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Jun 24 2018, 03:04 PM
Ahead of tomorrow's conference championships, it's time to have a (long overdue) update of the status of the NSFL Championship Belt and the Tank's Baton. I might do one for DSFL too, when I have time. But not yet.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand.

We left off at the start of season six, where the Philadelphia Liberty held the Belt, and the newly rebranded New Orleans Second Line had inherited the Tank's Baton from their predecessor club, the Las Vegas Legion. Let's get to it.

Week one of season six saw the Liberty travel to the Northwest Territories and defend their title in a 33-31 thriller against the Wraiths, courtesy of a last minute field goal from Stephen Harris. Meanwhile, the Baton's new home of New Orleans was not to change for at least a week -- the reigning NSFL champion Otters seeing to that in a convincing 35-17 win.

The following week saw the Second Line -- still finding their feet in their new colours -- fall short again, this time falling 35-13 to the Sabercats in San Jose. The Liberty were similarly beaten in Baltimore, finding themselves on the wrong end of a 37-17 defeat at the hands of the Hawks in The Aviary.

As was the trend, the Belt changed hands yet again the following week, as the Hawks made the trip north, and failed where the Liberty had been successful, losing a one-sided result in Yellowknife to a 34-14 scoreline. The Second Line, on the other hand, were firing warning shots, before falling just short against the Outlaws, when Dean Jackson hit two field goals in the last five minutes of the game.

Those warning shots got closer the next week, when the Wraiths travelled to New Orleans for a Belt-for-Baton showdown. Joseph Lombardi's late field goal forced overtime, but a further fifteen minutes on the game clock couldn't separate the two teams, meaning they would each return home with their respective titles. For now, at least.

The Wraiths, having rode their luck to some extent against NOLA in week four, would do no such thing in week five, when the Otters came to town and wrested the Belt from their possession in a twenty-six-point win. The Otters would handily beat up on the Yeti in week six, torching them for sixty-nine points in Santa Ana Stadium, setting a new record for largest win in an NSFL Championship Belt game.

New Orleans, perhaps deflated from that frustrating tie against Yellowknife, struggled for the next couple of weeks, only managing to pass the baton in week seven, when they hosted the Colorado Yeti. At the same time, the Hawks swooped into Santa Ana Stadium and made off with the Belt after a goal-line stand protected the lead acquired by Stormblessed's fourth quarter touchdown.

The Yeti, now in possession of the Baton, would hold it for... a looong time. So we're gonna focus on the Belt here. In typical Hawks fashion, they dropped the Belt the very next week, failing to beat the Outlaws in Phoenix. The Outlaws would travel to Yellowknife and lose the Belt, before winning it back the very next week when the Wraiths travelled south for a rematch.

A dual title game against the Yeti followed -- no change, of course; the Yeti mid way through a winless season at this point -- before the Otters got the better of the Outlaws in a seventy point game in week twelve. En route to their third consecutive NSFL title, the Otters would defend the title in four successive games, beating the Sabercats (twice), Second Line, and Liberty.

Season seven would start with a rematch of Ultimus VI, and this time the Liberty didn't drop a game-winning pass in the endzone, sending the Otters home empty handed, and keeping the Belt in Philly. It was a sign of things to come, in many ways. Elsewhere, the Yeti continued to attempt a baton pass, falling short for the ninth game in a row. Their tenth attempt would be against the Belt holders, the Liberty, meaning a chance for a swap ... it was not to be. The Liberty ruthlessly dismantled the Yeti in a 46-13 win, condemning the NSFC cellar-dwellers to another week with the Baton.

Consecutive wins for the Liberty would follow, as they took down the Outlaws (in a super close, one-point win in Phoenix), the Hawks, and the Outlaws again before travelling to Maryland to take on the Hawks again in The Aviary. This time, the Hawks were ready for them, and sent the Liberty packing without their gold. Elsewhere, the Yeti had been burned for a collective one hundred and twenty three points before travelling to California in week six to take on the Sabercats. The eventual 23-20 defeat suggests the Yeti were closer to passing the Baton than they were, as it was a late Dwayne Aaron touchdown (with less than a minute left on the clock) that put them within one score of the Sabercats.

Baltimore, now in possession of the Belt again, hosted the Outlaws in week seven, and retained the title thanks in no part to three interceptions (a franchise record) from Gregory Fletcher. While this was going on, the Otters hung forty-three points on the Yeti. Something of a heads up for week eight, when they hosted the Hawks and reclaimed the Belt.

