Birds Are Back
Dec 29, 2018 - The league champion is now once, twice, three times a Ladybirds. The Birds won their third ring by beating the Metros, 105.61-74.55. The Birds had several players come up big, while the Metros seemed distracted by their first time on the Buddy Bowl stage.
The Birds were the highest scoring team during the regular season and the Metros were the lowest scoring playoff team, so the outcome was not surprising. But the Metros had an opening as several Birds players fell on their faces, including Philip Rivers and his 0.58 points. The Metros seemed distracted by the bright lights and festivities of the week leading up to the Buddy Bowl and it showed, as only two players even met their Yahoo projections. The Birds have been here several times and seemed more prepared, relying on their patented two-TE set.
The Birds were picked to win the league in the Season Preview, and also hosted the largest live draft event. So let this be a lesson; hosting the live draft leads to Buddy Bowls and the Season Previews will not be correct for another 17 years. The Birds have now won three times in their four trips to the Buddy Bowl.
Buddy Bowl 17: Birds, Metros
Dec 21, 2018 - It's a Christmas miracle! For the second time in league history the 6th and 8th seed are meeting in the big game. For the Birds, it's their 4th Buddy Bowl, while the Metros are making their first appearance ever.
Buddy Bowl XVII Preview
Last year, we had one of the most glamorous Final Fours with the top 4 seeds involved and 3 of the teams scoring over 100 points. This year was more of a Southie knife fight among the lower seeds where the average team score wasn't even 80 points. When the dust cleared, the sixth and eight seeds face off for a Buddy for the second time in league history. While they combined for a losing regular season record, the appearance of the Birds and Metros in the Buddy Bowl is a victory for live-drafting teams, in a season when two autodrafting teams dominated the regular season. Despite the seeming surprise of the Metros and Birds making it to the Buddy Bowl, don't forget that the season previews had predicted the Birds to finish as league champs. Surely this means they are going to win.
(6) Ladybirds (6-7) vs. (8) Metrosexuals (6-7)
The ultimate battle for the north shore of Boston is here! The Birds have made the Buddy Bowl for the fourth time and won their last world championship in 2009. The Metros are appearing in their first Buddy Bowl, even though they joined the league in 2003. Apparently this is the first year that the Metros have had only one fantasy team, so this could be the start of a regular appearance for them.
Even though the two teams had identical regular season records, their journeys have been quite different. The Birds were the highest scoring team in the league, while the Metros were the lowest scoring team in the playoffs. When they met in week 10, the Birds won the shoot-out, 120-114. It was the most points the Metros scored in a game this year.
Breaking down the playoff experience, rosters and performance so far this season, this is shaping up a bit like the New England-Chicago Super Bowl in 1985. The Birds are heavily favored and rather than preparing for the game, they have been coming up with their own dance -- the Buddy Bowl Bird Boogie (which they will perform at the draft next year). Derrick Henry has added a massive late-season boost to the Birds. Blount is essentially the Fridge. Meanwhile, the Metros are just trying to get Julio Jones healthy. Drew Brees has been playing like Tony Eason over the last three weeks. Adam Vinatieri was actually on that Pats team. On paper, it looks like the Birds are unstoppable, but the score starts at zero and both teams get 10 players, so the only way to find out is to play the game. Birds by 8.
Final Four Previews
The top 4 seeds all made it to the Final Four last year. This year, the first round for top seeds was like the Order 66 on the Jedis. Wipe them out. All of them. Well, except one. This is the first time in league history that the Final Four teams combined for a losing record in the regular season. In 2003, the four lowest seeds all made the Final Four, but they all had winning records.
(4) The F*** Buddy Ryans (7-6) vs. (8) Metrosexuals (6-7)
History: The FBRs have been to five Buddy Bowls. The Metros have been to none. When the teams met in week 5, the Metros beat down the FBRs. However, at that point in the season, the Metros were beating teams and the FBRs were losing to them. The last time the Metros made it this far was 2014 when they lost to the eventual world champion Cougars by half a point. Bottom line, this is the biggest game in Metros franchise history. For the FBRs, it's just considered Week 15.
Keys to victory: The Metros were the lowest scoring playoff team during the regular season, but they had their second-highest scoring game of the season when they beat the top-seeded teen stars last week, ending their 11 game winning streak. As long as Brees and Julio Jones are playing, teams cannot afford the risk of a low-scoring game against the Metros. Brees is the 2nd-ranked player in fantasy. The third-best is on the FBRs -- Andy Luck. That may be shocking, but he cranks out 20 point games like the Trump administration cranks out convicts. The FBRs have played better so far, but there are some wildcards, such as starting Doug Martin, who the Prof just had dug out of an Ice Age glacier. FBRs by 2.
