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“Wel-come back, welcome back, welcome back, wel-come back”

-Mase

The day we all so anxiously awaited finally arrived! The weather was perfect which could only mean that our good friends Lenny and Rameer were clearly enjoying themselves upstairs watching us all. Week one was a huge success. We thank you all for following the Covid protocols at the fields and at the bar. I know some were hoping to be back to complete normalcy by now but for now we are working with what we have and everyone is doing a stand up job to ensure the safety of everyone involved. But enough about that. Most importantly is the reason we all gather each and every Saturday and that is the football (yes, I realize some of you have ulterior motives). It may be week 1 and I probably say it every year but most of you have not missed a beat. The off-season training and practice pays off again and provides me with plenty to take notice of this season. Props to Sticky Bandits, Scared Hitless, The Angels, Mountain Dew Me and The Bambs for moving up after winning your respective divisions last year. And a special shout out to Practice Squad for making it to the D5 championship and moving to D4 this year.  I am super pumped to be able to watch some games again and be able to tell all you fine folks about the cool shit that I saw. So let’s get started.

 

In looking at the standings, I saw a good number of new teams so I wanted to make a point of seeing some of what they will be bringing to the table. I began with Lenny’s Ladies and Travis Henry’s Kids. I heard tell that THK has played together in another league so I was curious to see how they stacked up in the TSL. Their first opponent was Lenny’s Ladies.  Joe K was back at QB, unfortunately the Ladies had some early season attendance trouble. LL is still considerably new and many of the ladies playing this weekend experienced their first taste of safety on defense.  THK demonstrated that they knew the game well enough to take advantage where advantage was to be taken. D6 is a competitive division this year and I think these guys will be right in the thick of things down the line.

 

I also took a gander at the All We Do is Quinn versus Grey Hair Don’t Care game. Despite losing Rawdog in Free Agency, AWDIQ continues to dominate with speed. GHDC just could not keep up. Vince Taverna is making an early play for a spot on the Power Rankings with his agility and accuracy on the run this week. It may be Week 1, but Vince and the rest of AWDIQ is already looking towards that D3 title.

 

When Dove Cries (previously known as Hofbrauhaus previously known as 1 Todd 2 Many) took on Scared Hitless for the latter’s first D2 match up. Things did not go great for SH as they seemed to have some trouble getting into a flow. I blame early season and new division jitters. Jamie Warren was missing for this game; however, Joey Ruderman (Farr? I know she married Jeff Farr but not sure of the name change situation) has made her return. Drew Colosimo brought in some new talent in Devin Linder who I have my eye on for an early D2 MVP. Devin has speed, hands and height (a combination even Topper can take advantage of). WDC looked solid and looking at their roster I think there are going to shock some people, especially with the 16-1 odds reported by the Godfather.

 

Next up we have The Untouchaballs against The Angels. Matty Ice is back for the Angels and they looked very much like the team we have come to know and love. Katie Salisbury is also back and was right back into being a dominating presence on both sides of the ball. Matty ran the offense he is known for where he scrambles around for 35 seconds then throws it up to one of his females down field. It may be unorthodox but it works. I saw one bomb to Casey Oliphant that no one on defense was ready for. The UTs played a solid game but could not stop the Angels on defense. I did notice a new female on their team who’s name I did not catch but she was fire. Great hands, solid routes and speed-this lady is going to do great things this season. Their QB was not someone I recognized although he seemed to have the speed, youth, and agility to play a very Matty Ice-like game once he gets some experience under his belt.

 

Losing Streak is another new team to our league, although they also previously played together elsewhere. They took on early D2 favorite Peachy Platoon. With Dean Thompson back in attendance it’s hard to bet against these guys but LS was able to come in and give them a run for their money. Chris Nelson moved up from D4 to a place he will fit in much better (although to be honest, he’s still playing in a division too low for where he should be). QB Jordan Lawson showed he knows the game and how to use his players. New teams coming in at D2 is always dicey but I think these guys will be right at home and offer some great competition this season. PP did not look like their usual selves so there may be some rust to get rid of as the season progresses. I also did not see Moriah Williamson in attendance. Definitely will be keeping an eye on both these teams this season.

