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Ladies and Gentlemen of the TSL Universe, it’s time to get serious. 

 

After a picture perfect Lenny and Rameer Day last weekend that saw great football, hilarious antics, and a lot of fun being had by the TSL, this week is completely different. You see, this is the final week before the playoffs. The Race for Social Co-Ed Immortality is about to begin, and some of us will be left behind at the starting line. 

 

Week 9 is upon us. It’s the last chance for teams to make a statement, put some wins together, and for some of us, punch their entry into the playoffs. There’s a lot at stake for most of our teams this week. Who has to win to get in? Who’s out? Who needs help? Let’s go over it now so we can get a much clearer idea of what we’re watching for this week. 

 

D1: 

 

Last Week’s Games:

 

Eyes Downtown 53, Grey Hair Don’t Care 37

Legends 49, Passed Our Prime 19

Scared Hitless 35, Tight Ends In Motion 31

 

All of the games listed above were crossover games. Grey Hair gave Eyes Downtown a little run for their money, but it wasn’t as close as the score indicated. Legends walked all over a Hogan-less POP, and Scared Hitless showed that even if they don’t win the D2 title this session, they’re playing in D1 in the fall anyway as they beat Tight Ends In Motion. 

 

What’s At Stake: 

 

Not a lot to write home about in our Top Division. We only have 4 teams, and all will make the playoffs. Tight Ends is locked into that 4th spot after what has easily been the hardest season of their existence. Sticky Bandits are locked into the 2v3 game. The only thing at stake is the #1 seed heading into the playoffs and who gets the “easier” game against TEIM as the Legends and Eyes Downtown battle for it this week. 

 

This Week’s Games: 

 

Legends vs Eyes Downtown (+1) - Both of these teams have been pretty good, as their 6-2 records suggest. They both have D1 Championship aspirations, and both teams are fully aware that playing Tight Ends In Motion in Round 1 of the playoffs is a lot more appetizing than playing Sticky Bandits. This game means a lot more than most realize right now. EYES DOWNTOWN BY 7

 

Sticky Bandits vs Tight Ends In Motion (+8) - It hasn’t been the world’s best season for Tight Ends, as a change in QB and a complete overhaul of the females on the team really set them up for failure. Every year we get a few teams that have the ‘season from hell’ and this just seems to be TEIM’s turn. Sticky, on the other hand, continues their rise up the Social Co-Ed Football rankings. Very rarely do we see the “team that sticks together and climbs all the way to the top from lower divisions” anymore, but they’ve done it pretty nicely. This game doesn’t mean much for either team, as they look to avoid injury to their stars. STICKY BANDITS BY 10

 

D2:

 

Last Week’s Games:

 

Eyes Downtown 53, Grey Hair Don’t Care 37

Legends 49, Passed Our Prime 19

Scared Hitless 35, Tight Ends In Motion 31

When Dove Cries 38, Bullet Club 26

Dilfs 45, The Notorious BNB 21

 

We already spoke on the Crossover games, but last week also saw Topper getting a win over Bullet Club to finally notch his first victory of the season (And WDC’s second win overall, both against BC) while the Dilfs dominated BNB to move into 2nd place in the division. 

 

What’s At Stake:

 

With their big win in the D1/D2 Crossover game, Scared Hitless has locked down the #1 seed for the D2 playoffs, which means they get the bye week. But after that, we have a lot of seeding to get through. The Dilfs currently have the 2 seed, which means they’d play Bullet Club, which is essentially a bye week anyway. If the Dilfs lose to Passed Our Prime, chaos may reign for the seeding. That would put both at 5-4, where a Grey Hair win over Bullet Club (likely) also puts them at 5-4. But wait! A Notorious BNB win over WDC (probable) AND an upset of Scared Hitless (not as probable, though they don’t have anything to play for) also would put them at 5-4. A 4 way tie pretty much leaves it up to Topper’s wacky calculations for his standings, and it’ll be interesting to see that play out. Also, a WDC win over BNB, coupled with BNB losing to Scared Hitless would get WDC up to 5th, and BNB slides to 6th. Not a single first round matchup is determined, as is customary in D2. 

