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The Rant After Week 2

Category: The Rant
Created: Tuesday, 03 September 2019 12:55
Published: Tuesday, 03 September 2019 12:55
Written by Patrick McGovern
Hits: 2588

 

What's up, y'all. 

Many times, I write this thing and it tends to be both entertaining and funny for the readers. I'm not trying to do that, it's just the way I talk and where the direction of my "rants" go. But every now and then, I've gotta be grown up Papa Bear Rameer and present a decidedly UN-fun rant dealing with the seriousness of league issues. I don't like those rants, but they're necessary. 

THIS is one of those rants. I'd like the entire league to read and digest this. First up - REFFING.

Please note I have heard and digested the complaints of teams and players about ref issues this session. Myself, Topper, Joe, Val and the vets of our league take it seriously, and want you all to know I am addressing it and will continue to address it. I will do my part and do my best to make sure our refs do their part. and your feedback is welcome - you can address me at any point to discuss the refs. I don't want the refs to diminish your fun and your experiences in our league, and I've already been talking to them about concerns, complaints and issues. 

THAT SAID...

The same way I'm addressing things bluntly with my refs, I will address them bluntly with you guys. As a whole, you guys have gotten out of control. The "D1 is brutal" train of thought is proving to be a myth, as in reality D1 as a whole has been neutered in terms of unruly behavior and I see way more crap in lower divisions towards our refs than ever. In EVERY division. Your $20 should pay for stable reffing and attention and focus, agreed. But it does NOT give you license to talk reckless and crazy to grown a$$ human beings because you don't like or agree with judgment calls. Y'all have increasingly been talking out the side of your necks to these guys, and acting like petulant children more and more frequently.

No more. 

Starting this week, refs will be encouraged to flag you guys for crazy talk. You're allowed to disagree, you're allowed to ask questions, question a call, challenge, etc. You're allowed to emote. You're not allowed to mock, tell refs they suck, f bomb them, etc. I have been mild mannered on both sides of this - in addressing the refs and addressing the teams. I'm no longer being mild mannered. Both sides will be handled far more seriously going forward. But as for you guys in the league?

I'm telling my refs to let me know which teams and players are problematic. I'm telling them to flag you more for abusive language, taunting, mocking, etc. I'm telling them to toss you for plays, series, halves or even games if they warrant it. And I'm putting suspensions on the table for habitual line-steppers. 

Any person who has gone too far will get a discussion with me prior to suspension (or with Topper, or with Joe, or with Val, Coach Jay, Garbacz, etc.). If, after we've told you our concerns and we find you to be acting a fool again - yes, you may be suspended. There are too many people who don't act a fool to allow the small number of y'all to continue to grow. I feel like y'all see some people and teams do it, and you feel emboldened to do it yourselves. Nah - no more. Back in the day, we had rivalries with each other, not the refs. You guys take this ish too far. 

I realized this past Saturday that I was actually keeping up with double-digit teams requesting not to have certain refs on their games? HUH? Where they do that at? NO MORE. You will get the refs you get. If there is an issue, you can let me know and I will address it. But no more moving refs around cuz you guys have developed a "thing" for some ref cuz you didn't like his/her calls. There are some exceptions I will uphold, but most of you will see refs you don't like at some point. And that's okay - you don't have to like them all. They're not all your friends. But Topper and I have enough to worry about switching schedules around for y'all. Now I gotta look at my schedules and keep refs away from a dozen or so of you the whole season??

Not bloody likely. Again, a few personal exceptions will remain. But that ref that called a pass interference you don't agree with? You're gonna see him/her again. You know why? Because I MYSELF see that same ref again even if they screwed me over. Topper can lay claim to having a playoff game stolen from him due to a bad call/non-call. Same with me, same with Lenny (Lenny may have had the biggest screw job on his team in league history). None of us ever said "that guy can't ref my team's games any more". If we sucked it up - you guys can too. 

Here's a secret - how you come across can effect your relationships with refs. They're human, you know. They know that some of you can't wait to be jerks to them cuz you hold a grudge from 4 months ago. you know which refs think I hold grudges against them? NONE of them. Cuz I let that ish go. I can claim that Garbacz, Travis, JZ, Billy, B, Tim Dove, Mark Buscaglia, Ricky and Reuben (off the top of my head) have made calls over the years that have cost my teams games. Now go ask all of those refs which of them thinks I harbor a grudge or act funny with them the next time they ref my games. They will all say they don't see any grudges from me. Cuz I don't hold any. 

They're human. Act like it. 

Now - Part II. SUBSTITUTIONS. 

Please note that in our rule book it lays out the parameters for using subs, and in particular - women subs. Please look this over. Very specifically, it states at the end of rule #5:

PLEASE BE ADVISED: If a woman is caught breaking this rule:

1. The team she illegally played for will get an automatic forfeit for the game played.

2. The woman who committed said rule violation will be suspended for (3) additional games for her rostered team.

3. The captain of the team that used the illegal female player will be suspended for (3) additional games. This penalty will also be enforced into the playoffs if necessary or carry over into the next session. Suspensions carry over into all Breakfast Club and/or gender games as well.

 

Wow, that seems like an insanely harsh penalty, doesn't it? IT IS. It's MEANT TO BE. To date, we have never enforced this rule. But 2 weeks in, and some of you - especially veteran teams - think it's a game, and you'll just show up and grab Woman A cuz you want to. You don't ask Joe, you don't ask Topper, and you don't ask me (you really SHOULD ask me, especially). Funny thing is - all 3 people mentioned  tend to try to be accommodating within reason. A bunch of you can say I've made exceptions for you. 

