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Message To The Topper Sports League, March 2nd 2020

Category: The Rant
Created: Monday, 02 March 2020 15:33
Published: Monday, 02 March 2020 15:33
Written by Patrick McGovern
Hits: 3897



Greetings and salutations to our long list of Topper Sports family, friends, loved ones, players, participants, staff, fans, those extended involved citizens and everyone who has been a part of our little slice of coed rec league joy since the beginning of this iteration of our league and even long before. If I have not seen you or made some form of direct contact with you in this new year, allow me to wish you a happy belated new year. I hope things have overall been well for you and continue to BE well for you. 

Simply put, most of you reading me know me simply as Rameer if you're familiar with our league. When you think of the TSL, most often people think of Topper (our leader, namesake and owner of the best 2 hand rec football league in Western New York), Lenny (our fun and widely loved commissioner who watches over all things TSL from the spiritual plane and whose spirit resides in all of us), and then you may come across to me - the silly, blunt, over-the-top grumposaurus often tasked with scheduling our refs, helping to establish week-to-week order, and just pretty much doing any and everything needed to ensure our league runs to the best of it's capabilities, at the maximum fun that we can unite to assure that 700+ people have a great 3-4 months of football every Fall and Spring. I mean, Topper, Lenny and I have always done a lot more than I care to list, but plainly put - we make the stew cook. Over a decade in, I think we've collectively done a great job of presenting a really great product to all of you that we've always stressed to be family, and that the people who get it have successfully embraced that concept have enjoyed it to be as such.

When you maintain a league as we do, that family part hits home. I share a lot of close relationships with many of you - some individual, some through your families, some even through your entire team. Even those of us who aren't close tend to really share a good, strong camaraderie that I'm eternally thankful for and wouldn't give up for almost anything. 

As time moves on, we fast approach our first active session of 2020, our Spring session. With just under 2 months to go at the time of this letter, players, teams and participants are getting antsy for some football and speculation has begun on a number of things. Unfortunately, one thing that has come up in small murmurs in some parts of our rec league social circle is the status of my health. A few of you knew towards the end of 2019 it seemed as though my health weakened a bit over time. An extremely small number of you even noticed that at our Alba Awards banquet, I had fun - but still seemed to be a bit "less" in terms of physical spirit. 

This letter is the best way I can address this to a large number of you. And rather than beat around the bush or prolong anything else with an even lengthier introduction to my status, I'll just get right to it...

Shortly after the turn of the new year, my family and I were informed by medical professionals that I have been diagnosed with cancer. 

The cancer I have is called a sarcoma, which (by definition) is simply a way of describing a rare form of cancer. So if knowing that someone has cancer itself isn't enough alarm, MY particular form of cancer is a rare one. Now - on top of that fact, there are said to be about 60 sarcomas. The specific one I'm dealing with - less than 1% of cancer patients get it. 

I understand how this may come off to you. And I understand there may be some shock at all of this. I assure you that it isn't hyperbole, and that it is as stated. And this isn't a figuring out situation - I'm already being treated. I'm already fighting. I'm already doing the work to live. 

Topper has known about my status step by step from the beginning and like the magnificent friend he's been to me over 20+ years, he's been supportive, encouraging and there for me in any and every way. He's known my status and kept it to himself at my request. Although I am revealing my status in this letter (as it is the easiest way to do for widespread knowledge), I'd really like to say that if people could take after his example with the respect for my privacy and careful but non-intrusive support, it would mean the absolute world to me during this time. 

The prospects for my recovery are good. Treatment has already begun, and part of the aggressive treatment does indeed involve chemotherapy. Although I had an initial setback on the first set of treatments, recent responses and results have given us great hope and optimism, and my staff and family are very confident that not only will I face this with the best of chances of success - we believe that we will win as so many brave players in our league have themselves already done in their battles with both cancer and other health issues. We have a strong league filled with strong positivity and energy, and that strength permeates within me as well, I'd like to believe. 

In terms of our league? For now, nothing is going to change. I'm just as involved as ever, and trust - Topper and I are already talking about changes and revisions, plans for the season, rule amendments, plans festivities - the usual stuff. The only tangible change that I can say for sure at the time of this being posted? I will not be playing in any football games this session based on my schedule of treatment and what the projected effects of my body will permit/allow. I will, however, try to be there as many Saturdays as I can to see you all out there having the time of your lives playing on "The House That Topper & Lenny Built". Health permitting, I wouldn't miss it for the world. And if you know me, you know that's true. 

I am doing okay. Although finding out such a thing can be jarring, trust that I'm in a good enough place to let this be known. I do ask for privacy and respect for my personal time and life; if you'd like to reach out to me please write me care of This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Or, if you have me listed on the telegram app, you can contact me via that. Phone calls and/or texts will not likely be received or responded to, as they are too intrusive and my day is honestly filled much of the time with attending to the care I need - so I respond to non-intrusive communications that I can respond to at my own pace that don't interrupt activities or come at inopportune times of the day. If you have my direct email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) that works the best in my opinion. 

Topper and I decided that at some point prior to the season, it would be best just to let the news out on my terms. As a small bit of speculation began to ramp up, I figured I'd simply let it be known so that misinformation and falsehoods didn't run rampant. And even now, I'd sincerely ask you to be respectful in terms of the news and the journey I am on. I know what I face, and I know that things will go the way that they are intended. I know I have a great support system, and I know that one thing I don't doubt for a minute of is the support and love of my TSL family during this entire thing. We're going to have a great 2020 - ALL OF US - and I cannot wait to see you all this session out there on the field doing your thing and having the time of your lives. 

 Love & blessings to our Topper Sports Community. 


- Rameer D. Green

THE RANT: 2019 Alba Awards Edition

Category: The Rant
Created: Tuesday, 10 December 2019 13:38
Published: Tuesday, 10 December 2019 13:38
Written by Patrick McGovern
Hits: 3445


"I never let a statue tell me how nice I am..." - Phife Dawg, "Award Tour"

What - you thought it was over?

It's never over. Not 'til we say it's over. Yes, you are correct - you're seeing this. Your mind isn't playing tricks on you, it's another article when you probably thought you'd see no other articles this year from Topper Sports. WRONG. I pledged to Topper that once we got in gear for our banquet, I'd write an article breaking down (to some degree) our awards and the nominees. And people who know me well know I never like to be made into a liar. So - here we are. A fresh RANT for that a$$. 

