the liga retrospective: 2010 (pt. 2)
“Hang in there, Flapjacks.”
If you are one of the two or three people who read the Liga Weekly back in 2007, you surely remember that phrase. In that inagural year, this plain-text publication was all about awards, commentary, and prognostication. I would begin with the last-place team and work my way up through the then-14-team Liga. I usually ran out of space after the first couple of teams, so the higher-ranked teams rarely got much more than a passing mention. But the 2007 Delicious Flapjacks, the losingest team in Liga history, were always the first team I wrote about.
(Technically, the 2010 Pandemonium is now tied with the 2007 Flapjacks for the dubious honour of “losingest team in Liga history.” Each team finished 1-12. The Flapjacks, however, lost to MORE teams, by virtue of playing in a 14-team Liga. And I like the Flapjacks better. So the tie goes to the 2007 Flapjacks; they are the losingest team in Liga history.)
As a centerpiece of Liga lore, it only seems appropriate that the Flapjacks be memorialised as part of an award. To wit, I’ve decided to include flapjacks in the graphic for the Best of the Worst Award.
This part of the Liga Retrospective celebrates those Delicious Flapjacks with selections from volume 1 of the Liga Weekly.
from the Liga Weekly, vol. 1 no. 1
What a great start to the Fantasy Season! Congrats to the victors, condolences to the losers, and welcome to all.
Hang in there, Flapjacks. I was the second-lowest point-scorer this week, and I’m going to win the championship. The season has just begun.
from the Liga Weekly, vol. 1 no. 2
Hang in there, Flapjacks. Things may get worse before they get better, but they will get better. You’ve got two tough conference matchups in Weeks 3 & 4 (the red-hot Reactors and the slightly-underperforming Pirate Ninjas). If you play your byes smart, the Flapjacks could come up big against a couple of questionable 3rd-Floor-Buck-North teams.
Regardless, get on the waiver wire, man! Joe + 1 Move != Fantasy Dominance.
from the Liga Weekly, vol. 1 no. 4
Hang in there, Flapjacks. As you may recall, I predicted that Weeks 3 & 4 might be tough for Short Stack. Pour on the syrup and gobble up this week’s matchup–you’ve got a real shot against the 2-2 Donkeys.
Joe isn’t completely winless, however; he’s the winner of the ‘Mother Goose Award’ in Week 4 for racking up 6 goose-eggs. Those zero-point performances are killing you, my friend…
Considering it’s late on Saturday night, and Joe’s averaging one move every two weeks (I did notice you’ve doubled your total moves since the last Liga Weekly!)…well, this advice will probably come to you well after the fact: rotate out your three inactives and get some warm bodies into your roster. Get on the waiver wire, man!
from the Liga Weekly, vol. 1 no. 5
Hang in there, Flapjacks. Despite your profound apathy, you’re actually favoured to win this week over the vacationing [common] People’s Hero, Mr. Bo Jangles himself. A few bits of fantasy advice for you:
1) With all the crime in the NFL these days, it seems like a player named ‘Peerless Price’ might get a free pass via legal loophole; he is, after all, entitled by law to a trial by a jury of his peers. I’m studying for the LSAT, so I’m starting to get my feet wet in the legal world. In the spirit of standardised testing, I’ll give you it to you in the form of a multiple choice question.
Why won’t Peerless Price (despite his legally-beneficial appellation) help Joe’s team this week?
A) His attorneys also work for Travis Henry, and are too busy trying to negate the validity of an incriminating cup of pee to argue the legal loophole for the peerless one.
B) His team is on bye (meaning they aren’t playing this week).
C) Although he isn’t in any sort of legal trouble, he’s on ‘Injured Reserve’ (meaning he’s out for the season).
D) Since Joe copped a ‘Badditude’ re: his team, all his players are demoralised, thus they are underperforming on a weekly basis.
E) All of the above.
Answer: It’s a trick question. Because he isn’t in legal trouble, ‘A’ doesn’t really apply. Thus ‘E’ is also incorrect. ‘D’ is a tempting choice, but ‘B’ and ‘C’ have more concrete Fantasy relevance. Although ‘B & C’ would be the correct answer, if you mark both on your ScanTron form, the question is automatically scored as ‘incorrect’. Thus, there is no correct answer. It’s a Lose-Lose proposition.
Kind of like Joe’s team. Except they’re Lose-Lose-Lose-Lose-Lose this season.
FANTASY GURU’S ADVICE: Drop Price.
