2011 – Playoffs Week 3

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Football is often a game of inches. Yes, sometimes you get a flashy play like the one above, but ultimately it’s a botched 3rd and 1 that will sink a team’s entire season. The Packers and Saints are overpowering their opponents while the 49ers and Patriots just find ways to win in the small game. Which style is the Super Bowl winner going to employ?
As for the underachievers, the bad got worse this week as Adrian Peterson tore two knee ligaments in a meaningless game, Ponder got concussed and the Vikings found a way to win and hurt their draft position next year. Merry Christmas. 
However, the biggest news of the weekend was from the Hiawatha leagues, where the season came to a climactic close with the crowning of two champions and the realignment of the leagues for next year! Here is your final blast of the 2011 fantasy season!

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The LoC Super Bowl came down to the hottest regular season team (the Mateys) versus last year’s champ and this year’s late bloomer (the Limbs). Who would prevail? Meanwhile, the Assassins and Nana Nancy squared off with the winner keeping their LoC assignment next year! 
The Phantom Limbs (Peter) – 94
Mashmallow Mateys (Cory) – 80
JAWS (Dave) – 80
Fumblecopter (Andy) – 80
Toilet Bowl:

Pacifists (John) – 86
Nana Nancy (Tyler) – 75
Suck for Luck 2012 (Aaron) – 93
Mr T Fool! (Eric) – 85
On Friday, Big Ben was questionable to play in Saturday’s game. The NFL’s most durable QB had played through injury last week, so he looked like a low-risk start. Cory thought so. Ben didn’t play and Cory was left out in the cold. 
The Limbs, however, were still down going into the last two games of the week on Sunday and Monday. It took until about 8pm on Monday, but the Limbs pulled ahead and didn’t look back as they completed their run from 5-8 in the regular season to back-to-back LoC Champions! Last year, the Limbs signed Mike Vick from the waiver wire early in the season and rode him to glory. This year, it was a $6 waiver bid on Cam Newton that salvaged a lackluster draft and drove the Limbs to the promised land again. There was more drama in the 3rd place game, where another tie was decided by Yahoo’s standard tie-breaking rules and JAWS was awarded 3rd place over Fumblecopter. 
The Toilet Bowl championship was won by the Pacifists, who managed to defeat perennial contender Nana Nancy and send her to the Premier League next year! John posted an impressive Toilet Bowl run and HAS to be wondering what would have happened if he had snuck into the playoffs instead of the Limbs in the last week of the regular season. The 9th place game was won by Suck for Luck, who must be more upset with Yahoo’s playoff tie-breaking system than anyone. If he had beaten the Pacifists last week instead of tying them, he would have won the 7th place game this week and a trip back to the LoC. Again, a game of inches. 
Final Playoff Bracket: 
LoC Playoffs.png
Final Toilet Bowl Bracket:
LoC Toilet.png
We’ll break down next year’s league assignments in the Housekeeping section. For now, congrats to the first repeat LoC champions: the Phantom Limbs!

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While it can be a game of inches, sometimes it’s a game of miles. Or even light years, as the PL playoff games demonstrated. It was Beer Boys vs. The Russell for the PL trophy and the McChamps vs. Glass Joe for the most coveted award – a trip to the LoC in 2012! Scores: 

Beer Boys (Hyatt) – 129
The Russell (Russ) – 58
a couple 13 14 wins (Wayne) – 142
The Alchemist (Chris T.) – 79
Toilet Bowl: 

