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Local Time: Jan 23 2018, 10:28 PM
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Jan 21 2018, 10:51 PM
I'll be honest with you guys, I only need 16 words here. I feel like that wouldn't really be allowed, so I'll just go on for a bit and then stop when it kind of runs its course. Anyway, so I find it pretty annoying that my whole division is within half a game of each other. Seriously, 3 teams, 5-4-1, 5-4-1, and 5-5. That's not a thing that's supposed to be a thing. I'm hoping Tijuana gets in, but I'd have preferred not to have to sweat it. We don't have any games left against Kansas City, who are the worst team this year, but even they're not that bad (3-7, and in the other conference). Palm Beach has a game left against Kansas City so they're probably the favorites to get in, and otherwise it's basically whoever wins the two games between Tijuana and San Antonio. In an ideal world both the bot teams would miss and all the actives could get to experience the playoffs, but one bot team (Norfolk) is pretty much a lock and the other (Palm Beach) has a pretty good shot to get in.
191 words, which is much more than 16.
Dec 24 2017, 09:03 PM
There's a controversy brewing in Tijuana, Mexico tonight, and no, it has nothing to do with tequila or hookers - well, yet anyway. It's about the the contracts of the Tijuana Luchadores of the DSFL, the minor league that feeds into the NSFL, and a perceived injustice on behalf of a player who was signed to them, with the benefactor going elsewhere. By now, the clip has surely made the rounds on Youtube, Facebook Live, Twitter - the interview with Tijuana player Antonio Legion where he goes off on the reporter about the contract situation of new teammate Bogdan Wojcik, who was only offered a 1 million dollar contract, in comparison to a fellow Legion member Blessed Storm who was offered a much more substantial 6 million. It's starting to look like the new generation's "I'm just here so I won't get fined" but the interesting part is that it's not even Wojcik who is arguing for it, nor is it Storm the beneficiary of such a deal. Legion's passion over the issue is admirable, and shows he wants what's best for his teammate. That begs the question though: what is best for Wojcik, and what is best for the Tijuana Luchadores?
It's no secret that players from the HFFO agency tend to go for larger money deals, and this was the case for Blessed Storm here. Some may see that as a drawback, some may see it as his clients getting what works for them, and if a team is willing to oblige, it's not an issue. Storm wanted 6 million, the Luchadores gave him 6 million, and all that's left now is to play some football. As long as it doesn't hurt the Luchadores' cap, there's nothing inherently wrong with taking a larger deal, and even if it did hurt their cap, the money is theirs to do with as they see fit. They considered it wise, at the time of offering, to give Storm 6 million. Whether that will prove true remains to be seen.
The other issue Legion brought up in the brief yet viral response is that of Wojcik getting 1 million, a perceived small amount to a new player who would typically be given more. However, we've received the other side of the story from Wojcik himself, and it all seems to fall into place a lot more after hearing it from him.
"I came to them. The same night I was drafted, I was obviously introduced to the team and many of us talked at the post-draft event over drinks and a fine array of hors d'oeuvres. I met a lot of the players, and I met one of the guys in charge, Jaskins. He seemed like a great guy, really wanted what was best for his players, so that very night I pulled him aside and talked contract with him, before he'd even really brought anything up with the rest of the Luchadores head office. I expressed interest in a small deal. I have other ways of earning money, and the less I make, the more the team can spend on other players, which in theory should make us more successful. He hadn't even brought up the idea of contracts - if anything, it might have been poor form on my part to bring the business side of the game into things at such a lighthearted, fun event - but it was very important to me to instill in them right from the get go that I wanted a smaller dollar amount to my contract. Something like 2 million or even 3 million might have been fine, but honestly, the 5 million type of deals that it seems like most of the team got, I don't think I'd have accepted it, at least not with some discussion from the team beforehand as to why. Instead, I got the single million, which is honestly just about perfect. I can't express enough how happy I am to have landed on a team that understands the desires of its players and tries to meet them, especially in instances such as this where that desire ultimately falls in line with what's best for the team as well. If I'm happy and the team is happy, who else matters? I have to say though, I definitely appreciate where Legion is coming from on this, he wanted to help me out, he really did. He just didn't have all the information at his disposal when he went off at that reporter. It's an unfortunate case of timing, and it could have been avoided had I made it clear to the league on the whole where I stood on the issue rather than just in private to Jaskins. That said, contract negotiations are private by their very nature, so the onus shouldn't have been on me to try to prevent things like this from happening. I negotiated with the team the contract I was given. It was posted, I accepted. That's all anyone really needs to know."
