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Old 07-20-2023, 04:38 AM   #801
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: Pre-season 2116, part 1

QB Bart Tanner signed a new 4-year deal with us.

I was about to give up on him and ready to give the keys back to QB Harrison Singleton. But just before the pre-season action commenced, we made our only take it or leave it offer to Tanner. And he took it. A $27M bonus, a $26M salary this season and $40 salaries in the next 3 seasons. It makes Tanner the 4th most expensive cap figure for our team this season, behind the prima donnas WR Jessie Vertelney and WR Rodolfo Lane, and roughly $4.5M behind Singleton. It wasn't a clear cut situation as we still needed to restructure some other contracts to have just enough cap space and the earlier release of WR Preston Gray turned out to be key in getting just enough cap space. We've got less than $0.5M in cap space now.

This will have quite the impact on our final cuts after pre-season action as this makes it much less likely I will keep rookie QB Kent Figures and his mentor QB Blake Stai on the final 53-men roster. I have to go by memory at the moment, but I think I decided that we'd go into the final 2 pre-season games with 55 on roster, not counting CB Kent Wodarz, whom I decided to put on injured reserve as long as his struggles with arthritis will be remain. Rookie K Carter Madison won't make the 53-men roster. Nor will LB Wendell Reynolds, who simply got stuck behind a foursome of also excellent special teamers with - contrary to Reynolds - the skills to play on our defense as well. LB Roy Finch looks promising too, but he won't make the team either, lacking zone defense skills, play diagnosis and enough special teams ability. DE Howie Tucker was our other cut, result of his decline. Still a bit of a surprise, we went 4-1 with him on the active roster last season, but his big drop in ability to rush the passer and what not, his playing career in the IHOF appears over.

If we're going to stick with QB Kent Figures and/or his mentor QB Blake Stai, I'll have to look again at the linebackers and the secondary which of those players is not going to make the team. We're currently at 6 linebackers and 12 defensive backs. That last figure is absurd. I mentioned the on the bubble names earlier, those guys all still are. Or are they?

S Cesar Welch was the biggest pre-season revelation and boosted himself up from a coin flip away from getting cut to being in the rotation as a strong safety. He's still green, but we'll throw him out there anyway to quickly grow. S Britt Schulz didn't make the much anticipated jump that Welch did make, which could be the end of it for him right here already. CB Marquis Wolf is already a very good zone defender, CB Adrian Kornegay by far the best special team on the secondary and first round pick CB Zachary Blair, despite his somewhat expected nosedive in ability, too expensive in dead cap space if released. CB Joel Delgado is the beneficiary of it, his status quo in decline (thus lack thereof) makes him a defensible stick around with his cohesion value and still being the second best man-to-man defender on the entire secondary.

Other pre-season "changes" of note? Several players took a moderately biggish hit (QB Blake Stai, FB Kenneth Holse, WR Maurice Sweeney, WR Kai Cote, C Duane Ondre, K Oscar Harrington, DT Efrain Hutchins and CB Byron Sokol), but none of them warrant a change in their role on the team. Other than S Cesar Welch, we had no guys on the upside.

So, 57 signed, which means 2 more have to go after the last two pre-season games.

Oh yeah, we actually already played 2 pre-season games.

We lost 31-14 at the Brooklyn Fightin' Bums. WR Rodolfo Lane scored on a 76-yard punt return, QB Bart Tanner threw a 53-yard touchdown to WR Jessie Vertelney, both took place in the second half. LB Jorge Mayes had 4 defended passes, money well spent?

We beat the Capital City Blues 30-19. QB Harrison Singleton threw 3 interceptions, but also had a touchdown pass to WR Jessie Vertelney. QB Bart Tanner threw a short touchdown to WR Rodolfo Lane. S Peter Hinsley had a 55-yard interception return touchdown that was crucial in the flip around after Singleton's turnovers.

The pass rush floated at around 25% in both games, which is where we want it to be back at in 2116. With the big men DT Efrain Hutchins and DT Carlos Fisher up front, this defense can be very daunting.
* 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
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Old 07-20-2023, 11:08 AM   #802
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
IHOF Dynasties

So, a dynasty, what defines a dynasty? And what does it in professional (american) football?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary gives two meanings for the word "dynasty":
1. a succession of rulers of the same line of descent
2. a powerful group or family that maintains its position for a considerable time

If we're going by the first definition, there's quite simply only one answer to it in the context of the IHOF: The Tucker Tigers. If they really still need an introduction, in 112 seasons of IHOF football, they made the playoffs 97 times, reached the conference semi finals 89 times, made the AOC Championship game 65 times, made it to the Bowl game 43 times and won the bowl game 22 times. I mean, even the second best, the Chesapeake Chitterlings, who are a landslide ahead of the third best, can be called the rulers of their conference, but are nowhere close to the Tigers: 88 times playoffs, 70 times conference semi finals, 46 times conference finalists, 28 times bowl participants, 14 times bowl winners. It will be embarrassing to the rest of the field to bring up the third best, nor would it be completely technically correct as these two are half of the four IHOF franchises that never went through ownership changes (the others being the Bordeaux Vineyards and yours truly's Maassluis Merchantmen).