2) Despite a promising pre-season, Anthony Gonzalez has faded into virtual obscurity as a slot-receiver in Indy’s Manning/Clark/Manning/Harrison/Manning/Wayne/Manning/Addai/Manning Offense. Oh: His team is on bye (meaning they aren’t playing this week).
FANTASY GURU’S ADVICE: Drop Gonzalez.
3) Although he’s been hyped quite a bit, Vernon Davis is mostly an over-rated, immature TE in an offense carried entirely by Frank Gore. He might have a big game at some point this season, but his team is on bye (meaning they aren’t playing this week).
FANTASY GURU’S ADVICE: Bench Davis.
4) Devin Hester is THE premier return-man in the NFL…but our league doesn’t award any points for return yardage. Since he’s not really part of the Bears’ offense, he’s not going to do much for your team. Ever.
FANTASY GURU’S ADVICE: Drop Hester.
There you have it. Implementing these four suggestions (and filling those roster spots with players who have even a remote chance of scoring a few FPs this week) might make you a liar this week re: your standing guarantee of victory for the other team. Bo Jangles, dancing fool that he is, seems to be to busy cutting a rug to fill his ‘bye’ slots this week. You have a real chance of populating your ‘W’ column with a non-zero number this week.
In the immortal words of Eminem: Mom, I love you, but this trailer’s got to go
I cannot grow old in Salem’s lot
So here I go is my shot.
Feet fail me not this may be the only opportunity that I got
Except for the parts about trailer parks, Salem, and your mom, this lyric pretty much sums it up for you in Week 6, Flapjacks.
[I devoted WAY too much space to Flapjacks this week. Sorry if it means some of you get slighted.]
from the Liga Weekly, vol. 1 no. 6
Hang in there, Flapjacks. You got dangerously close to going home with Mr. Bo Jangles’ proverbial dancing shoes. What’s more: your re-emergence in the Liga brought warmth and joy to my grieving Fantasy Football heart. Bless you, Joe Schmidt.
I was somewhere in the neighbourhood of the doldrums after a dismally depressing and downright-demoralising weekend of Fantasy failures–then I heard through the [grap]eVine that Flapjacks had posted new smack! Like an addict in search of heroine, I sought out the rumoured smack. Lo! and behold: gone is the standing guarantee of victory for the enemy! In it’s place, the cool confidence of a man of conviction, boldly forecasting a comeback streak ‘Rockies Style’ (even as he’s facing off against the Barrel Man of Baseball!). Such swagger would no doubt make ‘B-Rabbit’ proud.
Don’t sweat missing out on your Eminem moment. In retrospect, it might have been a mistake to quote ‘*Lose* Yourself’ to your team. In a sense, they really rose to the occasion.
While we’re on the subject of ‘things Michael shouldn’t have said in the last Liga Weekly’, I guess it’s a good thing you didn’t drop Devin Hester. Sorry about that.
This week I give the ‘Mover and Shaker Award’ to the Delicious Flapjacks. By conventional math, it would seem the MOG should have this award wrapped up (37 moves…and counting). When examining past performance, however, Joe was moving and shaking like Pop Rocks in a can of soda. Flapjacks made just two moves in the first six weeks. That was the old, tired, boring Joe. In a single week, the dynamic, engaging, Fantasy Mastermind Joe has made THREE moves. That’s a 900% increase in movement! Throw in his trade to the Taco-Kisser and we’ve got a 1200% movement increase. I rest my case.
Tough matchup this week for the Flapjacks…but if I’ve learned anything from great football movies like ‘We Are Marshall’, ‘Friday Night Lights’, and ‘Air Bud II: Golden Receiver’ it’s this: anything is possible, if you just believe. I believe in you, ShortStack. Hang in there.
from the Liga Weekly, vol. 1 no. 7
Hang in there, Flapjacks. Sometimes Fantasy Football is a lot like IHOP on a Sunday morning: it might be a long wait, but eventually the flapjacks arrive. Pour on the syrup and savour the sweet taste of victory (something I can remember only vaguely). You’ve earned it, ShortStack.
At this point, I’m tempted to add something like: ‘They always say the first win is the hardest.’
As is usually the case when someone quotes the abstract ‘they’, I have no idea who ‘they’ actually are. My two best guesses:
1) ‘They’ are the MNF crew (Theismann, Kornheiser, and Durham) and routinely throw out sports platitudes instead of saying anything meaningful, insightful, or otherwise connected with the realities of pro football.
2) ‘They’ haven’t looked at your matchup this week.
