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Ladies and Gentlemen of the TSL Universe: It’s over.

 

One of the most confusing, stressful, and sometimes infuriating seasons in the history of the TSL came to a close on October 24th. After countless new regulations, working with the state, working with politicians, working with the Rose Garden, managing any potential large COVID outbreaks, and dealing with what was seemingly a new challenge every single week, the TSLers that were at the fields on Championship Saturday were treated to some of the best football we’d ever seen across all of the divisions.

 

No, seriously.

 

We had crazy comebacks, game winning touchdowns, overtime games, an unexpected forfeit, and so much more.

 

Of the 19 games that were actually played this week (not counting the forfeit, obviously), 13 of them were within one score, including EVERY SINGLE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME. Here were the Championship point differentials: 1, 4, 3, 3, 7 (Double OT), and 6.

 

It truly doesn’t get any better than that. It was arguably the most exciting final day in TSL history, and none of you disappointed. Thank you, TSL.

 

 

D1:

Scores:

Marketing Mayors 41, Why So Serious? 25

Eyes Downtown 34, Gryffindor 30

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Public Enemy 32, Eyes Downtown 28

Tight Ends In Motion 37, Marketing Mayors 22

 

D1 Final: Public Enemy 35, Tight Ends In Motion 34

 

The day got off to a rousing start in D1, as the Mayors took a win rather easily, where Eyes Downtown had to work to beat Gryffindor. The Second Round saw TEIM just run past a tired Mayors squad, who just didn’t have the firepower to keep up this time around. Public Enemy met Eyes Downtown in what can be considered an instant classic. Public Enemy took the lead late in the game, but Bobby McConnell marched ED down the field to score the go ahead touch down with 29 seconds left. Chris Cole would get PE down the field and into ED territory with about 5 seconds left. Cole would find Mike Boccio in the corner of the end zone to win the game and go onto the championship. And in that title game, Public Enemy looked gassed from their earlier win. Tight Ends could smell blood, and they scored a long touchdown with about 12 minutes to go to go up 34-14. And then the ghost of Lenny Alba started to roam the sidelines, and all of PE went to work. They scored. They got a stop. They scored. They got a stop. And with time running down, PE would score again, getting the conversion, and taking a 1 point lead. TEIM couldn’t score with next to no time left, and Public Enemy pulled off one of the biggest comebacks in D1 finals history.

 

 

D2:

Scores:

Slytherin That End Zone 46, Dilfs 23

Sticky Bandits 33, Jabronies 20

 

D2 Final: Sticky Bandits 35, Slytherin That End Zone 31

 

It’s only fitting that this division would once again not see either of it’s top two seeds in the finals. In the semi-finals, Sticky would defeat the Jabronies like they always seem to do. Honestly, I’ve said this before, the Jabronies are an offshoot of Sticky in so many ways. It’s not surprising that Baker and Co. knew what the Jabronies were doing before they did. Don’t let the SITE – Dilfs score confuse you. The biggest “too good to be true” story for D2 this season might’ve been that Dubey showed up just about every week to QB the Dilfs. He led them to a 7-2 record, and easily made them stand out in a crazy good division. So what happened when he was needed the most? He “Dubey-ed” the Dilfs and didn’t show. Travis had to play QB, and while he’s a pretty good backup, it also takes him off the field as a WR, which really messes up everything they try to do. Slytherin, to their credit, looked REALLY good as they didn’t mind the Dilfs’ issues at all. SITE walked away with an easy win to make the title game. And what a title game it was! SITE/Newman started with the ball and opened the game with an INT. Sticky goes onto score. The teams trade scores in an action packed first half, including a late TD where Dave Baker catches a tipped ball just before it hits the ground for a score. SITE rallies back to score just before the half to lead by 3. Sticky started the second half going deep and they throw an interception of their own. Not to be outdone, Newman throws a pick on the next play to give the ball back. Sticky hits a deep TD to Ricky Recckio, SITE answers with a deep TD, Sticky scores on a deep TD again. Sticky is up by 5 at this point, with SITE driving again, but this time they can’t score on 6th down, Sticky goes on to score again to go up 11. SITE would score again themselves, but time wasn’t on their side and one hell of D2 championship comes to an end.

