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Ladies and Gentlemen of the TSL Universe, the Race for Social Co-Ed Immortality kicked off last weekend, and as always, it was quite the adventure chock full of twists and turns that you can only really get during Playoff Saturday in this league of ours. 

 

When the sun rises tomorrow morning over the Rose Garden, 26 teams will go to battle for 7 championships. The dreams of April are now so close to reality for these teams as they try to realize their goal of being absolute winners together. Half of our teams have now seen their seasons come to an end, as the hopes and dreams of being TSL champions have been extinguished, at least for the summer. 

 

This means it’s my job of course to tell you just exactly who will be standing tall after the oncoming war. Since that task is difficult to do sitting in my log cabin in Des Moines, Iowa, I proceeded to poke the TSLQBRC and get their thoughts on the upcoming playoff matchups to see just how aligned everyone’s thoughts might be for these predictions. Enjoy the email correspondence as we navigate these playoff waters together. 

 

GF: Hey there TSLQBPRC! It's that time once again that I don’t allow you guys to lay around for the last week of the season and we go through and give our competing predictions for the final weekend of the TSL Spring 2022 season!

Grab a couple of committee members and send me your consensus ideas. 

Before we get into the predictions, let's dive into how we got here a little bit. Naturally, last weekend was bananas, as we saw the usual ridiculousness in upsets, perhaps none more shocking than Passing While Intoxicated eliminating TMA from the D5 playoffs. What results surprised you guys? 

 

TSLQBPRC: Godfather of the TSL, always a pleasure to talk playoff football!

So there were four "upsets" where a higher seed fell to a lower seed.  In order of least shocking to most shocking, we'd probably say:

·  Itches over 4th & Something (we predicted this in our Division Analysis... 4th & Something had the better record, but statistically, Itches was the better team)

·  Zack Attack over Vaspian (these two always play close games, and their stats were almost identical)

·  Can't Touch This over Cunning Stunts (the Stunts were a full +10 PPG better on average... they should win this game 8 or 9 times out of 10, right?)

·  Passing While Intoxicated over TMA (this is the BEST point differential in D5 losing to one of the worst... TMA should win this 97 times out of 100!)

 

The only other result that surprised us was that there weren't MORE upsets!  This season the higher seeded teams went 16-4 against the lower seeded teams.  Last Fall the higher seeded teams only went 11-9 in the first round.  You think that means anything?

 

GF: All that I think it means is something we've known about the TSL for over a decade: The weather is always the great equalizer. I hear Buffalo had near perfect football weather this past weekend, which resulted in less randomness happening in the games. In the fall sessions, the league is more prone to cold, wind, rain, and in some years, even snow playing a factor. With a 90 degree day on the horizon for Championship Saturday, the heat will play a factor across the board, but especially in the title games, with players on their second straight game (and some could be playing in 4 straight games if things break their way!). I'll always tell people to wear sunscreen, but everyone better bring water and Gatorade this week too. Hell, the TSL should invest in a lot of Liquid IV packets for the players just for safety/hydration reasons. We don't need a "Matty Ice dying of Heatstroke on the sidelines" type of scenario. This is especially true for anyone playing on two teams. 

 

TSLQBPRC: "Matty Ice"?  Sounds kind of familiar.  A little loud, never wore an appropriately fitting shirt?  Yeah, that's a great point about the weather.  Hopefully the bulk of the games wrap up before we hit that peak heat, but players NEED to take care of themselves on Saturday.  We know it's distracting thinking about the champagne and bragging rights, but heatstroke is very real, and it'll beat you harder than Untouchaballs.

 

GF: Oh, that's the guy, you've got him. Speaking of the Untouchaballs, D3's top team looked completely dominant this weekend when it comes to 1 seeds. Practice Squad beat Spinelli’s too but allowed 38 points. And then there was Cobblestone who blew a 22-0 lead to Not So Sticky, before needing to escape at the end. Could you imagine if D5 lost its top two teams in one weekend? Chaos, as always. Before we get in depth on the individual divisions, what games overall are you looking most forward to this week? 

 

TSLQBPRC: The one that stands out most to us is Scared Hitless vs DILFS.  We consider these two the betting favorites to win D2, and they're somehow meeting in the semi-finals as a "1 seed vs 4 seed".  No disrespect to Grey Hair - Don't Care (who have been hotter than anyone lately) or Passed Our Prime, but we would pick the winner of Scared Hitless vs DILFS to take that division, assuming either team is at full strength (and you never know for playoffs which critical players will be missing).  Other games we think will be really fun to watch: Frodo Swaggins vs Freeballers (you could argue they're playing for the right to lose to Untouchaballs, but the Finals brings out the best in teams that play hard for each other, and Frodo and Freeballers are both tight-knit groups who play hard for each other...) and Travis Henry's Kids vs Southside.  Okay, that last one only happens if both teams win their semi-finals games, but we think they will, and that's a game we want to see.