Wins over the Wraiths, Second Line, Sabercats, Liberty, and Sabercats again would follow, as the Otters saw out the season without defeat, dispatching the Outlaws in the ASFC Conference Championship game (in a high-scoring game, notching forty-eight on Arizona's beleagured defense) before a showdown with the Liberty in the Ultimus for the second straight season. This time, the Liberty came out on top, repeating their trick from the season opener, and defeating the Otters 28-19, this time away from home.

Season eight started out with another potential swap game, as the Belt holders and reigning NSFL Champions hosted the Baton's custodians (Colorado) in Philadelphia. Predictably, there was no swap. A week later, the Hawks would again deprive the Liberty of the Belt, before denying the Otters in week three. The Yeti, meanwhile, would finally put an end to the longest streak of failed Baton passes in week three, beating the Outlaws 13-10 to halt the count at twenty-four games.

Their newly unencumbered status would not last long, though. In week four, the Yeti would lose the return game, in Phoenix, once again taking up the Baton. Elsewhere, the Wraiths had claimed the Belt from the Hawks and were making their way to defend it in Philadelphia against the Liberty...

And they did! A 34-27 win in Taco Bell Stadium ensured the Wraiths would still hold the Belt when the Hawks travelled north in week six. Elsewhere, the Yeti again managed to pass the Baton, beating the San Jose Sabercats 12-10 in Denver. The Baton changed hands again, as the Sabercats beat the Outlaws 34-20 in San Jose. The Belt did not. The Wraiths sent the Hawks packing 29-24.

In week seven of season eight, the Otters again got their paws on the Belt, pillaging it in a 38-21 raid of the Burial Grounds, while the Hawks made sure the Outlaws kept the Baton. The Yeti had a title shot in week eight, coming close in a 16-19 defeat against the Otters -- the entire league taking notice. Elsewhere, the Outlaws passed the Baton to a Liberty who were increasingly deserving of it, as they had begun to commit to a rebuild, shifting any and all assets for draft capital. It will come as no surprise that the Otters retained the Belt in week nine against the Liberty in that case.

The surprise came in week ten, when the Second Line completed the turnaround from the old Legion, stunning the Otters in a 33-10 win to claim the Belt for the first time in franchise history, meaning every franchise in the league had now held the Belt. At the same time, another shock result was taking place, as the Liberty -- who at this point were barely recognisable as the Liberty, having traded away the majority of their stars -- took down the Hawks in a 31-21 win, to bestow them with the Baton.

Week eleven saw the Hawks travel to New Orleans in a dual title game that would normally be considered a likely swap... not this time. The Second Line would sit as favourites to win the clash, and win it they did, sending the Hawks back home with the Baton, and moving on to defend their Belt in San Jose.

The Hawks hosted the Outlaws in week twelve and got rid of the Baton in a 30-20 win, while the Second Line reign as champions came to an untimely end, after a narrow defeat in Santa Ana, as the Otters beat them 27-26 thanks to a late Westfield touchdown. With the crippled Liberty still managing a comprehensive win over the Outlaws, it was expected that the final week of the regular season would see the Belt in the playoffs, carried by the Otters... but not so fast. A 36-31 win for the Outlaws in Phoenix, stunning the Otters, meant the ASFC leaders -- who had home field advantage in the conference championship -- would go into the post-season in possession of the Tank's Baton. Meanwhile, the NSFL Championship Belt stayed in Phoenix, playing no part in the playoffs...

The current status of the Belt and Baton can be seen here (all my working is in the spreadsheet behind it)

Total: 1566 words plus spreadsheet
Jun 3 2018, 03:34 PM
Still reeling from the tragic death of beloved general manager Gordon Gekko mere months ago (God rest his soul), the Baltimore Hawks organisation was hit this evening by a budgetary ruling from NSFL Head Office. The ruling, which has been described by legal advisor to the Hawks organisation, John E. Goldstein, as "a callous, premeditated attempt to target a successful franchise, based on negative impressions from past regimes and a despicable attitude toward former head office member turned franchise owner, Iam Essellem" was predicated on the false accusation that the Hawks had exceeded salary cap rules imposed by the league.

Some forensic accounting took place immediately, with both of the Hawks' hired budgetary consultants -- affiliates of Wu Tang Financial -- scouring records to ensure that the organisation was compliant. It eventually transpired that financial representatives from Head Office had "accidentally" misrepresented the cap number for Hawks linebacker Noah Goodson, instead considering his salary from last season under this season's budget.

