Thoughts from (The First) GM: 2012 & 2013 World Champion Chunky Chickens Edition

Nick Wood, Backyard Sports Icon

December 31, 2013

This season was all about expectations. We wanted to know what teams would do with varying levels of expectations placed on their shoulders. The UCornn Huskers FAR exceeded expectations this season with their double digit win total, the Mallards could not live up to theirs and were a league disappointment, and above all, the Chunky Chickens met their expectation to take home yet another title. As we finish off the 2013 season, it is time to take a look both back at the season that was and what could be coming our way in 2014.


More Bad Luck for the Brothers

Last year, the Brothers were plagued by injuries and a bad quarterback situation. This year, the Brothers were cursed by their division. The NFC West proved to be the class of the league with three teams finishing the regular season with 9+ wins. Unfortunately, it was the Brothers left out of the dance with their 9 wins, as they were forced to watch from the stands and have salt rubbed in their wounds as a 7-win AFC team went on to represent their conference in the Super Bowl. "What could have been" is all that team owner Brian Davidson has left to ponder. 2014 should look bright for the Brothers as their backfield stable got even stronger with the addition of Rookie of the Year Eddie Lacy.

Arian Foster Arian Foster earned more points with his Downtown Abbey cosplay than on the field this season

Stung by the Tie - (37-37, Week 12, Boys vs. Dragons)

Again, speaking to what could have been: sure, the Dragons rolled with the punches as they were delivered a Jason Berry-like blow when their franchise quarterback went down with an injury, but what would have happened to their season had Jon decided to start Nick Novak over Phil Dawson in Week 12? Stupid kickers you say? Their importance is vastly overlooked as had Novak made the start that fateful week, the division would have been theirs and anything could have happened in the playoffs.

Stupor Bowl Yet Again

Rumors were swirling around the league that Bobby was coaxed into trading for Arian Foster by his local Texas friends, swearing that all things from and in Texas are better, so having Houston Texans RB Foster on his team would only improve his chances. Well, y'all were wrong and Bobby practically lost everything but his cowboy boots this season, forcing him to all but check out of the #yfflalltogether by Week 4.

Ray Rice & Arian Foster

We could look at this one of two ways. The positive way: great work by Steve and Kevin to get so much for giving up what now looks like very little in Ray Rice and Arian Foster. But, unfortunately for Kevin, he's on the other side as well considering he's the one who paid a hefty bounty for Ray Rice. How quickly the mighty have fallen and how happy those who dished off their former studs at the appropriate time are going forward.


Top Free Agent Finds

  • Julien Edelman (Poop) - Looking like he'll actually be the one to fill the Welker role going forward.
  • Riley Cooper (Boys) - Thankfully for him, Nick Foles is the quarterback over that "other guy" who is of the race Cooper does not think kindly of.
  • Harry Douglas (Buddies) - Likely only a solid pickup for this year with the injuries to Roddy White and Julio Jones.
  • Donald Brown (Chickens) - Saved the Chickens Super Bowl season with a 16 point outburst in the final.
  • Knowshon Moreno & Andre Brown (Huskers) - Macor Misa award winner and only player on the Giants who was semi-productive.
  • Andre Ellington (Merry Men) - Could be a great back for the future to go with the haul he got for dishing off Ray Rice.
  • Rashad Jennings (Refugees) - The Refugees seem to have a knack for finding solid RBs.
Jamaal Charles Jamaal Charles was instrumental in a shocking Brothers' turnaround

Trade Winners

  • Llamas - Acquiring the Merry Men's 2013 First Round pick and not giving up much in return. Kendall Wright has yet to pan out, but Steve's still holding out hope. He knows Geno Smith will NEVER pan out as a quality fantasy quarterback as long as he's behind center for the Jets, so the drafting of Le'Veon Bell makes the Llamas appear to finally have a solid RB duo in Bell and Murray. In addition to stabilizing their RB situation, the Llamas banked an additional first round pick for 2014 by dishing off a washed up Gates to the Tangs. Gibby just needs to take the team captaincy away from Kenny Britt and this team's headed in the right direction.
  • Merry Men - Giving up Ray Rice at the absolute perfect time to do so.
  • Chickens - Not trading away any of their depth, as it was needed in the playoffs. I know, this was partially NOT my decision as an apparent league-wide trade embargo was placed on the team, but hey, sometimes standing pat is the best thing a team can do.

Amazing Turnarounds

  • Brothers - Already mentioned in the Lowlights section, this team really has to be highlighted for their miraculous turnaround. Going from a 4-9 season to a 9-4 season is one to be proud of, especially given their division. From the consistent play of Jamaal Charles and Jordy Nelson to the emergence of Eddie Lacy, this team was able to overcome a number of obstacles and overachieve in 2013. The only down side was their division.
  • Huskers - Kevin was a move making machine in 2013. Dealing away Arian Foster was a great move, but paying a hefty sum for Ray Rice may have backfired. Regardless, the team was very active and the league loves that. It really goes to show that when you shake things up and are not afraid to trade away guys that you may have a slight man-crush on, you can turn your team around quickly.

Back-to-Back! Chickens are the Champs Again!

Nothing to say about this past season except don't count us out for the league's first ever three-peat! We're built to succeed. Sure, the Chickens are getting a little older at the WR position with clutch Anquan Boldin and consistent starter Andre Johnson well into their thirties, but you need not worry, the Chickens should have a fully rested and healthy Percy Harvin to complement Victor Cruz in 2014.

Looking Ahead

AFC Team that Deserves to be Hyped for a 2014 Title Run

2013 AFC Champion Tangs - This team is legit and should be considered as the favorite to once again represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. The emergence of RB Zac Stacy has provided this team with quality balance to go along with its great WR corps. Finding a productive TE will be the biggest decision going into the draft as Gates seems to have run out of gas. With no first round pick in 2014, a veteran or rookie TE should still be available in Round 2 that could provide a boost.

Early Super Bowl XXII Oddsmaker Numbers

Huskers5:1Merry Men30:1
White Guys17:1Llamas50:1