and hope is nothing more than foolishness. I guess maybe a Dickens motif did make its way into this after all.

The Colorado Yeti

A week after the Season 3 draft the Yeti made a series of trades that saw them add a bevy of draft picks as well as a fair few players as they sold off their assets. I wasn’t involved in Colorado (or the league, at the time) so I won’t pretend to know the thinking and rationale behind these moves but will simply look at them at face value.

On the 10th of September they got things started by making a blockbuster trade with Arizona. They sent Big Bot and Phillipe Carter to the desert in exchange for Mayran Jackson, Vash Erikson, and Arizona’s Season 4 2nd round pick. This appears to be a widely panned trade at the time but I do think it looks a little better for Colorado in hindsight.

They continued things the next day by trading Wyatt Fulton, their Season 4 2nd, and the recently acquired Arizona Season 4 2nd to Yellowknife in exchange for Brice Boggs and Yellowknife’s Season 4 3rd and 5th. Now, looking at that in hindsight it looks like an absolute fleecing but Daybe had just been named Colorado's co-GM and those deals often look much better for the team acquiring their co-GM than the team losing that user. Fulton was a Season 1 linebacker on an expiring contract and Boggs was a Season 3 cornerback so the Yeti got younger at the cost of moving back fairly significantly in the Season 4 draft. Fulton was traded to the Legion for cap considerations ($6m over two seasons) before retiring in that retirement. As for the picks, the two the Yeti received were lost since there were too few prospects and the two the Wraiths received currently sit at 50 and 57 TPE, respectively, though the Season 4 Colorado 2nd will still play a role.

A third trade in as many days saw Colorado send Blaster Blade and Jon Ross to Las Vegas for Philadelphia’s Season 4 1st, Las Vegas’ Season 4 4th, Las Vegas’ Season 5 5th, and Bisquiteen Crockner. Wowza. This was initially seen as a big win for Las Vegas, bringing in two actives. In an odd twist of fate, Blade would later be traded for Big Bot - two former Yeti traded for eachother (amongst other things) after being traded away from the Yeti days apart.

Four days later, Colorado made a minor move with Arizona to acquire Vincent Draxel for their Season 5 7th round pick. This is very unlike the other trades because it came after the a Noble scandal and before the Yeti had Pierno so they needed a quarterback. Draxel had been Arizona’s quarterback in Season 1 before King Bronko took over and they picked up a bridge quarterback for nothing.

That’s when the fire sale began. On the 16th of September they traded Luke Tiernan to Yellowknife to get back their Season 4 2nd round pick they lost in the Boggs trade and Yellowknife’s Season 5 5th round pick. Oh yeah, and a quarterback by the name of Nicholas Pierno. Tiernan appears to be a quite good Season 1 linebacker who has been serviceable even in inactivity but was on an expiring contract that the Yeti turned into draft capital and their long-time quarterback, not to mention a great user by all accounts. Exactly the kind of trade rebuilding teams have to make.

They followed up the next day by flipping Mayran Jackson (who had been on the team one week) along with Torque Lewith and Gadget Tech to San Jose for Ben Longshaw, San Jose’s Season 4 1st and Season 5 3rd and 5th. Giving up 3 actives always hurts but word is that the three wanted out of Colorado. Ben Longshaw retired a couple seasons later but has returned to the team in the form of Howard Miller and the 1st rounder they acquired was spent on one of the few actives from the Season 4 draft, current Head Office member Haruki Ishigawa. The other two picks became Ben Urlacher and Lamarcus Mills. A trade that Kolbe once said “might be the worst” out of the Season 3 Yeti trades doesn’t look like it turned out quite so bad in the long run.

And completing the 4 trades in 4 days challenge, the next day the Yeti shipped out Kieran O’Connell for Michael Newman, Arby Krimlaw, and a Season 4 4th round pick. A trade that featured 3 basically inactive players (after one of the most pedantic arguments in league history, Krimlaw actually did end up updating twice for the Yeti) and a pick this didn’t exactly have far-reaching consequences.

There was one more trade the Yeti made that significantly impacted their Season 4 draft. The day before the draft, Colorado owned the 2nd and 3rd picks in a draft that looked like it would only have a handful of actives. I was in this draft and have known Keyg_an for nearly a decade now so he was determined to pry one of those picks from Colorado. In the end, Colorado sent Las Vegas the 2nd and 6th picks in exchange for the Legion's Season 5 1st round pick (!) and $2m in cap space. We'll cover this trade more below.