McChamps (Tom) – 99
Glass Joe (Bernt) – 98
sasquatches r real! (Darren) – 85
diddy (Jim) – 66
Russ knew that Tony Romo wasn’t injured and was ready to make the start against Philly in a must-win game. Unfortunately, Romo DID get injured on the first possession and was lost for the game as the Cowboys realized next week is MUCH more important than this one. And Russ, much like Cory, was left with a donut from his QB. 
Hyatt’s QB, Aaron Rodgers, isn’t known for being merciful and he scored 32 to help his team demolish The Russell and win the trophy! An impressive season by Hyatt as he goes 10-3 in the regular season and sweeps through the playoffs to win it all! The 3rd place game was also a shellacking. The Alchemist watched in horror as Peterson wrecked his knee and Wayne’s team took advantage quickly, running up 142 points (Cam Newton again) to win 3rd place. A tough end to a rollercoaster season for The Alchemist. 
In the Toilet Bowl, the biggest game came down to a single point! The McChamps were watching Monday Night football and cheering on their hero: Drew Brees. They needed Brees to really perform to be able to get a win. Luckily, Brees scorched the Falcons, setting a NFL single season passing record, and the McChamps pulled ahead of Glass Joe by a single point late Monday night and punched their ticket to the LoC!!! What a heart-pounding game! A tough loss for Bernt, but a huge win for the McChamps! In the 9th place game, the sasquatches beat diddy to end the year on a positive note. 
Final Playoff Bracket:
PL Playoffs.png
Final Toilet Bowl Bracket:
PL Toilet.png
Congrats to Beer Boys on their big victory!

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The Phantom Limbs and the Beer Boys! Two teams that took very different paths to their respective championships. The Beer Boys did it with sheer, consistent power. The Limbs scrapped their way through the gauntlet. The Limbs will keep their LoC trophy for another year while the Beer Boys will find a place of honor in their home for the PL trophy, which John Housenga will need to, sadly, give up. 

So many questions about next season! First and foremost, what league will you be in? Here’s the breakdown. 
League of Champions 2012:
Peter Carlson
Cory Ehlebracht
Dave Burlingame
Andy Kruse
Chris Wachter
John Housenga
Hyatt Harper
Russ Nelson
Wayne Thompson
Chris Thompson
Nate Edwards
Tom McComas
Premier League 2012:
Tyler Leeper
Aaron Winter
Eric Miller
Denny deBruyn
Phil Netolicky
Mike Devereaux
Jon Fager
Bernt Eidsmoe
Jim Rieke
Darren Johnson
Bob Distad
Chris Anderson
Now, draft orders. Going into the season, we used the previous year’s standings to determine a draft order instead of luck of the draw. It seemed to work, but it may have invited a little bit of late post-season tanking. In any case, for now we’ll work under the assumption that we will use the same system next year. Here are the draft orders as determined by final standings:
League of Champions Draft Order
1 PL Toilet Winner (7th)    Tom McComas
2 LoC Toilet Winner (7th)  John Housenga
3 PL 5th Place            Nate Edwards
4 LoC 5th Place            Chris Wachter
5 PL 4th Place            Chris Thompson
6 LoC 4th Place            Andy Kruse
7 PL 3rd Place            Wayne Thompson
8 LoC 3rd Place            Dave Burlingame
9 PL 2nd Place            Russ Nelson
10 LoC 2nd Place            Cory Ehlebracht
11 PL 1st Place            Hyatt Harper
12 LoC 1st place            Peter Carlson
Premier League         Draft Order
1 PL 12th Place            Chris Anderson
2 LoC 12th Place            Mike Devereaux
3 PL 11th Place               Bob Distad
4 LoC 11th Place            Phil Netolicky
5 PL 10th Place               Jim Rieke
6 LoC 10th Place             Eric Miller
7 PL 9th Place            Darren Johnson
8 LoC 9th Place               Aaron Winter
9 PL 8th PLace            Bernt Eidsmoe
10 LoC 8th Place            Tyler Leeper
11 PL 6th Place            Jon Fager
12 LoC 6th Place            Denny deBruyn

Rule Changes: if we decide we need some rule changes, we’ll discuss it ahead of next season. One that’s already come up is doing away with the Yahoo Can’t Cut list that prevents teams from cutting marquee players during the season as part of some kind of collusion with another team. I don’t think we’ll have have problem in our leagues and Yahoo is notorious for keeping players on that list even after injuries or steep performance declines, which hurts the team that owns them and would like to cut their losses. Anyway, we’ll address that later. 
For now, we bask in the glow of another GREAT season! Thanks for being a part of it! I hope you’ll all consider playing again next year! If you’re doing the Pick ‘Em group, remember that we’ll pick all the way through the playoffs, so don’t give up on that yet. May we all enjoy the rest of the football season without worrying about our lineups!
Goodnight and Good Season!
Commish Peter

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