Eat It Up
Philip Rivers led the Apple Eaters to their first title in 18 years
After lots of success in the early days of the YFFL, the Apple Eaters franchise fell on hard times in the 2000's. However,
after a string of 5 years in a row without a playoff appearance from 2000-2005, the Eaters witnessed a resurgence in 2006,
reeling off three consecutive playoff appearances, including a division title.
The turnaround wouldn't last. 2010 saw the Eaters field one of the worst teams in YFFL history. Sporting a 1-12
record and 326 points scored (just 25 points per game), the writing was on the wall for Chris Davidson: he needed help.
After an exhaustive search, Kurt Willette was hired as General Manager of the Eaters in 2012, but Davidson didn't walk
away without a few final strokes of brilliance. The 2011 YFFL Draft saw the Eaters take Mark Ingram and Antonio Brown
in the 1st and 2nd rounds, two players that started slow but would have big impacts on the future of the franchise.
After taking the reins, Kurt made an immediate splash by trading Percy Harvin to the Chickens for Philip Rivers, a move
that some questioned. At the time, Harvin was one of the league's most exciting young players and Rivers was an erratic
performer who could never deliver the championship that the Chickens needed so desperately.
Fast forward 4 years and Harvin had all but washed out of the league, Rivers and Ingram were dependable fixtures, and
Brown was the best wide receiver in the league. The Eaters had assembled a big three that could hang with any team in the YFFL.
Now they just needed
another player to put them over the top. The Eaters ended up with two. With the drafting of Jordan Howard and the
acquisition of Melvin Gordon before the start of the 2016 season, the Eaters were a complete team. Flying under the
radar while the Chickens, Llamas and Dragons were putting up big numbers all season, the Eaters captured the AFC West,
won two straight to take home the AFC title and matched up with the Chickens in Super Bowl XXIV.
For a team that won just 1 game six short years ago, being the underdog was nothing new. Without an injured Melvin
Gordon, the Eaters relied on the three players that set this all in motion: Rivers, Ingram and Brown, who combined to
score 40 points and knock off the vaunted Chickens for the Eaters' first Super Bowl title in 18 years. The victory was
especially sweet for Rivers, a former Chicken who could never replicate his team's regular season success in the postseason.
It was a long road back from that 1-win season in 2010, but Chris and Kurt made it happen through the draft, trades,
and realizing that maybe two heads are indeed better than one.
Congratulations to the Apple Eaters, your Super Bowl XXIV champions!