 

Bullet Club took a win over Passed Our Prime. POP is technically new to the league although they did play in our inaugural indoor session this winter. BC had some big off-season signings with Scotty Dro and Rawdog. I did see Chad Griffin was back which adds yet another receiver over 6’2. The game was back and forth, both teams displaying a boundless amount of speed, height and route running. POP QB Jeremy Olson brought over a solid cast of players. Keyon Elias had a great game and really kept his team in it.  POP drew up great plays and proved they can run in D2 but BC just had the edge with guys that can stretch the field and a QB that can sling.

 

Cunning Stunts pulled out a win over Buffalo Vice (previously known as Buffalo Solar Solution). I have to start off with a shout out to whomever designed the Buffalo Vice jerseys because they are amazing. These teams know each other well. Both have few, if any, changes to the roster. Joey Batts and Co were operating with machine-like precision. Brandy Clarke had 2 picks (at least) which caused a huge momentum shift in the game. QB Andy Clark was able to utilize his girls and find his receivers but they could not keep up with CS’s scoring.

 

TMA was short some familiar faces with Ferger and Brent not in attendance. Their first game was against WoodPeckers (previously known as Pteratacos). Side note- what’s with all the name changes?? It’s hard enough to keep track of new teams and players, get it together. Just kidding. Anywho, the score says TMA lost 32-15 but we found out later that some shady shenanigans went down. Now normally I don’t like putting people on blast unless they do something embarrassingly funny that we can all get a good giggle out of but Joe and Mark Buscaglia of WoodPeckers, requested they move down from D5 this year after not doing well last season (even though they didn’t do that bad last year). Topper, in his graciousness, allowed them to move down then they show up with 3 players who we learned played college football and are at least a head taller than most people in the league. Shady antics like this are exactly why there is drama about division placements every year and rules that prevent our top tier players from playing in lower divisions. I’m sure Topper would love to be able to trust everyone at their word who says “This is my team, we should be in a lower division” but because of people like this he can’t. There is no glory in asking to move down, stacking a team then winning a game because you lied and basically cheated. In no way are we blaming the players as I’m sure they had no idea they were being added to a roster just for the single purpose of dominating the lowest division of the league. Joe and Mark, in my opinion, are frontrunners for League Villain and it’s only Week 1. For Shame! End rant. That said, TMA held their own pretty well. Johnny Dio subbed in at QB and played like the OG he is, offering a calm attitude and demeanor throughout the game. TMA did go on to beat Tater Tots later in the day. Besides an early score, TMA’s defense shut down TT’s Dylan Jaloza-less offense (that’s my confusing way of saying TT’s regular QB was not there). Nick Smith and Universal Sub Molly McDermott came through with a couple picks and Diana Bernal had 2 touchdowns. The scoreboard said 39-9 but don’t let that fool you. At full strength and once the early season rust wears off, Tator Tots are going to be right in it with the rest of this competitive division. They did defeat BiPolar Express earlier in the day, but unfortunately I was not able to see enough of that game to comment.

 

To end, I am going to go back to my Top 5 Notable Performances. These are going to be singular plays I saw from a player or team but not enough happened to comment on the entire game. I might also comment on some overall performances or improvements from players or teams throughout the season. Pretty much, this will be the cool (or not-so-cool) shit I saw or took notice of each week. So here we go:

1. Dave Baker: From what I heard, he broke the collective hearts of Sticky Bandits by choosing Tight Ends in Motion late in the off-season then proceeding to run up the scoring in their D1 debut. Cold Dave but we love a good drama.

 

2. Mountain Dew Me feat. Joey Batts:  I have to give credit for MDM jumping up 3 division after adding Joey Batts to their ranks. Of course, having Jill Battaglia is obviously the reason for the move but they pulled out a win against XTC (formerly known as Dilfs) in their D2 debut.

 

3. Bullet Club: I’m not sure what kind of signing bonuses they offered but BC went all kinds of Bill-Belichick in the off-season with bringing Griffin out of retirement and signing Dro and Rawdog.

 

4. Kelly Sabo: All the ladies of Breast Friends played exceptionally well. Kelly had herself a game with one particular great catch in the closing minutes of their game against Wasted Potential to put the game away. 

 

5: The Untouchaballs QB: I apologize for not knowing your name and while those of you paying attention can see they did go 0-2 on the day, the schedule master did not do them any favors. Add to that, I heard it was his first time playing. He held his own against the Angels and Frodo Swaggins. I’m calling it now, this guy is going places.

 

That’s a wrap on Week 1 of the Spring 2021 season review. As always, I had a great time being able to take in some A+ football this week. Thank you to everyone who came out, hung out, and helped out. Until next time, I’ll be watching...

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