Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
CHAPTER 17: Intentional Grounding
In the all-out effort to lose money with a popular team in a great stadium deal, we re-upped our coaching staff at hefty salary levels. Then I went into the free agency market to grab the biggest, best, and most expensive free agent in DRE Darrell Houston. Not since John Abraham had the Rebels had such a formidable force at RE. The unfortunate retirement of LDE Charles Grant left us without a perfect pair of DEs, but the pass rush from the right side was a much needed boost.
We also signed one of the best left tackles available, 3-time League's Strongest man, Jackie Hoover.
Rnd 1 - Deron Courage, RT, Texas A & M
Rnd 2 - Skip Vamos, C, Rutgers
Rnd 3 - Mitch LaStarza, SS, Portland State
Rnd 4 - Casey Derlange, QB, Notre Dame
Rnd 5 - Deron Hardon, WR, Florida State
Rnd 6 - Glen Carlisle, DE, Wagner
Rnd 7 - Britt Stanton, DT, Iowa State
Could we actually lose money when the stadium deal and the team's success were so favorable? I doubted it, but if I wanted to keep certain unnamed investors happy (and bring an end to the Jeffrey Davis era), we had to avoid doing TOO well.
By season's end, we had managed to inexplicably drop 6 games, forcing us to play the Wildcard in the playoffs. The 10-6 record did, however, prevent us from landing home field advantage, a financial move that would have proved costily profitable.
Our first playoff game matched us against Seattle, where Spencer Knowles racked up 95 yards and a pair of scores en route to a 31-20 victory. For Knowles, this had been his best statistical year, rushing for 1566 yards, a 5.27 average, and catching a personal best 50 passes. Unfortunately, Knowles suffered a high ankle sprain in the third quarter, benching him for the rest of the playoffs. A SuperBowl run began to slip through our fingers.
We came into the second game like a M.A.S.H. unit--6 of our starters were out with injury--against a well-rested Cowboys squad. Rested as they were, however, they weren't prepared for second-string HB Wendell Osborne, who broke some huge runs on his way to 134 yards, a pair of tuddies, and a 34-10 drubbing of Dallas. The injury bug bit again, however, sidelining star TE Rusty Stockman.
The NFC Championship game in TBAY would be played without Knowles or Stockman, and the Buccs were more than ready for Wendell Osborne. Where would the offense come from? Nowhere. Buccs win, 9-6. Baseball anyone?
In many respects, it had been a successful season. FB Chambliss, TE Stockman, and DE Houston all won first team all-pro. Kicker Winfred Smith won 2nd team. We had charged into the NFC Championship game and came within a score of going to the SuperBowl. But we didn't win the Lombardi. And we made a lot of money. Perhaps too much. As I sat down to tally the books, I knew there was a possibility my dream of winning a legitimate SuperBowl might be dashed by a very angry investor family.
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.