This is simply the latest in a long line of targeted actions which have sought to clip the wings, so to speak, of the majestic avian team based in Baltimore. Fans are still said to be bitter over the tarnishment of the franchise image after Carmel "Roidson" Gibson was found to be utilising performance enhancing drugs, after being cleared for action by a league representative. Though Head Office found no evidence of malice and did not levy any punishment at the franchise, a toxic environment was allowed to flourish, which ultimately led to the early retirement of some players on the team.

A later scandal would be the removal of the Hawks logo from the official league website, where it was replaced with a low resolution "rebrand" which put the Hawks firmly at the wrong end of numerous cruel jokes. The plot thickened earlier this year, when the official league website again seemed to remove the Hawks logo, replacing it with a crudely drawn version in mockery of the organisation directly in the aftermath of the Gekko tragedy.

John E. Goldstein has called for the league to face a class action lawsuit regarding their "repeated and deliberately callous treatment of the Baltimore Hawks organisation", with charges of "deliberate obfuscation of triumphs" and "machination of failures" among the accusations. "It is a known fact that the Hawks were unjustly denied a fair shot at the Ultimus in 2017 and 2018, when head office allowed an illegally constructed team to dominate the league," explains Goldman. "Then just last season, we saw some highly convenient flags on crucial downs against the eventual champion Philadelphia Liberty. It's not unreasonable to question why these things keep happening to Baltimore."

In addition to the class action lawsuit, Goldstein is also seeking a reparative seven million dollars in cap considerations for the Hawks. "For the psychological trauma of this false accusation.... and stuff." He says. "There is also evidence to suggest that the death of Gordon Gekko was not entirely kosher, either." He added, before being dragged away by black and gold clad security.

Aside from Mr Goldstein, no team representatives were available for comment, though several members of the Baltimore playing staff were seen to purse their lips and shake their heads in disbelief when the truth came out about the alleged budgetary infraction. The words "Par for the course, man. They just don't like us." were overheard outside the locker room just hours ago, along with the strongly worded statement that echoed the last known words of the Hawks' dearly departed leader; "they could all suck a dick"

It remains to be seen where Baltimore and indeed, the league, will go from here. Such contentious rulings -- and announcements -- cannot be allowed to become commonplace, though it is the opinion of some that the tyrannical commissioner will stop at nothing to assist his beloved Yellowknife Wraiths, and certainly not at the attempted destruction of a rival team. It has not gone unnoticed that the Philadelphia Liberty were also under fire for budgetary issues today, both teams are conference rivals of the Wraiths. Conspiracy? I think not.

( Gotta make that cash grab while it's still fresh ;) -- 679 words)
Apr 30 2018, 05:45 AM
As part of the ongoing effort to develop a league wiki, I've managed to put together an example team page, team history page, and an example player page to serve as guides for what we're looking for moving forward.

The part we'll need most help on at the start is writing team histories. This is where you guys come in.

I'll need someone from each team to write a summary of their franchise history to date, as Hendrix did for the Hawks HERE. This was then summarised and added to the Hawks team page HERE

I made some edits and reformatted it for wiki markup, and I don't mind doing that for others, but I thought it would be better to get someone actively involved in each team to write the history itself. There will be some things maybe that you will want to record that might not be common knowledge, for example. It's entirely up to you. If it's information you think is interesting and/or important, include it.

I can offer $5m per team history, so please let me know if you're interested. Don't worry about wiki markup, what links where, or the rest of your team page, I'll handle that. I just need the history content from you... though I won't complain if you want to write your entire team page, lol. Take a look at the examples linked earlier for a guide.

In addition to this, we will be looking for people to create their own player pages (see an example HERE) soon. So start thinking about that, perhaps. I'll open the wiki to new accounts and start sharing template resources to simplify the process for everyone when that time comes. It's a long process though, so bear with me.