Now. First thing's first, and this is important. 

Year in and year out, we endeavor to put the best possible product out their for our people to enjoy. We take great pride in running a fun, enjoyable league, and we love doing extra things related to the league as well as outside of it. Since we've had our league, the consistent culmination of fun and frivolity has been our awards banquet at the end of the year. It's a great time for people to reunite, to unwind, to let down your hair and really cut loose with your teammates and fellow TSL community. The night can be mild for some (show up, have a few laughs, eat, have a drink, go home) or it can be downright Las Vegas Spring Break (I don't even dare detail anything - what happens at the banquet STAYS at the banquet!). But one thing's for sure - it's all about fun. 

With that said - please keep that spirit in mind. Lenny loved our banquet, and went the extra mile each time to make sure you guys loved it too. Don't take these awards TOO seriously. Yes, we try to recognize deserving folks, but this isn't a perfect science. We're not literally doing calculations and contacting the Elias Sports Bureau to examine stats. We don't have 500K hours of footage to review to make a case for any of you. This is based on opinion. 

Ah...but WHOSE opinion? Surprise - YOURS. 

The awards and nominees have always been based on that, but in past years we leaned heavily on our Commish, who was a walking encyclopedia of info and stats when it came to every player and team in the league. His informed eye steered the ship of what were the right calls to make, as he was a bit of a Rain Man type when it came to knowing the 600+ players and 40-50+ teams each session. But Topper and I ain't Lenny, nor will we ever try to be. 

So how did we select the nominees? We didn't - YOU did. 

We sneakily had spies talking to ALL of you all season. Getting honest opinions about who was great and at the top of their division. You guys chose these nominees weekly, you just didn't know you were being surveyed. Nor did you know WHO was surveying you. Which was a team of folks who most of you wouldn't guess. Seriously - one person who filtered info to us was a new player this session! Still got your truthful opinions. And doing it this way, we got true feelings without bias, politics, drama, jealousy, etc. 

So, for example - let's say I had gone and asked who was the best D1 QB. Perhaps if I'M the one asking, and a person has a grudge against Eyes Downtown - they refuse to name Bobby. But if Jane Doe from D6 asks who are the best QBs in D1 - maybe the person asked says "I don't really like their team, but the ED QB is really good if I'm being honest." Boom! Gotcha. You just gave us what we needed. 

And we drilled you guys all season. The results were we got a fantastic idea who YOU GUYS really thought were the cream of the crop. I can assure you 100% that Topper and I did NOT get together and decide this. We did NOT have a long phone convo, we did NOT chat about it in text, email or telegram. Truth be told - a super secret committee was formed, and it sorted out what's what. Even if you go bug Topper, Joe K, Val, Billy, Bartender Nikki, that guy Goose who is always at the bar every week, etc. - they can't tell you who was on the super secret committee. 

I learned the beauty of anonymity well from our Commish. Which means on banquet night (or even before) when you complain to someone about a selection? You might be complaining to someone who was on the committee. And you won't even know it, cuz the people on it ain't no snitches (I'm very good at choosing non-snitches for specific situations). 

Inevitably, a small handful of you will still take things too seriously and probably whine/complain to Topper or myself about this thing. More me than Topper cuz I'm sure you won't believe we really had spies (the tiny percentage that don't like the fact the nominations didn't fit into their perfect idea of how they should go). I would just say if you know me, you know I exhibit a good amount of bias with people I like a lot. So the fact that you DON'T see my favorite people nominated a trillion times all over the place should tell you something. Most of my favorite folks in the league happen to be good players - but I wasn't choosing these nominees.

YOU were. 

This year and every year going forward, the awards will be called The Alba Awards, for obvious reasons. As you look at the list of awards, almost all of them will seem familiar. Some old ones may have been removed, some others may have been re-added. But the one truly new award we will present this season is The Leonard Alba Person Of The Year Award. This award is meant to recognize a person who truly "gets" what our league is about and embodies every aspect perfectly. 

They show up to play and compete hard without acting like it's an NFL tryout. They hang out at the bar, and socialize with people other than just their teammates. They argue calls without getting personal with the refs. They eat, drink and tend to be merry at the bar. They happily engage in festivities and league fun, yet never have to be carried out of the bar or ubered home due to going too far. When people see them - the sight of them alone brings a smile to people's faces. They're a perfect embodiment of the type of player Lenny wanted as a part of this league. 

No, they may not be the most popular overall, or the sweetest, or best complete athlete on their team, etc. They're just well-rounded in all facets of what makes a Topper Sports player, and this year and going forward - that person will be recognized. this of course means that yours truly can never win this award, cuz that would be a joke. My temper and grumpiness alone perpetually disqualify me. Lolz! 

Now, without further ado - if you have yet to see the nominee list, here it is in full. At the very bottom of the article is all the info you need to sign up for the banquet. DON'T WAIT! Sign yourself and your friends/lovers/teammates up today! and get everyone you know to do the same. This is going to be the biggest night of the Topper Sports calendar, and you WON'T want to miss it!

Enjoy the list, and let the debates and speculation of who will win begin! I hope to see EVERYONE January 3rd at Hotel Lafayette - of course, I'll be in the cut!!!

