October 2010

Kanata, ON — This week’s OFL matchup began as a tight affair but ended with the defending champion Irish Stout winning going away. The powerful Stout roster consisted of the league’s leading passer, Paul “The Mad Bomber” McRae, James “Smooth” Muir, Kirk “Flash” Ireland, Johnny “Irish” O’Connor, and Bevan “Hominid” Watkiss. The expansion Co-Op Dragons countered with Peter “The Rabbit” Arseneau, Michael “Crash” Liu, William “I’m Open!” Jia, Marc “Mitts” Jessome, and Jin “Kirk Who?” Kang.

After winning the toss, the Dragons took the wind and the ball, but failed to dent the scoreboard. The Stout immediately responded with a TD pass from McRae to Ireland for a quick 6-0 lead. “It’s going to be 45-13,” Ireland predicted, “This is MAH HOUSE!”

Naturally, Kang blew by Ireland on the next possession to catch an Arseneau rainbow and tie the score at 6-6. Kang barked back with “Kirk talks a big game, but I play one!” The grudge match escalated as McRae hit Ireland again to give the Stout a short-lived 12-6 lead. Short-lived due to Kang’s TD on the Dragon’s next possession that once again tied the score at 12-12.

“Get your head in the game,” screamed Coach McRae at his befuddled defense, “You have to think mentally out there!”

McRae hit big tight end Bevan Watkiss down the right sideline and he lumbered in for a touchdown after a missed tag. Muir followed up with a convert reception and the Stout now led 19-12. Though the increasingly exciting Kang intercepted McRae in the endzone, the Stout responded with a McRae to Muir TD and a 25-12 lead on their next possession. As time was running out, Muir intercepted Arseneau deep in Stout territory and the Stout capitalized with a flea-flicker where McRae delivered the ball to Muir on a lateral, who proceeded to laser a pass practically the length of the field in to the waiting paws of Watkiss. An O’Connor end-around for the conversion concluded the scoring at Stout 31, Dragons 12.

“Our defense was a little lax in the first half but they picked it up late,” said Coach McRae at the post-game press conference. “The way things were going, the Defensive Player of the Year award might be left vacant!”

October 27, 2010
Irish Stout 31, Co-Op Dragons 12

McRae      4 TD, 1 INT
Arseneau   2 TD, 1 INT
Muir       1 TD

Ireland    2 TD
Kang       2 TD
Watkiss    2 TD
Muir       1 TD, 1 PAT

O'Connor   1 PAT

Kang       1 INT
Muir       1 INT

Kanata, ON — A crisp autumn day framed the most exciting game of the young OFL season as the upstart Co-Op Dragons came within a single yard of potentially upsetting the highly favored Irish Stout. The Stout fielded their strongest roster to date led by QB Paul “The Mad Bomber” McRae and consisting of Kirk “Flash” Ireland, James “Smooth” Muir, Bevan “Boo Boo” Watkiss, and Louis “Plus Vite” Aubin, claimed off the waiver wire following his league mandated suspension for what were termed “lewd acts”. The Dragons were quarterbacked by the wily veteran Peter “The Rabbit” Arseneau, who was throwing to Marc “Stretch” Jessome, Jin “And Tonic” Kang, and William “My Hands Are Even Worse Than Bevan’s” Jia.

The wind was blustering a bit so the visiting Dragons, having won the toss, took the wind. The Stout deferred and the Dragons began at their 20. Arseneau, who is demonstrating uncanny accuracy this year, moved the ball down into scoring range, but could not crack the goal line. McRae answered with a TD throw to Ireland but the flea-flicker conversion attempt was snuffed out by the aggressive Dragon defense. The Stout led 6-0, but only briefly, as Arseneau hit Kang in stride for the tying score. “I thought I saw another one of those cool jets flying by and didn’t see Jin flying past me,” said Ireland. “I like jets.” Aubin recorded the first interception of Arseneau this season as he stole the conversion pass. “Tabernosh, I play ten minutes and I’m in the stats already!” he exclaimed.

The back and forth contest continued as Muir scored on a pass that just navigated its way through the arms of Jessome. Jessome, however, came back to make a catch and fall over the pylon with the football, knotting the contest at 12-12. McRae uncorked a bomb that Muir cradled into his hands in the left corner, but after the conversion pass deflected off of Watkiss’s kisser, the score stood at 18-12.