So to sum that up the Yeti traded away:
Big Bot
Phillipe Carter
Wyatt Fulton
Blaster Blade
Jon Ross
Kieran O’Connell
Torque Lewith
Gadget Tech
Luke Tiernan
S4 Colorado 1st (#2 - Blackford Oakes)
S5 Colorado 7th (#49 - N/A)

And received:
Vash Erikson
Brice Boggs
Vincent Draxel
Nicholas Pierno
Ben Longshaw
Michael Newman
Arby Krimlaw
S4 San Jose 1st (#3 - Haruki Ishigawa)
S4 Yellowknife 3rd (#20 - N/A)
S4 Philadelphia 4th (#30 - N/A)
S4 Yellowknife 5th (#36 - N/A)
S5 Las Vegas 1st (#2 - Andre Bly Jr.)
S5 San Jose 3rd (#20 - Ben Urlacher)
S5 San Jose 5th (#36 - Lamarcus Mills)
S5 Yellowknife 5th (#39 - John Mueller)
$2m in cap space

That looks brutal on balance but that’s mostly because they never got the chance to use nearly half their acquired picks due to the truncated Season 4 draft class. Had that been a normally sized draft class here are the types of players they might’ve expected to get. These are the Season 3 and Season 5 players selected within 2 picks of the Yeti’s S4 selection:
#20: Wallace Stone, William Ridley, Rico Rodriguez, Calkewlated Chambers III, Jimmy Cox, Kenny Omega, Brandon Carter, Ben Urlacher, Peg Leg, Sidney Spinelli
#30: Jaquan Young, Sammy Walters, Joseph Askins, Vincent Valentine, Juan Andres, Victor Ball, Wolverine Justice
#36: Arjen de Ligt, Jonathan King, Jughead Jones, Kiko Bakari, Al Sims, Lamarcus Mills, Nathan Clearwater

Had they been able to get a player like Wallace Stone or Vincent Valentine with one of those picks they’d be in better shape right now. Would it have turned them from 0-14 into a playoff team? Certainly not. But Stone was a big part of the trade that brought a 600 TPE (at the time, over 800 now), active Wide Receiver to New Orleans and Valentine has turned into a 550 TPE safety that’s a big part on the defense of the team that may be the Ultimus favorites. Adding a player or two like that would have been a big addition to their current core that's rounding into shape.

They also got back their Season 4 2nd rounder which ended up being #10 overall. The S3 and S5 players selected within 2 picks of 10th are:
Franklin Harris Jr., Francois Lameroux, Trey Willie, Clifford Rove, Vash Erikson, Tegan Atwell, Michael Tilman, Terrell Brister, Fresh Booter, Darren Morris

How much different would the last few Yeti seasons have looked if they were able to get a solid 400ish TPE contributor like Rove, Harris, Brister, Tilman, or Atwell let alone someone of Willie’s caliber? How much more dangerous would their current core look? Instead they had to use the 10th overall pick on someone that didn’t update a single time.

Despite their misfortune that the Season 4 draft sucked, they were able to sell reasonably high on several of their players. Very few of the players they traded away ended up being long-serving, major franchise pieces the way Boggs and Longshaw became for them:
Big Bot - traded with a Season 4 1st to Las Vegas for Blaster Blade. Blade had a solid season in Arizona with 45 tackles and 14 for loss before walking in free agency.
Phillipe Carter - walked in free agency after Season 3. Had 57 tackles, 6 interceptions, and 26 passes defended for the Outlaws.
Wyatt Fulton - traded to Las Vegas for $6m in cap considerations after Season 3. Had 114 tackles, 12 sacks, 2 interceptions, and a safety for Yellowknife.
Blaster Blade - as mentioned above, he walked in free agency.
Jon Ross - Had 87 catches for 1,285 yards and 5 touchdowns before being involved in the mass retirement.
Kieran O’Connell - inactive, had 778 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns over 4 seasons in Philadelphia.
Luke Tiernan - Over five seasons with the Wraiths Tiernan was a stud, recording 467 tackles, 20 for loss, 30 sacks, 4 interceptions, 33 pass defenses, and 6 fumbles either forced or recovered. Definitely a big loss here, no doubt.
Mayran Jackson - Another big loss for the Yeti, Jackson has become a cornerstone of the Sabercats. Over five seasons he’s had 419 catches for 6,832 yards and 37 touchdowns. Would he have stayed in Colorado for five seasons? It doesn’t sound like he would have so you can hardly fault them for missing out on that production.
Torque Lewith - Similar to Jackson in that he has been a mainstay in San Jose and a big contributor to their stingy defense over the years but would he have stayed in Colorado? I don’t know. They could have certainly used his 456 tackles, 16 for loss, 16 sacks, 12 interceptions, and 60 pass defenses.
Gadget Tech - In his two seasons as a Sabercats offensive line, Tech had 68 pancakes and 11 sacks allowed. Solid for sure but he was not re-signed for Season 5.
Blackford Oakes - I've been solid for Las Vegas/New Orleans but considering they got Bly in the trade I doubt Colorado is looking me up wistfully on Facebook all these seasons later, opening up a message box and drunkenly spilling their guts before sobering up and apologizing only to do the same thing the following weekend. Which isn't harassment, Kara, it's a romantic gesture. You'll come around.