- Rameer AKA The Build

Bobby McConnell, Eyes Downtown
Jeff Farr, Eyes Downtown
Andy Smith, Marketing Mayors
Chris Cole, Public Enemy
Nick Wendt, Tights Ends In Motion

Joey Ruderman, Eyes Downtown
Jillian Battaglia, Gryffindor
Cheryl Julicher, Public Enemy
Katie Salisbury, Tight Ends In Motion
Lindsay Stoddard, Tight Ends In Motion

Matty Ice, A&A
Travis Cleavanger, DILFs
Drew Colosimo, Hofbrauhaus Buffalo
Pete Nguyen, Horfbrauhaus Buffalo
Dean Thompson, Peachy Platoon

Maggie LaMantia, A&A
Taylor Pagano, A&A
Brandy Clarke, Hofbrauhaus Buffalo
Joy Thompson, Peachy Platoon
Jessica Cunningham, Slytherin In That Endzone



Mike Rawdin, All We Do Is Qwinn
Brandon Farr, End Game
Garrett Beesing, Frodo Swaggins
Kyle Conniff, No Punt Intended
Dave Baker, Sticky Bandits

Katie Keller, 3rd & Schlong
Kat Peters, All We Do Is Qwinn
Elena Schratz, No Punt Intended
Rachel Parker, No Punt Intended
Sam Lattuca, Ultimate Warriors



Brett Cole, Buffalo Solar Solutions
Matty Ice, Matty's Angels
Cody McGregor, Mountain Dew Me
Anthony Deak, Uncle Rico's
Tim Zielinski, Uncle Rico's


Amy Denning, Buffalo Solar Solutions

Caitlin Mason, Buffalo Solar Solutions

Margo Jablonski, Matty's Angels

Chelsea Manikowski, Uncle Rico's

Jackee Thompson, Uncle Rico's



Blase DaLuca, En Fuego
Derek Mears, En Fuego
Ben Sears, Over Compensators
Larry Chruscial, Over Compensators
Jamie McCabe, Practice Squad

Jen Stachura, Come From Behind
Dorene Major, En Fuego
Kate Bagley, Hung Buffalo
Cindi Bardo, Over Compensators
Renee Lantz, Practice Squad


Gronk, Graves Bros.

Eric Pochylyski, pAssless Chaps
Ron Webber, TMA 
Ryan Henry, TMA
Zack Elphick, Zack Attack

Kassiani Strembenis, Graves Bros.
Katie Swanson, The Replacements
Megan "Drunk Meg" Rummings, TMA
Stephanie Czaja, TMA
Whitney Linderman, Zack Attack

Hope 'N' Ruin
Practice Squad
Sticky Bandits
Tater Tots

Andy Fagan
Joe "JZ" Zogoria
Justin "Martial Law" Garbacz

Mark Buscaglia
Mike W. 

Beth Schroeder, Eyes Downtown
Scott Drosendahl, Frodo Swaggins
Jeremy Burr, Gryffindor
Joey Batts, Gryffindor
Nick Primerano, TMA

Molly McDermid, Come From Behind
Eric Stegmeier, DILFs
Coach Jay Jaskier, pAssless Chaps
Brent McKenzie, TMA
Brian Ferger, TMA

Caitlin Mason, Buffalo Solar Solutions
David "Bro" Klecker, Jabronies
Katie Swanson, The Replacements
Ron Webber, TMA
Stephanie Czaja, TMA

1. Scotty Drosendahl, calls his shot with Little Redheaded Girl, shrinks from the moment and never takes his shot
2. 3rd & Schlong break up
3. We Back quits on season amid roster chaos
4. DILFs win D2 as #6 seed 
5. Two different podcasts compete for TSL media supremacy all season long

Gronk, Graves Bros.
Drew Colosimo, Hofbrauhaus Buffalo
Andy Smith, Marketing Mayors
Brian Stevens, Sticky Bandits
Nick Smith, TMA

Maggie LaMantia, A&A
Kat Peters, All We Do Is Qwinn
Jess McAndrews, Bullet Club
Jamie Warren, End Game
Brandy Clarke, Hofbrauhaus Buffalo

Matty Ice, A&A
Bobby McConnell, Eyes Downtown
Larry Chruscial, Over Compensators
Mark Dalfonso, Marketing Mayors
Chris Cole, Public Enemy

Derek Mears, En Fuego
Cody Stumpf, Eyes Downtown
Josh Schneider, Frodo Swaggins
Chris Shriver, Slytherin In That Endzone
Mike Thomas, Sticky Bandits

Nicole Keller,3rd & Schlong
Brittany Clarke, Hofbrauhaus Buffalo
Rachel Parker, No Punt Intended
Christine Robertson, Sticky Bandits
Heather Tighe, Vaspian

BiPolar Express
No Punt Intended
Over Compensators
pAssless Chaps

Kat Peters, All We Do Is Qwinn
Joy Thompson, Peachy Platoon
Renee Lantz, Practice Squad

Katie Salisbury, Tight Ends In Motion
Jackee Thompson, Uncle Rico's

Matty Ice, A&A
Bobby McConnell, Eyes Downtown
Garrett Beesing, Frodo Swaggins

Andy Smith, Marketing Mayors
Dean Thompson, Peachy Platoon

Matty's Angels
Over Compensators
Peachy Platoon

Sticky Bandits



Laura Streeter, Sticky Bandits

Raena Koppel, Tater Tots

Nick Smith, TMA

Lucas Kramer, Vaspian

Heather Tighe, Vaspian



TSL "Official" Podcast
TSL Alternate Podcast
TSL QB Rankings

The Godfather
The Sentinel



Leslie Cook, Come From Behind

"Coach" Jay Jaskier, pAssless Chaps

Paul "Paulie J"Johnson, Public Enemy
Jeff Krol, Sticky Bandits
Emily Curry, Tight Ends In Motion



- Rameer AKA The Build


A Word From Topper:




On behalf of Rameer and Myself, we want to thank you for a great year of TSL football.  Yes, we suffered a great loss this year when Lenny passed away, and it was very hard to move on, but he loved this league, and he loved nothing more than the banquet.  Actually he loved the couple hours of quietness that he and I spent at the hotel lobby bar just thinking about the debauchery that would be forthcoming, but I digress. Needless to say, this banquet will be different in many ways, but it will be a great way to remember a great person and to celebrate our league that means so much to so many of us.




With that said, here is all of the information you need to know.  Please forward this on to your teammates.  Thank you..





Fall 2019 TSL Banquet Registration



When: The Fall 2019 Season Banquet will be on Friday January 3rd, 2020




Where: at The Hotel Lafayette (https://thehotellafayette.com/)

391 WASHINGTON STREET BUFFALO, NEW YORK 14203 phone 716-853-1505


Who’s Invited: Players, Captains, General Managers, Significant others, Friends or “Friends”, Refs, etc.


Cost: $50/person in advance

Payments can be made 2 ways:

1. Via Paypal to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2. Via Venmo Patrick-McGovern-8


Includes: Open Bar from 7pm til 10pm, Hors d’oeuvres throughout the evening, DJ’s, and other Surprises as usual..