 

GF: As always on Championship Saturday, the best of the best (and the Freeballers) remain, so we should see some great games. So, let's start at the top: D1. The right to be called the Undisputed Champions of Social Co-Ed Football in WNY, or even the world really, is on the line and it's about as up for grabs as it can be. 

 

D1: 

 

Odds To Win The Championship:

Legends (3-1)

Eyes Downtown (4-1)

Sticky Bandits (7-1)

Tight Ends In Motion (20-1)

 

The Story: D1 didn’t get this here last week, so here it is. This season, D1 has only been a 4 team division. And with how things have gone for TEIM, it’s basically been a 3 team race for the top of the mountain in Social Co-Ed Football. The Legends were supposed to stomp everyone, but they’ve looked at least slightly beatable. Eyes Downtown started off a little shaky but they’ve figured it out. Sticky Bandits, largely an afterthought in this division, played the best football in their history, and have proven that at the very least, they belong in the D1 championship discussion. 

 

#1 Legends (7-2) vs #4 Tight Ends In Motion (2-7)

Points For: Legends 37.11 (3rd), TEIM 27.11 (4th)

Points Against: Legends 24.78 (1st), TEIM 33.11 (3rd)

TSL Rank: Legends 6th, TEIM 47th

Past Games: Legends 31 - TEIM 20, Legends 38 - TEIM 16

Line: Legends (-12)

 

GF Prediction: The Legends were the preseason favorites heading into the season and there's not much that's happened over 10 weeks to make me think that they shouldn't still be, although I'll argue the gap is much smaller. Anytime you can trot out Sean, Chris Nelson, Heather Cepuchowski, and just, all of them, it’s hard to not pick them. On the other hand, there's a Tight Ends In Motion team who are arguably the most battled tested D1 playoff team we have in the field. Sure, they had the worst season they've had since 1943, but there’s something to be said for having been there before. Sadly, for TEIM, Emily, Robin, Bro, and Lindsey aren't showing up to the fields Saturday. LEGENDS BY 17

 

 

TSLQBPRC Prediction: This isn't the 2021 Tight Ends in Motion vs the 2022 Legends.  THAT would have been a great matchup.  At this point, it's just hard to pick against Legends given that Tight Ends in Motion have been nothing but question marks all season and haven't established any continuity or momentum.  We expect a pick from Boccio, three touchdowns from Sean, and about 10 minutes of ranting from Joey about how great he is.  LEGENDS BY 19

 

#2 Sticky Bandits (6-3) vs #3 Eyes Downtown (6-3)

Points For: SB 39.33 (1st), ED 39.00 (2nd)

Points Against: SB 32.89 (2nd), ED 34.89 (4th)

TSL Rank: SB 8th, ED 12th

Past Games: SB 54 - ED 46, ED 49 - SB 48

Line: Sticky Bandits (-2)

 

GF Prediction: This is going to be fun. Eyes Downtown and Sticky Nation meet up in a rubber match from the regular season (the teams split the season series 1-1). They score about the same, and Sticky has allowed slightly less points. Eyes Downtown has arguably been slightly hotter for the second half of the season after an early season slip up. Sticky has just been good all season, even though they've really been living on the edge with one score games. Both sides ooze talent like Razor Ramon oozed machismo, so it's going to just come down to the quarterback for me. And the running storyline all season has been "How will Bobby perform in a world without a clear nemesis?". So far, so good. EYES DOWNTOWN BY 3

 

TSLQBPRC Prediction: Mike Thomas does seem like way too nice a guy to be anyone's "nemesis", we'll agree with that.  These are two perfectly matched teams right now based on how their seasons went.  They combined to go 102-95 against each other in two regular season games with Sticky Bandits getting the slight edge there.  Bobby has that D1 playoff experience, having won the division before, but these aren't the Sticky Bandits of old.  We kept waiting for them to have a "crashing back down to earth" moment this season, and it never happened.  They seem to win or lose all their games by a point, so we'll take the higher seeded team here by the slimmest of margins.  STICKY BANDITS BY 1

 

D1 FINAL:

 

GF Prediction: This leaves me with Legends vs Eyes Downtown. Two fantastic teams who have had 3 really big battles this season. The Legends won the season series 2-1, but that doesn't say much. I expect another high scoring showdown, but once the dust settles there's only one answer I keep coming to: The Legends taking a D1 title, and everyone having to listen to Joey Batts (and Travis!) all offseason about how great he (they) is (are). LEGENDS BY 10

 

TSLQBPRC Prediction: Our predicted finals leaves us with Legends vs Sticky Bandits, two teams that each beat each other by a point in the regular season.  It's tough to ignore the talent on Legends, and they finished with the best record and point differential in the division.  They're the favorites, and they deserve to be.  But like each of their previous meetings, we think this will come down to the last possession.  And yes, Joey will be talking about it for months.  LEGENDS BY 3

 

D2: 

Last Week’s Games: 

#2 Grey Hair Don’t Care 35, #7 Bullet Club 25

#3 Passed Our Prime 39, #6 When Dove Cries 14

#4 Dilfs 29, #5 The Notorious BNB 28

 

Nothing but chalk in D2 last weekend, as all of the higher seeds made it out of the round. Grey Hair got a slight scare from Bullet Club before pulling away, Passed Our Prime put their foot on the gas and ran right by When Dove Cries, and the Dilfs had to survive a very “up for the task” Notorious BNB. 