So I have no tolerance for finding random women playing last second. 

We have a JUMBO Universal Sub List for you to access. You have me walking around almost all day who you can talk to. Same with Topper and Joe (and please don't try the "skip Rameer and talk to Topper cuz I think I can persuade him easier" trick - all that does is make me walk over in the middle of your game and pull the player in question and REALLY screw you over). You have the ability to request any woman in your division or lower with a formal request prior to Saturday, and you can do this 4 times in the regular season. There's no reason for this tomfoolery.

Going forward - I'm enforcing this rule. You get caught skirting the sub rules, you get the punishment that has been on the books for several seasons now. It is not our responsibility to cover your team because your ladies overslept, got caught in traffic, caught a flat, ditched you, had to work, etc. We TRY to help you out, but sometimes you may have to unfortunately play short-handed. All We Do Is Qwinn played a championship and lost because of this - but at least they played the right way. Y'all will too - and if you don't, you'll receive multi-game suspensions. And yes, the woman subbing will too. Again - we've caught teams violating this rule occasionally and never enforced the rule. but when I have a BUNCH of teams trying to skirt it in the first 2 weeks and they're NOT mostly new teams that didn't know better?

Yeah. time to simply follow the rules as written. 

Lastly - back to our refs. They are not cashiers, and they are not credit unions or banks you can give late payments to. You know prior to every game that the ref fee is $20. Show up to your games with the payment, and with the correct amount (20 one dollar bills, 10 two dollar bills, 4 five dollar bills, 2 ten dollar bills or 1 twenty dollar bill will suffice). I am instructing my refs to no longer wait for you to find the money, or hold off on getting payment because YOU don't have change. Refs don't come to the fields with change for your $50 or $100 dollar bills. It's beginning to get ridiculous, so if you choose to ignore this - the refs will start the clock on time, and your clock will just run until you can come up with the money. Take too long (10 minutes, say?) - you risk forfeit of the game due to your own irresponsibility. 

I'm sorry I didn't spend any time talking about the actually wonderfully fun Saturday that just passed, or the great weather, the return of 5 Star Productions, food specials, and great games. But all this stuff needed to be addressed, and I'm de facto sergeant-at-arms around these parts. I'm also not known to be a bluffer. So please don't find out if everything I've written here is an "empty threat" - you won't like how things turn out. 

I hope you have a good week, and I look forward to seeing most of you Saturday. Please try to remember to have FUN and not be over-serious gym class all-stars. If you need help finding out how to do this - Matty Ice is back, there are 3 majority-ladies teams that have mastered this, and Vaspian plays every week as well. Take cues from all of them. 

Until then - I'll be in the cut. 

 

- Rameer AKA THE BUILD

The Rant: Week 2

Category: The Rant
Created: Tuesday, 27 August 2019 12:45
Published: Tuesday, 27 August 2019 12:45
Written by Patrick McGovern
Hits: 2315

 

The Rant: Week 2

 

 

What's good, y'all. 

Week 1 turned out to be really good. Although there were a number of teams and players missing (what's that about? y'all really had ish planned for August 24th? HUH??), the day went smoothly. Good weather, good vibes, and a great time was had by all. Well - except for maybe your defending champions
Joey Batts and Jeremy Burr, who got into with one of our refs. I suspect taking their D1 lumps didn't help, and emotions boiled over. All is over and done, as the day has passed and both men are apologetic. Jeremy has already agreed to ref as penance as well. It's all good - The JB's were fired up for the start of the season. I get it.

I'll leave
The Sentinel to recap the games, as he/she/they do it best methinks. But there's one major thing I need to address for everyone - and that's how the sublist works. Listen - stop asking Topper and I to be added. We're not adding anyone to it outside of who we had already agreed to. The concept of the sublist is to provide quick options for teams in a bind for players. It is NOT a free-for-all for everyone who wants to play a ton of games to do so. No knock on other leagues, but we're not trying to have people playing the same people in every division weekly. I don't want to see a poor D6 team have to try to figure out how to shut down Jeremy Burr when teams can't even shut him down in the top divisions. 

I think we've been pretty fair in expanding it in recent times, and there are competitive options on the list for men, women and QBs. But let me be clear - it is not our job to save your bacon because you didn't plan well or make a roster that accounts for absences. If you show up and your players aren't there, we're not feeding you players if the sublist people can't play or aren't around. Likewise, I know it probably looks awesome to see player a play 2-3 games as a sub, and you want some of that action. We get it - that's why we made Breakfast Club. We TRIED to make #dinnercrowd club, but no one signed up. And, in the old days, teams and players would literally just decide to scrimmage or play each other later in the day for fun. Or when they saw a field not being used. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - if you challenge a team and they accept, I will try to find refs to handle your game on Saturday if we can agree to a field and time. 

Sublist is full. It's not about favorites, cuz there are a bunch of my favorite people NOT on the sublist who I've told no. The sublist isn't intended for anything more than providing non-game changing options if a team is short of a player. Remember, you can request any ladies you like 4 times a session; after that you have to use the sublist. If you're missing guys regularly, though? Sounds to me like you constructed your roster poorly and it was never our job to cover your arses. But the "can I be on the sublist??" answer is universally NO. We're not adding anyone else to it this session - I have a final version coming out with some names I forgot to put on in week 1, but that's it. 