Current team histories required:
  • Baltimore Hawks: HENDRIX
  • Colorado Yeti: I got three of you offering here, which is fine by me
  • Yellowknife Wraiths:
  • Philadelphia Liberty: 124715
  • Arizona Outlaws: DeathOnReddit
  • Orange County Otters: timeconsumer
  • San Jose Sabercats:
  • Las Vegas Legion/New Orleans Second Line: bovovovo / Beaver (?)
  • Portland Pythons: Daybe
  • Kansas City Coyotes: (numbers again)
  • San Antonio Marshals: kckolbe
  • Chicago Blues/Palm Beach Solar Bears: Jiggly_333
  • Norfolk Seawolves:
  • Tijuana Luchadores: Dawegg / nunccoepi
Feb 23 2018, 09:32 AM
All the working and stuff is here

Season five started with neither Belt nor Baton having gone through the playoffs at the end of season four. The Sabercats win over the Otters had kept the Championship Belt in California, while the Legion were unable to overcome playoff bound Arizona. Opening day of season five saw a rematch of the last title game, as the Otters travelled to San Jose again, but fell just two points short of wresting the belt out of the Sabercats' jaws. Elsewhere, the Liberty travelled to The Coliseum, where the Legion gave them a bit of a scare, but ultimately could not force the Philadelphians to take the Baton home with them.

The following week, the Sabercats welcomed the other ASFC playoff team from season four, but this time, there was a plundering. The Outlaws were able to steal the belt in a 30-22 win, setting up an interesting showdown with the NSFC Champion Wraiths in week three. The Legion travelled to The Aviary, where they attempted to leave the Baton with the Hawks... it did not fly. A 38-27 win for the Hawks in what many called a questionable defensive performance from the former NSFC Champions was perhaps encouraging for the Nevada-based team in a way, though. However, facing the Otters and their even more dangerous aerial attack next week did not bode well for the Legion.

In week three, the Championship Belt returned to the NSFC, as Yellowknife buried the Outlaws in a 46-29 result in Canada, while the Otters manhandled the Legion 45-21 to make sure they kept possession of the Baton. Interestingly, both winners would face off in week four for the Championship Belt in Santa Ana Stadium, while the Legion would travel to another desert to try and pass the Baton... neither holder was successful. The Otters emerged 26-20 victors at home against the Wraiths, while the Legion were on the wrong end of an entertaining 52-33 result. Both Belt and Baton were now in the ASFC, at least for a week.

...or two, in fact. Week five saw the Hawks hosted the NSFL Champion (in both senses of the word) Otters, and couldn't overcome their fearsome defensive front seven, succumbing to a 14-33 defeat in the first of what looked like it might be a lengthy run of successful defences for the Orange County side. The Legion's woes continued with a relatively low-scoring defeat at home against the Yeti, in what most would have earmarked as most likely their best opportunity for a successful Baton pass.

Week six! The Otters travelled to Outlaw Stadium in Phoenix, and re-affirmed their status as the dominant force in the ASFC with a 31-24 win over the Outlaws, just in case anyone still questioned it at this point (we're looking at you, San Jose). Meanwhile, the Legion travelled north to the icy Northwestern Territories for a 33-16 spanking. No Baton pass today, then. Not that there's any shame in losing to the NSFC Champions on their turf, of course.

At the halfway point of the season, the Otters had racked up their fourth consecutive title defense with a solid 24-15 win over the Liberty at home, increasing the feeling that they would be maintaining a vice grip on the Belt for a while. Elsewhere, the Legion had ended a ten game streak of unsuccessful Baton passes with a convincing 37-19 win over the Sabercats in The Coliseum. The result -- a shock to most observers, it must be said -- set up a potential "switch game" in week eight, when the Otters would host the Sabercats in Santa Ana, with both Belt and Baton on the line. A Sabercats win would see Belt and Baton both change hands in the same game for only the second time in NSFL history. was not to be. The Otters brutalised the Sabercats in a 49-9 blowout, extending their reign to five games, while condemning the Sabercats to another tough pass attempt the following week against the Outlaws. That didn't come off, either. The Outlaws put down a feisty Sabercats attempt in Outlaw Stadium to the tune of a 35-30 scoreline, while the Otters went to Colorado and rolled the Yeti over with a boulder, coming away with a 29-10 victory to extend their title reign to six games.

Week ten saw the Otters extend to seven games undefeated with an expected win over the Legion in Santa Ana, while the Sabercats welcomed a Yeti side which had looked reasonable defensively against the monstrous Otters attack the previous week. The Sabercats disabused any notion of a Yeti resurgence in a 24-20 win, condemning the Denver-based team to return home Baton in hand. Things didn't improve for the Yeti in week eleven either, as they put up a goose egg in reply to the Liberty's 34 points in Taco Bell Stadium. Meanwhile, the Wraiths welcomed the Otters to the frozen north, and the Belt was the price paid for save return home, after Yellowknife's impressive 34-14 victory.