 

#1 Scared Hitless (8-2) vs #4 Dilfs (5-4

Points For: SH 30.70 (3rd), Dilfs 32.78 (1st)

Points Against: SH 26.00 (2nd), Dilfs 25.11 (1st)

TSL Rank: SH 3rd, Dilfs 22nd

Past Games: SH 31 - Dilfs 20

Line: Even

 

GF Prediction: Scared Hitless has just been so good from top to bottom, week in and week out. The Dilfs continue to underperform in the regular season record wise, but they've always shown up when it matters. This is almost a pseudo-championship game (as you guys alluded to earlier) based off the numbers, where most people are surprised Dilfs are the “underdog” since they’re better on paper. I was going to go with Scared Hitless here by a slim margin, but reports are coming in that Scared Hitless will be down one of their spectacular females although I'm unsure which one (mainly because Topper doesn't know their names) and that's enough for the needle to swing the Dilfs way for me. DILFS BY 6

 

TSLQBPRC Prediction: With no disrespect to their quarterback or male athletes (who are all very good), the "spectacular females" are the stand-out strength of Scared Hitless.  If they're missing one of them, they'll still be a great team, but will they be the favorites in this game?  Probably not.  This was already going to be a "flip a coin" type pick for us, but if Scared Hitless is down a girl, DILFS feel like the pick.  DILFS BY 4

 

#2 Grey Hair Don’t Care (5-4) vs #3 Passed Our Prime (5-4)

Points For: GHDC 31.11 (2nd), POP 30.33 (4th)

Points Against: GHDC 29.44 (3rd), POP 30.89 (4th)

TSL Rank: GHDC 17th, POP 19th

Past Games: POP 30 - GHDC 29, GHDC 24 - POP 23

Line: Grey Hair Don’t Care (-1)

 

GF Prediction: Grey Hair Don't Care has done nothing but rise and rise since the start of the season. They've looked pretty good in most of their matchups, although it appears they didn't look as dominant as one would've hoped in the first week of the playoffs. Meanwhile, Passed Our Prime got their studs to show up, and those horses just ran by the defense of WDC. These two teams split the season series 1-1, with both teams winning by a single point. This is going to be spectacular football, but, if POP has everyone again: Sean, Keyon, Kyle in particular, and Hogan doesn't "Hogan" anything, POP will pull off a slight "upset" if you can even call it that. PASSED OUR PRIME BY 2

 

TSLQBPRC Prediction: We love the way Grey Hair - Don't Care battled back from a rough start to earn the #2 seed in this division.  Passed Our Prime is an exceptionally good team, but as you point out, some of these studs play in D1 in the morning, and Saturday will be a brutal temperature to play three or four games in a day.  Plus, won't Sean start pounding shots as soon as Legends wins D1?  Grey Hair has the momentum and the fresher players, so we'll take them.  GREY HAIR DON'T CARE BY 7

 

D2 FINAL:

 

GF Prediction: Passed Our Prime vs Dilfs - The 3 seed vs the 4 seed. That feels just about right for D2. This should be a great one. Passed Our Prime beat the Dilfs in the final week of the season 25-24. The Dilfs did a great job of slowing down that POP offense, but they forgot to take advantage of that porous defense. They won't get shut down by that defense twice in a row. DILFS BY 8

 

TSLQBPRC prediction: We've got Grey Hair - Don't Care vs DILFS for the D2 championship.  Grey Hair would be the higher seed, DILFS would be the easy choice based on stats.  Our pick is the DILFS, but this will likely be Travis's fifth game of the day (in the heat, on a bad ankle) and we're not expecting his best, so this could be a close one in the end.  DILFS BY 2

 

 

D3:

 

Last Week’s Games:

 

#1 The Untouchaballs 34, #8 Sleezin Szn 6

#2 Frodo Swaggins 28, #7 Show Me Dem TDs 19

#3 Freeballers 27, #6 Buffalo Vice 23

#5 Itches and Ohs 29, #4 4th & Something 28

 

Hey, we got our first upset, but it’s not much of one. Itches and Ohs slide by 4th & Something in the 4-5 matchup. Buffalo Vice continue to hang well in D3, just losing out to the higher seeded Freeballers. Meanwhile Frodo and The Untouchaballs cruised on to Championship Saturday with some easier victories. 