 

This Week’s Games: 

 

Grey Hair Don’t Care vs Bullet Club (+10) - Bullet Club lost their best chance to get a win last weekend, in a matchup that sounds like it was full of subs last week anyway. It can’t be a great game if the teams involved don’t even want to show. They now have their last chance to notch a win before the playoffs, but it comes in the form of a Grey Hair team that has really been putting it together as the season progresses. Dave Eickhoff is a sneaky MVP candidate (and potential Ref of the Year!) as he’s used his weapons to their fullest extent. They didn’t beat Eyes Downtown last week, but they showed they could hang with them. GREY HAIR DON'T CARE BY 14

The Notorious BNB vs When Dove Cries (+3) - It’s not the season either of these teams were hoping for when they signed up, but they can’t do much about it now. Team Topper is starting to get hot, riding a very tall and talented lineup to the end zone. But the emergence of Talia Calabro to really show she can play in D2 has also been a fantastic development, especially when she’s paired with Cheryl Julicher. BNB has all the talent in the world, but they’ve struggled recently as key players haven’t been there and the usual nonsense has taken its toll on them. This game means something for seeding. WHEN DOVE CRIES BY 6

 

Dilfs vs Passed Our Prime (EVEN) - As we stated above, if the Dilfs win, they get the 2 seed and date with Bullet Club in the first round. If they lose? Chaos. Passed Our Prime was beaten up without their fearless leader last week, but Hogan should be back and ready to make things interesting against a Dilf’s team that looks to be without an injured Travis Cleavenger-Bernal. PASSED OUR PRIME BY 5

 

Scared Hitless vs The Notorious BNB (+10) - Just because a game means nothing to Scared Hitless, they’re still going to play like it does. D2’s dominant team this season doesn’t want to go into the playoffs taking a “week off”, and the reason they are the top seed is because they treat every game like it's the biggest game of the year. They’re impossible to stop right now. SCARED HITLESS BY 17

 

D3:

 

Last Week’s Games:

 

Sleezin Szn 22, Itches and Ohs 8

The Untouchaballs 42, Sleezin Szn 25

Frodo Swaggins 37, Show Me Dem TDs 15

Show Me Dem TDs 22, Freeballers 20

Freeballers 34, Buffalo Vice 21

Itches and Ohs 45, 4th & Something 41

 

Sleezin Szn gets a big win, shutting down Itches completely before getting beat up by The Untouchaballs after. Frodo didn’t have Garrett throwing, which means things were easier for the offense as they cruised to a win. Show Me Dem TDs lost to Frodo, but came back to beat up the slumping Freeballers who have been below average since forcing me to apologize to them. As usual, I was right. The Freeballers would then go onto beat a shell of Buffalo Vice, who was missing a ton of people, per my weekly email from Dan. And then Itches and ohs followed the trend of “lose a game, win a game” in D3, finding their offense en route to a win over 4&S. 

 

What’s At Stake: 

 

Another division that has everyone making the playoffs, but there are no bye weeks to be earned here in the TSL Thunderdome this division has become. Anyone can beat anyone just about this time around. The Untouchaballs are the #1 seed and are easily the class of D3. After that, we have a whole bunch of seeding going around. Frodo could lose to Untouchaballs, sending them to 5-4, where a 4&S win over Freeballers, and an Itches win over Vice gives us a 4 way tie for 2nd. Tell me if you’ve heard this before. A Buffalo Vice loss might cause them to tumble to 7th depending on who wins the Sleezin Szn/Show Me game, where the loser of that game is guaranteed to play the buzzsaw that are The Untouchaballs. Chaos, again. Just how Topper likes it. 

 

This Week’s Games:

 

The Untouchaballs vs Frodo Swaggins (+7) - This game is a big measuring stick for Frodo, because if they get blown out here, it’ll start to creep in their minds yet again that they’re always just the bridesmaids, but never the bride in D3. A win here would be massive, and put some doubt into the uberconfident Untouchaballs. FRODO SWAGGINS BY 3

 

Freeballers vs 4th & Something (+6) - Freeballers. Guys, what happened? I’m sure there’s a litany of excuses, but as always it starts at the top. The word I’m receiving is that 40 Year Plan Guy is once again focused more on his game at the bar than on the field, and his team is suffering because of it. Meanwhile, this is the time 4&S really starts to get going so they can win a playoff game or two. 4th & SOMETHING BY 8

 

Itches and Ohs vs Buffalo Vice (+7) - A great D4 matchup last season, a great D3 matchup this season. Buffalo Vice is looking to avoid finishing lower in the standings and end up with a harder game next week, meanwhile with a big win Itches could slither up to 2nd overall with some help. This should be interesting. ITCHES AND OHS BY 2

 