If you're a guy and you want to play a little more, hang out and play a pickup game with some people on an unused field. which requires you to be social, which we like. The kicker is, just cuz you're on the sublist doesn't mean you'll get picked. Some people are on the list and literally never get picked, and others do cuz...wait for it...THEY'RE SOCIAL. So people know who they are, and feel comfortable asking them...

Now. Let me just say.
We Back may have gotten the brakes beat off them (really, how many times am I going to watch some foolish team place some average guy on Pete and then look in amazement when Pete does PETE things??) by Hofbrauhaus Buffalo (who I will henceforth refer to as Team Topper), but they win the war by having a quarterback who looks like an older, rounder version of Billy from "Stranger Things". I don't know his birth name, but from here on out, that dude's name Is Stranger Things! Ha ha - Matty Ice and other may get the pub, but they've never taken the field looking like an attitude-era WWE wrestler! Rock on, ST!

Speaking of Matty - yes, the rumors are true. I'm playing with A&A this session. No dramatic reason or falling out - it literally cam down to Jason German and I making a quiet agreement seasons ago to one day play with Matty, and Matty happening to ask us at the end of last session with no knowledge of that. We just wanted to play together again, have fun, and join some of our old teammates. That's it. Sorry if you thought it was something juicier. .It ain't. I still love TMA and you'll see me cheering them on regularly - hell, even subbing if they're short of players and want me to.  

Rayna (spelling?) is on my radar. For years, I've said Jamy Stammel has the best hair in the league - but Rayna may be stealing her thunder with the silver locks. Plus, she's really cool, too. 

Shout out to the new teams. Y'all really seemed to have a good time, and that makes me smile. Hope you have fun playing and getting to know our league! Welcome to the family. 

Please don't question me any more on when we move teams up. All that crying at the beginning of the day about Peachy Platoon moving up - and then they go out and basically run a clinic on why we moved them up. Lolz - Peachy gonna Peach. But I'm throwing this out there NOW - just cuz All We Do Is Qwinn and Peachy are in different divisions doesn't mean they can't play each other. If they want the matchup, I'll set it up - we'll choose a day and time, and it just want count in the standings. But it will count in terms of bragging rights!!!

DILFs as the "Dad Bod Squad"? Oh - y;all KNOW that name is sticking, right? ROTFL...hey, at least they brought Johhny Dio out to play. It was really good to see him slinging the rock again. 

Remember Shari? Damned shame so many people read that and don't even know who that is. SMH - she needs to make a comeback. Like - yesterday. 


We've got a number of social events popping up spontaneously this session, and I for one think the best place to know about it would be on the Telegram app! Y'all can also just tell me to put it in my article and I'll let the league know that way too - I just like Telegram...

You should probably give me song requests going forward. I'm gonna try to program songs on Topper's speaker weekly to play at the fields. Hint - there's a strong chance I won't be uploading any boy band garbage. Nah!! Oh - and people may actually avoid hearing the same 20 old songs weekly as if they're current chart toppers (there's a LOT of good classics to play besides the same stuff that a handful people seem to want to hear non-stop)...

There were too many league stalwarts missing from week 1 for me to name, so outside of my obligatory mention of not seeing The Paganos - I'll stay away from listing people I missed this past Saturday. I will say - Kat & Emily Peters are the most fun twins in the league. 

(Hint for people who haven't caught on - they're not actually twins)

Hey. Week 3 - let's all go have some tacos after the games are done. Deal? I think it'd be awesome. Let's organize around that idea...

Alright. That's all I got to offer for the first article. Be happy - I wasn't even gonna write this thing this session. I think this will be my swan song writing this session, so let's see who wants to step up to take my place next year. I'm sure there's someone out there who can bring something new and exciting in terms of writing. Holla at me - I'm all ears on pitches...

Let's have a great Fall session, folks. Word to Lenny Alba

 

- Rameer AKA THE BUILD

THE RANT: CHAMPIONSHIP SATURDAY EDITION

Category: The Rant
Created: Tuesday, 25 June 2019 13:14
Published: Tuesday, 25 June 2019 13:14
Written by Patrick McGovern
Hits: 2696

 

 

THE RANT: CHAMPIONSHIP SATURDAY EDITION

 

"I ain't TRYING to tell you sh**. I'll tell YO MAMA you ain't sh**!!!" - Bishop, Juice

"If there wasn't no fight, there wasn't no weekend." - O.J. Simpson

"You come at the king, you best not miss." - Omar, "The Wire"


An entire season has led us here to this point - Championship Saturday. The biggest moment in WNY co-ed sports, and it goes down twice a year (once in Spring, once in Fall). We've gotten this far, and we look to have some really great matchups. This is gonna be a really cool Saturday. Can't wait!

What to talk about, what to discuss? Hmm...well, The Rant really doesn't follow any format. I'm not going to recap all the games,
The Sentinel does that. Not gonna preview all the game matchups for Saturday, that's The Godfather's bag. I think I'm just gonna do my regular bullet point thing, and whomever doesn't like it can cry in their Bud Lights for all I care. 