Evening Agenda:

7:00pm: Arrivals/Registration / Open Bar Begins, Appetizers Served throughout the evening

8:30pm: State of the League Address/Special Presentation, Team and All Star Presentations

10:00pm: cash bar from 10pm – 11pm




To Register: click this link Fall 2019 TSL Banquet Registration



Hotel Rooms are available using the Topper Sports group code


by phone:


• Reservations can be made directly with our Guest Services team at 716-853-1505

• Please press 3 to be connected to the front desk.

• Reference the group.


Book Online


Here is your direct booking link:


If you have any issues with the link, follow these steps:


1. Go to www.thehotellafayette.com

2. Enter stay dates and number of guests.

3. Click the check mark button on the right-hand side.

4. Click on Special Rates and then Group Code.

5. Type in your Group Code: 010320TOP

6. Click “Done”

7. Click “Update”


Category: The Rant
Created: Tuesday, 22 October 2019 12:58
Published: Tuesday, 22 October 2019 12:58
Written by Patrick McGovern
Hits: 6962


Before I get started - please save the date. We're looking at January 3rd for our annual banquet. Our banquets have always been a great time - this one should be know different. The last one was literally the greatest one to date. So please make sure you are ready to party and available to do so. We will send more info out as it becomes available (ticket prices, deals on rooms, etc.).We will also update you on any wine tours we may have this Fall, Winter or Spring.

It was great to see people who didn't make the playoffs or who had a bye show up this week. I hope players from eliminated teams stop by The Rose Garden this week to check out the games as well. It's always better when you have the league watching their peers play.

And now...to what I really need to type this week...

You know what sucks?

I had it all set and primed what I was going to write for this week. After last week's "softer" article, I was going to continue the trend. Give shout outs to players and teams, thank a few people, make some jokes, have some fun. But you guys have to be...you guys. Like...that small percentage of you that had me and Lenny fed up at the end of every season - you f**ks can't help yourself.
Joe K has said "I can feel the anger and exasperation in your writing."

Joe K isn't wrong. 

I'm not going to rehash crap detail for detail, but I had TWO forfeited games this week due to skirting of the rules. One game had both teams do it. Topper decided to have the game replayed (a decision  that was actually voted on by people who assist us, he didn't do it alone) - and a bunch of you liked it, a bunch of you didn't. 

I don't care. 

Look - the teams have been addressed, and we will handle them accordingly. I don't feel that any peanut gallery folks need line for line explanations of what we're doing, will do, etc. cuz you're rarely around to offer solutions. You're sure there to tell us how we aren't doing things right though when we spend 8 out of 12 months running this thing for YOUR enjoyment. Newsflash - we're the only one of 3 football leagues that doesn't run their league like a business first, but with the teams and players more so in mind. A profit isn't made on this thing. I tell you that every year, I don't know if you guys understand that or what. 

I'm done being repetitive. This Saturday, just like I had the rosters and waivers literally open on my phone all day - it'll be the same thing this week. And I'll be quick to be The Bad Guy this week. Think of this week as me being Maximus Villainus Saturday. Trust me on this one. Saturday was bad enough, but you guys have definitely made it more of a headache since the last whistle blew. 

And I want to get something out there right now. 

I don't know what some of you discuss at the bar or amongst yourselves. But there have been several teams at different points this session who have given some variation of "Oh yeah, well we might not play in this league" when they've been called to the table for doing something wrong, against the rules, etc. Like - you say it cuz we're enforcing the rules. Cuz YOU did something wrong. And apparently, you think this will make me or Topper respond "OH NO - WE'RE SORRY. DON'T LEAVE US!!!"

Get ALL the way the f**k out of here with that. 

Let me be clear - I don't want any team to leave. I'm not telling any teams to leave. What I am saying is if you want to leave our league to go play somewhere else because you don't follow rules and guidelines given to you months ago and are reminded of regularly? BYE. Those teams who have said it to me have received various synonymous "I don't give a f**k" responses from me. The fact that you would even remotely try to threaten us for things you know are wrong...

If you wanna leave, peace. I'll shed as many tears with you leaving as I did when you came. Knock that ish off NOW. I KNOW the way that the other leagues are run. Any implication that we run things badly is a joke. One league is run so god awful it's literally the reason the other two leagues exist. The other league is run by a guy I really like and I've got nothing bad to say about him or the league he owns/runs at all. But please don't think we're begging for teams to stay or join us. We provide a place to play, have fun and make awesome connections around sports. If you choose another option to do that - that is your right. But threats don't move Topper or myself. The two legit leagues have 40+ teams, and we're one of those two. You leaving for things you did wrong ain't gonna make me bat an eye. Hell, I might not notice you - someone had to point out a team that didn't come back this Saturday. I literally didn't think about them until the person mentioned them.

Stop that ish. 

Running this league isn't easy, and it actually is a nuisance due to some of you. And just know - it's a slap in the face when some of you KNOW myself or Topper haven't been dictators. When the bar complains about something, and I KNOW who did what. But I smooth it over. When you wanted to sub, but technically you're not supposed to - and I said "go ahead". When your team, ignoring the fact that Topper told you in mid-summer to get in game change requests or days you couldn't make it, asks him to move mountains to reschedule a game - jacking up THE ENTIRE schedule for the following weeks - and Topper does it. When you've engaged in bad behavior, and I KNOW it - and I don't say a f**king word. Not even to you again, even though you KNOW I know. 

So when I hear anyone whining and crying...yeah, I know y'all. And I know which ones of y'all really ain't worth the headaches we give ourselves to make this thing go, with nothing more to honestly show than the fact that we made y'all happy. Like...that's it. That's the effin' reward. It ain't like the bank statement is popping when it's all said and done - most times, it's in the red. Any of you think or care about that? Most don't. And I keep that ish in mind when y'all are asking Topper to rent an aircraft carrier cuz it would be "cool" with no thought to who is paying for that ish, how much it costs, etc. How many of you have ever offered to chip in for all the extras Topper throws about? 