In overall regular season wins, there are similar wide gaps. The Tucker Tigers have won 1311 regular season games (9 ties), the Chesapeake Chitterlings are 8.5 undefeated 16-game seasons behind (1174 wins, 4 ties). Third place is arbitrary, based on your definition on whether name changes and ownership changes do or do not make for a new or the same franchise. The protagonists in this particular story could be placed fourth or arguably third in this metric, having 1004 regular season wins (and 8 ties) to show for. How about that, the Merchantmen of 2115 brought the entire history of the franchise into the 1000-win group! Yet we're still almost 11 undefeated seasons behind the Chitterlings.

Okay, so, what's the second definition? It can be interpreted somewhat differently, we could say a "group" here is a group of players. And the up for debate part is: what's a considerable time?

That's where my own arbitrair decisions come in. Without going through all the technicalities, I've decided that it would be fun to make a list of dynasties (or near dynasties) and get a little bit beyond that by allowing also-rans to come ito the picture. I picked 5 seasons of performance at the minimum and put a firm bottom line of 50 wins*. Now, "wins" in the playoffs have been recalibrated, counting for better than 1.0 wins, to show that beating a random playoffs team is a better performance than a random regular season team. That gave a gigantic list of all franchises and all their 5-season stretches. Some franchises deserved stretching that to 6 seasons, to accommodate for an off-season in the middle of it (yes, that too is debatable). Lastly, overlaps were not allowed, and neither were next to each other stretches if those would be worse than prior or later stretches. Only the true peak periods of time deserved to get on this list.

The result, as of the end of the 2115 season is a list of 124 "dynasties". I'm not going to give the full list here, but neither will I go over just the top10, because, well, it'll be a little bit dull once you see the same franchise listed 6 times in the top 11. Let's grab a nice round number: 15.

rerknameperiodowneravg ratenotes
1Tucker Tigers2032-2036Ben E Lou18.1503x IHOF Bowl winners, 2x AOC Championship losers
2Kansas Creationists2087-2092tzach16.6452x IHOF Bowl winners, 2x Bowl losers, 1x NAC Championship losers
3North Plainfield Plague2006-2010cthomer500016.3752x IHOF Bowl winners, 1x Bowl losers, 2x AOC Championship losers
4Tucker Tigers2048-2052Ben E Lou16.2002x IHOF Bowl winners, 2x Bowl losers
5Chesapeake Chitterlings2069-2073QuikSand16.1503x IHOF Bowl winners, 1x Bowl losers
6Tucker Tigers2090-2094Ben E Lou16.0751x IHOF Bowl winners, 3x Bowl losers, 1x AOC Championship losers
7Tucker Tigers2069-2073Ben E Lou16.0501x IHOF Bowl winners, 3x Bowl losers, 1x AOC Championship losers
8Moontown Darksiders2078-2083bomber33bomber16.0412x IHOF Bowl winners, 2x NAC Championship losers
9Tucker Tigers2106-2110Ben E Lou15.9751x IHOF Bowl winners, 2x Bowl losers, 2x AOC Championship losers
10Orlando Knights2016-2020Dutch15.7502x IHOF Bowl winners, 1x AOC Championship losers
11Tucker Tigers2078-2082Ben E Lou15.7252x IHOF Bowl winners, 1x Bowl losers, 1x AOC Championship losers
12Gothenburg Giants2110-2114Julio Riddols15.6252x IHOF Bowl winners, 1x Bowl losers, 1x AOC Championship losers
13Oakland Black Panthers2047-2051Subby15.6001x IHOF Bowl winners, 1x Bowl losers, 2x NAC Championship losers
14Capital City Blues2041-2045MalcPow15.0502x IHOF Bowl winners, 1x Bowl losers
t-15Vicksburg Vipers2033-2037Kozure15.0001x IHOF Bowl winners, 1x Bowl losers, 1x AOC Championship losers
t-15Texas Sharks2046-2050landshark4415.0000x IHOF Bowl winners, 2x Bowl losers, 1x NAC Championship losers

Okay, that's still a lot to grasp. What it already shows that even with these selective criteria there are few franchises that managed to win 2 IHOF Bowls in a short period of time. Even this list already shows some with just 1 IHOF Bowl win and even one without a ring.

What jumps out is the 6 Tucker Tigers teams in the top11. I've double checked, these peak periods were so impressive, you won't find them anywhere further down the list, simply because these peak periods were so impressive, everything in between got lost in the overlap criteria.

Going by these numbers and stopping at that adjusted 15-win average, several two-time winners are not on this shortlist.

