Sunday, August 06, 2006

Some Players Actually Choose Playing in the af2 Playoffs Over the NFL. Seriously.

I love a sport where throwing 7 touchdowns needs to be prefaced with “the QB had a slow start,” but in which there aren’t enough rushing yards to warrant a mention in any newspaper. Ladies and gentlemen – the first round of the af2 playoffs. There were a couple upsets, but fortunately none of them involved the home team in New Hampshire.

FSC predicted wins for the Manchester Wolves, Central Valley Coyotes, Memphis (e)Xplorers, and Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz. How’d I do? 2 and 2.

The Wolves did indeed defeat the Wilke-Barre/Sranton Pioneers (possibly the most geographically confused team in sports since the Montreal Expos played 20 of their home games in San Juan, Puerto Rico), 55-47. The owner of the aforementioned slow start was Manchester’s QB, Steve Bellisari, who still managed to pass for 7 touchdowns. He is, though, 5-0 as the starter. Are we about to see a Brady-esque waltz for a New England football team through the playoffs? I hope so. By the way, let’s hear it for Tony Stallings, a recently cut CFL guy who signed on with the Wolves two games ago. His agent told him that there would be NFL teams interested, but he ignored that advice to play in Manchester… wow. That’s like graduating from Georgetown University and choosing to work as a subway artist at Subway instead of taking that job offer at the White House. Way to become the poster child for bad career decisions, Tony.

The Coyotes, however, fell to the sixth seeded Bakersfield Blitz, 45-37. The culprit? According to one release, it was Central Valley quarterback Scott Rislov, who only passed for 4 touchdowns after setting an AFL and af2 single season record of 106 touchdown passes. However, I’d like to believe it was the unique strategy of the Bakersfield fans who traveled to the game. They decided to confuse the Coyotes by chanting “Beat Fresno!” Either that or no one told them that the Coyotes are actually from Central Valley.

I was dead on with my prediction of the (e)Xplorers-Louisville Fire game being the bore of the weekend. The final score was 83-61, setting new af2 postseason records for most points by a team and combined points. The sparkplug for the victory was eight (EIGHT?!) touchdowns by a 5’8’’, 155-pound receiver Kevin Prentiss. Another reason to love af2 – it’s a full contact sport in which a guy whose bulked up, media guide numbers (I got money that says Prentiss is only 155-pound soaking wet with a pocket full of quarters) make him no bigger than the average 10-grader.

In the best game of the first round, the Arkansas Twisters bounced the Dawgz (ugh, stupid name) 47-43. It came down to one play.

This sets up the second round of the playoffs next weekend. FSC will have more predictions and overanalysis later in the week. By the way, kudos to all the local media in all the markets playing this weekend. It was very thorough. Further, GREAT job to Our Sports Central, a fantastic resource for all things minor league. I’ll have more about them later in the week too.

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