Tiernan, Jackson, and Lewith stand out as players that had great careers for the teams the Yeti traded them to while many of the rest were simply rentals. Tiernan is probably the only one that would’ve actually stayed in Colorado long term.

The Las Vegas Legion

This is going to have a slightly different tone than the Colorado one simply because I’m good friends with Keygan and was around for the Season 4 offseason so I know a bit more about the personal/user side of the trades as compared to the Yeti trades where I’m basing it mostly on sim performance and TPE while guessing at the other, more important dimension to sim league trading.

So unlike the Yeti trades which came in a flurry, the Legion’s accumulation of draft picks was slow and spread out over a couple months. The first domino to fall was Mark Ramrio who was traded to Philadelphia for a Season 3 3rd, Season 4 1st, and Season 5 1st. Huge return just days before the Season 3 draft. This was a sign-and-trade for Ramrio and gave the Legion significant draft capital to build back up after their gamble to compete immediately failed.

A few days later one of the more interesting trades I’ve looked at was posted. The Legion traded two Season 3 3rds (Arizona and the Philadelphia pick they just got) plus their Season 4 2nd to Yellowknife in exchange for San Jose’s Season 3 6th, Yellowknife’s Season 4 1st, and Yellowknife’s Season 4 2nd. At the time it seemed like a savvy move for both sides given their relative timelines. As iamslm22 opined at the time “I like th[e] trade for the Legion as long as next years draft isn't terrible.” Haha whoops.

A week later Las Vegas was involved in the previously mentioned trade with Colorado that saw them acquire Blaster Blade and Jon Ross. We already covered this but I’d like to highlight that the Season 4 Philadelphia 1st was involved after being acquired in the Ramrio trade. No particular reason. (This is foreshadowing.) I must say, though, adding Jon Ross was a big deal behind the scenes as he was incredibly active in our SHL-heavy locker room.

Later that month, the Legion traded away Stormblessed in a definite rebuilding move on the heels of trading picks for established players. Definitely some mixed signals going on here but adding Baltimore’s 1st and 2nd to their draft stockpile as well as Jon Baker was a nice return for the Legion and looked to kick start their rebuild.

A month later, just before the Season 4 draft, Blaster Blade was flipped to Arizona in the Big Bot and a 1st trade detailed above. Blade hit free agency after the following season while Big Bot was another great addition to our locker room. I’m sure exactly when people realized that the Season 4 draft was going to be garbage tier but I imagine it must’ve been before this so I’m hesitant to chalk the acquiring of Arizona’s Season 4 1st up as an unlucky turn.

And finally, the final piece. With Colorado and Las Vegas owning all but 2 picks in the Season 4 first round, Las Vegas paid to price to ensure they got their man (hi) by trading their Season 5 1st (oof) and a bit of cap space in exchange for Colorado’s Season 4 1st (#2 overall) and Philadelphia’s Season 4 1st (#6 overall). By this point, Philadelphia’s Season 4 1st had been passed around more times than a Surrey hooker. It was sent to Las Vegas for Ramrio then traded to Colorado for Blade and Ross then traded back to Las Vegas for their Season 5 1st. The 1st round pick that selected Lonzac was traded more times than the number of games he actually played in the NSFL. Wew.