So, what's right behind all the way down to 14.000?

rerknameperiodowneravg ratenotes
t-17Toronto Lake Monsters2075-2079tzach14.9501x IHOF Bowl winners, 1x Bowl losers, 2x AOC Championship losers
t-17Oakland Black Panthers2091-2095Juggernaut14.9501x IHOF Bowl winners, 3x NAC Championship losers
19Chesapeake Chitterlings2035-2039QuikSand14.7002x IHOF Bowl winners, 2x Bowl losers, 1x NAC CHampionship losers
20Asheville Axemen2018-2023Eaglesfan2714,6752x IHOF Bowl winners, 1x Bowl losers
21Gothenburg Giants2094-2098Julio Riddols14.6502x Bowl losers, 3x AOC Championship losers
22Toronto Lake Monsters2054-2058corbes14.6001x IHOF Bowl winners, 1x Bowl losers, 1x AOC Championship losers
t-23Fairbanks Northstars2004-2008albionmoonlight14.5502x IHOF Bowl winners, 1x NAC Championship losers
t-23Chesapeake Chitterlings2025-2029QuikSand14.5502x IHOF Bowl winners, 1x Bowl losers, 1x NAC Championship losers
25Frederick Red Menace2009-2013cuervo7214.5252x IHOF Bowl winners, 1x Bowl losers, 1x NAC Championship losers
26Kansas Creationists2045-2049Hollywood14.2501x IHOF Bowl winners, 1x NAC Championship losers
27Chesapeake Chitterlings2058-2062QuikSand14.2251x IHOF Bowl winners, 1x NAC Championship losers
28Williamsburg Colonials2080-2084brothergrim14.2001x IHOF Bowl winners, 2x Bowl losers, 2x NAC Championship losers
29Maassluis Merchantmen2057-2061MIJB1914.1502x Bowl losers
30Williamsburg Colonials2055-2059brothergrim14.1252x IHOF Bowl winners, 1x Bowl losers
31Toronto Lake Monsters2102-2106Kodos14.0001x IHOF Bowl winners, 1x Bowl losers, 2x AOC Championship losers

Well, there you have it, several more 2-time champions and the first Merchantmen sighting.

Okay. That's still a lot of numbers. Let's just take out a select few things.

The Tucker Tigers 2032-2036 won 3 IHOF Bowls. This was the height of the Jackie Collier era. People could debate about this, but helped by a strong group of wide receivers, Collier dominated the league for a decade and a half (2031-2045). The best quarterback of all time has 7 championship rings. His career passer rating is in a whole different milky way. His gross passing numbers have been surpassed by quarterbacks in pass only offenses, but even knowing that, Collier can still claim to have the highest passing yards and touchdowns in all-time playoffs games. And Merchantmen fans are familiar with this dynasty, losing twice in the playoffs in this specific 5-year timespan.

The Tigers were so dominant during and shortly before the Jackie Collier era, we could stretch this time period out to 2026-2043 and they will still rank a top this list in this metric. A stretch of 18 seasons with 9 IHOF Bowl wins, 2 Bowl losses and 7 AOC Championship losses. But even when we take the Jackie Collier active years, that stretch for the Tigers will still top the second best 5-season stretch.

It almost makes it feel weird to even talk about other dynasties, but there were others that deserve getting mentioned.

The Kansas Creationists 2087-2092 may seem unfair to stretch to 6 seasons, but at 5 seasons they'd still rank second and the addition of the 2087 season boosts their average figure per season up from 16.425 to 16.645. This was the peak era of quarterback Hugh Gaines, that guy that threw for 7,680 yards and 84 touchdown passes in a single season (ironically that was 2087, the stretched-in season). Gaines actually missed the 2092 IHOF Bowl victory, which could feed the product of the system debates, but if so, it was a working system.

The 2006-2010 North Plainfield Plague had their own very best quarterback of his era in David Conti. Proponent of the early days of the IHOF, he won't be found in the list of top whatever passers in yardage, but he was the first to surpass 400 passing touchdowns and 50,000 yards. In a time when injuries were much fiercer and more common. The Plague then leaned heavily on their defense, became the first back-to-back champions, even came close to being threepeat champions, which to date has only been matched by the Tucker Tigers 2040-2042.

Let's be so blunt to lump together the other Tucker Tigers dominations, which were lead by quarterbacks Ethan Beyer (2045-2060), Erick Loera (2063-2074), Donovan Muth (2084-2100) and German Terry (2105-2113). None of those teams came close to the dominance of the Jackie Collier era, but proven by the list above, these quarterbacks and their support casts were still amongst the best of the best. The best Tigers wide receiver Wes Banks (2038-2050) and the best running back Shane Thomas (2068-2076) had their part in this story.