Since neither option is worthy of precious press-space in the Liga Weekly, I’ll skip out on the whole ‘first win is the hardest’ business and give it to you straight: Peter’s Fear-filled Occident of a team is looking mighty hungry–and Flapjacks are on the menu for Week 8.
Even so, I wish you the very best, my friend. The Flapjacks are the feel-good story of the year, as far as I’m concerned. That’s why I’m giving ShortStack the ‘Radio Award’. Cuba Gooding, Jr. warmed our hearts and inspired us all with the destined-to-be-a-cinema-classic film, ‘Radio’. Radio taught us that heroes often show up where they are least expected, that we should all dare to follow our dreams, and that appearances can be deceiving. It might APPEAR that the Flapjacks cannot win this week…but it also APPEARED that Radio would never have the physical or mental capacity to fill-in for a QB on academic suspension, win the starting job, and lead his team to an unprecedented National Championship Title.
Ok, so, I never actually saw ‘Radio’, but I think the award works anyway.
from the Liga Weekly, vol. 1 no. 8
Hang in there, Flapjacks. Sometimes Fantasy Football is a lot like IHOP on a Sunday morning: it might be a long wait, but eventually the flapjacks arrive.
Then, much to your chagrin, the flapjacks are cold!
Although the Liga’s Flapjacks might be tasty (“Delicious,” in fact), they are definitely cold–and likely to get colder. Sure, I’m the underdog in our matchup, but you can never count the Mighty MOG out. In fact, you might as well spell it “UnderDawg” because it’s more badass–just like me.
But I digress; between this set of double-asterisks, the commentary is all about you, ShortStack.
As it turns out, I might have been a bit out-of-line when I gave you the ‘Radio Award’ last week. I still haven’t seen the movie, but after reading a plot synopsis, it seems the lovable Radio never led his team to a National Championship.
Or maybe the award was more accurate that I thought…
Sorry, Joe. I don’t mean to be too rough on you. In fact, I should be a bit more complimentary; I don’t want to give your team any bulletin-board material.
I usally leave the Biblical awards for Taco Boy, so I’ll call on Plato to give Joe the ‘Bacchi Award’. As quoted in the well-known and widely-read Clement of Alexandria Stromata (Book V): “‘Many rod-bearers there are, but few Bacchi,’ according to Plato.”
I must confess, I don’t really understand where Clement of Alexandria was going with this one. An excerpt from the entry on “Bacchi” on reference.com:
“The Maenads were also known as Bassarids (or Bacchae or Bacchantes) in Roman mythology, after the penchant of the equivalent Roman god, Bacchus, to wear a fox-skin, a bassaris.
“The behavior of Maenads in stories is intended to explain and display the intoxicating effects of alcohol. In some cases, the alcohol causes bizarre behavior in people and cannot be justified or explained by any other reason except that of the intoxication.
“In Euripides’ play The Bacchae, Theban Maenads murdered King Pentheus after he banned the worship of Dionysus. Dionysus, Pentheus’ cousin, himself lured Pentheus to the woods, where the Maenads tore him apart. His corpse was mutilated by his own mother, Agave, who tore off his head, believing it to be that of a lion.
“A group of Maenads also killed Orpheus.”
Such violence! Even Derek Anderson, handy though he may be with a donkey’s jawbone, has never torn off any heads (as far as I know…), whether or not he believed them to be the heads of lions. I don’t really follow the preseason games that closely, so I don’t really know whether Anderson played in the Week -3 game against the Lions. Even so, I’m pretty sure I’d have heard about it if he’d torn off anybody’s head.
Furthermore, even on “Throwback Uniform Day,” I can hardly imagine the Flapjacks lumbering around the field in fox-skins. So I’ll throw in the verse Crazy Clement related to the above Plato quote:
“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” [Matthew 20:16]
That’s more applicable to the Flapjacks’ situation. Although the Flapjacks might be much maligned in the regular season, fox-skins or no, great will be their reward in the after-season. Bad news for the Pirate Ninjas (the “First”); good news for the Flapjacks.
I guess I might have provided some bulletin-board material after all. I’m not too worried about it, though. I’m pretty sure most NFL players wouldn’t get all riled-up over a quote from Book V of Clement of Alexandria’s Stromata. It’s my impression that most of them haven’t read past book III or IV, at the most.
Good luck, Flapjacks. You’re gonna need it.
from the Liga Weekly, vol. 1 no. 9
Hang in there Flapjacks. Unfortunately for the plucky-yet-ill-fated Joe, I hit the nail right on the head with my speculation that most of his squad hadn’t read past book III or IV (at the most) in Clement of Alexandria’s Stromata. How else can one explain the non-existent effect of the ample bulletin-board material I laid out last week?
