General Manager Notes: How to dominate and still win by 3
It's tough, but it's possible.
Imagine playing against a strong 7-4 division leading Houston Mustangs. Imagine them visiting Oranje Haven to face our Merchantmen. Imagine them scoring a field goal on the first possession of the game. Then imagine them getting past midfield only twice in the remainder of that game: once after an interception that gets brushed away with a fumble, and then once more in the final minute as they turn the ball over on downs being too far away from field goal range to tie the score.
So yes, we actually won, but the score (6-3) says quite a bit already. The defense was impressive: 4 turnovers, 109 yards passing allowed (including the 11 yards lost on a sack), 108 yards rushing. The offense? We actually gained 330 total yards, but we failed to do anything good inside the red zone. Four visits, four field goal attempts, twice blocked. Our fifth goal attempt was a 46-yarder, which is slightly more forgivable as a miss. Hideous play isn't completely vanished yet, it just happens to come with a bit of positivity today as well.
But, despite that all, the key number is the +1 in the W-column. The Paris Musketeers had a late game pick six that turned their seemingly secured win at the Toronto Lake Monsters into a 24-23 loss, helping us into second place in the division and virtual wild card team. Gothenburg crushed the Deep South leading San Antonio Tidal Force 30-12 to jump into the division lead. Bordeaux won 24-0 at Rochester, but it's too little too late, they are now locked in fourth place in the division.
1. Gothenburg 8-4
2. Maassluis 7-4-1
3. Paris 7-5
4. Bordeaux 3-9
Our season continues with a visits to the Texas Sharks, 4-8, recently playing spoiler in and for Paris with a 27-12 win in week 12, but shortly before that having a 4-game stretch in which they were outscored 160-22, all losing by at least 31 points. But, they are never to be underestimated, no team in the IHOF is. If there's one team the Sharks' fanbase truly dislike in the league, it must be us, as we viciously crushed their hopes of winning the IHOF Bowl in their only visit, marking our sole bowl victory with an overwhelming 30-3 victory. Shaun Hartman and the class of 64 (Edward Ross, Peter Tucker, Daquan 'Da Machine' Strugielski, Gabe Hamilton) certainly knew their way with that offense. Now that was a defense. It might be a good idea to bring game film to the training facilities in preparation and show the current team how football was played back in '66. Good times...
And good times will be here again, if we build on this victory and actually play better football next game. We'll have to work on our third down offense and do better than 7 conversions on 21 attempts, with 12 pass attempts including 6 catches that didn't move the chains. Maybe it's a quick fix, that would be swell if we can do that and not need the defense to keep the opponent to a single field goal to be able to win a game.
* 2005 Golden Scribe winner for best FOF Dynasty about IHOF's Maassluis Merchantmen
* Former GM of GEFL's Houston Oilers and WOOF's Curacao Cocktail