Topper's my friend. Like...my legit buddy. He probably doesn't like me voicing certain things (hell, I KNOW he doesn't) - but I ain't lying. And there's a reason why Lenny would always say "I don't know if I can keep doing this" every year. Cuz this ish can be exhausting. Very few of you are like a Chris Cole, who offers to help in any capacity and never takes us or this for granted. I call his name out cuz I appreciate him, and the Coach Jays and others like them. 

Most of y'all mean well, but you're like butt zits - you might not be known to the world to see obviously, but you still are a pain in the a$$ until you go away. And I'm not talking about nameless, random folks either - some of you I'm cool with. Very cool with. But y'all need to get a life sometimes. I don't want to hear you crying, whining, SNITCHING out of malice, searching for loopholes in rules, trying to micro-manage ish that doesn't apply to you at all, etc. 

I'm gonna shift things now. 

I hope Public Enemy or Gryffindor win the D1 title. I hope Peachy Platoon lives up to my expectations I have for them literally every season. I hope Matty's Angels and TMA get titles. And I hope if you take offense in anyway that I didn't mention your team - that I can upset you even more once you reveal to me that you care THAT much about what I'd like to see happen.    

I want to publicly commend my refs. They did a great job last week. They take a lot of you guys' crap too, and they grin and bear it. My refs overall are awesome. Not perfect, not without fault - but they're there no matter what, and they perform brilliantly. And I love 'em for that.

Thank you, Emily Curry. Emily has been far more awesome this session than most of you remotely realize. I value her immensely. 

I was supposed to be all excited about how big upset Saturday was last week, with all the unexpected victories by teams. Instead - here we are. But I refuse to end this article on a completely bad note...instead, I will use the final part of this article to reveal THE TOPPER SPORTS FALL 2019 AWARD NOMINEES. They are as follows:

D1 MVP NOMINEES                                                  D2 MVP NOMINEES
Jeff Farr, Eyes Downtown                                        Delano Fabor, A&A
Cody Stumpf, Eyes Downtown                                 Drew Colosimo, Hofbrauhaus Buffalo
Jeremy Burr, Gryffindor                                             Pete Nguyen, Hofbrauhaus Buffalo 
Andy Smith, Marketing Mayors                                Dean Thompson, Peachy Platoon

Nick Wendt, Tight Ends In Motion                          Chris Shriver, Slytherin In That Endzone 

D1 FEMALE MVP NOMINEES                                   D2 FEMALE MVP NOMINEES
Joey Ruderman, Eyes Downtown                            Maggie Lamantia, A&A 
Jillian Battaglia, Gryffindor                                       Taylor Pagano, A&A
Cheryl Julicher, Public Enemy                                  Brandy Clarke, Hofbrauhaus Buffalo   
Katie Salisbury, Tight Ends In Motion                     Joy Thompson, Peachy Platoon  
Lindsay Stoddard, Tights Ends In Motion               Jessica Cunningham, Slytherin In That Endzone

D1 TOP QB                                                                D2 TOP QB
Bobby McConnell, Eyes Downtown                     Matty Ice, A&A
Joey Batts, Gryffindor                                             Ricky Austin, Bullet Club  
Mark Dalfonso, Marketing Mayors                      Topper, Hofbrauhaus Buffalo
Chris Cole, Public Enemy                                        Dean Thompson, Peachy Platoon
Mike McKenrick, Tight Ends In Motion                Matt Newman, Slytherin In That Endzone

D3 MVP NOMINEES                                                  D4 MVP NOMINEES
Mike Rawdin, All We Do Is Qwinn                         Mitch Bennett, Buffalo Solar Solutions
Brandon Farr, End Game                                         Cody McGregor, Mountain Dew Me
Garrett Beesing, Frodo Swaggins                           Kyle McGregor, Mountain Dew Me 
Jay Elphick, No Punt Intended                                Anthony Deak, Uncle Rico's
Dave Baker, Sticky Bandits                                      Chris Nelson, Uncle Rico's 

D3 FEMALE MVP NOMINEES                                   D4 FEMALE MVP NOMINEES
Katie Keller, 3rd & Schlong                                      Amy Denning, Buffalo Solar Solutions 
Kat Peters, All We Do Is Qwinn                               Caitlin Mason, Buffalo Solar Solutions 
Jamie Warren, End Game                                        Margo Jablonski, Matty's Angels   
Elena Schratz, No Punt Intended                            Chelsea Manikowski, Unlce Rico's  
Heather Tighe, Vaspian                                           Jackee Thompson, Uncle Rico's

D3 TOP QB                                                                D4 TOP QB
Vince Traverno, All We Do Is Qwinn                    Andy Clark, Buffalo Solar Solutions
David Eickhoff, End Game                                     Joey Batts. Cunning Stunts  
Scott Drosendahl, Frodo Swaggins                      Matty Ice, Matty's Angels
Joe Miano, Jabronies                                             McGregor, Mountain Dew Me
Kyle Conniff, No Punt Intended                            Tim Zielinski, Uncle Rico's


D5 MVP NOMINEES                                                  D6 MVP NOMINEES
Derek Mears, En Fuego                                             Gronk, Graves Bros.
Matt Keita, En Fuego                                                 Eric Pochylyski, pAssless Chaps
Chris Dimmerly, Hope 'N' Ruin                                Ron Webb, TMA 
Ben Sears, Over Compensators                               Nick Debbins, Wild Oak Beard Co.
Jamie McCabe, Practice Squad                                Scott Musial, Zack Attack 

D5 FEMALE MVP NOMINEES                                   D6 FEMALE MVP NOMINEES
Jen Stachura, Come From Behind                              Kassiani Strembenis, Graves Bros. 
Dorene Major, En Fuego                                             Katie Swanson, The Replacements 
Kate Bagley, Hung Buffalo                                          "Drunk Meg" Rummings, TMA   
Cindi Bardo, Over Compensators                               Stephanie Czaja, TMA  
Renee Lantz, Practice Squad                                      Whitney Linderman, Zack Attack


D5 TOP QB                                                                D6 TOP QB
Paul Lovullo, Come From Behind                          Gordon Kus, BiPolar Express
Blase DaLuca, En Fuego                                           Steve Miller, Graves Bros.  
Michael Hayden, Hung Buffalo                               "Coach" Jay Jaskier, pAssless Chaps
Larry Chruscial, Over Compensators                      Ryan, TMA
Brian Stoldt, Practice Squad                                     Zack Elphick, Zack Attack


This is just the initial list of players. There may be a few other awards added to the list. The good thing about this - it's not etched in stone. If you see some names you think should replace others on this list or want to offer your thoughts on it, email me directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Until awards are handed out January 3rd - we're open to suggestions and revisions can (and likely will) occur. 