 

#1 The Untouchaballs (8-1) vs #5 Itches and Ohs (4-5)

Points For: UT 39.22 (1st), Ohs 30.33 (4th)

Points Against: UT 24.22 (2nd), Ohs 33.78 (7th)

TSL Rank: UT 1st, Ohs 32nd

Past Games: UT 40 - Ohs 32

Line: The Untouchaballs (-8)

 

GF Prediction: It's obviously awful and not fun at all that we're agreeing all of the time, and man I just feel like D3 won't be different. The Untouchaballs have been leaving everyone beaten and bruised this season, which hasn't made D3 super fun, from an outsider perspective. Jeremy Burr has proceeded to abuse defenses by unleashing Matt Helm, Greg + Meg, and Mel Linsmair to perfection. Itches and ohs historically win games because they're dominating the QB and Female battles, but Untouchaballs go toe to toe with them in both aspects. When it comes down to it, I expect the Untouchaballs Defense to get one or two more stops than the Ohs, and that'll be that. THE UNTOUCHABALLS BY 10

 

TSLQBPRC Prediction:  Yeah, we'd love to disagree with you on some more outcomes just to play devil's advocate, but so far it's hard to pick against the favorites.  The only disagreement we might have in this game is the final score because we do NOT anticipate this one being close.  Sure, Untouchaballs only won by 8 in that first matchup, but that was way back in April.  Untouchaballs have looked untouchable since then, and Itches have been inconsistent at best.  THE UNTOUCHABALLS BY 17 

 

#2 Frodo Swaggins (5-4) vs #3 Freeballers (5-4)

Points For: Frodo 34.56 (2nd), Freeballers 30.78 (3rd)

Points Against: Frodo 33.56 (6th), Freeballers 22.22 (1st)

TSL Rank: Frodo 18th, Freeballers 21st

Past Games: Frodo 28 - Freeballers 21

Line: Freeballers (-3)

 

GF Prediction - Frodo and the Freeballers have had very boring, 'meh' seasons this year. Both went 5-4 and had some ups and downs. These two teams are pretty closely matched, as shown by Frodo's 28-21 win over the Freeballers in Week 1. Freeballers went on a bit of a tear in the middle of the season before tripping all over themselves down the stretch. None of that matters for either team now though. Garrett Beesing's offense has put up a bunch of points, as he correctly utilizes Tammy, Emily, Sarah, and Kristen effectively. They have strong male talent, but nobody is heads and shoulders above the rest either. Meanwhile Freeballers are the same way: Solid top to bottom in all facets of the game. The one thing they do better than anyone is play defense though. I think the Freeballers slow Frodo down enough to take home a win. FREEBALLERS BY 4

 

TSLQBPRC predictions: Freeballers are the only team to beat Untouchaballs this season, and we'd love to see a rematch in the Finals.  So why are we betting against it?  Since that Freeballers vs Untouchaballs game, Freeballers have gone 2-3, and both of their wins were against Buffalo Vice (one of which was last week in the playoffs).  Okay, they match up well against one team.  Other than that, they're not exactly peaking at the right time.  Frodo has been living on the edge all season, with their first seven games all being within one score.  We think they'll handle the stress of a playoff nailbiter better than most teams.  FRODO SWAGGINS BY 3

 

D3 FINAL:

 

GF Prediction: The Untouchaballs vs Freeballers. The worst thing the Freeballers could've done this season was upset The Untouchaballs during the season. This does two things: Give them irrational confidence against a better opponent, BUT it also means they can't surprise Untouchaballs this time. Now, UT is looking for revenge from the loss earlier on. And they're going to get it. THE UNTOUCHABALLS BY 12

 

TSLQBPRC prediction: The Untouchaballs vs Frodo Swaggins.  Round 1 when these two teams battled it out back in April was close, with Untouchaballs winning by only 7.  Round 2 a couple weeks ago was not, with Untouchaballs winning by 26.  Let's split the difference, and it's still Untouchaballs by two scores.  This is their season to win D3.  It would take a heroic effort by Frodo (or an utter collapse by Untouchaballs) to pull off this upset, and we just don't see it.  THE UNTOUCHABALLS BY 16

 

D4:

 

Last Week’s Games:

 

#1 Practice Squad 49, #8 Spinelli’s Plumbing 38

#7 Zack Attack 28, #2 Vaspian 22

#6 Can’t Touch This 36, #3 Cunning Stunts 25

#4 Interdimensional Lightning Falcons 20, #5 Puckett All-Stars 10

 

Practice Squad takes care of business, giving the TSL its first Championship Saturday without Spinelli’s in a long time. Zack Attack takes advantage of Vaspian’s QB situation and pulls an upset to move on. ILF catches Puckett on the right day to claim a victory, and in the surprise of the weekend (almost) Can’t Touch This backs up what they’ve been saying all season to knock the Stunts out of the playoffs. D4 is ridiculous, and it’s a ton of fun. That’s probably why everyone registers for it. 

