November 2010

Kanata, ON — A cool fall day at legendary Entrust Cryptography Field was witness to a red-hot record setting performance by 5-time OFL MVP Paul McRae as his defending champion Irish Stout riddled the expansion Co-Op Dragons 44-13. McRae tied his own OFL record with 7 TD passes as the Stout ran their record to 5-0 in front of a record crowd (thanks, Dong and Xijian).

The Co-Op Dragons, trying to change the course of their season, turned to the wily Carlos “The Jackal” Nahas at quarterback. Nahas, returning to the OFL after short stint in a Turkish prison, was throwing to a pool of improving rookies: Marc “Hands” Jessome, William “Why Don’t They Cover Me?” Jia, Michael “Endzone” Liu, and Jin “The Human Bruise” Kang. In a Stout roster shuffle, James “When Exactly IS Noon?” Muir was benched for the first quarter after missing warmups. Replacing him in the lineup was Ron “Randy Moss” Burman alongside Kirk “Big Cushion” Ireland, Bevan “Too Tall” Watkiss, and Johnny “So This Is What A Touchdown Feels Like” O’Connor.

As usual, the Stout got off to to a slow start as an errant pass caromed off a Stout defender into the waiting arms of Liu for a touchdown. A nice pass from Nahas to Jessome just over the endzone line gave the Dragons a 7-0 lead. “You see? They are not supermen!” screamed Nahas, “They put their cleats on one foot at a time just like us!” As Nahas surveyed the quizzical looks of his teammates in the huddle, the Stout roared back with a TD pass from McRae to Ireland, who outran his defender to the ball. McRae hit Ireland again on the Stout’s next possession for another TD and the Stout took their first lead at 12-7. The Stout defense, buoyed by the play of Watkiss at nose tackle and Burman at corner shut down the Dragons for most of the day. Notably, Kang was punished on several receptions, but gritted it out and never missed a play. “I thought the league was cracking down on this kind of stuff,” said Kang, “The Stout defenders all think they are Brandon Merriwether!”

The newly acquired Burman got into the act, catching a long post pattern from McRae. McRae followed that up with a toss to the re-instated Muir for the conversion for a 25-7 lead. Noted Gaelic footballer Johnny O’Connor zig-zagged his way to a perfect catch in the right corner for a score before the Dragons finally put a stop to the bleeding with another acrobatic Liu TD. At 31-13, the Stout weren’t done yet as Burman took a hit from both safeties but came down in the endzone with the ball. Watkiss caught a ball in heavy traffic in the right corner and the lead ballooned to 38-13. On the last possession of the game, McRae dropped back and lofted a rainbow into the hands of Ireland for his record-tying 7th TD pass of the game and OFL record 44th point for the Stout.

In a nearly flawless performance, the Stout scored on all 7 possessions and set a modern-day OFL record with 44 points. “I’m still mad about those missed conversions,” groused noted perfectionist McRae, “But everyone knows that I don’t like to run up the score. Who do you think I am, Bill Belichick?”

November 3, 2010
Irish Stout 44, Co-Op Dragons 13

McRae      7 TD, 3 PAT
Nahas      2 TD, 1 PAT

Ireland    3 TD
Burman     2 TD
Liu        2 TD
Muir       1 TD, 1 PAT
O'Connor   1 TD
Jessome    1 PAT
Watkiss    1 PAT

Dan Marino, Watercolor, 2010
One of the greats! Imagine how the Pittsburgh Steelers would have fared had they chosen Marino in the 1983 draft. Instead, Marino fell all the way to the 27th pick and was taken by the AFC Champion Miami Dolphins. He went on to set virtually every major passing record for both single season and career in the NFL. His 1984 season may never be surpassed: 362 completions in 564 attempts for 5084 yards and 48 touchdowns. The previous record for touchdown passes in a single season was 36 and, for comparison, the current record is only marginally better, Tom Brady’s 50 TD’s in 2007.

Sadly, like Fran Tarkenton and Dan Fouts before him, Marino never won a Superbowl. In fact, his only appearance in the big game was after that magical 1984 season, but the San Francisco Forty-Niners had seen enough of the Dolphins to figure out who it was they had to stop to be successful. With subpar defenses and virtually no running game, Marino failed to make it back to the championship game. Fans, however, will never forget spending Sunday afternoons watching Marino sling the ball with that trademark quick release down the field to his receivers. This was not the “dink and dunk” offense that is so popular in today’s game, but rather a deep passing attack that relied on an accurate strong-armed thrower.

Marino was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005, his first year of eligibility.

Watercolor. Click on the image for a larger version.


Dan Marino, Watercolor, 2010

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