- My ideal championship scenarios are Public Enemy winning it all, Peachy Platoon vs. All We Do Is Qwinn for the title, and Matty's Angels vs. Cunning Stunts for all the marbles. The last 2 scenarios I have no favorite as to who I'd want to win. I'd also like to see Jeremy Burr win a title cuz we need a good villain story to end the session - and whether most of you will admit it or not, y'all would cry in the car if Jeremy won it all. And your tears would be delicious...

- Never conceived a scenario where End Game could lose in the first week of playoffs, but here we are. Contrary to what some people would presume, I've got nothing remotely bad to say about them. Upsets happen. They lost, and they were pretty classy afterwards in an end of the season email to Topper. I look forward to seeing you guys in the Fall, End Game - or maybe even this week to check out the games.

That's another thing - whether your team is in it or not, you should still come by and check out the games this Saturday. Weather will be nice, and you can chill and enjoy games. It's the last Saturday of TSL football for at least a month; come out and enjoy the games! Hell, - scout teams and grab new players for your own while you're at it!!

- It's VERY important that I acknowledge this - Katie Swan (I think that's her name, don't shoot me) from 5 Star Generals and Jackee from Uncle Rico's are the absolute best women in the league that no one talks about. They're both top tier talent. I'm not letting them slide under the radar ever again. Neither woman toots her own horn, but just watch them. They're both game changers. And they need to be on one of the ladies teams next session. ASAP. 

- You guys were really good this past Saturday, and the day went smoothly. PROPS TO YOU GUYS! That said - I'm still walking around Saturday. I will still toss anyone out who acts out of pocket. I will not be the cause of your team to lose, YOU will if you cross any lines. Keep that in mind. I don't want to do it. But I absolutely will. 

- In the event that it's needed, I will add myself as a 3rd ref for championship games should it warrant that. But don't plan on seeing me do it. The ONLY game I currently will be a 3rd ref for is the C1 championship, as the top division always gets a 3rd ref for it's title game. The other games? Silent observer. Well, maybe not silent. But spectator. I'm not about undermining my refs. 

- I know everyone will be talking about Colorado Mike from here to eternity after the kid lied about his college ranking (being on the Colorado Buffaloes is very different than trying out for them) and then face planted TWICE last week trying to show off his "killer speed" - but before you guys make him a "thing" and then get the rest of the league buying into it unsure of the joke? Let me help the innocent bystanders out - it is indeed a joke. Dude is clown shoes. Y'all probably think I'm mean for saying that. Yeah, mean - but honest.

- Uncle Rico's took a lot of heat when they lost to No Punt Intended earlier this season, but they won when it matters. And what I like best that only I know? Before the game, I walked past QB Tim Zielinski who smiled and said very quietly to me "I won't let you down today." He wasn't being cocky, and he said it so low that only I could hear it - but it was a confident proclamation. I LIKE THAT. Then he went out and backed it up. Bravo Tim and Uncle Rico's - that's playoff intensity. Although their win does knock out two of my favorite football folks - Kyle and Elena...

- Things I would've bet a year's paycheck that Id' never in the entirety of my life hear in the Topper Sports League - any white dude referencing Big L to me unprompted and completely out of the blue. 99% of y'all just read that and still don't know who or what Big L is. Which is why I'm flabbergasted I heard it Saturday from a player. BRA-VO. 


- Blind item #1: if you're going to try to make a move on a romantic target, sending a one word text like "hi" or "hey" is lame as f**k. Determining the depth of the meaning based on the response or lack of response is even lamer. Some of y'all really show us older cats y'all have no idea how to functionally communicate with each other. Holy crap. 

- Tight Ends In Motion's best chance to win is with Seth Molisani at QB. Period. 

- The Slytherin That End Zone/Morning Wood double-OT thriller was an instant classic. Props to Newman going for the kill shot firing it in to Kelsey for the win. That took onions! 

 

- DO NOT try to be slick and bring a ringer in to play for you this week. You'd better use players who are on your roster and who have waivers on file prior to this month. I've already done TWO roster checks on teams last week. They weren't found to be in the wrong - but if you think that ish where you sneak someone in is gonna fly like some of y'all tried during the regular season (again, you really think it went unnoticed, and that's humorous) - try me. Your game will be voided AND you'll get suspended for the next season. 

- Blind item #2: Stop crying to me about people you're attracted to but scared to approach. You're in the easiest social fish bowl experience you could ever be in - talking about how swell that man or woman is but never saying a word to them? That's some ish that should've died with The Little Rascals. Scratch that - even Alfalfa and Spanky would go cap to a girl...

- Topper is thinking of lifting the dog rule. Under certain conditions - if you bring a dog, it must be held by someone at all times and monitored, and it cannot be on the sidelines next to other dogs or children. you can have the dog(s) away of the far field not being used where you can watch from there. Those are his conditions. No exceptions. Also - the far field near the woods? If we run out of parking in the lot, park right by those woods on that field since it won't be being used. DO NOT PARK YOUR CARS OVER BY FIELD #5. I WILL TELL YOU TO MOVE THEM THIS WEEK. 

- If Emily Schilling's squad wins the Breakfast Club Championship...do I then permanently dub her Queen Em going forward, thus grabbing the title from the original Queen Em (Ms. Curry) for good? Oh, the dilemma!!

- Shout out to everyone who thinks my faded single tattoo that I got in 1993 is new. Y'all funny. 

- Speaker owners - I have Spotify Premium as well as Sirius/XM. Just an FYI, cuz commercials suck. 