Watkiss, perhaps motivated by his offensive shortcomings, suddenly became a beast at nose tackle. His hirsute form could be seen deflecting passes, tackling runners in the backfield, and sacking the passer — all celebrated with monosyllabic grunts. The Dragons were forced to punt the ball back to the Stout.

You could almost hear the disembodied, legendary voice of NFL Films’ John Facenda saying “Great teams aren’t always great — they are just great when they have to be” as McRae dropped back and fired a laser to Ireland in the right corner, threading the needle through the defender’s arms.

The Dragons displayed some moxie of their own and worked their way into Stout territory, with the payoff coming on an Arseneau to Jessome pass for the touchdown.

Leading 24-18, the Stout needed only to run out the clock to assure victory. However, their offensive execution was, to put it mildly, offensive. First, a bungled handoff resulted in a wobbly throw into traffic by Ireland that was nearly intercepted. An uncharacteristically inaccurate throw by McRae was nearly picked off by Kang, followed by a sack of McRae by Jia. The Stout literally seemed to be trying to hand the game to the Dragons. On the final play, another flea-flicker nearly went horribly awry as Ireland tossed a pass that could easily have been mistaken for a wounded migratory bird. Naturally, the ball was easily intercepted by Jessome, who bobbed and weaved his way through the dazed Stout until he was tagged one yard short of the endzone and the tying points.

“I don’t like to make coaching changes during the season,” said Stout GM McRae, “But that was the worst playcalling at the end of a game I have ever seen. You play to win the game! YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME!!!”

Clearly, the Dragons are closing the gap with the Stout, but, for now, the Stout stand tall on top of the OFL with a 3-0 record while the Dragons dwell in the cellar at 0-3.

October 18, 2010
Irish Stout 24, Co-Op Dragons 18

McRae      4 TD
Arseneau   3 TD, 1 INT
Ireland    1 INT

Ireland    2 TD
Jessome    2 TD
Muir       2 TD
Kang       1 TD

Aubin      1 INT
Jessome    1 INT

Kanata, ON — The OFL began Week 2 of football action with the Co-Op Dragons taking on the mighty Irish Stout on a beautiful autumn afternoon at Entrust Cryptography Field. The Dragons returned all of their roster with the exception of Mark “Shoeless” Jessome while the Stout were without both Kirk Ireland, whose habit of studying the game plan by the light of a jukebox finally got the best of him and Johnny “Irish” O’Connor, who was last seen stumbling out of the Barley Mow with a Guinness in his hand. They were replaced by raw rookie Istehad “Lateral” Chowdhury, whose next football reception would be his first. Thus, Peter Arseneau, Jin Kang, Michael Liu, and William Jia lined up against Paul McRae, James Muir, Bevan Watkiss, and Chowdhury in a 4 on 4 matchup.

The Dragons won the toss and deferred, but an uncharacteristally inaccurate McRae failed to move the Stout. On the ensuing possession, a McRae sack of Peter “The Rabbit” Arseneau on fourth down gave the Stout good field position. McRae took advantage, lofting a TD to Muir and following up with conversion to the big mathematician. “Meeting, shmeeting,” said Muir, “This day is too fine to spend in a cramped office when I can be running free catching touchdowns.” The erudite Stout led 7-0.

Unimpressed by this drive, the Dragons, behind the accurate passing of the veteran Arseneau, closed the gap to 7-6 on a pass to Liu. The Dragons’ celebration was short lived, however, as Muir recorded his second TD from McRae to increase the Stout lead to 13-6. After stonewalling the Dragons, the Stout looked to extend their lead, but Jin intercepted an underthrown ball to Watkiss and raced all the way to the endzone to tighten the contest at 13-12. “Watching film, I noticed that number 11 sometimes attempts throws that are beyond his limited abilities,” said Jin, “MVP or not, I took that one to the house.”

Jin Kang nearly intercepted another McRae throw, but it was ruled incomplete. “Where is the replay?” he cried, “On TV, they always have the replay! I may not know the rules, but I know about replay!” His pleas, unfortunately, fell on deaf ears.