There you have it, folks. It's rare this day and age, and perhaps a bit unorthodox, for a player to actively negotiate his deal in reverse. It's just standard practice to try to push for more money, not less money, and Wojcik is clearly a rather unusual football player to have done this. Still though, we don't fault people for being odd. If he performs on the field, that's all that matters, so we'll see if Wojcik's season in the DSFL is worthy of this contract, or if perhaps the downward negotiations take the pressure off to such an extent that he fails as a player as well. So far though, all signs point to a strong opening campaign for the rookie. At the same time, if Wojcik can live up to the hype, and along with Legion and Storm, the three can put this mess behind them and focus on some football, perhaps they'll develop chemistry as teammates and take the league by storm - that was, after all, the point to taking a smaller deal in the first place.
On behalf of the Tijuana Luchadores, this has been Quilha Agante, for ESPN Deportes.
Dec 20 2017, 06:10 PM
It's the night of the DSFL draft, and all through the city
Many draftees were stirring, their nerves were all shitty
The banners were hung from the rafters with care
And the players hoped their names would soon be up there
The fans were all nestled in tightly packed seats
Waiting for the next superstar to sign their cleats
And Wojcik in his best suit but without a cap
Had tried unsuccessfully to take a nap
His nerves kept him up, and he wanted to see
What team would select him, what round he would be
When out from the crowd there arose such a clatter
He looked to the stage to see what was the matter
The commissioner stood at the podium there
And announced 30 minutes, then we would know where
The players would go for the following season
Unless they were traded for whatever reason
Wojcik straightened his tie and sat up in his chair
Excitement and draft buzz were filling the air
His fellow draftees all had big cups of coffee
While he drank a Dew and chewed on a toffee
The big board arose in the back of the hall
From this distance it still looked rather small
Much would be decided, but who would get it right?
Merry Draftmas to all and to all a good night!
Dec 6 2017, 07:38 PM
Wojcik on the Warpath
Charles Evremonde, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Casimir Wojcik always had the same piece of advice for his sons as they grew up: work harder than the other guy and you'll achieve more than they will. It was a sound piece of advice, if a bit optimistic, but it's always worked well for his oldest son Bogdan. He was the largest of his brothers, and growing up in Bialystok, it was a hard life for him. The Wojcik clan would wake up at 4:30 every morning to tend to the pigs, feeding them and cleaning the troughs before going to school. After school, they would each be able to participate in one activity with their free time before returning home; Bogdan participated in soccer as the school didn't have a team for American football, but when he earned enough money for his own television, he would watch games on the weekends and it wasn't long before he was hooked. He would watch as many games as possible, but he always enjoyed the Carolina Panthers the most, even if it took him the better part of a season to pronounce the name correctly (he pronounced it "Caroleena").
During his junior and senior years of high school, he would practice as much as he could out in the fields, and while he never really got the hang of throwing and catching, hitting people came naturally. There were times when a pig would escape from the pens, and as the oldest and largest, it typically fell to Bogdan to catch it and bring it back. He had to quickly adapt to changes in direction, dive at proper angles, and grip and control the pig's heavy body mass. It was hard work when it was part of the farm, but it was fun when it was part of practice.
Bogdan was always a smart kid, and while he had a few scholarship offers in his native Poland (notably a full ride to Jagiellonian University in Krakow) he had an American cousin who found him an opportunity to play American football for a school near him, Robert Morris. He applied, got partial funding, and his cousin offered to pay the rest and allow him to live in the guest room so he could come over and try his hand at his favorite sport. He walked on, the coach was particularly impressed with him, and tried him out at defensive tackle for the first few practices just to see how he got on. Immediately something clicked. It was like he was meant to play the position. There was an established starter at the position, so he got limited game time the first year (along with the occasional few snaps at defensive end, where he wasn't as good). By the time the second year came around, the position battle was just a formality - Bogdan had earned his spot, and he'd earned a scholarship.
After starting his sophomore year, the plaudits started rolling in - and so did offers from D-1 schools. West Virginia wanted Bogdan pretty heavily, the coach even came to several Robert Morris games, and he took a few calls from Penn State, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma. Nonetheless, he decided to stay with Robert Morris as his living arrangements were handled, and by then he was of course getting a full scholarship to play there. He also wanted a school that understood his desire to have a real degree with possible applications toward his future, rather than somewhere that would have him take Basket Weaving 101 just for the sake of football. He was halfway through a Chemistry degree by that point.
Once he graduated, having stayed all four years, and with his degree, a few analysts threw his name out there as a possible late round steal for the NFL draft. At the same time, he heard one guy absolutely falling all over himself to say how great Bogdan was and what an asset he'd be: one of my fellow Post-Gazette writers, Rodion Raskolnikov, the NSFL beat writer. Immediately Bogdan called Raskolnikov and inquired about this NSFL as it wasn't something he was familiar with, and he was directed to where to apply, and here we are now. One of the hottest young talents on the market, Bogdan Wojcik will be available to join the NSFL as a defensive tackle for the upcoming season.GRADED