05 October 2010

Tuesday Football: Oy!

This blog spends two pages complaining about the way the NFL handles overtime, but I shudder to think about the first time that happens in the Super Bowl.  The ensuing chatter will consume North America for a month.

On the other hand, we could have what happened in Australia in the last two weeks. St. Kilda and Collingwood played in the AFL Grand Final two weeks ago.  So far, so good; it was just another championship game. But then St. Kilda rallied late to force a 68-68 tie.   Instead of overtime, the AFL scheduled a replay. More than 100,000 fans went home confused, with a request to come back in a week -- to watch the Saints and Magpies play an extra game.  That's exactly what they did.  Fans of both teams snapped up all the replay tickets, leaving none for the general public.  Their reward?  A 108-52 Collingwood blowout last Saturday afternoon.  Too bad for St. Kilda, who last won the Premiership in 1966.  Since then, their fortunes have tracked those of their NFL namesakes in New Orleans.  It would've been nice to see both set of Saints -- both perennial also-rans -- come away winners in the same year.  Oh, well

If you haven't seen an Australian football game, you've been missing an chaotic, fast-paced, high-scoring and incredibly fun form of the sport.  While you wait for the deejay to bring the tunes, it's a perfect background for Friday-night parties.  The 2011 season begins in March.  Hopefully, someone stateside will give us live games to watch before the next Grand Final.

Lucky weekend:  Over on the fantasy-football side, well, I was lucky this week.  The list of roster disasters was long:
  1. Injuries kept Andre Johnson and Steve Breaston from playing for the Fluttering Horde.  I didn't have enough active wide receivers, so I had to waive Breaston for Jacksonville's Mike Taylor.
  2. The Middlemen lost Miles Austin to his bye week, then Michael Vick went down with his nasty rib injury.  That effectively removed both Vick and his favorite target, DeSean Jackson, from the Middlemen lineup.  On top of that, the Middlemen dumped a New York Giant defense that ended up sacking the Bears 10 times.
  3. The Bears' woes hurt both teams, essentially blanking Greg Olsen for the Horde and Matt Forte and Johnny Knox for the Middlemen.
Given all that, in theory, I should have been lucky to avoid two losses.  In practice, I was unlucky not to win twice.  The Horde's opponent, who will remain unnamed, fielded only five players, so the Horde cruised to a 94-36 win.   The Middlemen lost 82-78 to the previously winless Hurricanes -- but only because New England scored 18 special-teams points and blocked both a punt and a field-goal attempt.  It was like losing with a full house on the river.

The bizarre combination of good luck and bad luck leaves both teams at 3-1.  The Middlemen fall to second in their league, while the Horde stays in third place.  Oy!

No comments: