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"PLAYOFFS?? Don't talk about...
PLAYOFFS?? You kidding me?
PLAYOFFS?? I just hope we can win a game!"
- Jim Mora

"If you wanna crown 'em, then crown their a$$! 
But they are who we THOUGHT they were!
And we let 'em off the hook!!!"
- Dennis Green

You don't play to just play it. That's the great thing about sports! You play to win. 
And I don't care if you don't have ANY wins - you go play to win. 
When you start tellin' me 'it doesn't matter' - then RETIRE. GET OUT. 
Cuz it MATTERS."
- Herm Edwards

"You've gotta understand. 
He's spent all season with a quarterback with so much Big D**k Energy...
He can never come back. He can never understand anything less.
You're welcome."
- Matty Ice

"Just when you think you have all the answers? I change all the questions."
- Commissioner Lenny T. Alba

Welcome. The season has final arrived at it's penultimate point - week 1 of the 2019 TSL Playoffs. Be lying if I said it wasn't a bumpy road to get here. While Topper seems to be in pretty decent spirits relative to the league - I'm in complete burn out mode. Which means I'm also surly and crabby (hey, at least I'm self-aware!). Luckily, I watched El Camino on Netflix Sunday and wound up happily satisfied with the "Breaking Bad" epilogue, as I needed something extremely well-written to digest. So hopefully, you guys keep the shenanigans to a minimum this week leading up to our first round of playoffs. 

Yeah - I ain't banking on that, either. 

Let's go the other way this week. Let's try to look at something positive...you guys know Nick Wendt? Sure you do. He's the really good guy who has been playing in our league for eons. Usually at the D1 level. Good athlete, megawatt smile, good attitude...looks like Johnny Manziel (but without the rich, privileged jackhole aura). Plays on Tight Ends In Motion. Well, our buddy Nick is having a STAG! What are the details, you're wondering? Glad you asked:

October 18th from 7pm-11pm at the Main & Transit Fire Hall in Clarence. 
All you can eat/drink for 4 hours!
Multiple auctions, 50/50, Blackjack
Cost is $30 a ticket
PayPal - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Venmo - @wendt22
Or you can buy a ticket at the door

Looking for a fun time this Friday? I just gave it to you! Wish the man off in style, and have yourself a good time.

I gotta shout out my team A&A for gutting out a tough win over Team Topper this week. We were up 26-12 and driving for what might've been a spirit-breaking final TD of the 1st half when it happened - Matty threw me a pass, and it tipped off my hands into the hands of Drew Colosimo. 100% my fault, they score a women's TD to bring the score to 26-20. The come out with the ball - score to take a 27-20 lead. 15 point swing, all on me. Luckily for me, my team rallied to win - but they never blamed me, never got down, and we just were confident in our ability to win. And we did. So I felt I needed to shout them out for riding with me. 

I'm gonna shout out Graves Bros. too for allowing me the pleasure of subbing with them. I helped them beat Blitzkrieg and we had a great time playing. Shout out to Steve, Alyssa, Gronk and the whole squad - but especially shout out to Kassiani, who has (in my 100% NOT humble opinion) the prettiest name in the entire league. How can I not shout THAT name out? Seriously one of the dopest names I've ever heard in the history of our league. And she's pretty fast too - I'm already thinking she needs to be on a ladies team (hint, hint)...

I'm gonna leave the playoff analysis to the "pros" (read: the other articles) as that stuff ain't necessarily my area of expertise. But I WILL say this - I do have a list of upset specials that could happen this week. I'm not saying they WILL happen - all I'm saying is, if a lower seeded team is gonna win, here's where I see it happening. I've always called this first playoff Saturday Upset Saturday - cuz inevitably, some team always shocks us with a loss when they "weren't supposed to lose"...

(I'm gonna choose one game for every time slot)

Bullet Club over Slytherin That End Zone
End Game over Jabronies
Vaspian over Frodo Swaggins
(too much LDE for Frodo)
Hope 'N' Ruin over Practice Squad
BiPolar Express over Graves Bros.
(you can never count out a ladies team)
Come From Behind over Hung Buffalo

Again - not saying any of these will definitely happen. But they seem the likeliest of the bunch. Of course - watch them all win and BIGGER upsets occur. SMH...

So...I offered up free drinks and food on me all day if anyone could accurately guess my F, M, K in the league. I gave the hint that all 3 women had the same type of hair color. Damn if two of you didn't guess 2 out of 3 right! Now, I KNEW the league could all guess the "kill", which would then tell the guesser(s) the hair color in question. But guessing the other one that the 2 guys did astounded me. Wow. Was sure you guys would go for the banana in the tailpipe. Guess at least 2 guys are more perceptive than I thought - although 1 of the 2 would notice before any other human being on Earth, let alone in the league. It's all about how cool I am with some folks and in what I regard I hold 'em. 

Didn't get all 3, though. I might've fainted if someone guessed all 3. That would literally mean you're psychic or have a bug in my brain. 

C'mon...say it to yourself. Out loud. Kass-i-an-i. That is one beautiful sounding name. I've never met a single human being with that name before in life - her parents must be poets or deeply entrenched in Greek and/or Roman history.
KassianiHow effin' beautiful is THAT name?? 

I laid out the rules on subs for you guys last week. Captains got an email and everything. With that said - over/under on people not having read it and having a hissy fit when we tell them they can't have subs because THEY chose to plan poorly for THEIR team? I say 4 teams. 

And please don't forget - get caught with an illegal player, your team WILL suffer a forfeit loss. If you don't have enough players - just play short. Teams have actually won playing 5 on 6 before, and have even maintained closeness in a game 4 on 6. Don't ask me how - but it's happened. 

I need to take the time out to thank a bunch of people who have helped out and been an integral part of our league this session. Since I have my own article, I can do that. 

First off - it may go without saying, but Topper. It's his league, and he takes all the risks, sucks up all the headache, eats the bill, etc. And he does it out of obligation for you guys to have a good league to play in. There's not enough "thanks" that people can really give him in my opinion. And it's not been easy. Thanks, Topper - I know what you do and the arduous nature of the business to keep this thing running smoothly. 

(Special shout out to Linda as well)

Our hosts, The Angry Buffalo at The Rose Garden. I was mucho pissed at the end of last session, but fair is fair - and they've been very good this session overall. Thank you to Scott, Nikki and the entire staff. I DO miss seeing Beth, though - and Deanna. #teamdeanna

Joe K and Val. Invaluable in helping out each and every week, and being the backbone that Topper and I need to support the league, the organizing, and so many things it would take too long to list. Thank y'all.

Now, forgive me - this is no particular order...

Molly McDermid, Leslie Cook, DJ Jim Connors and 5 Star Productions, Joey & Jilly Batts, Emily Curry, Coach Jay, Jeff Krol, Todd Nixon, Mike Salvati, Emily Schilling, The Paganos, Matty Ice, Travis Cleavanger, Justin "Marshall Law" Garbacz, Mikey W., Mark Buscaglia, Joe Zogoria, Award-Winning Tommy Hughes, Pain-In-The-Culo Tommy Hughes, Chris Cole, Mike Boccio, Cheryl Julicher, pretty much the entirety of Public Enemy, Reuben Owens, Dave Baker, Kyle Conniff, Ricky Austin, Jason German, Billy Gunn, Matt Keita, Blase LaDuca, B, Karl Callahan, Andy Fagan, Tim Dove, Dean Thompson, Marissa Thompson and the whole Thompson Crew, Mike Rawdin, Garrett Beesing, Zach Newberry, Brian Ferger, Brent McKenzie, Gordon Kus, Darryl (Cobblestone), Tim Zielinski, Kelly Liddle, Eric Stegmier, the whole Keller Family, Liz Newberry, The Clarke Sisters, Dave Walter, Glenn & Chelsie Bird, Bobby McConnell, Eric Kleckler, Alex Buchis, Mike Rogowski, Matt Newman, Paul Nieman, Jeremy Burr, Pete Nguyen, Cory Turner, J.T., Brian Corbett, Mohammed Saleh, Dave Wilbern, Steve Kensy, Amanda Werth, Val Testa, The Peters Twins, Maggie LaMantia, Lindsay Stoddard, TMA, Nick & Tammy Buczek, Goose and almost every participant in the TSL universe on and off the field. 

If I didn't mention your name, please charge it to unintentional oversight and forgetfulness and not any type of personal slight or dig. I think you guys get the point - I'm grateful and appreciative. Even though some of you drive me up the wall at times. 

Saturday should be fun. The way our playoffs are set up, MOST of the league makes it. Even if your team didn't make it, I encourage you all to stop by, watch the games, and have some food and drinks. We've only got 2 official weeks left of football, so whether you've been eliminated, GET eliminated or you carry the journey on towards a title - hang out, have fun, and enjoy it. This won't be here forever. But as long as it's here - we might as well shine together. 

And lastly - thanks for everyone who offered up kind, supportive sentiments. I wasn't remotely fishing for that in a recent article, but I appreciate warm words and feelings nonetheless. I'll see most of you Saturday - I'll be in the cut.



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