Good Day, SupaNation. Somehow, we find ourselves near the end of our seasons and once again, things have gone by so quickly. This season has been one filled with ups and downs and controversy and disappointment, but mostly it has been a season of impressive parity and great games. While many of us bemoan (legitimately) the shortcomings of our sport at this level, there is much to celebrate and much to try to improve. Let's get down to business, this week, where one title is on the line and another couple of great games are on the agenda.
Ohio Force @ Madison Co Pirates
The Force have certainly been a surprise in the MFL this season- and have added a great deal to the improving reputation of the league. The Force have slowed a bit in momentum later in the season, but still feature a talented team that would be a contender in any MFL season since its inception. The men from Ohio bring a short bench on the road, and that - along with a significant coaching advantage and a Pirates team that is finally getting healthy- means that the Force are in trouble. The Pirates are the only team in the MFL that can say that as a general rule, they've gotten better week-to-week over the course of the season. The Pirates follow up a big win last week with one this week.
Indiana Cutters @ Indiana Generals
I'm not sure that I could come close to the kind of deep and wide analysis of this game that Vince has offered up. I can say, though, that I do expect this game to be as great a match-up as the battle for the Bushman trophy has ever been. Both teams come in full of talent, have great leadership and quality organizations. The hosts have emerged clearly as the team to beat in the IFL this year after many seasons of hanging around in the middle of the league pack. The Generals were always just a few players away from being a really strong team and added more than enough to get them over the hump this year. In spite of some internal problems, the Cutters have returned with another season of very very competitive football. The team has certainly played well this season, but has never really found it's highest gear on either side of the ball. This Cutters team is one that responds to the big game, and though they play on the road over a heavily favored and very very good Generals team, they will repeat in 2009 as IFL Champs.
Miami County Blitz @ Adams County Patriots
The Blitz are a hard team to figure out. The bottom line, though, is that they are not the team they once were. In an MFL that has improved a great deal in the last 3 years, the Blitz have not added the talent or depth to their roster. They still feature a great hard nosed group of fundamental football players, they just don't have the numbers. While the Pats are no longer the clear MFL favorite in 09, I would not bet against them to repeat. They still have a number of things to work out, but you can count on them to take care of business in this opening round.
Indiana Cardinals @ West Central Wildcats
This is certainly not the same Cardinal team that beat the Wildcats back in August. The hosts are poised for what they know may be a great shot at playing the spoiler and snatching the MFL trophy from the favorite. With the Cards coming in in the midst of an extended offensive slump and coming off of two consecutive forfeited games, there is no way that one would expect the Cardinals to be in this game. The Wildcats have everything to play for and the visitors have only a disappointing campaign to try to put behind them.
Union City Indians @ Winchester Golden Falcons
Last week's game in Muncie was supposed to be an excited time for the young Indians to play on the big stage. When it was all over, Beef's squad had suffered one of the biggest defeats in school history--bowing 70-0 in a game that was never close. The most important coaching of the season must now be dispensed my coach Maloy. Though it is hard to imagine a situation in which the Indians might fight back to .500 by season's end, there are a number of lessons that the young men in his charge might learn from the struggles that await them- not least of these is the Winchester team they face friday night. While the Falcons' defense is nothing special, they come in with a success and swagger that a 70-0 drubbing will completely erase from a young team. Another tough night on the road for the Indians, but brighter days are ahead.
That IS it, folks. Good luck to all of you this weekend and be sure to stop if only for a moment to think about how lucky you are to play this game we all love- and be sure when you are between those white lines that you leave every bit of energy on that stage and in so doing make your mommas proud, gents.
Great defensive battle.
Nice work patriots, wish I could have been there. I'll prolly be around this week. Nice work Wayne
Indiana Cardinals 0
West Central Wildcats 43 Final
A real clean game. Cats were firing on all cylanders.
They executed perfectly at all phases of the game. Easily one of the best of the season for the Wildcats.
Cardinals, thanks for making the trip and hope everyone made it home safe. Good luck next season.