As the season drew to a close, the Yeti welcomed the Legion to Colorado, in what many saw as their last realistic chance to pass the Baton before the end of the season -- their remaining games a trip to playoff-chasing Baltimore, and a visit from the reigning NSFC Champion Wraiths -- and they seized their opportunity with a 22-10 win, ridding themselves of the Baton before a long summer. Elsewhere the Sabercats went north, and... came home with the Championship Belt. Their 27-17 win over the Wraiths raising questions over the parity between conferences to many, seeing as the Sabercats were potentially going to be on the outside looking in come playoff time, despite possibly having beaten both NSFC playoff teams (depending on whether the Hawks beat out the Liberty for the second playoff spot, and next week's results)

The penultimate week of season five saw the Liberty reclaim the Championship Belt for the NSFC however, as they absolutely slaughtered the Sabercats in a 49-14 result in Philadelphia. The playoff race in the NSFC was going to go to the wire, but this defeat meant the Sabercats were going to be sitting out the post-season, since they'd been swept by the Outlaws. The Baton game had far less important implications, as the Wraiths -- already favourites to win the NSFC at this point -- travelled to Las Vegas, and cemented their supremacy with a 31-17 win.

On the final day of the regular season, the Liberty hosted Orange County needing a win to have any shot at the playoffs, and perhaps more importantly, to keep hold of the Championship Belt. They pulled it off. A hard-fought 23-19 result over the Otters meant that the Liberty kept hold of the lineal NSFL Championship, but they would need to wait for the final say in Baltimore to know if they'd made the playoffs. Elsewhere, the Legion travelled to the HP Pavilion, where they had a shot at getting rid of the Baton before the agonising wait between seasons for a chance to pass it on again. Given the Sabercats erratic results in season five, and the knowledge that San Jose were likely not going to make the playoffs with Arizona holding the head-to-head tie-breaker over them, it wasn't entirely unfeasible that the Legion might get the upset they needed... however, the Sabercats perhaps took their frustrations out on the Las Vegas team with a 34-16 win to make sure the Baton stayed in Nevada. In Baltimore, the Hawks' convincing 41-27 win over the Outlaws meant that current NSFL Championship Belt holders the Philadelphia Liberty would not be taking part in the post-season, meaning the eventual NSFL champion Otters would have to wait until season six for a chance to get their hands on the Belt...

1290 words plus spreadsheet; ready for grading
Feb 20 2018, 06:47 AM
All the whining over the new NOLA team is silly, because you know, what's done is done, innit? I get why some people are bitching though. Some are bitching because it is in their nature to bitch. Some are bitching because "it sounds weird", which is probably code for "I don't like it and I don't know why" and others, rightfully, complain because there are soooo many better options out there.

I can understand this, as a creative genius.

But let's see what happens if we try to give every NSFL team and DSFL team a snappy slogan like the Baltimore Hawks' legendary "Caw Caw Motherfuckers". A slogan they can be proud of, and put on t-shirts and make hashtags out of and shit.

Baltimore Hawks
"Caw Caw Motherfuckers" - I mean, come on. It's a timeless classic. Doesn't it just conjure up images of a pissed off bird staring at you with ominous vibes all around you? Like would you wanna mess with a pissed off hawk that just said to you, "caw caw motherfucker" ..? I didn't think so.

Colorado Yeti
"Freeze Freeze Motherfrosters" - I'll freely admit this is not my best work. But like... y'all didn't really give me much to work with here. It's not that it's a bad brand, it's just not really something that lends itself well to slogans. I mean, what noise would a Yeti make if it were a real thing? I'm imagining some weird ass Chewbacca shit. And how the fuck I'm supposed to write that?

Philadelphia Liberty
"Ding Dong Motherfathers" - This one practically wrote itself. I had to resist the urge to go with something that matches up with the genius that is Failadelphia, because that's slightly harsh on the Liberty. I mean, they have shit cornerbacks but that's not their fault. None of them are S1, so it's expected that they would have less TPE. But I digress. Their logo is a bell, specifically some kind of significant bell to Americans or some shit, I don't know. Anyway, bells go ding dong. Motherfather is because ding dong isn't badass enough to have a motherfucker. Yeah I said it.

