Thoughts from (The First) GM: 2012 World Champion Chunky Chickens Edition

Nick Wood, Backyard Sports Icon

December 30, 2012

This season was unlike any other in the history of the YFFL as I've come to know it. The league was active, with what could not have been a coincidence, five out of the six playoff teams making some sort of trade to improve their chances, we welcomed yet another general manager to the mix, and the immediate impact of the 2012 draft class will brighten the landscape of many team's futures for years to come. As the 2012 World Champion Chunky Chickens continue to pop the bubbly (and vodka, sent directly from the former USSR) and prepare for their repeat, let's take a look at the highlights and lowlights of the season:


Bad Luck for the Brothers Continues

Carson Palmer It was a long season for Carson Palmer and the Brothers. Will he be their QB next season?

The Brothers were plagued by injuries, more injuries, and a horrible QB situation. A year after getting snakebitten by missing the playoffs despite winning a solid 8 games, this team had the wheels fall off in 2012. A trip to the Stupor Bowl that resulted in yet another disappointment capped what could not have been a fun year for the team's owner. To look towards the future, the Brothers may want to take a page out of the Beans rebuilding book and use that #2 overall pick on a quarterback. Fortunately for them, the White Guys will most likely be looking to fill needs at other positions with the first pick in the draft, providing the Brothers with the pick of the QB litter. On the flip side, this 2013 QB class seems weak at best. I'll provide one hint that will get the team off to a better start in 2013: insist that Bobby and Steve do no predict your team to win the division in their previews or postcards. 9-4, 1st place in the NFC West??? The one thing they fail to recognize is the Chunky Chickens, the model franchise of the YFFL, also resides in that very same division.

Llamas 1 Point Performance

Week 11, Refugees 51 - Llamas 1. One point? There really is nothing that can be said about this performance. Perhaps it improved their draft status for 2013. It was rumored that immediately following the outcome of this game, combined with the trading away of Kevin's man-crush in Jimmy Graham earlier in the season, Kevin gave Gibby the silent treatment. The two typically discussed player personnel movement via email and Google Chat, so in the days following, Gibby received many strange emails from Kevin that had nothing written in them.

The 2011 World Champion Merry Men...Where Did They Go?

Is Steve becoming too attached to the NFL's Detroit Lions and clouding his judgement and management style? Many believe that his love for the team and city began when he drafted Matt Stafford as the face of the Merry Men franchise combined with Megatron, his personal man-crush who is a member of the Mallards and also plays for the NFL's Detroit Lions. The truth is, that is not where this love originated. It all started in 2002, only months after he graduated from college and began learning the ins-and-outs of becoming a car dealer with Mercedes Benz, when he first saw the movie 8 Mile. While living in a small apartment in Hoboken, NJ, Steve often daydreamed about being in the shoes of Eminem's character, B-Rabbit, winning rap showdowns at the club and getting with Britney Murphy. This dark side of Steve had not been seen for many years, but Steve's wife Becky knew it was not completely gone once she kept seeing only Detroit Lions games on during Steve's "me time" each Sunday afternoon. Is it time for an intervention? His Merry Men failed to make the playoffs because he could not bring it upon himself to bench anyone who plays for the Lions.


Rookie Impact

At QB, Andrew Luck, RGIII and Russell Wilson have already made us forget whoever once played quarterback for each of their respective ballclubs prior to their arrival. The future looks bright for each organization. Even Brandon Weeden was able to make a scoring impact greater than the once prominent Philip Rivers, Eli Manning, Mike Vick and Jay Cutler. RBs Doug Martin, Trent Richardson, and Alfred Morris all scored in the top 10 at their respective position this season. As this position has the shortest shelf life, each of the owners will look to capitalize on their young RBs peak as soon as possible. Martin and Morris helped their respective teams rise into the top tier of league in 2012. No rookie WR was able to vault themselves into the league's elite in their first season, but a select few showed they're on their way towards doing so including Justin Blackmon, Kendall Wright, Chris Givens and the most impressive, YFFL 4th round pick T.Y. Hilton, who had he not been placed on IR by the Chickens early on in the season, may have been mentioned for Rookie of the Year with the 52 points he put up on the board. To quote Bobby, how can the Chickens get T.Y. Hilton back on their roster?

Jimmy Graham Jimmy Graham continues the Chickens' proud tradition of excellence at tight end

Trade of the Year: The Cold War Trade

Drew Brees, Jimmy Graham and Andre Johnson for Mike Wallace, DeMarco Murray, Antonio Gates, Coby Fleener and Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Russians were clearly this season's winner of the trade, as it helped them to win the 2012 world title and set them up to win in the future with arguably one of the top young TEs in the game.

Turnaround of the Year: Orangutangs

Typically, once a team without a victory reaches the prep stage for the Week 5 games, they're preparing for the following year's draft and who they can unload to focus on a youth movement, but not the 'Tangs. Spirited leaders Tony Romo and Dez Bryant had a closed door meeting with owner Jon Kinsman and guaranteed a playoff berth and delivered exactly that. Had Willis McGahee not gone down with a season ending injury, their run may have gone even further.

The NON-Trade of the Year: Bear Poop Deciding to Keep Tom Brady

Look where it got them: to the 2012 title game and ever so close to the promised land. Had they decided to unload Cam Newton back when his value was at its peak, they may have been popping the bubbly themselves this season.

Finally, The 2012 Champs - Chunky Chickens

It was a hard fought season that began with the critics picking the team to finish under .500 and 3rd place in the NFC West, but ended in triumph. The one thing that they failed to realize is that this team never rebuilds, it only reloads. The Chickens do not focus solely on the short term by sacrificing the future in an attempt to capitalize on an opportunity that may arise in a particular season, but aim to build a winning machine, and that machine is operating at peak performance. As the GM of the team, I've not been afraid of going against the grain in bringing back a player to the team, trading away a Hall of Fame caliber TE in Antonio Gates, or even a 2012 Pro Bowler in Heath Miller to improve this team both now and for the future. What the critics should focus on are the facts. This is a team who has now scored a league high 700+ points each of the last three seasons, appeared in two Super Bowls, winning one, and has the combination of elite veteran talent and up-and-coming youth that will keep them annoying the rest of the league with their success for years to come.