The YFFL playoffs start tonight, and a lot is on the line for a number of owners. Nick Wood and Bobby Sansone played a little roleplay in order to put things into perspective as we head into the first of three weeks to determine the final YFFL champion of the decade.
Bobby: Nick, you are Brian Davidson. The experts pegged you as the pre-season favorite to get both of your teams to the playoffs. 13 weeks later you're left wondering what happened to the 2009 season. Where do you put the blame?
Nick: Well, to be brutally honest, this season has hurt more than most as I think that to start the season, I was looking at the potential to have both teams facing off in the Super Bowl. But injuries, a lack of production from guys who should be, and poor drafting has hurt me big time. It is one area my management needs to improve on - drafting. I mean, it was the main reason why I traded for Reggie Wayne. I had no clue who was going to work out in the draft and I thought that it would vastly improve my receiving corps and put me over the top. I think the draft is such a crapshoot that first round picks carry very little meaning to me. Just look, my waiver wire pickups have been money and my trades have worked out fairly well for me. I just can't draft. The best pick I've had in the last four years would be Fred Jackson and Greg Jennings, and that is not saying much right now. Sure, I thought we got the REAL Adrian Peterson back when I took him, but who thought there were two guys with practically the same name? I think moving forward, I'm going to avoid the first round of the draft by trading away top draft choices for proven players, keep perusing the waiver wire, and use my remaining draft choices for kickers, backup TEs, and older veterans who were cut by other teams. It is a strategy that has kept my teams in contention and if I get a little of that Thugs-luck next season, I'll be right back at the top.
Nick: Bobby, you're Mike Kinsman. The league loves your forum posts and hates everything about the Chickens. It is fitting that the GM you hired back in 2007 is the one everyone loves to root against in anything that is competitive. If you are able to finally put the title of "best team never to win a title" to rest, how would you respond to your critics?
Bobby: This is the year the Chickens finally win it all. I know it. We're hot at the right time. Rivers and Gates will cancel out Rodgers and Davis, I'll steamroll over the Mallards and then I'll be rooting hard for the Thugs to beat the Llamas so I can personally put an end to the 2009 YFFL season or better known as the "Kiss Bob's lucky ass every week" season. The Chickens were definitely my gay stepson about 5 weeks ago but not anymore. We brought home a tramp from the Old Port! Definitely not gay! If the Chickens win the Super Bowl, the league better be prepared for all hell to break loose. I will unleash a forum thrashing on everyone for the next 365 days. You will not hear the end of it.
Bobby: Nick, you are Anthony Aceto. The league won't admit it but you are clearly the best and most accomplished owner in the league over the past 4 years. Now you've got the team that no one wants to play in the Cuban Refugees. Do you have any of that magic left over from 2006 and 2007 to win your 3rd Super Bowl in 4 years?
Nick: The Refugees have three major pieces to a championship puzzle and if anyone knows putting together puzzles better than I do, it's only Joleen Estabrook and the last time I checked, she was not submitting her resume to either son to manage their teams. See, people wrote me off a few years ago, saying I could care less about the league and look at me now, I own this league and can even out-talk Mike in the forum (well, almost). My teams each have a nucleus of studs moving forward and if my QB situation improves with the White Guys, I'll have two playoff teams in 2010. But, for this year, the Refugees have a little warning for Kev and the Llamas. You best hope Drew Brees has another ridiculous week in the pocket because you're not getting enough from the rest of your guys to out-do the Refs this week since I have some solid match-ups with my key players. And a message to the rest of the league: the winner of this first round game in the AFC is winning it all.
Nick: Bobby, you're Steve Dugas. You thankfully clinched the bye in the NFC because you're team is hurting. What will it take for your team to take that first ever trip to the title game? Rumors are swirling that you've hired a private investigator to watch over Michael Turner's house to keep tabs on how his ankle is progressing. If he's not able to return, what are your chances?