See y'all Saturday - I'll be in the cut. Totally over everything. 








Category: The Rant
Created: Tuesday, 29 October 2019 12:53
Published: Tuesday, 29 October 2019 12:53
Written by Patrick McGovern
Hits: 4022


"THAT'S...why the play the games!!!" - Chris Berman

"There is no chance in hell DILFs win the D2 title. you guys have THE LEAST chances of winning - I guarantee it!!!" - The Build to Travis last week

"Don't you know I'm still standing
Better than I ever did

Looking like a true survivor,
Feeling like a little kid

I'm still standing
After all this time

Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind

I'm still standing yeah yeah yeah

I'm still standing yeah yeah yeah..." - Elton John, "I'm Still Standing"

Yes, I understand how much crow I'm eating on the 2nd quote. Obviously, since I typed the quote...

And here we are. The season is in the books, and we had quite possibly the wildest Championship Saturday ever. Of the #1 seeds, only 3 won it all - and while it's never been a guarantee at all for a #1 seed to win the title, the fact that the top 3 seeds in D2 all didn't make the championship is astonishing. No Punt Intended and Frodo Swaggins getting bounced raises eyebrows. TMA getting smoked is downright unbelievable (until it actually happened). What an exciting season we had in terms of competition. The way that the dust settled proves that Topper and I know a little something about team placement. Based on the final results, 4 out of 6 divisions were competitively up for grabs. So I'll happily tell all the second guessers who spoke up earlier this session to suck it. We've done this long enough to know what's what. 

It was a cool session. I don't know if I would call it "fun", as the second half of the session was unnecessarily dramatic and arduous at times. I think my writing reflected that, and I'm sorry that the entertainment aspect suffered in lieu of the "rant" part of this article. but I couldn't hide my frustrations, and I tend to be real about my thoughts and feelings. I will say thank you to those who offered supportive, kind words this past Saturday. I appreciated it. Although it was admittedly awkward for me, because that's my catch-22 - I say the truth about my thoughts, and then that inevitably spurs people to offer words that I really wasn't fishing for. I understand and appreciate the sentiments behind them and thank all for their care and thoughtfulness. But I really wasn't fishing for people to recognize the job we do - I prefer that people just know it and appreciate it naturally. Oh well.

I thanked a lot of people in recent articles, but I want to thank The Angry Buffalo at The Rose Garden for hosting us yet again and continuing our partnership now in our tenth year. Say whatever you want, but The Rose Garden remains the epicenter of coed touch football in WNY, and everyone knows where the best competition plays. We look forward to coming back to play at our home fields in the Spring. So thank you Nikki, Scott, Joe David, April and the whole staff and crew there who work with us and put up with us every year. 

Thank you to my officials. The refs have a thankless job - they are tasked with running the games, but nothing they ever say or do is enough. They're human, but expected to be perfect officiating robots - and then when they act too robotic, they're criticized for not being human enough. But they show up weekly and run our league right. Thank you to the men and women who show up every week and allow you guys to have games. I love our refs. 

Thank you to all of the people who help us out every week. Yes, Topper and I do a lot. But there's an entire community of folks who do their part from the article writers, to those who observe things and quietly tell Topper and I what we don't see or may miss, to those who quietly make decisions that you guys don't even know about. I won't name them, cuz I don't WANT you to know who they are. I'll say it's not just a few people. There are well over a dozen people I'd list as contributors to our league that you guys have no idea who they are. THEY know who they are. And I appreciate them.

While it should go without saying - thank you to Topper. Without Topper, this thing doesn't exist. Topper is the one who wants to make sure you guys have the best vehicle to play football each and every year. And he gives himself a lot of unnecessary headaches to make you guys happy. And that ish needs to be said and recognized, which is why I'm doing it right here. 

Thanks to Lenny. I'll say it now, cuz some know - but not everyone does. The initial idea to move this session up came from Lenny. So this was his last major "new" contribution. He had mentioned last Fall about moving the session up. Topper and I loved the idea, but Lenny mentioned it first as an option. So the warm temps and lack of shivering temps and snow? Yeah - you can thank our commissioner for it. 

Save the date, as we're planning our awards banquet this coming January 3rd, 2020. It will be downtown - location will be announced in the coming weeks. No, we're not going back to Niagara Falls, so don't worry about that. Last year was a blast, so we've got a lot to live up to. For all of you who offer to help out when needed - I may definitely call on you to help with planning, arranging and setting up for this thing. Topper and/or I will let you know. 

Speaking of the awards - I jumped the gun in my last article with the nominees. So you guys can use that as a good guideline of who will be nominated...but we ARE going to revise things. For now, I'll simply release the awards categories. Please note - we reserve the right to add or subtract from this list of awards. But awards we intend to hand out as of now include:





























Umm...that's a lot of awards. 

Now...if you have any thoughts or feelings on who should be nominated for these awards as well as who should win, you're welcome to email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I welcome the feedback. But with that said, I need to make something clear. As I make this clear, please understand I am not referring to any individuals or specific teams. But if the shoe fits - break an ankle in the muhfugga...

A number of you have already offered feedback, and that's cool. What isn't cool is you thinking your bias is my bias, or topper's bias, or the league's bias. And make no mistake - most of you are speaking from a place of bias when it comes to your own team and/or division. I know you guys have an unsung man or woman that you think people didn't recognize - EVERY SUCCESSFUL TEAM DOES. that doesn't mean we're handing them an award because of the power of you. It also doesn't mean you or your team's opinion(s) outweigh everyone else's opinions. 