Let's move on to quarterback Roderick Carter, unsuccessful in his first 4 seasons with the Toronto Lake Monsters, but after he got traded to the Chesapeake Chitterlings, his new team reached unprecedented new heights. 3 IHOF Bowl victories in a timespan of 5 seasons, something only Jackie Collier's Tigers ever achieved. Carter remained the Chitterlings quarterback through 2078, but the team's success and Carter's performance clearly went hand in hand as Carter's performance in 2069-2073 (and one could argue beginning in his 7 starts in 2068) was exceptional.

The Moontown Darksiders are another team that has to be stretched to 6 seasons. Although this only adds a lost IHOF Bowl in 2083. One might say that the IHOF Bowl win in 2074 fits better with the back-to-back wins in 2078 and 2079. Either way, it will all fall in the middle of reign of Derek Barge (2070-2085), a quarterback that set new heights of dual treat with over 10K rushing yards accompanying his 65K passing yards. Getting "Barged" was an often used term when he used his legs to save the day. He was supported by fellow 10K rusher running back Van Sienkiewicz (2074-2082), who was acquired as a rookie through trade from Bordeaux and ironically lost in the 2083 playoffs to Barge and Moontown with the Kansas Creationists.

Let's wrap up the out of Maassluis stories with a short bit about the Orlando Knights 2016-2020. It may come as no surprise that those Knights had their own all-time great quarterback in Ted Wolf (2009-2024), with his ability to throw 50 touchdown passes in a season and float around 5,000 yards passing. Wolf was the league MVP 5 seasons straight in 2015-2019, also claiming the IHOF Bowl MVP honors in 2016 and 2018. Wolf had a fine duo of workhorse receivers in Mohammad Glenn (2014-2025) and Glen Dodge (2014-2026), unsurprisingly known as Glen and Glenn back then.

So where are the Merchantmen "dynasties"? Well, 29th was the best generation. The 2057-2061 Merchantmen can make the claim to have been the best in their time of the conference, the only to win multiple AOC Championship games. Except then, the traditionally weaker conference dominated as NAC franchises won six straight IHOF Bowls, stretching to 2062. It was the Lester Lowe era, the Merchantmen starter in 2057-2064. It was also the peak period of wide receiver Riddick Stanley, the early years when he was capable of 1,400 yards and 10 touchdowns per season. And half a decade before the ultimate achievement (Bowl victory).

The Merchantmen are 4 times on this dynasties list, so 3 more times outside the tables above. The 2036-2040 Merchantmen rank tied 44th. It was the team with quarterback Jay McGee, released after the lost 2039 IHOF Bowl, the team of wide receiver Terry Haskell. The 2065-2069 Merchantmen rank 61st, it was the post-Lowe team, with quarterback Alfred Hickman and the IHOF Bowl victory in 2066, leaning heavily on that incredibly talented defense. And the 2023-2028 Merchantmen rank 72nd, a team quarterbacked by Russell Harrison, with running back Stanley Givens and wide receiver Gabe Springer in their twilight years.

Time and desire to do so are coming short to write about the full list of 124, but unsurprisingly the most dominant teams all made that list. One back-to-back champion was playing so poorly surrounding their championships, they are on that 124 shortlist, but didn't sustain long enough to get above that adjusted 14-win average. Neither did one of the two teams that went 19-0, because their surrounding seasons were underwhelming. But the other 19-0 team did make it. At the top. The 2032 Tucker Tigers.
* 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
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Old 07-20-2023, 02:27 PM   #803
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: Little redaction

Yeah, about that roster situation and going into the final pre-season games with 57 players on roster. We're down to 55 already.

My math earlier was wrong, as mentioned there, we released longtimer DE Howie Tucker, as well as rookies LB Roy Finch, LB Wendell Reynolds and K Carter Madison. I did indeed place CB Kent Wodarz on injured reserve. But as I already kind of foreshadowed: we also released S Britt Schulz. Our roster situation now is 54 players on team, hence, 1 more cut to go. Or two, if we do something crazy on the open market or trade for somebody...

We did get our cap situation back up to almost $6M under the cap, which will be used to extend a couple of contracts. DE Ernest Frias, LB Nicolas Giles and CB Skip Horner already turned down our first offer. Veterans WR Kai Cote and G Andres Uwaezuoke did already agree on extending their contract into 2117.
* 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
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Old 07-21-2023, 04:26 PM   #804
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: the 2116 roster?

Another roster breakdown, really? Why yes, because this time we have our opening day roster of 53. Providing there won't make any further transaction.

40/40 QB Harrison Singleton -3/-3 pre-season
40/40 QB Bart Tanner +1/-1 pre-season
10/40 QB Kent Figures +2/+1 camp, +1/= pre-season
10/10 QB Blake Stai +1/+1 camp, -5/-5 pre-season
53 Men cuts: Figures
Underwhelming improvement by the rookie Figures, but especially Tanner's re-signing sealed the deal here. Stai is still on, but with nobody to mentor anymore. He's not quite safe, but eventually we're going to need a third quarterback, that's faith. Singleton sucked in pre-season. Tanner was okay and meh. It's tricky, but I think if I somehow finally get some sense of how the bleep play calling should work, I might be able to get Tanner to not play as horrible as he did last season.