 

#1 Practice Squad (8-1) vs #7 Zack Attack (5-4)

Points For: PS 32.50 (4th), ZA 23.11 (10th)

Points Against: PS 21.13 (3rd), ZA 19.89 (2nd)

TSL Rank: PS 2nd, ZA 29th

Past Games: PS 34 - ZA 24

Line: Practice Squad (-8)

 

GF Prediction: Ah yes, the wild west that is D4. It's literally anyone's game here. Practice Squad has been very, very good, and very, very healthy this season, and because of that they're on a tear. They dispatched of Spinelli's last week pretty easily. Nobody is throwing the ball better than B is, and the defense has been top notch. Zack Attack scored a "upset" of Vaspian last week, but it was pretty predictable given the QB injury situation. While Zack Attack is looking closer to the team I remember from recent seasons, I'm not sure they're on par to pull this upset. PRACTICE SQUAD BY 15

 

TSLQBPRC Prediction: No one on our Committee is picking Zack Attack here.  Maybe they can use that as "nobody believed in us!" fuel to shock the world on Saturday.  Wouldn't that be exciting?  But we don't believe in them because Practice Squad is just a better team at this point in the season, and we don't see them losing a game.  At least, not in the semi-finals.  PRACTICE SQUAD BY 10

 

#4 Interdimensional Lightning Falcons (6-3) vs #6 Can’t Touch This (5-4)

Points For: ILF 32.00 (6th), CTT 26.11 (7th)

Points Against: ILF 31.22 (8th), CTT 25.11 (5th)

TSL Rank: ILF 14th, CTT 25th

Past Games: ILF 37 - CTT 33

Line: Even

 

GF Prediction: ILF took advantage of a historically weak playoff effort by Puckett to move on in the playoffs. Sure, some of that is attributed to the ILF defense, but even still, 10 points isn't much at all. They come to play against Can't Touch This, who shocked the TSL world with their defeat of the Cunning Stunts last weekend. Joe Miano vs Ryan Dougherty is somehow a QB matchup that's must see tv. CTT won last week based off the strength of their girls, who were complete unknowns before last week. Now, I’ve found out that at least one girl is named Ryhan, and she’s marrying Ryan. I feel like Lenny set this up somehow. These teams had a banger of a matchup earlier this season, and this is going to be the best game of the first round. When it comes down to it, I think Can't Touch This has played a lot better competition and they'll continue to rub that awful schedule in Topper's face. CANT TOUCH THIS BY 2

 

TSLQBPRC Prediction: For the fourth division in a row, we'll agree with your first game prediction and disagree with your second.  ILF is playing their best football of the year.  Can't Touch This absolutely has the guns to beat them, but the Falcons seem to average a pick-six per game, and we think that'll be the difference.  INTERDIMENSIONAL LIGHTNING FALCONS BY 3

 

 

D4 FINAL:

 

GF Prediction: Practice Squad vs Can't Touch This for the D4 World Championship is not a thing a single person had guessed back in April. CTT is very up for the task at hand, but in the end, Practice Squad has slightly better talent overall, and they've done this a lot longer. Can’t Touch This will win many TSL championships in this league, it's just not this season. PRACTICE SQUAD BY 10

 

TSLQBPRC Prediction:  Practice Squad vs Interdimensional Lightning Falcons will be a great finals, but we're not sure how ILF has any edge in this game.  Joe Miano is great.  Isn't B a little better?  The Falcons men are great.  Aren't Practice Squad's a little better?  Christina Nelson is a monster for ILF.  Aren't Renee and Ashtin a little better?  We expect the Falcons to play a good enough game to give them a shot at the end, but Practice Squad is so well rounded.  Looks like we're picking the same division champ yet again, Godfather.  PRACTICE SQUAD BY 5

 

 

D5:

 

Last Week’s Games:

 

#1 Cobblestone 34, #8 Not So Sticky 32

#7 Passing While Intoxicated 28, #2 TMA 20

#3 Tater Tots 33, #6 Come From Behind 30

#4 Red Zone Mafia 39, #5 716 20

 

Cobblestone survives Not So Sticky after going up big early. PWI proceeded to upset TMA on the strength of Colorado Mike. The Tots avenged a loss to CFB, figuring out their defense to move on. And the Red Zone Mafia continues to lurk in the shadows, taking out 716. 