So, again, to sum that up. The Legion traded away:
Mark Ramrio
Bisquiteen Crockner
S3 Arizona 3rd (#24 - James Warner)
S4 Las Vegas 2nd (#9 - Forfeited by the cheaterbois in Yellowknife for cheating)
S4 Las Vegas 4th (#25 - N/A)
S5 Las Vegas 1st (#2 - Andre Bly Jr)
S5 Las Vegas 5th (#35 - Pass)
$2m in cap space

And in return they added:
Jon Ross
John Baker
Big Bot
S3 San Jose 6th (#42 - Tyler Grant)
S4 Colorado 1st (#2 - Blackford Oakes)
S4 Yellowknife 1st (#4 - Steven O’Sullivan)
S4 Philadelphia 1st (#6 - Trey Lonzac)
S4 Baltimore 1st (#7 - Andres Waiters)
S4 Arizona 1st (#8 - Shawn Ariel)
S4 Yellowknife 2nd (#12 - Den Bavis)
S4 Baltimore 2nd (#15 - Pass)
S5 Philadelphia 1st (#5 - Dean Jackson)

Man, what could have been. Even throwing out the late addition of #s 2, 6, and 8 that were acquired because of the weakness of the draft class, a team that picks 4th, 7th, 12th, 15th, and 18th in a draft is usually set up well pretty for the future. In Season 3 those selections were used on Benson Bayley, Julian O’Sullivan, Vash Erikson, Charlie Law, and Wallace Stone. In Season 5 they were used on Cameron Taylor, Ryan Sierra, Darren Morris, Jacob Lattimore, and Kenny Omega. In Season 6 they were Norman Bagwell, Borro Gore, Bogdan Wojcik, Borkus Maximus III, and Micycle McCormick. Obviously two different teams in two different drafts can’t be expected to pick the same player but overall having 5 picks in the top 18 picks is going to get you a great core of players to build around. Unfortunately for Las Vegas, that wasn’t to be as they walked out of the Season 4 draft with Steven O’Sullivan, Andres Waiters, Den Bavis, and Brent Lane from those picks. Not an active to be found.

In order to make the draft not a total loss, the Legion had to give up their Season 5 1st rounder - which everyone knew would be a high pick - in order to trade up to #2 overall and pick me. That 1st rounder, of course, became Andre Bly Jr. That’ll be an interesting trade to revisit in the future but I have to imagine Colorado is happy with the way that it’s turned out, considering Bly has been their franchise cornerstone and long ago passed me in TPE despite being a season behind.

Aside from missing out on Bly (or Crush or Wachter or Taylor or Jackson or etc, no idea how those top 2 picks would’ve gone if Colorado didn’t own both) and dealing Ramrio, the Legion didn’t really give up too much that they’d end up regretting. Ramrio had a disappointing (?) Season 4 in Philadelphia with 36 tackles and 13 for loss before being traded to Arizona along with Lincoln Jefferson for Godfrey King, Ryan Flock, and a Season 5 3rd that was used on Sidney Spinelli. Stormblessed put together a great Season 4 in Baltimore and has filled a role nicely since but getting a 1st and a 2nd for an inactive is the move you make to rebuild, even though Stormblessed for Andres Waiters and John Baker is a travesty in hindsight.

So there it is, one view of the story of two rebuilds that failed spectacularly. New Orleans has now built around their Season 6 draft and the Yeti their Season 5 and 7 drafts so I think it's safe to say that whiffing so brutally in the Season 4 draft set the franchises back 2-3 seasons. If not for loading up in that draft, perhaps last year the Second Line would've made their first postseason appearance. Lord knows we were close. Colorado almost certainly doesn't lose 912 or whatever straight games and they're spared the endless mockery. Hell, with a couple good S4 players (either the players themselves or assets acquired from trading them) maybe the Yeti beat Arizona, San Jose, and New Orleans at home last season, pull off one more upset and the NSFC's worst team suddenly has the same record as a playoff team in the ASFC. Probably not, but maybe.

Maybe an alternate timeline where the Season 4 draft had a normal amount of talent leads to more parity but maybe it leads to the opposite. If the Legion were 5-9 and on the upswing instead of 3-11 in Season 4 would the discontented players have still mass retired or would they have stuck around to go inactive instead? Perhaps we have no mass retirement memes and bovovovo never takes over the franchise. With no mass retirement do players like AsylumParty and JuOSu volunteer to leave the Outlaws and Otters respectively to help turn around the distressed franchise? Probably not. If Las Vegas and Colorado win more than a combined 9 games in Seasons 4, 5, and 6 maybe all the discussions about parity never occur.