55/55 RB Rusty Kemp -2/-2 pre-season
45/45 RB Renaldo Billodeaux =/= pre-season
35/35 RB Edwin Erickson +2/= camp
30/30 FB Kenneth Holse -6/-6 pre-season
53 Men cuts: none
I have no reason to doubt these guys. Billodeaux and Kemp are a stud tandem, Erickson is a worth stand-in for Billodeaux and Holse will play on special teams.

Tight Ends
55/55 TE Ted Gordon -1/-1 pre-season
55/55 TE Corwin Robbins +1/+1 pre-season
30/30 TE Arnie Huffman -1/-1 pre-season
25/30 TE Rich Osborne +4/0 camp, =/+1 pre-season
53 Men cuts: none
Nothing new to report here. We'll factor Gordon, Robbins and Huffman all into the rotation.

Wide Receivers
70/70 WR Jessie Vertelney =/= pre-season
65/65 WR Rodolfo Lane =/= pre-season
50/60 WR Rufus Montgomery +5/+0 camp, =/-1 pre-season
35/35 WR Antonio Price =/= pre-season
25/25 WR Maurice Sweeney +2/+0 camp, -3/-5 pre-season
5/5 WR Kai Cote -7/-7 pre-season
53 Men cuts: none
Nothing new to report here. Vertelney, Lane and Montgomery are our guys. I'll do some formation roles checking and from here on, these kids need to stop asking for so much money and start combining for at minimum 200 yards per game. Period. There. So. Make it work. Prima donnas.

Offensive Line
70/70 LT Dan Clancy +7/+1 camp, -2/-2 pre-season
55/60 G Herb Nieves +4/+0 camp, =/+2 pre-season
55/55 C Zane Chaplain =/= pre-season
45/45 G Andres Uwaezuoke =/= pre-season
45/45 RT Edwin Northcutt =/= pre-season
40/45 G Alfred Pearsall +5/+0 camp, +1/-1 pre-season
40/40 RT Clayton Bernstein -4/-4 pre-season
30/30 C Duane Ondre -6/-6 pre-season
53 Men cuts: none
So, Ondre dropped from an excellent to a very good run blocker. But he's not going to be on the active 46 anyway. Nieves or Pearsall, that's the question. And it could even go to a game by game decision on whether we need a pass protector or a run blocker.

Defensive Line
65/65 DT Efrain Hutchins -5/-5 pre-season
50/65 DT Carlos Fisher +6/+0 camp, +2/= pre-season
55/55 DE Lonnie Wynn -1/-1 pre-season
50/50 DE Calvin Buckley =/= pre-season
35/45 DT Bryan Lomax +3/+0 camp, -2/-5 pre-season
45/45 DT Francisco Blades +1/+1 pre-season
40/40 DE Ernest Frias +1/-1 camp, +1/+1 pre-season
35/35 DE Christopher Wrighster -2/-2 pre-season
15/15 DE Howie Tucker -7/-7 pre-season
53 Men cuts: Tucker
We're going to go the 8 active route. Tucker dropped down and out. Bummer.

65/65 LB Jorge Mayes +1/+1 pre-season
45/45 LB Xavier Hoover +1/+1 pre-season
40/40 LB Bobby Diaz =/= pre-season
40/40 LB Nicholas Giles, +2/+2 pre-season
40/45 LB Raymond Casper +3/+0 camp, =/+2 pre-season
35/45 LB Ezekiel O'Neal +5/-3 camp, +1/+1 pre-season
25/45 LB Roy Finch +4/+0 camp, -1/-1 pre-season
25/35 LB Wendell Reynolds +3/+1 camp, +1/+3 pre-season
53 Men cuts: Finch, Reynolds
O'Neal is likely to make it, but Finch and Reynolds did not. O'Neal has enough upside to threaten Hoover or Giles for their role on the defense. All of them are fine special teamers too.

45/45 S Dan Peterson +1/+1 pre-season
35/50 CB Zachary Blair +5/+1 camp, -2/-10 pre-season
40/40 S Peter Hinsley +4/-2 camp -1/-1 pre-season
35/40 CB Asher McElroy +4/+0 camp, +1/-1 pre-season
25/50 S Cesar Welch +6/+1 camp, +6/+11 pre-season
35/35 CB Byron Sokol -7/-7 pre-season
35/35 S Noah Matthews -1/-1 pre-season
30/35 CB Marquis Wolf +4/+2 camp, =/-4 pre-season
30/30 CB Skip Horner -3/-3 pre-season
30/30 CB Kent Wodarz =/= pre-season
25/25 CB Joel Delgado -1/-1 pre-season
20/30 CB Adrian Kornegay +2/+2 camp, +1/-4 pre-season
15/25 S Britt Schulz +2/+0 camp =/= pre-season
53 Men cuts: Schulz
injured reserve: Wodarz
Blair is a bust. But he can play bump and run. Ugh. Welch jumped up and will get an active role on the defense. Delgado will stick behind Sokol and I doubt I will start him ahead of Blair, although maybe I should. Wodarz lost it to the other zone defenders and with his arthritis, it felt tricky to let him make the team.