 

#1 Cobblestone (7-2) vs #7 Passing While Intoxicated (3-6)

Points For: Cobblestone 28.33 (5th), PWI 18.89 (8th)

Points Against: Cobblestone 20.78 (3rd), PWI 25.56 (6th)

TSL Rank: Cobblestone 4th, PWI 39th

Past Games: PWI 28 - Cobblestone 12

Line: Cobblestone (-7)

 

GF Prediction: Passing While Intoxicated put TMA right back into the world of "not getting to championship games when they're favored to do so". As much fun as that was last week, the other results of games really boned them. Not only did they get on the map as shocking the world with the win, Cobblestone looked like buffoons after talking lots of smack to Not So Sticky and promptly getting humbled. Granted, Cobblestone came through at the end, but that just goes to show you there isn't anything Darryl Carr can't do. Either way, PWI can't sneak up on Cobblestone (as they did in the season when they beat them), and Cobblestone *better* keep their mouths shut and just play football this time around. It'll keep them focused and keep them moving to the title game. COBBLESTONE BY 12

 

 

TSLQBPRC Prediction:  It's hard not to read into the results of last week when Cobblestone looked VERY beatable and Passing While Intoxicated looked like heroes.  We've got to think the truth of each team lies in the larger sample size of the entire season, and over the course of the season, Cobblestone was a significantly better team.  COBBLESTONE BY 16

 

#3 Tater Tots (6-3) vs #4 Red Zone Mafia (6-3)

Points For: TT 24.33 (6th), RZM 31.44 (1st)

Points Against: TT 18.22 (2nd), RZM 21.89 (4th)

TSL Rank: TT 10th, RZM 13th

Past Games: TT 25 - RZM 20

Line: Red Zone Mafia (-3)

 

GF Prediction: The Tater Tots and Red Zone Mafia meet in what should be a fantastic matchup. These two teams have both played tremendously. Blake Fisher has emerged as a very good QB, and he's essentially a 20 years younger Jeff Easton, who throws the ball for the Tots nowadays. Both teams have talent all over the place, and the Tots defense is going to be what decides to keep them in games. However, the Red Zone Mafia have had a very good team on both sides of the ball, and quite frankly when it comes down to it, there's no way that Lenny Alba doesn't fix the games so we get a Cobblestone vs Red Zone Mafia final. RED ZONE MAFIA BY 6

 

TSLQBPRC Prediction:  Would you look at that, this will be the first time we've picked the same Finals game in a division!  We're also going with Red Zone Mafia.  They just drive down the field so effortlessly and get those gender points more often than not.  The Tots are a good team, and we think they're going to put up an awesome fight, but we don't see that being enough.  RED ZONE MAFIA BY 5

 

D5 FINAL:

 

GF Prediction: Cobblestone vs Red Zone Mafia. A big time battle against former teammates. Red Zone Mafia took the regular season matchup, although Cobblestone wasn't at 100%. This game is going to be a blood bath that comes down to the wire, but in the end we're going to see Red Zone Mafia win on a late Sam Lattuca TD pass. RED ZONE MAFIA BY 4

 

TSLQBPRC Prediction: Cobblestone vs Red Zone Mafia.  This is the way D5 is destined to end.  Red Zone Mafia knows Darryl all too well, but do the Cobblestone defenders know how to stop Blake and Sam?  We doubt it.  RED ZONE MAFIA BY 3

 

 

D6:

 

Last Week’s Games:

 

#3 Blitzkrieg 40, #6 Lenny’s Ladies 24

#4 Woodpeckers 21, #5 Lettuce Win 6

 

Nothing too surprising here in D6. Blitzkrieg pulls away to beat Lenny’s Ladies, and the Woodpeckers handle Lettuce Win without much of an issue. 

 

#1 Travis Henry’s Kids (7-1) vs #4 Woodpeckers (4-5)

Points For: THK 37.63 (1st), Woodpeckers 21.57 (5th)

Points Against: THK 21.63 (1st), Woodpeckers 27.14 (4th)

TSL Rank: THK 5th, Woodpeckers 34th

Past Games: THK 20 - Woodpeckers 12, THK 40 - Woodpeckers 33

Line: Travis Henry’s Kids (-7)

 

GF Predictions - Travis Henry's Kids shouldn't be in this division, and yada, yada, yada. We get it, John Langley and Pete Wallbrandt get to play pitch and catch while the rest of the Woodpeckers struggle to keep up with them. Woodpeckers are lucky enough to trot out Handsome Wrestler Dan and a pair of Buscaglias, but they don't have much else in terms of firepower to keep pace with the juggernauts that THK truly is. TRAVIS HENRY'S KIDS BY 17

 

TSLQBPRC Predictions: We've never understood these "shouldn't be in this division" comments about Travis Henry's Kids.  They were 5-4 in D6 last session.  They were 5-4 in D6 the session before that.  They've been an average team in their division two years running, and then D6 lost TMA, Graves Bros and Victorious Secret this past offseason session.  Travis Henry's Kids doesn't have to apologize for their opponents leaving, they had nothing to do with that.  They can only beat the teams that line up to play them, and in this case it's Woodpeckers.  TRAVIS HENRY'S KIDS BY 11

 