This is all bullshit, of course, but it's interesting to imagine a timeline where we all have a fair bit less TPE from not being to automatically predict against Colorado and Las Vegas/New Orleans the last few seasons. It's easy to wish the Season 4 draft had been more successful for the Legion but perhaps the way it turned out it is a far, far better thing.
May 25 2018, 02:50 PM
831 words

Season 7 is in the books and it was a pretty wild one. For the first time in league history we had a team not named the Arizona Outlaws or the Orange County Otters finish with the best regular season record as Yellowknife finished tied for the best record in league history at 13-1. We had our first team in the Philadelphia Liberty win a championship for the NSFC. We had our *checks notes* second consecutive 0-14 season in Colorado. And we saw a lot of individual performances break into the record books, which is what this post is about.
  • First of all, Mat Akselsen set the single season record for most rushing touchdowns with 16. He is the only non running back to appear in the top 10.
  • Second, Stephen Harris set the single season record for most field goals made with 42, making the most out of his opportunities as he didn't miss a single field goal all season.
  • Finally, Micycle McCormick is the first and only kicker in league history to not miss a single extra point or field goal for an entire season.
This was a weird year in terms of punting as we saw single game records set in punt average, punt yards, punt return yards, and punt return touchdowns.
  • Forfeit had only a single punt in Week 6 against Arizona but he made it count with a 63 yarder that stuck the Outlaws at their own 12 yard line. His 63 yard "average" is a new NSFL record.
  • Iyah Blewitt on the other hand had a very busy Week 5 against New Orleans when he punted 14 times for a total of 772 yards, a new league record.
  • Dermot Lavelle, our fearless and inscrutable commissioner, had one of the best return games we've ever seen with 214 punt return yards and 2 punt return touchdowns against New Orleans in Week 4, both league records.
  • The only non-punting single game record that was set this season came in Week 14 as Mike Boss attempted 68 passes against San Jose.
  • The punting theme continued in this season's playoffs as Brad Madlad had an 51.7 yard average for the Otters, a playoff record, and Reg Mackworthy set records in punt return yards (104) and longest punt return (88 yards).
  • Erlich Burnsman also had a 39 yard run in the Ultimus game that is a playoff record.
In addition to those record-setters there were quite a few notable performances this season that challenged some records. In total we had 71 new entries in the top 10 for single season records.
  • Tyler Oles was just 29 pass attempts from breaking Mat Akselsen's record of 695 from Season 5.
  • Ardie Savea tied the previous record for rushing touchdowns with 14 but was outdone by Akselsen's 16.
  • Mat Akselsen tied the league record for longest run with an 80 yarder against Arizona in Week 8.
  • Ian Bavitz tied for second in interceptions with 8, just 2 behind Isaiah Rashad's 10 in Season 1.
  • Vincent Sharpei had 140 sacks on the season and fell just 5 shy of breaking the record set by Kendrick Hendrix in Season 1.
  • Three players had 2 punt return touchdowns this season, tying the league record: Dermot Lavelle, Reg Mackworthy, and Shane Weston.
  • Three kickers had a perfect season on field goals as Shane Harris went 42/42, Iyah Blewitt went 30/30, and Micycle McCormick went 21/21. McCormick and Turk Turkleton were the only ones to be perfect on extra points, going 10/10 and 46/46 respectively.
Also now that I have you trapped and you can't leave we'll also cover the New Orleans records that were set this season.
  • Borkus Maximus III began his campaign to expunge Logan Noble and Josh Bercovici from our franchise record books with 641 pass attempts and 4,149 passing yards this season.
  • As mentioned, Ardie Savea set a franchise record with 14 rushing touchdowns.
  • Some scrubbo named Blackford Oakes had 179 interception return yards.
  • Vincent Sharpei finished the season with New Orleans so his 140 tackles are now considered a franchise record. His 133 last season stand as the San Jose franchise record.
  • Dustin Evans had 511 punt return yards.
  • Peg Leg attempted 32 field goals, made 27 extra points, made 93.1% of his extra points, and punted for 5,370 yards. All four of which are franchise records.
  • Larry Armstrong recorded 78 pancakes, though we're waiting on the results of his blood tests before making this one official.
And for single games:
  • Borkus Maximus III, 57 pass attempts against Yellowknife Week 4
  • Borkus Maximus III, 377 passing yards against San Jose Week 5
  • Blackford Oakes, 91 interception return yards against Yellowknife Week 3
  • Dustin Evans, 143 punt return yards against San Jose Week 5
  • Peg Leg, 5 field goals against Baltimore Week 10
  • Peg Leg, 5 extra points against Colorado Week 8
  • Peg Leg, 591 punting yards against Yellowknife Week 4
  • Lance Armstrong, 12 pancakes against Colorado Week 8
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