Special teamers
70/70 K Oscar Harrington -7/-7 pre-season
65/65 P Tyrus Johnston +2/+2 pre-season
25/35 K Carter Madison +3/-3 camp, -1/+2 pre-season
20/20 LS Roderick Kaeding =/= pre-season
53 Men cuts: Madison
We could have kept Madison for his kickoff skills, but somehow we're not allowed to put Madison on kickoff duties and also have Harrington on field goals and extra points duty. So, it's all Harrington for another season and in 2117 we'll re-evaluate the situation.

That should be it, right? Kent Figures will be our final cut.

Oh yeah, we played 2 more pre-season games. We struggled, despite having mostly our starters starting. Although we actually beat the Chesapeake Chitterlings 15-10, all our points coming on field goals, with Kent Figures throwing 2 interceptions and getting sacked 4 times. Yet we outgained our opponents 390-259 in total yards and overcame those picks without any takeaways.
We then lost 31-3 at home against the Moontown Darksiders, with Bart Tanner throwing 2 interceptions. We were outgained 471-234 in total yards and didn't have any field position advantage to battle it. We seriously sucked that final exhibition game.

More later? Probably the next will be a recap of our first regular season game. Or two. Or five.
* 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
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Old 07-30-2023, 07:14 AM   #805
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: 2116 season has began!

Regular season action in the IHOF is in full galore. Before I recap how our first 5 weeks and the curse of the early bye have worked out for us, I'm going to write a little bit about our quarterback situation. Apparently there are people out there wondering why Bart Tanner has been given a $40M/year contract after his abysmal play during the season between his two hold outs.

Quarterback Situation

Going into the off-season, the plan was to look out for a replacement at quarterback. Going into the draft, I saw QB Zach Christianson that looked moderately capable, but he was taken 1 slot before us at #14 and, fair to say, I was not fully convinced enough in him to go out there and trade up for him. In retrospect, we may have dodged a bullet there, he was one of the biggest training camp and pre-season revelation disappointments.

I was ready to make Harrison Singleton our starter again after his acceptable play in the last regular season games in 2115, in which we went on the road and still clobbered our respective opponents. Bart Tanner's hold out made things even better for Singleton. Then Bart Tanner went for his hold out and started demanding serious money.

Right before the first pre-season games, we scraped the bottom of the barrel of cap space by restructuring some contracts of players that under normal circumstances would not be talked about until mid-pre-season, but it gave us just enough space to make Bart Tanner one now or never offer, with a $35M cap figure this season (which sounds like a lot, and it is, but the total cap figure is $623M and our wide receivers Jessie Vertelney and Rodolfo Lane are at cap figures of $64M and $40 respectively, after cap outs with both of them). It may be silly, but our change of Offensive Coordinator gave me some kind of gut feeling that Tanner would gel better with the new guy, while Singleton gelled with the previous one. Tanner accepted it.

From there on, I was ready to accept that Singleton would become angry and unwilling to talk with me anymore. In pre-season he regressed to being no longer 'better' than Tanner and it appears to have stopped him from thinking he should be the starter. His attitude has remained "unhappy", unlike his "angry"-ness late in the 2115 season, right before his 2 starts. Singelton's on team at $39M (quite expensive for a backup) and $19M next season. Maybe Singleton becomes a mentor then, which would be a better reason to keep him around as the QB2. I doubt we'll be able to restructure Tanner's contract to the $20M/year over 4 or 5 seasons I was hoping to lock him up for during the 2115 off-season. But in this business you never know what happens. Maybe next off-season the kind general managers that trade away theirtop5 quarterback for far too little, will try to see what the market for a top5 quarterback is, having learned from their or others' mistakes.

So, 2116, it's Bart Tanner's team again, unless he stinks again and we'll revert back to Harrison Singleton one more time. Rookie Kent Figures that we tried out got cut, but landed a new gig with the Texas Sharks. The Sharks happen to red hot with a 5-0 start while riding with what could be the worst starting quarterback in the league. One that we would describe as a sack magnet, yet he's winning, so way flip to their 6th year career backup or aforementioned rookie?

Enough about the quarterback situation going in. On to the game recaps of weeks 1 through 6.