- I tried to get a league legend to show up at the fields this Saturday, but they have a previous engagement. Think I'll keep them in my back pocket to trot out for the Fall, though. 

- If any teams need QBs for next season - both B and Ricky are currently reffing. And both of them have been to title games - I guarantees they're better than any options you've been suffering through...

- We're at that point of the session where everyone has "ideas" about rule changes and revisions. Then after the session is done, I'll ask people to email us - and then we'll get 2 emails at max. Save your suggestions, write 'em down, and send them to us in August, people. 

- Wine tourney. Early August. Y'all better not front - sign up at the first opportunity! No other league has any type of tournament like this. 

- I was really glad Topper dug up the first podcast we ever did. Now maybe some of you can stop telling me who was on it - like I somehow don't know that Topper, Lenny and myself started it in his basement. JUST US THREE. 

- Speaking of Lenny - you guys have done a phenomenal job honoring him and keeping his spirit strong throughout our league all Spring (and now Summer). Kudos. 

- Anyone interested in reffing for next session, make sure to reach out to me and Topper this Summer. I can always use more refs, and it's not hard money to make, honestly. All of the people who were new and reffed this session actually did a really good job...

- When you win Saturday, no matter how happy you are, now matter how special that victory tastes, never forget - I ain't doin' no shots with you. 

- We should have at least 2-3 unofficial league get-togethers during the month of July. I'm leaving it to you folks to organize these and let us know. Make it happen!

That's about all I got to say. I WILL say that this isn't the last article from me for the session - normally, the articles end after the final Saturday. But I WILL be writing an epilogue article, so check it out next week.

See y'all Saturday - as always, I'll be in the cut...

 

 

- Rameer AKA :The Build"

THE RANT: SPRING 2019 WRAP-UP

Category: The Rant
Created: Tuesday, 02 July 2019 14:19
Published: Tuesday, 02 July 2019 14:19
Written by Patrick McGovern
Hits: 2711

 

THE RANT: SPRING 2019 WRAP-UP

 

"(People) been counting me out

I'm counting my bullets

I'm loading my clips

I'm writing down names

I'm making a list

I'm checking it twice and I'm getting 'em hit

The real ones been dying

The fake ones is lit

The game is off balance

I'm back on my sh**

The Bentley is dirty

My sneakers is dirty

But that's how I like it

You all on my d**k..." - J.Cole, "Middle Child"

 

"You know, they don't realize...we don't HAVE to do this." - Patrick McGovern

"Sake-sake, baby!!!" - Joseph Zogoria 

 

Here we are. We've gotten through another session, yet it was a session unlike any other - the first session without our first and ONLY commissioner, Lenny T. Alba. While it's not my intent to belabor the point every week, it's just truth that this was hard on a number of levels. Functionally, emotionally, psychologically, etc. - you name it, I felt his absence literally all the time. From minor to major things. I will not-so-humbly say I think Topper and all of us did a very good job of running the league in his absence, but I'll also say that even after the session is done - it weighs on me that we even had to. 

It was no hyperbole that for me personally, the first half of the session wasn't too much fun. The second half was much better, so I thank most of you for doing your part in making it that way. Normally by the end of a session, Lenny and I are various levels of burnt out and probably anywhere from a smidge to A TON annoyed with each other. This session - I'm tired. But it pains me to not talk to him about the session and plans for the new one. 

I know. You didn't click this to be depressed. Let me move it along a bit...

I'll note that only TWO top seeds won titles this session -
Gryffindor (the villains prevail!) and Schilling 'Em Softly in Breakfast Club (anyone still scoffing at me from way back when I said Emily S. drafted a solid team? Didn't think so). While pretty much every team I was personally cheering for lost except for one (again, villainy wins!), I think it's actually super healthy for our league that the teams that were "supposed" to win didn't and others stepped up. That means people stepped up to the plate and got it done. That means we have some pretty good balance in our league, and parity. That means for all the crying and whining a bunch of you guys did, TOPPER AND I GOT IT RIGHT SHAPING THE DIVISIONS. And since none of you will admit that or give us credit, I will because - well, I have my own article. That's how it works - I can do that. 

I love that new "stars" emerged - in every division, players and teams that weren't talked about or recognized before were. I love that you guys, for the most part, were really cool throughout the session and very helping and accommodating to others. Joe K always mentions TSL family, and it really showed this past session. I love how many of you helped out any time Topper, myself, or anyone else asked or needed it. Lenny would've been proud at the little and big things you guys did. And you deserve credit and recognition. 

Y'know - the quote from Topper up above? It's 100% true and correct. Topper never had to do this, and never HAS to. He and Lenny did it as a labor of a love, and that always needs to be kept in mind and recognized. But with that said - do you know what my response to him was when he said that? I'm paraphrasing myself, but pretty much this:

"The majority of our league appreciates what we do and have been more vocal and grateful than I've ever seen them. Honestly, the jerks and idiots make up about 5-10% at max. It's just that they're vocal and draw attention cuz...they're jerks. But 90-95% of our league gets it, and they've been really going out of their way to show it and say so. So let's not let the a$$holes overshadow things."

And Topper agreed. 

