Good Morning, SupaNation. One wonders this time of year just where the year went. In the crisp October morning air as I write this sentence, I am coming again to the realization that more of you have already hung up your cleats for the year than those who have not. Another season full of big hits, big mouths, and most importantly big dreams- and I cannot believe it is nearly over. I have to admit that after many a very early morning pressing through with my 20th game prediction, I wonder why I got myself into this. It is the thoughtful post or the nice email or the sportsmanship I see on the field that reminds me quickly of what those dark hours hunched over the keyboard have so many times caused me to forget.
This game is magic.
It is an opportunity that you should all take as both a gift and a responsibility. Every summer, when you strap on that helmet and step between those white lines, you are joining a fraternity of great men. It is a great blessing, as I often try to remind you all, that you are able to play this game and join in the life lessons that it has to offer all of you. Learning to be a part of something bigger than yourself is a lesson in short supply today. I can only hope that in the days, weeks, months, and seasons ahead, more of you will be reminded of that great responsibility when joining us on the messageboard. With that, let's get to the big games on tap!
Ohio River Bearcats @ Adams County Patriots
I'd like to have something fashionably radical to tell you- that I did not (as most of us did) pick this match-up for the title game in week two. But like many of you, I expected it long ago. The Bearcats looked like a team possessed in the early going. What they lacked in big offensive numbers, they more than made up for with stingy defense and opportunistic play on both sides of the ball. They played well together and were clearly plenty athletic. This is a team that would be a favorite to win the MFL in many years past. It is not only the VERY long trip, but the flat out superior talent of the Patriots that will be the difference in this one. The hosts are both deeper and more talented, not to mention being a team that plays better together. Though they have not really seen much in 2008, this is also a team that responds well to adversity. Look for the Pats to make more noise in regional and national tournaments - they're not done making noise. Outstanding first year for the Bearcats, and you can look for them to grab some talent in the offseason and come back for a great 2009.
Southwest Ohio Blazers @ Indiana Cutters
Early on this season, one got the impression that this game would come to pass and that there would be a lot to play for. That is certainly the case when the Blazers make the trip up to Martinsville this weekend. The Blazers came into the league and quickly took it by storm getting attention for big wins and bigger attitudes. This team has a swagger and can back it up most all of the time, but the fact is that late in the season they have looked like a different team. The Cutters have been a relative model of consistency in 2008. Except for a shorthanded trip up to Bourbon (where dreams go to die), the Cutters have looked like the contenders many expected them to be. The Blazers' defense will have trouble early with the Cutter ground game and be unable to get its own offense in rhythm. While the Blazers are a very good team who will bring a lot to the IFL in the future, their exit from the playoffs will be in dramatic fashion and by a surprising margin.
Leyden Lions @ Chicago Thunder
If it were any other team in the Mid States at all coming to play the Thunder in the heart of the south side of the city, this game would be a laugher. To say that the Thunder have dominated the league this year is quite an understatement. The team has looked dominant even when sloppy and disjointed. The Thunder have plenty of season veterans who have played in big games and won titles. They have talent and a deep bench. They have a first-class organization and a group of young men who believe in their program. The Lions have come a long way in a relatively short time. The team from Leyden always had a lot more talent than the scoreboard suggested, but they too have found direction and the wins and the success has followed. Their only blemish? A 7 point loss to the Thunder. While the Thunder will tell you that they did not play their best game, the Lions know the same is also true for their squad. This game will be one for the ages- exactly what a title game should be. In the end it will come down to a few inches and a group of Thunder players with a little more big game experience.
Lions 13 (OT)
Miami Valley Warriors @ Kosciusco County Mustangs
In case anyone has missed the upcoming Hollywood ending, this is the year of the Mustangs. They've even got a quarterback straight out of the football movies and a guy who calls himself Santa. All the pieces are in place and the team truly is better and more seasoned than ever before. They played through a tough season and earned the right to play at home- a critical advantage when you play as well as do the Mustangs in their own digs. They are due a title after many, many years of dominant play, and they can taste it. Now enter the only team to beat the Mustangs in 2008- the Warriors. The Warriors, too, have their best team in many many years and know that they have a legitimate shot at the title. They will bring a team that is more athletic across the board and more fundamentally sound in the skilled positions. The Mustangs do have the advantage in the trenches and hope to use it. They key element will be the ability of the Warriors' defense to put pressure on #11, and of the Warriors offense to take advantage of turnovers. The Mustangs will get caught looking ahead, but are good enough this year- AT HOME- to play through it. Another tough year for the Warriors- the Mustangs advance.
Northeastern Knights @ Union City Indians
When the story of 2008 is told for the Indians, it will be largely about two games. The surprising win over Wes-Del, and the surprising loss to CC Lincoln. As Beef has struggled to impart to his players, neither game was as much an indicator of who the team was as they took it to have been. The Indians have been from the early days beset by a football culture with low expectations. Only two winning seasons in the last 14 years have left the youth uninspired and the athletes uninterested in football. Beef knew coming in that he faced challenges, and it is clear now that the mountain is higher than he first thought. The test of the season will be how the team responds to facing an uphill battle in successive weeks. If the Indians are to get to .500, which both Beef and I know they are capable of doing, they've got to run of a string of victories into the sectionals. It all starts on Friday night when the Knights come to town. The Knights are a bigger and more confident team, but they also have less to lose. Beef would do well to play to his team's strength and use its speed. A win tonight at home will go a long way toward rekindling the faith of the young men on the field and reigniting the very depth of the UC program.
Okay, folks. Those big games are yours to win- very much out there waiting for those who want it the most. Be sure to stop for a moment to smell the roses and enjoy this wonderful gift of the game, and when you're on the field, make your mommas proud.
supa, will you be attending our game? this should be a good one...
Where is the prediction for the Tornados game? I know you are pulling for any team to beat them, but can we get a prediction?
Apologies to all for the accidental omission. And for the record, I have all season been pulling for a Naptown title.
Indianapolis Tornados @ London Silverbacks
The Tornados find themselves in an unfamiliar situation this weekend as they grab their passports and head north across the border: that of underdog. The Silverbacks have played efficient football in 2008 and have had a lot of success with a relatively short bench. The Tornados on paper have an uphill climb, but if they are able to get across the border full force, they are an upset pick here. One notices that the boys from the Nap have faired much better against common opponents and have played much better in the playoffs. Could this be the unlikeliest Tornados team to take it all the way? My money is on an advance this weekend in a shock of the Silverbacks at home.
come on now i bet the bearcats beat them up and down the field
cutters 52-6 over blazers
who gots the score for the mfl ? is it over yet ... cant wait to see who won
Stangz win 33 ta 26, We Goin ta da SHIP BAY-BAY!!!!
Congrats to the Tornados
Chicago Thunder 26
Leyden Lions 21
With the Win, the Chicago Thunder have now won 4 consecuetive MSFL Championships and 44 consecuetive League Games:
American Football News AA National Championship
Chicago Thunder (MSFL Champions)
Mid Ohio Jets (Mid Ohio Football League Champions)
Sunday January 18th, 2009
Harris Field in Homestead, FL
4:00 p.m. Kickoff