Sleezin Szn vs Show Me Dem TDs (EVEN) - 2-6 is not what either team envisioned here at this point in the season, but there’s nothing they can do about it now. Both teams have shown flashes of life during the season, especially recently. There’s nothing appetizing about finishing 2-7 and having to play the Untouchaballs next week though. This game is big for both. SLEEZIN SZN BY 8

 

D4:

 

Last Week’s Games:

 

Varsity Has Beens 32, Puckett All-Stars 26

Interdimensional Lightning Falcons 37, Can't Touch This 33

Zack Attack 47, Today’s Feast 15

Practice Squad 21, XMD 0 (forfeit)

Cunning Stunts 45, Spinelli’s Plumbing 40

TOX 27, Vaspian 14

Varsity Has Beens pick up a HUGE win over Puckett that keeps their playoff hopes alive. ILF shuts down Can’t Touch This and ends their hot streak. Zack Attack figured out offense a bit, walking all over Today’s Feast while shutting them down on defense. The Stunts and Spinelli’s went head to head in a war, with the Stunts just pulling this one out. And TOX gets another win, as Vaspian continues to trend downward this season. 

 

What’s At Stake:

 

Of the 12 teams in this division, only 8 will make the playoffs. That makes for a lot of meaningful games as we head into our final week. Practice Squad has clinched 1st overall, as only the Stunts can catch them in record, but PS won the head to head matchup. So we know that, and we also know that TOX and Today’s Feast are both going to be on the outside looking in for the playoffs. Varsity Has Beens can go 2-0 this weekend to get to 4-5, and XMD can also beat ILF to go to 4-5. Spinellis plays Practice Squad where a loss could put them at 4-5. Zack Attack gets the Stunts that could put them at 4-5. Oh, and Varsity would have to beat Can't Touch This to go 2-0, which would put them at 4-5. If TOX upsets Puckett? You guessed it, they’re 4-5. We could conceivably have 6 teams at 4-5, where two of them would miss the playoffs. Every. Game. Counts. 

 

This Week’s Games:

 

Can’t Touch This vs Varsity Has Beens (+8) - CTT has been really good since a slow start to the season, and last week just feels like a small hiccup. While a win would have clinched them a playoff spot, instead they have a potential “play in” game this week where Varsity can get a pretty key head to head tiebreaker win here. IF CTT wins, they have nothing to worry about. I think I’m going to trust Ryan to get it done. CAN'T TOUCH THIS BY 8

 

Puckett All-Stars vs TOX (+7) - TOX has been spry lately, as things seem to be coming together for them just a little too late. But they can still play spoiler against a Puckett team who put themselves into a tougher scenario than they needed to be in this week after the loss to Varsity. A loss to TOX would open them up to missing the playoffs, but this team is known for making it hard for themselves before succeeding. PUCKETT ALL-STARS BY 9

 

ILF vs XMD (+7) - An unfortunate forfeit last weekend to Practice Squad put XMD on the outside looking in heading into this week. They’re the “They need to win and get some help” team this week, so all they can do is focus on this game, and see where the chips fall. ILF has an outside shot at the #2 seed with a win, but they’ve already clinched a playoff spot. XMD BY 4

 

Cunning Stunts vs Varsity Has Beens (+10) - Here’s the hard part for Varsity’s unlikely run to the playoffs. The Stunts are just superstars in every sense of the word, so not only will it be hard for VHB to beat Can't Touch This, then they have to beat the Stunts just to HOPE things go their way. It’s a tall order, and new teams always struggle with gender teams (Hint: have your guys step out at the 1 and go for girl TDs. Don’t get male TDs). CUNNING STUNTS BY 18

 

Vaspian vs Today’s Feast (+12) - I don’t know what’s happened to Vaspian, arguably the coldest team in the league right now. But, Today’s Feast is a great remedy for them to shake it off and get their heads on straight. TF has shown flashes of promise, but a midseason surge kind of fizzled out as of late as they’re running for the bus here. Vaspian gets back on track. VASPIAN BY 10

 

Practice Squad vs Spinelli’s Plumbing (+8) - Not quite the end of the season Spinelli’s envisioned before they started to wear their cursed new jerseys. They’re currently in the playoff picture, but they get the best team in the division now, and if they don’t win to clinch a spot, they could be placed into tiebreaker hell with a few other 4-5 teams. They’ll know if they’re in or not before the game starts (VHB and XMD will have played already), so it might not be a “MUST” win, but it very well could be. PRACTICE SQUAD BY 13

 