We will select the winners as we always have. We will do our due diligence. I will NOT tell you who is involved in the decision-making process, nor will I tell you how many, when we're deciding, etc. I actually think I've said too much by revealing that I had spies this season asking a bunch of you what you thought without you realizing it. Cuz now a good amount of you realize you were giving unbiased thoughts and feelings unknowingly, and now you WANT to give biased ones. No dice. The awards are supposed to be fun. If you win - great. If you don't - it's coed touch football. Go to the bar, have a drink, and enjoy yourself. I don't want to hear any whining, crying, attempted pressuring, etc. It is what it is. 

Don't badger me or Topper (especially don't badger Topper, cuz he REALLY doesn't want to hear that ish nor is he taking it even as seriously as his new puppy - which means, not at all). Don't try to coerce me, give me ultimatums, bribes, threats, etc. When the awards are handed out, it will be as it is. If you're unhappy, I'm going to not care and simply wonder why you took it THIS seriously in a league that's supposed to be about fun. I'm going to immediately understand that no matter who you are, you simply don't "get it". 

And then I'm going to say something vulgar to you if you're bothering me that night, and I'm going to go grab Taylor Pagano and we're going to do shots and laugh at you. No really - I'm telling you exactly how it's going to go. Shots, Taylor...laughter. 

So feel free to send me your thoughts and feedback (I'd especially like to hear/read thoughts on who people think should be rookies of the year if we decide to do that award). I encourage it, and thanks to you who have already done so. To those of you taking things too seriously, or plan to? Peanut butter whiskey and Taylor's laugh await you...

Sidebar: I'd like to say, for the record...outside of Brandt Dubey, QB of DILFs? No one person or team currently active in our league is the "best" of all time. Knock it off. Some of you sound like kids who swear LeBron James is the greatest player of all time cuz they weren't alive to see other people play and don't know how to work YouTube. Y'all got a lot of hubris - but I've got the mic. And I say "nay". Again - not a shot at any one person or team. So many of you have made this foolish claim in the past month that you're going to think this song is about you...don't you? DON'T YOU??

While I'm always happy to see you guys, and will be happy to see you guys at different points in our offseason - I'm glad this session has wrapped up. I need the break. So I don't plan to do anything other than helping with the banquet and if we do a wine tour at any point this Fall. If we're cool, you can definitely reach out to me for any reason (telegram, preferably) - but don't ask me specifics about the Spring session. That's a legit 6-7 months away. I will say, if you want to help for that session? Easy - you can start asking friends and family if they'd like to ref. I can always use more refs in addition to the ones we have. Always. The more, the merrier. 

Rules will be amended, changed and revised. I'm thinking there will be more than there was going into this session. But I'm not in the space right to start doing that. I'm in the space to drink rum.  

Congrats to all our champions, and thank you to all (well, MOST) of you who were a part of our league this session. We appreciate the teams we have, and hope everyone returns in the Spring for another great year of Topper Sports football. I will say I heard most of your complaints about things, and I've filed them to be addressed going forward. We are not a league that stays stagnant and doesn't try to improve ourselves, and there are things we need admittedly should improve that we will. But really - thanks for another great session of football, people. 

Until I see or talk to you guys again, you know where I'll be...in the cut.

(sidebar: I find it funny that most of you have no idea what I mean by that, so I'll continue to say it for my own amusement)




Category: The Rant
Created: Tuesday, 15 October 2019 11:11
Published: Tuesday, 15 October 2019 11:11
Written by Patrick McGovern
Hits: 3936



"PLAYOFFS?? Don't talk about...
PLAYOFFS?? You kidding me?
PLAYOFFS?? I just hope we can win a game!"
- Jim Mora

"If you wanna crown 'em, then crown their a$$! 
But they are who we THOUGHT they were!
And we let 'em off the hook!!!"
- Dennis Green

You don't play to just play it. That's the great thing about sports! You play to win. 
And I don't care if you don't have ANY wins - you go play to win. 
When you start tellin' me 'it doesn't matter' - then RETIRE. GET OUT. 
Cuz it MATTERS."
- Herm Edwards

"You've gotta understand. 
He's spent all season with a quarterback with so much Big D**k Energy...
He can never come back. He can never understand anything less.
You're welcome."
- Matty Ice

"Just when you think you have all the answers? I change all the questions."
- Commissioner Lenny T. Alba

Welcome. The season has final arrived at it's penultimate point - week 1 of the 2019 TSL Playoffs. Be lying if I said it wasn't a bumpy road to get here. While Topper seems to be in pretty decent spirits relative to the league - I'm in complete burn out mode. Which means I'm also surly and crabby (hey, at least I'm self-aware!). Luckily, I watched El Camino on Netflix Sunday and wound up happily satisfied with the "Breaking Bad" epilogue, as I needed something extremely well-written to digest. So hopefully, you guys keep the shenanigans to a minimum this week leading up to our first round of playoffs. 

Yeah - I ain't banking on that, either. 

Let's go the other way this week. Let's try to look at something positive...you guys know Nick Wendt? Sure you do. He's the really good guy who has been playing in our league for eons. Usually at the D1 level. Good athlete, megawatt smile, good attitude...looks like Johnny Manziel (but without the rich, privileged jackhole aura). Plays on Tight Ends In Motion. Well, our buddy Nick is having a STAG! What are the details, you're wondering? Glad you asked:

October 18th from 7pm-11pm at the Main & Transit Fire Hall in Clarence. 
All you can eat/drink for 4 hours!
Multiple auctions, 50/50, Blackjack
Cost is $30 a ticket
PayPal - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Venmo - @wendt22
Or you can buy a ticket at the door

Looking for a fun time this Friday? I just gave it to you! Wish the man off in style, and have yourself a good time.

I gotta shout out my team A&A for gutting out a tough win over Team Topper this week. We were up 26-12 and driving for what might've been a spirit-breaking final TD of the 1st half when it happened - Matty threw me a pass, and it tipped off my hands into the hands of Drew Colosimo. 100% my fault, they score a women's TD to bring the score to 26-20. The come out with the ball - score to take a 27-20 lead. 15 point swing, all on me. Luckily for me, my team rallied to win - but they never blamed me, never got down, and we just were confident in our ability to win. And we did. So I felt I needed to shout them out for riding with me. 