Yellowknife Wraiths
"Feel the terror, motherdeaders" - As much as I think "Spooky Ghosts" and "3Spoopy5Me" are brilliant, neither fits the theme. I like themes. So I remixed that shit. I like remixes too. When they aren't shit. Good for filling out mixtapes with additional fire. Anywho, feel the terror is pretty fuckin self explanatory, I won't patronise you with that. Motherdeaders I don't really know, but it sounded funny. Also dead, ghosts, etc. You get the idea.

Arizona Outlaws
"Pew Pew Motherheckers" - Let's be real, they're not actually outlaws. More like kids pretending to be bad guys. I imagine the Outlaws actually run around with finger guns going "pew pew" at people. Rumour has it, this is the real reason Noah Goodson left. They were so motherheckin dangerous, and he's a good son. It's right there in his name! Oh and obviously motherheckers because come on. They're not gonna swear in front of mom.

San Jose Sabercats
"Rawr Rawr Motherkitties" - Confession time, I actually think the Sabercats have probably the best branding in the league(s). Some serious Sword of Omens vibes off that shit. However... these cats have NOT grown up yet. They regularly take down the hawks, sure... but that's kinda what felines do, ya dig? I believe it is time for them to grow out of that annoying kid Lion-O shit and start slapping them big ol' Panther balls on motherfuckers this year. But until then, y'all still kitties. Fite me.

Orange County Otters
"Win Win Motherwinners" - I like to think this one's pretty fuckin' clear. Could switch it up with Mothervictors instead I guess. Sounds less flow-y though. flow is important. Ask Biggie.

New Orleans Second Line
"Toot toot motherfuckers" - Now I know what you're thinking... why do they get to say "motherfucker" ..? Listen, the LegionLine have been fucked so hard in the four and a bit years since coming into existence, I personally think they can say whatever the fuck they want. Toot toot is quite obviously a musical reference. Hit 'em with the onomatopoeia and shit. Vocabulary, suckas.

On to the DSFL

Portland Pythons
"Hiss Hiss Motherslithers" - Probably my favourite DSFL team to be honest. You can't really do much else with sneks, though. They hiss, innit? And slither. Though to be fair, motherfuckers would be fine here. The Pythons are badass enough to use the term, really.

Kansas City Coyotes
"Howl Howl Motherwolfers" - I know they're not actually wolves, but Coyotes totally howl... like wolves. Also, not badass enough to earn the right to say motherfuckers. I don't make the rules, that was Samuel L Jackson's verdict. I don't question the Jackson, don't question the L, KC. Just accept that shit, lick your wounds, and try again in season six.

Tijuana Luchadores
Tiro Tiro Hijos de puta - Is it racist to give the Mexican team a spanish slogan, or just common sense? Your homework for today: translate that shit and learn something, pendejos. I'm assuming you know what a luchador is.

San Antonio Marshals
"Pew Pew Motherperpers" - These guys are basically the good guy equivalent of the Outlaws. Let's be real. Perps are perpetrators... criminals... geddit?

And I'm not making slogans for bot teams. FOH with that shit.

* * * * *

Okay so we slogan'd up. I'm not really feeling the way that went though. Some teams just don't have enough mojo to really make a snappy slogan. So I'm gonna rebrand every team as a pokemon.

If you don't like pokemon go fuck yourself. Also, I'm not gonna do the DSFL teams. Mainly because I don't wanna change the Luchadores or Pythons branding. Shit's cool. I suppose KC could become the Lycanroc because wolf, and the Marshals could become the Arcanines though. Officer Jenny has an Arcanine, so that fits nicely. But yeah, DSFL turnover is high enough that it's kinda hard to make poke-related identifications of the teams at this point. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

And I'm not making new brands for bot teams. FOH with that shit.

Baltimore Hawlucha
The current Hawks are a scrappy team, in many ways. And like Hawlucha, they excel at a high paced offensive game (Hawlucha's top two stats are speed and attack), while looking a little fragile at times defensively (Hawlucha's lowest stat is special defense). Also, while their last rebrand didn't quite go as well as they'd hoped with the fans, the Hawks are generally a loyal bunch. When was the last time you saw a player express a desire to leave in free agency? For me, a kickass new identity -- ironically hidden under a mask, ha! -- which represents the team's style of play, but has clear ties to the old identity is the best way forward.