 

D3:

Scores:

All We Do Is Quinn 46, The Untouchaballs 40 (Double OT)

Scared Hitless 29, Frodo Swaggins 8

 

D3 Final: Scared Hitless 41, All We Do Is Quinn 38

 

Let’s get this out of the way now: Scared Hitless easily dispatched of Frodo Swaggins, and as a result one has to wonder about the future of Frodo. If that’s how Scotty Dro leaves the team, what an awful way to go out. All We Do Is Quinn might’ve been looking past The Untouchaballs, and they almost paid for it. The Untouchaballs are clearly a team on the rise in the TSL, and their first season as a team can be considered a success. Losing in 2 OTs to a perennial #1 seed in D3 is a great start and there’s a lot to look forward to for their future. Quinn can look at this game proudly too, because this is the game they’d usually lose and hate themselves for all winter. The D3 final was a ridiculous back and forth affair that apparently it seemed like every person on the team for Scared Hitless scored a touchdown. Dylan Day(y?) was DEALING out there, and with the little red headed girl out with an injury, the Quinn girls had next to no shot to keep up with the 3-headed monster (I mean that as a compliment ladies) of females Hitless trotted out. Quinn didn’t “blow it” here. They lost, yes, but this was a hell of a game and they shouldn’t be ashamed of themselves. In years’ past they might’ve folded under the pressure and lost by 20 but they were in this game until the final play. And yes, Hitless, it was nice of Carly to scream “HIS NAME IS KYNAN” (what a spelling that is, eh?) but nobody cares. He’s always going to be Cat’s Boyfriend, barring some sad breakup I guess.  And Cat’s Boyfriend, along with Jonny Football, Brandon “The Better” Farr, and the other guys I don’t remember is a D3 champion. They’re good, and they showed it.

 

D4:

Scores:

Buffalo Solar Solutions 53, Over Compensators 48

The Angels 21, Uncle Rico’s Time Travelers 0 (forfeit)

 

D4 Final: The Angels 43, Buffalo Solar Solutions 40

 

The single most disappointing thing I’ve ever heard of in the TSL has to be something Matt Keita did. But, AFTER THAT, it’s Uncle Rico’s forfeiting on Championship Saturday. I don’t know what happened exactly, but the messages from my informants came in pretty quickly. Apparently a good chunk of the team decided to go to Florida that week, so they had to quarantine. It’s not like that wasn’t news for the last 3 months prior to the game. I don’t know if the players who went just thought they’d be able to play or something, but all they accomplished is letting their team down. I get it, it’s “Just co-ed touch football” to a good number of people, so they don’t care. But when you agree to be on a team, you have a bit of a responsibility to try to be there weekly and respect how the rest of the team feels. This league might not be the biggest deal to you, but it very well could be to others on your own team. I’m sorry that it had to come to that, and no, it’s not just coming from me being bitter that I picked them to win. Anyway, The Angels got a free pass to the finals. You know who didn’t get a free pass to the finals? Buffalo Solar Solutions. Despite being down their best player, BSS played a very spry OC team that honestly should’ve won this game. The OC scored late to take the lead, but Andy Clark threw a bomb on first down for the game winning touchdown right after that. Not bad for the OC, when you consider they were scrambling to put a roster together during the week. BSS’ reward? A championship game against The Angels, who were completely rested. BSS played their hearts out, but a Bobby McConnell INT swung the back and forth game in the girls’ favor, and they ended up coming out on top. Buffalo Solar has petitioned the league to put an asterisk next to this championship, as being gifted a spot in the championship should be frowned upon. (Note: BSS didn’t actually do this.)

 

D5:

Scores:

Mountain Dew Me 33, Cobblestone 0

Practice Squad 31, Zack Attack 29

 

D5 Final: Mountain Dew Me 31, Practice Squad 25 (Double OT)

 

Well, we finally figured out how to slow Mountain Dew Me down. Have it rain a lot the night before so they can’t run like they’re used to. I know that it looks like Cobblestone got blown out here, but the truth is, they were the better team for most of the first half. They just couldn’t hold on to should be TD’s and INTs. Darryl missed his opportunities, and eventually MDM found their footing (literally and figuratively) and won this one. Practice Squad had a “scare” of their own. Zack Attack came to play in this one, and nearly pulled off the upset here. Look out for them next season, they’re only getting better and better. MDM vs Practice Squad was everything you wanted it to be and more. Great plays on both sides of the ball for both teams. Two overtimes. PS has been lights out since B became their QB, but he’s going to spend the entire offseason thinking about his final play. B didn’t see a wide open Renee Lantz in the endzone for what would’ve been an easy TD, and instead the ball was incomplete, giving MDM the win as opposed to PS being champions. It was that close.