Cunning Stunts vs Zack Attack (+9) - Zack Attack did this to themselves after a weak middle of the season. Even with things turning around and looking up, they're still fighting for their playoff lives still against a Stunts team that is just very, very good, as we all know. An XMD win coupled with a Zack Attack loss could knock ZA out of the playoffs. That just doesn’t feel right. ZACK ATTACK BY 3

 

D5:

 

Last Week’s Games:

 

Come From Behind 40, Passing While Intoxicated 26

TMA 31, Two Tuddies 0

Tater Tots 44, 716 14

Red Zone Mafia 41, Not So Sticky 23

Red Zone Mafia 34, Cobblestone 14

 

CFB is back into cruise control, winning easily over PWI and looking good heading toward the playoffs. TMA trounced the Tuddies on their way to an easy win. The Tater Tots continue to look very promising with another big win, this time over 716. And Red Zone Mafia went 2-0 on the day, stomping out NSS before getting a pretty big win over Cobblestone in a rivalry game of sorts. 

 

What’s At Stake:

 

Not much. NSS and the Tuddies are guaranteed to play in the game. Everything else is seeding based. TMA and RZM’s seasons are over, so they’re going to stay at 7-2 and 6-3 respectively. The interesting part comes in where Cobblestone could beat 716, and the Tater Tots could beat Come From Behind AND Two Tuddies and we have a three way 7-2 tie, that also pushes RZM into the 4v5 game. If that happens, I believe Cobblestone would end up as the #1 seed (They’re 2-0 against TMA/Tots), with TMA at #2 (they beat the Tots), and Tots at 3. Of course, this is assuming I know the tiebreakers and things work out how they should. 

 

This Week’s Games:

 

Cobblestone vs 716 (+5) - Darryl Carr QB Superstar has a shot at the #1 seed, which means he’s going to be slinging it all over the place to his players. 716 has been a little off in recent weeks, and while they’re looking to get it together for the playoffs, I’m not sure it’s going to happen. COBBLESTONE BY 12

 

Tater Tots vs Come From Behind (+1) - CFB is slowly becoming that “team nobody wants to play in the playoffs” once again. A less than ideal 1-4 start has been erased, and Paul has been looking great throwing the ball as they get to 4-4. The Tots have overcome a rough start of their own by their standards, losing their QB to injury (and getting a good replacement in Jeff Easton) to go 2-0 against some top teams. The Tots’ defense has been very, very good as well, and they’ll need to be to slow down CFB. COME FROM BEHIND BY 3

 

Tater Tots vs Two Tuddies (+16) - A lot of “T’s” in this one. Try saying “Tater Tots Two Tuddies” five times fast. It’s harder than you think. The Tuddies have been great people to have around this season, but it seems like it's not quite translating to the football field just yet. There’s always next year. TATER TOTS BY 12

 

D6:

 

Last Week’s Games:

 

Travis Henry’s Kids 33, Southside 29

Woodpeckers 21, Lettuce Win 0 (forfeit)

Blitzkrieg 30, Lenny’s Ladies 0

 

Travis Henry’s Kids look to not exactly be the slam dunk we thought they were a few weeks ago, as Southside gave them a run for their money this week. Woodpeckers pick up a forfeit win, and Blitzkrieg gets a win over a Lenny’s Ladies team that had trouble holding on to the ball in the endzone last weekend. 

 

What’s At Stake:

 

Everyone makes the playoffs, but two teams get a bye. THK will finish 7-1-1 (as they tie Lenny’s Ladies in a game that can’t be made up) and they’re the clear cut 1 seed. As for the #2 seed, Blitzkrieg currently sits in that position at 4-5, but Southside has two games to get one win to overtake them. The Woodpeckers are sitting at 3-4 with games against Southside and Lenny’s Ladies that could vault them into the #2 seed if they go 2-0. Or, of course, all 4 teams could end up 4-5 and we go to tiebreakers for the bye. 

 

This Week’s Games:

 

Southside vs Woodpeckers (+7) - Southside has been better as of late, and the ship seems to have righted itself from whatever was going on with them before. The Woodpeckers had their own issues early on, but they’ve also seemed to have corrected those as they’re very competitive. This game should be a good one. SOUTHSIDE BY 7

 

Woodpeckers vs Lenny’s Ladies (+3) - When these two teams last met, they were in the second half of a 9-8 defensive battle before unfortunate circumstances ended the game early. Now they’ll get to meet again to see if they can recreate the offensive ineptitude that was on display early in the season. WOODPECKERS BY 7

 

Southside vs Lettuce Win (+8) - Lettuce Win has had an up and down season, and you just never really know what to expect from this team each week. Going against a locked in Southside isn’t the best thing for them right now, especially since they’ll be going for the bye. SOUTHSIDE BY 19

 

FIVE QUESTIONS FOR SATURDAY

 

1.      Did you enjoy Lenny and Rameer Day? Our Official TSL Holiday went off without a hitch last week, and everyone had a blast from what I hear. Topper paid bagpipers to follow Dave Walter around, the reggae band was awesome, people really liked getting their own shirts made (including a classic Prim t-shirt Topper came up with). There was free ice cream, the weather was nice, and there was some very good football. Hope you had a blast. 