(6) Ladybirds (6-7) vs. (7) PlazaPlayas (6-7)
History: The Birds have been to three Buddy Bowls (which is nice, but it's not FIVE). The Playas have been to none. The last time the Playas were in this position was in 2013 when they lost to the Bums. I bring it up not only to talk about the bygone days of the Bums, but also because that game was an epic 142-131 shootout which may have scarred the Playas franchise for years. When the teams played in week 8, the Birds nearly doubled the score of the Playas. Coincidentally, the Birds QB in that game was Crab Legs Winston, who is now on the Playas and guided them to this game by winning last week. This is the first time they're meeting in the playoffs, which isn't too surprising given how infrequently (twice) they've both appeared in the playoffs since the Playas joined the league. They've more frequently both missed the playoffs, but I'm not counting those times they've played with each other outside of league games.
Keys to victory: The Birds believe they have won the lottery after picking up Derrick Henry. So the Birds strategy is to have two players (Henry and Cooper) that are coming off the best games of their lives, have repeat performances this week. The Playas are going with Brady at QB, hoping he still has something left in the tank. But let's be honest; the real key to the victory will be which team has the better kicker. The Birds have Greg Zuerlein who is the best kicker in the league by points, and who was drafter by the Playas (otherwise known as the Kicker Whisperer). Now the Playas have a kicker (Janikowski) who has great experience from surviving a trip on the Titanic and the Bubonic Plague of 1347. It will likely come down to a FG. Birds by 3.
Round 1 Previews
Star Wars has become our standard Round 1 sponsor. For the last few years it's been because there has been a Star Wars movie hitting the theaters. This year, there is no movie and it feels like something is missing. Another thing missing is the Bums. After making the playoffs for 15 straight seasons, the Bums have missed for the second season in a row. Potentially something to do with the Trump administration. Anyhoo, let's talk about the teams that are in the playoffs, I guess. May the force be with them.
(1) teen stars (11-2) vs. (8) Metrosexuals (6-7) -- Prior to this season, the number of times the teen stars had won a regular season title was fewer than the number of times that a Star Wars movie about the backstory of Lobot has been discussed. Actually the Millhouses Marauders have more regular season championships. Indeed, the teen stars had never won the regular season. But after winning 11 games in a row, they are finally the top seed in the playoffs. However, they did win the Buddy Bowl in 2015. Speaking of Buddy Bowls, the Metros have never even been in one. They limped into the playoffs averaging 16 fewer points per game than the teen stars. So it sounds like we have the perfect setting for a massive upset! The Metros still aren't scarier than they were in the regular season, but Brees is coming off one of his worst games ever to play a team that has worse defenses than the Death Star. He could score 40 points. Meanwhile, the teen stars have their best players, who normally play in domes and LA going to play in GB and Chicago. Metros by 3.
(2) 1227 (10-3) vs. (7) PlazaPlayas (6-7) -- Kind of like the teen stars, the 1227s have been saying "domo arigato, Mr. Roboto," after having the autodrafter set them up to a combined record of 21-5 regular season record. At the time, I laughed like Lando Calrissian when the 1227s had Pat Mahomes selected for them. Now I'm squealing like Lando when the Sarlacc grabs his leg when I see the points Mahomes puts up each week. The 1227s have already beaten the Playas twice this season. The Playas are starting Crab Legs over Tom Brady. This decision will likely decide the game and will likely be brought up repeatedly in the previews next year, regardless of whether it works or doesn't. Crab Legs could be the Jar Jar Binks of the NFL. The Playas are actually favored by Yahoo, which means that the top two seeds could actually be in trouble. 1227s by 4.
(3) JoeMorrisBavaros (7-6) vs. (6) Ladybirds (6-7) -- In the middle of the season, the JmBs were cutting through the league like a Star Destroyer (including a week 6 demolition of the Birds). However, down the stretch, they're more landspeederesque. They've only scored over 85 points in one of their last 5 games, and the last two have just looked disasterous. But like in Star Wars, it needs to look like things are darkest before the light. The Birds meanwhile had probably their biggest win in years last week by beating the Cougs in the closing minutes of the Monday night game to get a playoff berth. They have essentially been playing elimination games for two weeks in a row already and overcome the adversity of Hunt getting booted.Meanwhile, the JmBs have been lounging around sipping Daquiris waiting for the playoffs to begin. If A-Rod and Saquon can turn it back on, the JmBs should be fine. JmBs by 1.
(4) The F*** Buddy Ryans (7-6) vs. (5) NBTU (7-6) -- Little known facts: in the early scripts for Star Wars, George Lucas wanted to give the Yoda character the name "Buffy." Also, the FBRs were in the Buddy Bowl last season. Do not underestimate the power of the FBRside. Another little known fact is the NBTUs haven't been in the playoffs since 2014, when they lost the Buddy Bowl to the Cougars. 2014 seems like a long long time ago. After a slew of injuries (and LeVeon Bell never showing up) the NBTUs roster is getting around a bit like Darth Vader after getting roasted by the Emperor. Despite the close seeding, it looks on paper like this game might not be too close. But what George Lucas put down on paper did not give a good indication of what would end up on screen. FBRs by 3.
Eight is Enough
Dec 8, 2018 - The teen stars won the regular season title on an 11-game win streak and the Birds got a last-second vicotry over the Cougars to be the final team in. The playoff field is set and the sprint to Buddy Bowl XVII is on.