I'm not
The Sentinel so I'm not going to recap and break down any games. But I want to give credit to all the teams who won, cuz every one of them TOOK their championship. they went after it and GOT it. Special props to Marketing Mayors and Cunning Stunts, who most just assumed had a best chance of keeping it close, not actually winning. As I was the 3rd ref on the PE/MM game - you know how many people did a double take or said "WHAT?!?" when I told them MM was winning? Yes, the Disney ending was PE winning it for The Gipper. but reality is a cold mistress, and fairy tale endings are never guaranteed. That's why they play the games. As for the stunts - they were passionate. They WANTED that victory. Joey Batts told me that's the first time the Stunts have ever beaten Matty's Angels. Hell of a time to turn it on, huh? I'm proud of them. Brandy Clarke has never been more passionate in any game I've seen her in. 

And Amanda Werth just made the TSL Hall of Fame with her catch THROUGH Lindsay Stoddard. She literally wrapped her arms around her like she was hugging her and maintained the catch as Lindsay fell on her. I've literally only seen that catch in a high level college football game. Amanda - welcome to the "all-time greats" discussion...

Coach Jay has always been in the all-time greats for nice guys - but what he did with turning pAssless Chaps season around was straight remarkable. After seeing what he did with them - if I am ANY team in ANY division in the league that has struggled to get over the hump? I'm hiring Coach Jay yesterday.

Time for a few end-of-session bullet points: 

- (Ahem) I was informed it's Katie SWANSON, not Katie "Swan" like I wrote last week. Call people by their names then, guys! Lolz...

- So...TALIA. Umm...yeah. I thought I had never seen her before, and was introduced to her Saturday...and then I was told some history and realized I had indeed met her before and somehow lost track of her in my own league? Ah, old age. But she's a lot of fun. 

- Joe Z's birthday hibachi bash was a lot of fun. I'm very honored to have been a part of it. It was just a bit...well, not my place to say. All that matters is it was fun. although it's the first time I've ever in the entirety of my life found out that edible gummy dildos on a stick exist. I'll let you guys ponder that, with the clarification that yours truly had NO INTERACTION WITH THIS ITEM WHATSOEVER. 

- For all and anyone who ever cries about who reffed where, what calls were made, etc. - let me clarify something for you. Every week, I personally scramble to get enough manpower to ref your games. Every week, it's not easy. If YOU want to run your yap about reffing, you're more than welcome to hit the streets and find me a dozen men and women you think are phenomenal who will be there consistently. I appreciate the job our refs do, I appreciate their willingness to spend their Saturdays putting up with you guys, and I appreciate the patience they exude to when it comes to dealing with you guys. The refs take it seriously and do a wonderful job, and anyone who just shows up on Saturday and runs their mouth about the refs holds no water with me. A huge thank you to every man and woman who helped ref this session, and to all of you who reffed SO MANY TIMES when you didn't want to. Most of you don't know/understand our refs put off their own plans many times just to ref the games. Which is why I take it personally when I find out you're acting like a$$es towards them - some of you don't get it. Thankfully, many do. 

- The wine tournament is August 3rd. Get your bid in NOW - we have VERY FEW slots left. Every team's captain should have the email for it - you can also check the Telegram app and/or reach out to Topper for details. It's a phenomenal day of fun. 

- Blind item: Let's just say after the events of Saturday late in the day at the bar - planned after-game get-togethers for drinks is definitely on the table going forward. No more to be said. 

- Please understand that Topper and I take no joy in making any disciplinary decisions or taking actions. But me? I'LL DO IT. No problem. Please don't try to be slick with player personnel next session. you're better off coming to talk to me and asking rather than Topper or I catching you. Cuz we're not going to go light. 

- That said, I'd like all teams who played to return. You're all welcome, absolutely. In fact, I'd like MORE teams in the Fall. Let your friends and family know. 

I'd like to thank everyone who took part in our league and did things the right way. In particular, I'd like to thank TOPPER for continuing to run this league and put it out there for us to enjoy. Never take it for granted, people. It's hard work, and he does it out of love. I'd like to thank Joe K and Val Bernal, who were more important to the league than most of you realize. And they helped any time in any capacity. Thank you to every human being who reffed. Thankless job, and I appreciate you guys and the fact that you really will bust your humps for Topper, myself and the league. 

At the risk of hurting feelings (NOT my intent), here's a short list of people who did things I feel warrants me mentioning their names (in no particular order):

Coach Jay, Emily Curry, Jeff Krol, Justin Garbacz, B, Billy Gunn, Matty Ice, Jason German, Karl Callahan, Matt Newman, Liz Newberry, Ricky Austin, Christopher Cole, Jeremy Burr, Brian Ferger, JJ (the ref), Cory Turner, Taylor Pagano, Mo Saleh, Dave Wilbern, Kyle Conniff, Mark Buscaglia, Joey Batts, Zach Newberry, Todd Nixon, Mike Salvati, BOTH Tommy Hughes', Travis Cleavanger, Joe Zogoria, Tim Dove, Thomas Marone, The Kellers, Paul Lovullo and the ladies of Come From Behind, Mai Nguyen, Axel & Katie Neff, Garrett Beesing, Steve Kensy, Austin Weber, TMA, The Buczeks, the staff and crew of The Angry Buffalo @ Rose Garden, literally everyone who reffed even one game this session, Val Testa, Cobblestone, Public Enemy, everyone who wrote any content for the website, Blase DaLuca and the majority of our great and wonderful league. 