 

2.      What’s going on in Breakfast Club? The playoffs start this week, with the Liddle Deaks and Steph Infection getting the bye weeks. These two were the class of the league from the start, but with apparently Liddle Deaks losing Deak and Travis to injury in consecutive weeks, and The EsCourts getting an upgrade with Emily Schilling’s return, the BC title picture is as murky as ever. 

 

3.      What ARE the tiebreakers you keep talking about anyway? I’ve said this for years: Topper punches numbers into his very complicated standings machine and it spits out where people end up. I know head to head matters, but once you have 3 and 4 way ties, it gets nuts after that. Don’t worry yourself about the tiebreakers, and just win your games. Control what you can control. 

 

4.      Where are the playoff schedules? Topper ran into an issue last year by releasing the playoff schedule and times really early so we were committed to them, which made moving games around harder. He should be releasing the schedule (at least for Playoff Week 1) soon if he hasn’t already done so. 

 

5.      Is anyone going to slow down the counts? They’re out of hand. The biggest complaints in my inbox as of late have been how ridiculous the counts have been. I know that we have people who have been turning 6 seconds into 2.5 for years now, but it seems like they’re not getting warned enough. Word is the referees are being informed to pay a bit more attention to this this week and in the playoffs. 

 

TEN FINAL THOUGHTS FOR SATURDAY:

 

1.      Breakfast Club Playoff Predictions:

a.      The EsCourts 45, Dominatrix 27

b.      Jennatalia 44, Trish’s Tiny Disasters 43

 

2.      Games Of The Day Schedule:

a.      10:00 - Legends vs Eyes Downtown

b.      11:00 - The Untouchaballs vs Frodo Swaggins

c.      12:00 - Freeballers vs 4th & Something

d.      1:00 - Southside vs Woodpeckers

e.      2:00 - Itches and Ohs vs Buffalo Vice

f.       3:00 - Sleezin Szn vs Show Me Dem TDs

 

3.      Three teams that have been pretty bad as of late: Vaspian, Bullet Club, and Freeballers. What happened to these teams?

 

4.      Three teams that have been pretty awesome as of late: Tater Tots, Red Zone Mafia, Come From Behind. And they’re all in D5. That’s going to be a great playoff tournament. 

 

5.      The Wine Tournament is coming! It’s August 13th! Mark your calendars now. Registration will be here before you know it. 

 

6.      Shout out once again to all of the people that are refereeing and stepping up to the plate to help this league stay the best Social Co-Ed Football league of all time. There’s a lot of new names on the ref sheet, which means more and more of you are helping out. Thank you!

 

7.      It’s getting harder and harder to see any of the probable #1 seeds in D2, D3, and D6 lose. On the flip side, it looks like D1, D4, and D5 are all up for grabs, which should make for some very exciting playoff games. 

 

8.      It was exciting to hear about the TSL Hall of Fame being a real thing, with inductions happening at the banquet. I think this will be a really fun way to honor the people who helped make this league what it is today. I think it’s obvious what 2 (maybe 3) people should be on the first ballot. The people who, if not for them, the league wouldn’t even exist today. If you’re not immediately thinking Cookie Monster, B’s Brother and Moh as well, you’re just not in touch with the league anymore. 

 

9.      I’ve been informed that many TSLers are going to be headed down to the EA Music Fest this weekend, to which I can only say be safe and don’t drink and drive! 

 

10.  Finally, with the playoffs coming up, and many teams feeling the pressure this week of potentially not making them at all, combined with some brand new refs who are helping out, remember to not lose your mind on a potential bad call and to keep your cool. We don’t need another #Travisty on our hands. Be kind to each other. 

 

It’s bittersweet to already be at the end of the TSL Spring season, it feels like we just started. The weather looks like it’ll be perfect, so get out there and enjoy yourself. 

 

Next week, the Race begins. 

 

-GF OUT

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