#2 Southside (6-3) vs #3 Blitzkrieg (4-5)

Points For: SS 28.88 (3rd), BK 22.88 (4th)

Points Against: SS: 27.13 (3rd), BK 28.25 (5th)

TSL Rank: SS 15th, BK 31st

Past Games: BK 21 - SS 0 (forfeit), SS 25 - BK 18

Line: Southside (-7)

 

GF Predictions - Blitzkrieg finds themselves in familiar territory, Good enough to win, but just on the outside looking in. This hasn't been the best season for the Blitz, as roster turnover and whatnot led to some poor performances. They seem to be picking things up at the right time though! Of course, the issue is that they're running into a Southside squad that has been consistently good regardless of who they put on the field. There's not much Blitzkrieg can do here to keep up with Southside, as they look destined to play THK in the battle for D6. SOUTHSIDE BY 7

 

TSLQBPRC Prediction: Blitzkrieg was 3-6 last session, and they're 4-5 this session.  Improvement, sure, but not championship material yet.  Southside on the other hand is built to win right now.  SOUTHSIDE BY 14

 

 

D6 FINAL:

 

GF Prediction: Travis Henry's Kids vs Southside - The way it was always meant to be since Week 1 when Southside stomped on THK. THK, of course, returned the favor in a 65-14 thrashing. The rubber match was a 33-29 THK win in the most recent contest, and that's more than likely the type of game we're going to see here. It all comes back to the usual thing in D6: John Langley vs himself. Langley gets himself too amped and gets too cocky about his D6 chances and then proceeds to have a meltdown and blow it. Southside has nothing to lose here, and everything to gain. THK will 100% be in D5 next season, but it won't be because they won the title. Langley crumbles mentally, and Southside wins. SOUTHSIDE BY 7

 

TSLQBPRC Prediction: "Langley crumbles mentally, and Southside wins".  For a team with the best +/- per game in the TSL, it's amazing how possible that sounds for Travis Henry's Kids.  Southside IS very good, and very capable of winning this game after all.  THK is very capable of imploding.  But we think they hang on and win a game that's more stressful than they were expecting.  TRAVIS HENRY'S KIDS BY 2

 

 

FIVE QUESTIONS FOR CHAMPIONSHIP SATURDAY:

 

Which #1 seed is most likely to NOT win their division on Saturday?

 

TSLQBPRC: Well, our Committee picked ALL the #1 seeds to win their divisions except for Scared Hitless and Cobblestone, so probably one of those two, right?  We'll say Cobblestone.  We really like Red Zone Mafia's chances, and Scared Hitless still has excellent odds to win their division.  In order of least likely to most likely for the #1 seeds, we'll say Cobblestone, Scared Hitless, Legends, Practice Squad, Travis Henry's Kids, Untouchaballs.  Does that sound about right?

 

GF: I can’t argue that order, maybe flip Practice Squad and THK. Overall, yes, I’d probably say Cobblestone at this point. D5 is still very good, and they didn’t exactly wow me with the effort against Not So Sticky. Even if they get past PWI, who beat them before, the winner of the Tots/Red Zone Mafia matchup is going to give them hell. 

 

 

2) Who is the most unlikely champion you could imagine winning on Saturday?

 

TSLQBPRC: Tight Ends in Motion are the most athletically gifted football team everyone has already written off, so we'll take them.  It's not impossible that they pull off a couple upsets to take D1.  And then Woodpeckers have played Travis Henry's Kids close a couple times already.  Why not a wild upset win here and then cashing in on that momentum to win a championship?  Is that SO unlikely?

 

GF: PWI would be the most unlikely champion I can see winning. The path is there for them. They’ve already beaten Cobblestone before, so who’s to say they can’t make the title game and then get a bounce or two? 

 

3) Which team is under the most pressure to perform well?

 

GF: Scared Hitless needs to win D2. Think about it, they’ve been the D2 darlings since the season started. They WON a crossover game. They’re going to D1 regardless of if they win the title or not this weekend. If they walk out of Saturday without a title, that’s going to be deflating after a great season. 

 

TSLQBPRC: It's Legends, right?  They built an all-star team but if they can't win twice on Saturday people will start pointing fingers and asking what happened.  That's a lot of pressure that no other #1 seed can really relate to.  Travis Henry's Kids would be another team that everyone just expects to win because they've been in D6 a while now and it's assumed to be "their time" (like TMA of last season).  Also, a lot of pressure on those guys, John in particular.

 

 4) Who is the best remaining QB from each division?

 

TSLQBPRC: What, don't you read our Power Rankings?  D1 has three contenders, but Joey finished the season as the highest ranked, so as much as people may disagree (Mr. Godfather, Joey's Stunts teammates, his Legends teammates...) we're sticking with him.  Dylan Day is our choice for D2 with Hogan just a hair behind him, unquestionably Burr for D3, without a doubt B for D4, Darryl for D5 edging out Blake Fisher, and John for D6.