 

D6:

Scores:

Graves Bros 30, TMA 24

The Bambs 42, Tater Tots 38

 

D6 Final: The Bambs 36, Graves Bros 30

 

Graves Bros outlasted TMA in a hard fought game. TMA was missing a couple of players, but they got Tall Nick back to replace Drunk Meg’s Brother who was trapped at work. However, they were down to only two females as Light Val took a vacation somewhere, but Diana and Lauren were up to the task, at least until Lauren hurt her ankle pretty badly (But she played through it apparently). Toss in an interception that was overturned when it shouldn’t have been and that tells me Billy reffed a TMA game. Jokes aside, I have to give Graves Bros credit though, every single time they play a close game, it seems they come out on top. (FORESHADOWING). The Bambs dueled the Tater Tots in the other game, as they went back and forth with each other. The Bambs’ ended up making just one more defensive play than the Tots, and that was literally the difference. I’ve said this a lot this article, but the Tots have come so far since their inception, and they keep getting better and better. Dylan is a very good QB with high potential, and Nick Angelo is rising star in the league. Better days are ahead for the crispy ones. For the final, The Bambs just stuck to their script from the game before. Keep pace and make one or two more defensive plays than the other team. Lead by Derrick (we have a name for one of them!) most of the season, this week was no different as he proceeded to ball out yet again. The Bambs made the defensive plays they needed to take home the title.

 

 

TEN FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE SEASON:

 

1.      I say weekly now, I know, but I can’t give enough credit to the TSL field crew, the Rose Garden, and of course Topper for making this season a reality. We truly showed why the TSL is easily the best Social Co-ed football experience in the world.

 

2.      Complaining about a lack of upsets in the first round of the playoffs really just meant that we’d get some of the best possible games for a Championship Saturday, and again, these teams delivered. What a great day of games.

 

 

3.      Shout out to Sticky Bandits for already declaring that they’ll be going to D1 next season. I have a feeling they’ll be joining the Dilfs to give us a great, 8 team D1 next season. Scared Hitless should be fine in D2, and The Angels should’ve been in D3 a year ago. Mountain Dew Me and Practice Squad should both go up to D4, and The Bambs can compete in D5 as well. Hopefully everyone makes the jump.

 

4.      Even though they completely blew it in the D1 title game, Tight Ends In Motion has a lot of decisions to make now. They were just a better team with Bro at QB. Will they have enough room for all of their girls when they come back next season? And what about Dave Baker? With Sticky moving up to D1, he’ll have to choose which team to play for. That’s one hell of a choice. Good luck with that.

 

 

5.      One of the more exciting things for this season were the new faces that came aboard. There were more than a few folks you’d  classify as “Game On” people (they would too though, so it’s fine) that played, reffed, and hung out all year. According to many sources, a lot of them “drank the TSL Kool-Aid” and they’re looking forward to spending their Saturdays at the Rose Garden as part of the TSL family. Hopefully I can come in from Iowa next season and meet some of you. I heard there could be a gender team coming too! Let’s go!

 

6.      If COVID took one thing away from us this season, it was that we didn’t get to properly mourn Rameer as a family. The constant distraction to even get the league up and running meant that we didn’t, and couldn’t, get to have the proper celebration of his life. That isn’t to say his massive presence wasn’t missed this season, of course it was. Assuming life can be much more normal by the Spring, expect a much bigger Rameer day. 

 

 

7.      The TSL Indoor Jamboree begins January 9th. Talk to Topper, I’m not sure if there are any more spots left. Teams are still forming, so suck up to the captains ASAP. It’ll be the place to be this winter, easily. No word yet if the TSL tournament is coming to the Bills Fieldhouse just yet. Clearly they still have lots of COVID regulations in place, and the idea of bunch of unknown (to them) outsiders coming in and potentially infecting the team somehow doesn’t sit well with them of course. But soon. Perhaps we have a Breakfast Club-like Draft for a tournament? 8 teams, 8 female captains? I think that could be a LOT of fun.

 

8.      Remember to get your awards nominations in! Even if we don’t have a banquet, the TSL will still be giving out our awards. No word yet on how we’ll do that, but I’m sure it’ll work out great. You can email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Awards Head Emily Curry at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Get those emails in!

 

9.      Thank you, again, to all of you that emailed me throughout the season giving me your hot takes on all things TSL. Thanks to The Sentinel for their great article, and to the entire TSL QB Power Rankings Committee for all of their cool info, graphics, and charts. Thanks to Joe K for that one podcast this season, perhaps we’ll get to two next year? And thank you to everyone that helped out in some way, shape, or form this season. This league doesn’t exist without all of you.

 

 

10.   That brings us to the official close of the #TSL2020 season. It was a bit crazy for sure, but we persevered. We reconnected with old friends, we made new friends, and we had as much fun as things would allow. I got to write a weekly article all the way from my log cabin in Des Moines, Iowa and that only happened because of your efforts, because of people stepping up when I asked for help. There was a global pandemic, and it still couldn’t stop this league from chugging along, despite the best efforts of many. Please, take care during the holidays, and stay safe. I don’t know if I’ll write an article for the indoor league or not, it’ll depend on who tells me what. If not, I’ll look forward to hearing from you all in the Spring. You’re the best league on the planet. Don’t forget that.

 

 

-GF

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