Bobby: The Mallards are cursed. I finally have them in the playoffs for the first time and now all these injuries probably make me the long shot in the NFC. I mean, just look at this injury report! Out: Leon Washington (leg), Owen Daniels (knee); Doubtful: Matt Ryan (toe), Michael Turner (ankle); Questionable: Stephen Jackson (back), Charles Johnson (knee); Probable: Big Ben (concussion) Sucking: Martellius Bennett (Special Teams duty). To win the NFC bye after all that was quite the accomplishment but I am being realistic in my thoughts that I just don't know if I can win the Super Bowl if I don't get Michael Turner back. But I'm already looking forward to 2010. Dugas is back baby! After a virtual 4 year absence from competing in this league, both the Merry Men and Mallards will be Super Bowl contenders!
Bobby: Nick, you are Bobby Sansone. The Thugs are struggling and everyone is chomping at the bit to play you. Your 21-4-1 over the past 2 seasons but you don't feature a single Pro-Bowler and your starting lineup routinely includes back-ups like Austin Collie and Ahmad Bradshaw. Do you have any chance of repeating as AFC champions?
Nick: Why do people ignore the fact that the Thugs have been the most consistent winning team in the past two years and I clearly deserve the first OOY award in my 13 year tenure? Sure, I've had practically no points scored against my team and IF I played the same schedule as the Llamas I'd be 9-4 and would be worried sick about the Refugees right now, but all I can do is play the schedule that's given to me. As for Mike, he just can't stand that my team is better than his Buddies and I DESERVE the credit and recognition I get from the YFFL media. Jon, keep posting photos and cover stories on my Thugs. It's our time and I have a feeling that I'm bringing home all of the hardware this year, including the YFFL Super Bowl. You can't ignore the fact that my team is well balanced and ready for the long haul of the regular and playoff seasons and it will show.
Nick: Bobby, you're Jon Kinsman. You're essentially playing with the house's money now that you've returned the 2008 champs to the playoffs and have avoided the YFFL's Tiger-like media throng that would have come down on you harder than a Elin nine iron. So after Aaron Rodgers, who do you think needs to show up more than any other player on the roster in order for this team to repeat?
Bobby: I'm riding the Aaron Rodgers/Vernon Davis train right now and that's the ONLY chance I have at winning the Super Bowl. It hasn't been a good year for me and I probably shouldn't be on the Owner of the Year ballot considering how awful the Orangutangs were. I carried three tight ends for cryin' out loud! If I get a single Owner of the Year vote I may be forced to invoke a Tim Donaghy-like investigation. Anyways, the Dragons somehow snuck into the playoffs at 7-6 because Kevin tanked the Huskers, Aceto was starting Delhomme and Sanchez, Sansone kept getting so damn lucky with the Beans, and the rest of the NFC was so bad this year. Last year I was 10-3 and legitimately strong. This year is looking like a one-and-down playoff scenario. So, yes I am playing with the house's money, or in this case "Estabucks". I'll definitely need Matt Forte to start scoring if I have any chance of beating the Chickens, Mallards and Llamas in 3 consecutive weeks. This was just not my year. I still can't believe I made the playoffs...
The Llamas Front Office
Bobby: Nick, you are the front office of the Llamas. You're the clear favorite to win the championship. Drew Brees is the league's MVP and you're getting career years from Joseph Addai, Visanthe Shiancoe, Nate Kaeding and Donald Driver. In addition, Ryan Gibbons is being compared to Roy Hobbs in The Natural because he's been removed from the league for 16 years and shows up out of nowhere to lead his team to the pennant. Is this a team of destiny?
Nick: See, I think this is exactly what the team was missing, a winning attitude, and Gibby provides that for the Llamas. Sure, he helped me choose to go the way of Nate Burleson for our first round pick over LT2, but we thought he was done and Nate had many good years left in him. I just wish I remembered which team Burleson plays for. Is it still the Vikings? They're a great team this year. I just wish I had his input on the big trade with my other team... Regardless, Gibby has provided me with the appropriate amounts of caffeinated coffee when I need it and decaf when I don't and that has been a tremendous combo and will continue to be as we march forward towards what should be a title in 2009. Sure, I may think about keeping his title as the "Assistant to the GM" IF we don't win it this year, because I realize that both Addai and Marion Barber have limited windows of opportunity left and we've got no first round pick to find another RB, so I could not afford to have Gibby in complete control if we don't win now. BUT, in Drew Brees We Trust.