I'm gonna shout out Graves Bros. too for allowing me the pleasure of subbing with them. I helped them beat Blitzkrieg and we had a great time playing. Shout out to Steve, Alyssa, Gronk and the whole squad - but especially shout out to Kassiani, who has (in my 100% NOT humble opinion) the prettiest name in the entire league. How can I not shout THAT name out? Seriously one of the dopest names I've ever heard in the history of our league. And she's pretty fast too - I'm already thinking she needs to be on a ladies team (hint, hint)...

I'm gonna leave the playoff analysis to the "pros" (read: the other articles) as that stuff ain't necessarily my area of expertise. But I WILL say this - I do have a list of upset specials that could happen this week. I'm not saying they WILL happen - all I'm saying is, if a lower seeded team is gonna win, here's where I see it happening. I've always called this first playoff Saturday Upset Saturday - cuz inevitably, some team always shocks us with a loss when they "weren't supposed to lose"...

(I'm gonna choose one game for every time slot)

Bullet Club over Slytherin That End Zone
End Game over Jabronies
Vaspian over Frodo Swaggins
(too much LDE for Frodo)
Hope 'N' Ruin over Practice Squad
BiPolar Express over Graves Bros.
(you can never count out a ladies team)
Come From Behind over Hung Buffalo

Again - not saying any of these will definitely happen. But they seem the likeliest of the bunch. Of course - watch them all win and BIGGER upsets occur. SMH...

So...I offered up free drinks and food on me all day if anyone could accurately guess my F, M, K in the league. I gave the hint that all 3 women had the same type of hair color. Damn if two of you didn't guess 2 out of 3 right! Now, I KNEW the league could all guess the "kill", which would then tell the guesser(s) the hair color in question. But guessing the other one that the 2 guys did astounded me. Wow. Was sure you guys would go for the banana in the tailpipe. Guess at least 2 guys are more perceptive than I thought - although 1 of the 2 would notice before any other human being on Earth, let alone in the league. It's all about how cool I am with some folks and in what I regard I hold 'em. 

Didn't get all 3, though. I might've fainted if someone guessed all 3. That would literally mean you're psychic or have a bug in my brain. 

C'mon...say it to yourself. Out loud. Kass-i-an-i. That is one beautiful sounding name. I've never met a single human being with that name before in life - her parents must be poets or deeply entrenched in Greek and/or Roman history.
KassianiHow effin' beautiful is THAT name?? 

I laid out the rules on subs for you guys last week. Captains got an email and everything. With that said - over/under on people not having read it and having a hissy fit when we tell them they can't have subs because THEY chose to plan poorly for THEIR team? I say 4 teams. 

And please don't forget - get caught with an illegal player, your team WILL suffer a forfeit loss. If you don't have enough players - just play short. Teams have actually won playing 5 on 6 before, and have even maintained closeness in a game 4 on 6. Don't ask me how - but it's happened. 

I need to take the time out to thank a bunch of people who have helped out and been an integral part of our league this session. Since I have my own article, I can do that. 

First off - it may go without saying, but Topper. It's his league, and he takes all the risks, sucks up all the headache, eats the bill, etc. And he does it out of obligation for you guys to have a good league to play in. There's not enough "thanks" that people can really give him in my opinion. And it's not been easy. Thanks, Topper - I know what you do and the arduous nature of the business to keep this thing running smoothly. 

(Special shout out to Linda as well)

Our hosts, The Angry Buffalo at The Rose Garden. I was mucho pissed at the end of last session, but fair is fair - and they've been very good this session overall. Thank you to Scott, Nikki and the entire staff. I DO miss seeing Beth, though - and Deanna. #teamdeanna

Joe K and Val. Invaluable in helping out each and every week, and being the backbone that Topper and I need to support the league, the organizing, and so many things it would take too long to list. Thank y'all.

Now, forgive me - this is no particular order...

Molly McDermid, Leslie Cook, DJ Jim Connors and 5 Star Productions, Joey & Jilly Batts, Emily Curry, Coach Jay, Jeff Krol, Todd Nixon, Mike Salvati, Emily Schilling, The Paganos, Matty Ice, Travis Cleavanger, Justin "Marshall Law" Garbacz, Mikey W., Mark Buscaglia, Joe Zogoria, Award-Winning Tommy Hughes, Pain-In-The-Culo Tommy Hughes, Chris Cole, Mike Boccio, Cheryl Julicher, pretty much the entirety of Public Enemy, Reuben Owens, Dave Baker, Kyle Conniff, Ricky Austin, Jason German, Billy Gunn, Matt Keita, Blase LaDuca, B, Karl Callahan, Andy Fagan, Tim Dove, Dean Thompson, Marissa Thompson and the whole Thompson Crew, Mike Rawdin, Garrett Beesing, Zach Newberry, Brian Ferger, Brent McKenzie, Gordon Kus, Darryl (Cobblestone), Tim Zielinski, Kelly Liddle, Eric Stegmier, the whole Keller Family, Liz Newberry, The Clarke Sisters, Dave Walter, Glenn & Chelsie Bird, Bobby McConnell, Eric Kleckler, Alex Buchis, Mike Rogowski, Matt Newman, Paul Nieman, Jeremy Burr, Pete Nguyen, Cory Turner, J.T., Brian Corbett, Mohammed Saleh, Dave Wilbern, Steve Kensy, Amanda Werth, Val Testa, The Peters Twins, Maggie LaMantia, Lindsay Stoddard, TMA, Nick & Tammy Buczek, Goose and almost every participant in the TSL universe on and off the field. 

If I didn't mention your name, please charge it to unintentional oversight and forgetfulness and not any type of personal slight or dig. I think you guys get the point - I'm grateful and appreciative. Even though some of you drive me up the wall at times. 

Saturday should be fun. The way our playoffs are set up, MOST of the league makes it. Even if your team didn't make it, I encourage you all to stop by, watch the games, and have some food and drinks. We've only got 2 official weeks left of football, so whether you've been eliminated, GET eliminated or you carry the journey on towards a title - hang out, have fun, and enjoy it. This won't be here forever. But as long as it's here - we might as well shine together. 

And lastly - thanks for everyone who offered up kind, supportive sentiments. I wasn't remotely fishing for that in a recent article, but I appreciate warm words and feelings nonetheless. I'll see most of you Saturday - I'll be in the cut.



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