As Topper has stated - we'll take some time off, and then regroup for the wine tournament, then ultimately the Fall session. Thank you for helping to keep the tradition going. We continue to be the best league in WNY in my not-ever-humble opinion on that matter, and it's because of you folks. We'll continue to try to tweak and improve things to keep it that way. Those of you who know how to reach me, don't be a stranger this summer. I hope to see you guys all soon, and I wish you the best of summers. 

Until next time - I'll be in the cut. 

 

- Rameer AKA "The Build"

THE RANT: PLAYOFFS, WEEK 1

Category: The Rant
Created: Tuesday, 18 June 2019 13:28
Published: Tuesday, 18 June 2019 13:28
Written by Patrick McGovern
Hits: 2596

 

 

THE RANT: PLAYOFFS, WEEK 1



"And here...we...GO!!!" - The Joker

Finally...the playoffs have come BACK to the Topper Sports League! We made it through a rough an arduous Spring session, impacted by the loss of our one and ONLY commish. Not gonna act like it was always easy and that I don't miss the big guy, cuz I really do every single week. Even the little things, like knowing I'd find him at the end of the bar having a sandwich in his "cool down" moments at some point. I thank all of you for keeping his memory alive and really showing respect to his name and memory. You guys made Lenny Alba Appreciation Day a really great event this past Saturday, and I respect those of y'all who show love weekly.

Now - I need to make a few things clear for our playoffs. This is not "cool" Rameer talking right now - this is end-of-the-season "Latifah's Had It Up to HERE" Rameer. The one that speaks about himself in 3rd person. You know...THE BUILD

First off - please read this section of our rule book, and know it WELL:

****PLAYOFF RULES******: Once playoffs start a team may only have (1) NON ROSTERED female

sub to play for them in a game. This rule is in place to keep teams from “stacking their lineups” with

better players than their “rostered players.”

Any team that is using a female sub for playoffs must send their request into TSL in writing for approval

no later than 24 hours before game day. TSL will promptly notify you via text, email or phone call if said

girl can be used. We will no longer let teams use ringer female players who did not make the playoffs or

lost in a playoff game to help make another team better. If you do not petition the TSL in writing you will

not be able to use your female sub in the playoffs. In the case of an injury you must get verbal

permission from TSL management the moment the injury occurs on the use of your female sub

selection. If a team is caught using an illegal female sub in the playoffs the captain of said team will be

suspended (3) games for the following season he/she plays.


In layman's terms? This essentially means you using a sub is approved on a case by case basis. Understand this, and understand it well - WE ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO HELP YOU PUT THE BEST TEAM ON THE FIELD TO HELP YOU WIN. I tell you all every season you should ideally have at least 4 women on your roster. I don't give a f**k that some of you can't work out playing time or that you choose women who have limited availability; that is YOUR fault. Come playoff time, we are not obligated to allow you to grab Amanda, or the Paganos, or the Katies, or the Emilys, or The Wonder Twins, etc. so you can compete because YOU didn't plan well. So if you try to grab a stud woman in the playoffs and get told no, eat it. Accept it. HOLD DAT. You were warned (in my Joe Pesci voice). Precedent suggests we have never doomed teams, and we've been flexible and fair. But please note - I've got no problem saying no. Especially for you teams who snuck subs in this season (oh, some of you are really dumb enough to think we didn't notice - silly rabbits). Topper and I will check out your request, confer, and tell you yes or no. Don't try to be slick. And don't think we won't make you play short-handed if you try to get squirrely - there are teams in this league that will tell you we've made them play short-handed before. This is going to be DOUBLY true come Championship Weekend. This is your warning - get your team in order NOW. And please don't pull the "we showed up and now we don't have enough women" last second tactic - let me save you the conversation. Topper or I will tell you to find someone off the USL at the last second. We will not let you choose Val, or Jess, or Molly Morgan, etc. because they're standing right there on the sideline. If no USL women are available or want to play? YOU WILL PLAY SHORT. 

You can put in a request the right way, but the last second "please, can we use the really good woman who is standing right here?" crap is getting torpedo'd. Test me if you want. Oh - and please stop the silly "can this guy play for us??" nonsense. Y'all already KNOW the answer. I really think y'all just be testing us to see if we're soft. Guy subs are on the USL. DASSIT

The other warning? PLEASE don't let me see you acting a fool in your game. 

You wanna pop off at the refs? You want to try to injure opposing players? You want to act like a belligerent idiot? I've already told the refs, so I'll tell you - I will walk right into the middle of your game, stop it, and kick your ass out. I will. Some of you know I'll walk into the middle of your game for no reason at all just for chuckles. Imagine if you're seriously acting out of pocket what I'll do. Don't make me do it to you, dunny - cuz I'll OVERDO it. 

This also reminds me - during your games, yes the ref(s) can ask me for clarification on a rule. But do not expect me to interfere with a call. Even if I disagree with a judgment call, I'm not interfering and overturning calls. Lenny and I decided to step away from that long ago. This means I can be screwed in a game just like you. Topper HAS been screwed in games in the past, and I'm sure he'll tell you about it (buy him a drink). The human element is part of our league, and refs aren't perfect. I don't want anyone to get screwed by any calls, and the majority of the time that doesn't happen. But if (for example) a ref calls a play out of bounds and I saw it in bounds from where I was standing? Unless I'm reffing that game, don't look to me to overrule him/her. I would only do that in the extreme case of a rule being absolutely wrong, and even then - I would just tell the ref the rule or show him/her so they can make the right call. 