I’ll throw up the same award this week, although I’ll go with the more religious version this time around–simply because the Flapjacks haven’t a prayer of making the playoffs this year.
The “Matthew 20:16 Award” goes to the Delicious Flapjacks:
“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” [Matthew 20:16]
Although the Flapjacks will likely languish fruitlessly through the reminder of the regular season, great will be their reward in the after-season. Have faith, ShortStack. Have faith.
from the Liga Weekly, vol. 1 no. 13
Since my last edition, the Regular Season has come to a close. Although some games were certainly less important/interesting than others, the fates of more than a few teams were affected and/or decided by the matchups in Weeks 13 and 14. As always, congrats to the victors, condolences to the losers, and good luck to anyone unfortunate enough to face off against the mighty MOG this week.
Once again, it’s time for some [season] awards, commentary, and prognostication.
Hang in there Flapjacks. That statement is filled with more meaningless futility than ever before, but it just doesn’t seem right to start the Liga Weekly off any other way.
There are so many possibilities for a Season Award here. Joe’s delicious squad has, week-in and week-out, provided excellent material for this publication. For that I might well award him the Liga MVTTWOTLWP* Award. But that wouldn’t really speak to ShortStack’s season . . . just to my appreciation of his season.
[*Most Valuable-To-The-Writer-Of-The-Liga-Weekly Player]
So I award the Delicious Flapjacks the “Balanced Breakfast Award.”
Growing up in the Hanna household, sweet cereal was a rare commodity. As my brother can attest, we almost NEVER had sweet cereal around the house. My parents called it “Junk Cereal” and told us it wasn’t a good way to start the day. The sugar high wears off well-before lunch, leaving you grumpy and unfocused for the more taxing tasks in Elementary School–things like “Art” and “First Recess.” I later learned that the REAL reason we never had sweet cereal (one of the reasons, anyway) was my father’s sweet tooth. He is, for the most part, a very disciplined man; but he can’t say “no” to a bowl of Lucky Charms or Cap’n Crunch even on his best days.
Perhaps because it was such a forbidden fruit, I have especially vivid memories of cereal commercials aired during my younger days. Tony the Tiger would tell me his Frosted Flakes were “GRRRRRRRRRRRRRREAT!” and that silly Rabbit never did learn that “Trix are for kids!”
. . . for other kids, anyway.
Maybe they still do this, but I remember those commercials always included a “fast-talking spokesperson guy.” He’s the same guy who still shows up at the end of car commercials to spit out a ridiculously-long list of disclaimers at a blistering pace. In the car commercials, you can sometimes catch words like “MSRP” or “qualified buyers” in the stream of jargon. For the cereal commercials, however, he always said the same thing: “Part of this balanced breakfast.” For two split-seconds they’d show a little breakfast table spread, with the advertised “Junk Cereal” displayed prominently alongside a half a grapefruit, a tall glass of milk, a shorter glass of orange juice, two pieces of buttered whole-wheat toast, a stack of pancakes, and a banana.
I guess that’s what it takes to balance out the nutritional vacuum created by a bowl of Fruity Pebbles.
Obviously, the Flapjacks relate directly to the “Breakfast” element of the “Balanced Breakfast Award.” But ShortStack’s season emboided balance to the fullest.
Unlike the ’76 Bucs (or the ’07 Dolphins to-date), the Flapjacks did secure one precious victory: Week 7. In a stunning display of bilateral symmetry, the W in Week 7 was flanked on either side by six Ls. Furthermore, this W came in mid-to-late October, during the Libra portion of the Astrological Zodiac. Like the Flapjacks (and my weekly platitude to “hang in there”), the hanging scales of justice represent the sign of the Libra. To quote the 21st-century fount of e-knowledge, Wikipedia:
“Many modern astrologers regard [Libra] as the most desirable of zodiacal types because it represents the zenith of the year, the high point of the seasons, when the harvest of all the hard work of the spring is reaped.”
Week 7 was, indeed, the zenith of the year for the Delicious Flapjacks. A Balanced Breakfast indeed!
the best of the worst
I hope you enjoyed that trip down memory lane. I know I did.
If nothing else, perhaps it helps you appreciate my change in approach: from lots of plain-txt to lots of pictures. They say a picture is worth a thousand words; that may or may not be true. But I’ve found it’s much easier to get someone to look at a picture I put together than it is to get them to read a thousand words I’ve written.
Explanations to come, but hopefully now all can see why (in my heart, at least) the Delicious Flapjacks will always be the best of the worst.