With time running out and only one possession each remaining in regulation, the Stout rose up and demonstrated the mettle that has made them 4 time OFL champions. McRae fired a TD to Watkiss to make the score 19-12 and that was the final score as Arseneau’s potential tying pass sailed over the head of an outstretched Liu. “We’ll get these [expletive deleted],” cursed Arseneau, “I beat them once before and I’ll beat them again,” he said, recalling the French Foreign Legion’s rout of the Stout in 2006. The Stout, however, moved to 2-0 as the Dragons fell to 0-2 on this young season.

Stout President and GM Paul McRae was less than effusive in his evaluation of the team’s QB. “He might be a multiple MVP, but you wouldn’t have known it today,” he said, “But they never play well without that little slotback, Ireland.” Fans of the Stout are hopeful that Ireland will return next week. “Get your popcorn ready,” Ireland said, “the Show is about to come back to town!”

October 8, 2010
Irish Stout 19, Co-Op Dragons 12

McRae      3 TD, 1 INT
Arseneau   1 TD

Muir       2 TD, 1 PAT
Watkiss    1 TD
Liu        1 TD

Kang 1 INT (TD ret)

Last Week: 8-8 Season: 16-15-1

This week: 6-8 (this is ugly!)

N.Y. Jets (-6) at Buffalo
Buffalo played well in New England last week, but the Jets have had their snack and are getting their together. Jets.

Baltimore (+2) at Pittsburgh
This week, it’s Mike Kruczek at QB for the Steelers. Steelers haven’t been 4-0 since 1979. Ravens.

Seattle (-2) at St. Louis
No Steven Jackson this week? Maybe Leon Washington will take three back to the house. Take the Seabirds.

San Francisco (+6.5) at Atlanta
Things are not looking good in San Francisco. Mike Singletary wants WINNERS. Maybe he should move to Atlanta. Take the Falcons.

Cincinnati (-3) at Cleveland
The Dawg Pound returns! Take the Browns.

Denver (+6.5) at Tennessee
Tim Tebow is the second QB this week. Can they possibly lose?

Carolina (+13) at New Orleans
That’s a lot of points. Saints will win, but the Cats will cover.

Detroit (+14) at Green Bay
The Lions are such a bad road team that I am taking the Packers and laying 2 touchdowns. Now, THAT is a bad road team.

Houston (-3.5) at Oakland
Has Houston returned to earth? The Raiders have been there for years. Take the Texans.

Indianapolis (-7) at Jacksonville
Pretty big spread for a team with a bunch of injured receivers and backs. Indy will win, but Jacksonville should cover.

Washington (+5) at Philadelphia
There is really debate over whether McNabb will be booed. Really? REALLY? Oh, he will be booed. And the Eagles will cover.

Arizona (+9.5) at San Diego?
Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde? Which Charger team will show up? Maybe take the Birds in this one.

Chicago (+3) at N.Y. Giants
Wait a minute! The Giants are actually favored? Might be a mistake — take the Bears.

New England (-1) at Miami
Take the Pats — they need to start turning things around if they want to win the division.

Lock of the Week: Cleveland

Well, where do we start? Michael Vick completed 17 of 31 passes for 291 yards and three touchdowns while running for another score in the Philadelphia Eagles 28-3 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. His on-the-field performance has been spectacular, bringing back memories of the “old” Michael Vick with the added capability to complete passes accurately from the pocket. However, the spectre of Vick’s incarceration for dog fighting lingers in our minds. Are fans really that ready to forgive someone who was so cruel to animals?

Ironically, the fact that Donte Stallworth was so irresponsible as to get drunk and run someone over, killing them, is hardly mentioned while Vick’s transgressions are always at the forefront. However, I still have to have serious reservations about someone capable of doing what Vick was convicted of doing. Unfortunately, in today’s sports world, you cannot really hold players whose on field heroics are worthy of admiration to the same high standards off the field. Eventually, it seems, they all let us down in some way. Jordan’s gambling and philandering, Kobe, Barkley, Roethlisberger, Magic, A-Rod, the list goes on.

Pencil on bristol.

Inks on bristol with PS fixup.

Colors in PS. Click on the image for a larger version.

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