And lastly, a warning from the bar that I'm passing along - anyone caught drinking alcohol that isn't served on the grounds will be banned from the bar and the restaurant, and they've said they may go as far as banning you from the premises altogether. People - don't be that dumb. If you get banned, please believe - that's out of my hands. It will be above me. We've got 2 weeks left - be cool.

Now. I don't like to make my rants all "angry" and tense. I just had to make sure we were crystal clear on this ish. Let's get to some lighter bullet points...

- Ice cream all day is probably my favorite thing that we've done in this league as a supplement to the games. Every time we've done it, I've gorged myself. Saturday was no different...

- Big shout out to The staff at The Angry Buffalo at Rose Garden, Joe K, Val Bernal, all the people who have reffed, Jeff Krol, Coach Jay, Emily Curry, Matty Ice, Todd Nixon, Cory Turner, Public Enemy, The Battaglia Clan, Jeremy Burr, Cobblestone, Austin Weber, Bobby McConnell and all of you who have been extra helpful and supportive quietly and not-so-quietly all season long. There are too many people to name, so charge it to the brain and not the heart if you felt you should see your name and you didn't (although most of you should be covered with my "all who have reffed" comment). Topper and I really appreciate y'all. For real. 

- #teamdeanna, Travis!!

- Piggybacking off one of the poll points - watching Nicole Keller verbally neuter 40 Year Plan Guy (after he began writing checks his ass couldn't cash) has to be one of the greatest things I've ever seen in the bar since it was renovated. I like the Kellers, all of them - but I'll let you in on a secret. Nicole is my favorite. Shhh. 

- Yo. Speaking of the poll - I just realized PE and Matty's are both undefeated. If they don't win a title...they'll go down in history with the 18-1 Patriots and the 73-9 Golden State Warriors as the most disappointing seasons EVER...

- Blase DaLuca swears he's going to take down the ladies teams in the playoffs. but Blase DaLuca has no idea how to actually beat the ladies teams. I know how - but as most of you know. I. Don't. Snitch. There's a way to do it, and you have to know how to execute. But it's not the SAME way, and it's not a simple thing. But I've successfully run a ladies team - I feel like myself and a few other vets know exactly what you need to do to win. We just ain't rattin'. 

- Parker Johnson is an effin' rockstar. I want his rookie card - NOW. 

- Losing in Breakfast Club last week was horribly disappointing for me. Horribly. Sorry, Katie - wish I could've gotten you a title...

- The latest superstar in our league is BUTTA. If you don't know BUTTA, she's the smooth macadamian slender woman on A&A. She used to be known as Shelly - but now, she's just BUTTA. 

- Qwinn? Peachy? Y'all better not let me down this week. 

- Teams with the greatest chances to pull off the upsets this week are pAssless Chaps, Tight Ends In Motion (if Seth or Ricky QB), Title Shot (if the band actually shows up) and Hope N Ruin. Please note I'm not saying they'll win - that's just who I personally think have a very good chance to win their games as lower seeds. 

- I should've received a delay of game penalty last week in the TMA/BiPolar Express game. Missed call by the refs, I admit it fully. 

- I'm amazed at how many of you leave behind jackets, sweatshirts, CLEATS, glasses, hats, etc. Are y'all secretly rich? Cuz if I leave behind even a water bottle, I'm distraught and trying to find it. Geez. 

- Everyone should enjoy my man Franco while he's still here - after this season, he's moving down South. Great player, and great dude. Gonna miss him when he's gone, so buy him a drink when you see him this week!

- People have spent the entire season crying about the naming of the divisions. Some of y'all crying like baby seal cubs are just so Downey soft to me. So I'll say it like I've said to some of you in person - we named the divisions after the same format we've used in every wine tournament. Yup, that's right - every wine tournament we've ever played in, you've signed up to play in either the competitive or rec divisions. Every. Single. One. But when we spent one season with different names that you've already seen, some of you whine like infants that you're "disrespected" because "you're competitive too!" if you're in R1-R4. 

Meanwhile, y'all really act like Topper and I don't have the text messages, emails, telegram messages, phone calls, face to face encounters, etc. of most of you crying because you DON'T want to play in certain divisions because the opponents are "too good/too tough". Like when you're sniveling about the semantics of a name, we're supposed to forget that a bunch of you have tried to stack teams, but then want to play in the lowest division possible rather than try to compete and win. 

Shout out to the 1 Todd 2 Manys of the world who jumped at the opportunity to compete against the best, knowing that the only way you get better is to play against better competition. Don't talk to me the division names when you or your teammates can't stand the prospect of losing half your games cuz you can't figure out how to beat evenly matched teams. Participation trophy-a$$ scrubs. 

- You know who never duck competition? Ladies teams. Shout out to all the ladies teams in our league who compete week in and week out without nary a complaint no matter what advantages their opponents may have. I'm always cheering for the ladies' teams. 

- We've got this week and next to really hang out amongst each other. Let's play some games, hang out, and have fun responsibly. Keep the uber rides going, and continue to look out for your fellow man and woman. Oh- and let's continue the trend of NOT playing lame music during games. The past few weeks it's been amazing to hear decent music that isn't the same 30-40 songs that are played EVERY season. 

That's about all I've got. Good luck in your games Saturday - holla at me. I'll be in the cut!

 

- Rameer AKA "The Build"

 

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