Week 1 vs Gothenburg
The reigning AOC Champions were coming to town, which meant we were up for a big test right away. My expectations were simple: we're likely going to lose, but if we put up a fight and end up losing by a single score and are still in it in on our last drive of the game, it's confirmation we're capable of challenging them this season. A close game against the top dog in the conference can only be interpreted as us being really close.
We were off to a bad start, falling behind 13-0 in the first quarter, allowing 78- and 80-yard touchdown drives. We responded with a touchdown on our second possession and at that point, the game was on. It became a closely contested back and forth, as we scored went ahead 17-13, yet fell behind 20-17 by half time.
Both offenses choked an opportunity to score, we failed on a fourth down attempt where we really should have demanded our expensive kicker to attempt that 50-yard field goal, but shortly after they returned the favor by fumbling in our territory when they were about to move into scoring position. We kicked a short field goal to tie it up 27-27 with 5 minutes remaining, but Gothenburg responded with a smooth drive to set up a 55-yard field goal, which was converted and left us with just 31 seconds on the clock. We failed to make anything happen.
We outgained Gothenburg 399-387 in total yards, with the turnover battle 1-1. QB Bart Tanner threw for 272 yards, with touchdowns to TE Corbin Robbins and RB Renaldo Billodeaux. The latter also ran for 127 yards, while RB Rusty Kemp accounted for a rushing touchdown.
Result: 27-30 loss

Week 2 at Outer Banks
Our first road game of the season was a trip to the Ospreys, who like us lost their first game of the season. Unlike week 1, we got stuck in as slugfest, with neither offense able to anything. Yet, our defense turned out to be slightly better, helping us to be up 6-3 going into the last 2 minutes of the game. The Ospreys converted on 3rd and 15, and eventually with 5 seconds to go, scored on a 48-yard field goal to force overtime.
After a quick stop, we got a chance to set things right, but Oscar Harrington missed a 50-yard field goal on our first possession. A sour situation after we saw our red zone reaching play get pulled back for holding. The defense then stopped them at midfield with 5 seconds remaining, but we didn't attempt a hail mary to avoid the tie.
We gout outgained 329-307 in total yards, with a 0-0 turnover battle, which is quite low for an overtime game, especially in a tie. QB Bart Tanner threw for 231 yards.
Result: 6-6 tie

Week 3 at North Plainfield
In recent seasons we met the Plague when they were struggling and ended up shooting ourselves in the feet by losing against them. This time around, we were winless, while they went into this clash with a 2-0 record after high-scoring wins against Harlem and at Chesapeake.
Although the game started with a back and forth of scoring, us leading 13-10 after the first quarter, it evolved into a one-sided affair with the Merchantmen clearly on top, despite that Bart Tanner got picked off 3 times.
We outgained them 379-263 in total yards, whilst losing the turnover battle 1-3. QB Bart Tanner threw for 250 yards without a touchdown. RB Renaldo Billodeaux scored 2 rushing touchdowns, RB Rusty Kemp had 1 of those.
Result: 32-20 win

Week 4 bye
Injuries on the offensive line were piling on at this point, with LT Dan Clancy able to tough it out, but C Zane Chaplain out for 2 months with a dislocated shoulder and G Herb Nieves getting benched with an elbow injury. It prompted me to play G Andres Uwaezuoke at center, while G Alfred Pearsall RT Clayton Bernstein slotted at the guard positions.

Week 5 vs Tucker
Despite that recently the Gothenburg Giants are the dominant team in the AOC in terms of playoffs success, the Tucker Tigers have played up to that level in the regular season and after they were handed the #1 overall draft pick in 2115 for far too little, they picked QB Renaldo Brady, who's shaping up to be the best quarterback to play for the Tigers since the greatest of all time Jackie Collier. This last draft, the Tigers finally hit the jackpot again, spend many picks on wide receivers in the last bunch of draft, but WR Duane Yellope looks like they finally got an elite wide receiver again.
We were unimpressed about the young quarterback and wide receiver, stopping them in our red zone and responding with touchdown drives. After we picked off Brady and extended our lead to 24-6 at half time, this game looked like it was going to be our second win of the season.
On the first drive of the second half, Brady got is team going and found Yellope for their first touchdown of the day. We responded with a touchdown of our own and increased the lead to 31-12. But then the wheels came off on our end. We got penalized on crucial downs, saw our sure handed kick returner fumble and despite that our red zone defense held them to short field goals twice, eventually our inability to score one more time saw us fall behind 32-31 with under 4 minutes remaining. We chickened out on 4th and 1 near midfield on the ensuing drive, forced 3 and out to give us the ball back, but this time we went for it on 4th and 8 and failed. We could have had the ball back one more time, but on 3rd and 14 they somehow converted on an outside run, which accounted for more than half of their 27 rushing yards by their running backs of the game, and that was that.
They outgained us 545-377 in total yards with a 1-1 turnover battle. QB Bart Tanner threw for 313 yards, with touchdown passes to RB Rusty Kemp, TE Corbin Robbins, TE Arnie Huffman and WR Rodolfo Lane.
Result: 31-32 loss