Colorado Abomasnow
I feel like the Yeti are kinda wedded to this whole sasquatch shit. So I rolled with it too. Abomasnow, like the Yeti, isn't exactly the fastest out the gates. It's taking the Yeti a while to rebuild after the devastation that followed the Saskatoon Scandal [is that a thing? it should be... - Ed.], but otherwise, they're actually a reasonably well-balanced team. Not like, playoff quality balanced, but balanced. QB issues aside, obvs. But we can gloss over that because underdog story, etc etc. I mean, Pierno is a walking cautionary tale at this point, but it's hard not to want the kid to stop sucking so damn hard.

Yellowknife Marshadow
Okay so Marshadow looks really strong on paper, and it might well actually be strong. Which is kinda like the Wraiths. They consistently look good. On paper. Then they somehow flatter to deceive. Who knows what the real Marshadow is gonna be like? Who knows what the Wraiths will be like? It's a fun little mystery game the entire league gets to play, every damn season. I mean, it's implied that Marshadow, like the Wraiths, will indeed be pretty damn strong. But you just can't be too sure. It's also worth pointing out that Marshadow is entirely immune to normal and fighting types, but one of its few weaknesses is to flying types. Which is kinda like how the Wraiths split things with the Hawks Hawluchas last season. *Twilight Zone Music*

Philadelphia Weepinbell
I was gonna give them Victreebel but I'm going for accuracy here, guys. I mean, no disrepect to the Liberty but come on, they're yet to win a playoff game. Even the Bengals have won a handful. And let's be real, none of us would describe the Bengals as "winners" ... not even Bengals fans [like me - Ed.] So yeah. Philadelphia Weepinbell, because at the moment it's hard to see them leapfrogging the Hawluchas and Marshadow this season. Let it be known, though, that I acknowledge that "this isn't even their final form". I'm just saying.

Arizona Lucario
It was tempting to give Arizona something of the "dark" type ("evil", in Japanese, FYI), and I was leaning toward Mightyena because it's a doggo, and the Outlaws heckin' bamboozled the entire league. But that's not fair. It wasn't the Outlaws that heckin' bamboozled us all, it was Er, so only like... half the Outlaws. Anyway I settled on Lucario because dude is a fighting type and wears a domino mask like an outlaw in some of those classic films. Just kinda looks like he might be a bad guy, but might not be. It's also worth noting that Lucario is weak to fighting types, like Hawlucha, and the notorious Outlaw Killer is indeed a Hawlucha.

San Jose Luxio
You know how I said the Saberkittens was basically on some Thundercats shit? Well, Luxio is literally a god-damn thunder cat. A pissed off thunder cat, to be precise. Sound familiar? [it also evolves into my favourite pokemon. Hint hint. - Ed.] Now before you start mewling over this decision, just remember I could have said San Jose Shinx, and really taken the piss. I'm trying to give you guys some props here. Like I said before, San Jose are like... right on the edge of doing good things, I think. You'll also note that while Luxio doesn't really have much advantage over say... Lucario -- though it does have some resistant to steel type moves -- it excels against flying types. Like Hawlucha. Peep the recent results, you'll get the reference.

New Orleans Smoochum
Why Smoochum? Okay so Smoochum is pretty weak, if I'm honest... but it also evolves into Jynx. The blackest pokemon [Also hella racist, but whatever - Ed.]. Let's not pretend Nawlins isn't hella black. I mean come on. NOLA have got to be the blackest team in the league. That's not all! Smoochum, being Ice type (lol wait, the black pokemon is ice type? Nintendo some funny motherfuckers) has a lot of weaknesses... much like the NOLA do right now. Jynx also has weaknesses, admittedly, but is also significantly stronger than Smoochum. While Ice is a terrible defensive type, it's actually one of the most effective attacking types, which is perhaps where NOLA are heading in future seasons. Borkus Maximus looks like a bonafide (geddit?) offensive leader, who could sling NOLA out of the basement in the ASFC given time.

Orange County Hydreigon
Okay so I almost went Floatzel because it's a literal fucking otter. It's called "the sea weasel pokemon" for fucks sake. It's also a lot stronger than it's goofy ass appearance would have you believe... however, Hydreigon fits better. Everyone knows Orange County are fucking strong, nobody is fooled by the cutesy little mascot and colour scheme. We all know. And you look at Hydreigon and you know you about to get fucked up. OC also have literal three headed monsters on both sides of the field. Hydreigon has three heads. Get where I'm going with this?

(1974 words; hit me with the grading and shit)
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