 

GF: What a terrible question for me when the committee is right here. Bobby is the man in D1, and you’re forgetting about Dubey in D2. How dare you. Hard to argue Burr in D3, or B in D4. Obviously Darryl in D5, don’t be silly. And it has to be Langley in D6 . 

 

5) Which non-QB do you expect to be the MVP for each division on Saturday?

 

GF: I think Mike Boccio shows up and reminds everyone just who he is this weekend in D1. For D2, Jonny FN Football is going to ball out on some fools. In D3, its time more than just The Sentinel (RIP) know about Matt Helm. D4 is going to give you all a brand new Can’t Touch This player to learn about, I just don’t know who they are yet. I’m sure if Cobblestone wins the whole thing, it’ll be because of someone that the league will say “who is THAT guy and when did Darryl get him?” prompting immediate roster checks. And in D6, it’s just Pistol Pete. That guy is fantastic. 

 

TSLQBPRC: Sean Weisensal will do something ridiculously athletic in D1 whether Legends win it or not.  We don't know if Passed Our Prime is going to win any games, but we'll take Kyle Conniff in D2.  Mel Linsmair (Untouchaballs) is our pick in D3 if she's not one of the missing Scared Hitless girls we talked about earlier.  Renee Lantz is going to light it up for Practice Squad in D4, it feels like a big day is coming for her.  Sam Lattuca is always terrifying to play against for Red Zone Mafia so she's our pick for D5.  And finally, we'll take Dan Farinacci from Woodpeckers in D6, he's always a highlight reel waiting to happen.

 

 

TEN FINAL THOUGHTS FOR CHAMPIONSHIP SATURDAY: 

 

1) Whatever happened to the indoor facility the Angry Buffalo was going to start building this session?  Wasn't that supposed to start construction mid-season?

 

2) Breakfast Club is pitting Liddle Deaks against Steph Infection, in a battle of the top 2 seeds. These teams went 1-1 against each other this season, so the game itself is going to be pretty great. Liddle Deaks 37, Steph Infection 31

 

3) As always, major credit should be given to Travis for his management of the sublist this session.  It's the single least rewarding job in bar league football, and he does it with a smile (okay, he does it, maybe he doesn't smile that much).  Travis always has to be the bad cop telling people "no, you can't have this person, no, we're not going to reward you with a great player just because you're asking five minutes before gametime".  Whether people appreciate it or not (and they don't, at least not enough) this makes the League WAY more fair and fun for everyone.  If he's stopping YOU from grabbing bullshit subs, remember, he's stopping your opponents from doing the same thing.  To loosely quote A Few Good Men, deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want Travis on that wall, you NEED Travis on that wall.

 

4) It’s going to be 90 degrees tomorrow. Seriously, wear some sunscreen. AND Topper has informed me that he’s acquired a slip and slide for the day so people can cool off. Dress accordingly! 

 

5) Officiating has been fantastic this season, so Coach Jay is going out on a high note in his final season as Head of Officiating.  Thanks again for all the work you've done the past few sessions.  Crazy that we've gone from "the dirtiest player in the game" Rameer to "basically Captain America" Coach Jay and those two very different personalities were both able to be so effective.  Hopefully Jay isn't a stranger around the fields in future sessions.  Best of luck in fatherhood Jay!

 

6) The wine tournament is August 13th and signups are coming VERY soon. Topper wanted me to express that the T-Shirt guy from Lenny and Rameer Day will be there this year, and there will more than likely be some “wine tournament” themed merchandise as well. 

 

7)  The Rose Garden staff were fantastic this session.  They really know how to hire friendly, hardworking people that make our Saturdays at the bar all the more special.

 

8) Even if you’re one of the unlucky people who are no longer in the Race For Social Co-Ed Football Immortality, you should STILL come to the fields this weekend. Championship Saturday is always a party, and with slip and slides and people popping champagne all over the place, it’s a great way to say goodbye. Come to the fields and party! 

 

9) Is it bad luck to say "it's been a while since we've had an ambulance on the field"?  We had a rocky start to the season with medical emergencies but since then, it's been smooth sailing.  Not sure if Topper ever did that exorcism/field blessing he was planning or whether B's Brother cast some kind of protection spell, but we've been pretty lucky to have no incidents the last few weeks.

 

10) It’s very disappointing that B’s Brother would abandon the TSL for Championship Saturday, but he’s on Official TSL business scouting playing sites for the potential expansion into Georgia. He’s been a rockstar this season, it’s always good to have him back. 

 

 

And there you have it Ladies and Gentlemen. The Race for Social Co-Ed Football Immortality is about to reach the finish line. Nobody knows how it’s going to go, and I guarantee you we’ll have multiple surprises on the fields. Good luck to everyone out there and remember not to freak out on the refs. 

 

-GF OUT

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