Week 6 at Augusta
No time to get stuck in what if sentiments, we reworked our defensive game plan again, after seeing some success from our tweaks versus Tucker and some of their specific easy to see tricky. We also benched our RT Edwin Northcutt, as I called him responsible of the unacceptable large number of sacks allowed in the first 4 games. The Greenjackets on the road would usually be a game where we're the underdogs, but if we want to prove to be playoffs material, we have to show it here too.
It turned into a sensational game. The first possessions of both offenses were cut short, but ours ended up in a blocked punt that was recovered at our 1-yard line. A run up the middle by their fullback resulted in the first touchdown of the game, but we responded with seeing TE Ted Gordon make a phenomenal play, turning a short catch into a 75-yard touchdown to tie it up 7-7. Both offenses showed their skill again and scored another touchdown in the first quarter.
On our first play from scrimmage in the second quarter, Bart Tanner threw a deep pass, which got picked off and returned 70 yards and putting the Greenjackets 21-14 up. We stumbled on our next drive, while the Greenjackets didn't and they went ahead 28-14. Bart Tanner responded with long throws to his receivers and we managed to get it back to trailing 28-21 at half time.
In the second half the Merchantmen offense was neigh unstoppable, highlighted with a75-yard run by Rusty Kemp on a drive that started at our own 1-yard line and eventually saw Bart Tanner run it in from 5 yards out, followed by a 2-point conversion to Jessie Vertelney to tie the score 35-35 halfway into the fourth quarter. Despite the sensational display of offensive firepower, neither team managed to score anymore, Oscar Harrington missed a potential game winning 54-yard field goal, while Jessie Vertelney was stopped 1 yard short of a hail mary touchdown. But it turned to be three times the charm as in overtime, the Merchantmen offense kept steamrolling and eventually Rusty Kemp pounded a short run in for the game winning touchdown.
We outgained them 668-323 in total yards, losing the turnover battle 0-1. QB Bart Tanner threw for 443 yards and 3 touchdowns, whilst also running for a touchdown. RB Rusty Kemp caught 1 touchdown, also ran for 1 touchdown and 100 yards. WR Jessie Vertelney had 119 yards receiving, TE Corbin Robbins 100 yards and 1 touchdown, while TE Ted Gordon also had a receiving touchdown.
Result: 41-35 win in overtime

So, 5 games in and we've already had a season's worth of sensational wins and losses, with the shootout against Gothenburg, the wasted opportunities silly tie in Outer Banks, a surprisingly easy win at North Plainfield, a once in a 100 seasons choke against Tucker and the potential game of the year victory at Augusta.

European Division standings
1. Gothenburg 4-2
2. Maassluis 2-2-1
3. Paris 2-3
4. Bordeaux 1-4

All in all, we're playing quite okay and I should feel good about our ability to play with the strong teams and be in playoffs caliber shape. We'll have to find ways to close out games with 3-score leads and not piss away games like the one in Outer Banks, to truly be a contender for the conference title. We're not yet in a virtual playoffs position, so let's focus on getting there first, we'll have to take it game by game again.

Next up? We'll visit to the Paris Musketeers. After the display of offense so far, it would be a shocker if we don't win this game, but in IHOF football you really can't be sure. There are no easy wins, even against Paris. Despite the offensive line reshuffle, we still saw Bart Tanner get sacked 4 times in Augusta, which puts the tally at 21 in 5 games so far. We're dead last in pass rush percentage allowed with almost 30% of passing plays disrupted. That's unimaginably bad. We can't even put blame on having faced incredible pass rushes. We have to be cautious in Paris though, they do rank 7th in pass rush pressure (on defense), shortly behind us in 5th.

A couple of familiar faces on Paris' defensive line are playing quite well. DE Frank Bernard left us as a free agent after 4 seasons with us. He never lived up to his 14-sack season again, but he's still a force to reckon with. Former undrafted rookie signing DE Jamie Coffey was cut by us in his rookie pre-season and after Paris picked him up, he has developed into perhaps the most talented in the league in terms of pass rush technique. I bet he'll be more motivated than ever to play against us. Teamed up with blitzbacker Brett Strickland, that's one scary pass rushing front seven. The one weakness on the Paris defense is their inability to play zone defense. I can only hope our best receivers in business and their tight ends can take full advantage of the mismatches.
* 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

Last edited by MIJB#19 : 07-30-2023 at 07:20 AM.
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Old 08-05-2023, 12:45 PM   #806
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: rising to the top of the division?

With the Gothenburg Giants struggling despite their 4-2 start, we had the chance to catch up and who knows what in this mid-regular season serie of 6 games. SO, how did it go?

Week 7 at Paris
As to be hoped, yet somewhat unexpected, this turned into a mismatch of rare proportions. Even though we struggled to move the ball inside Paris' red zone, our sometimes reliable kicker converted on every attempt given to him, helping us to slowly but steadily increase a lead that came after we saw Paris' quarterback throw into our defense's hands on their first two possessions. We fumbled away the first chance, but after a dink pass on the second attempt, the lead was ours and we never looked back. The defense smooth sailed the remainder of the game and posted our first shutout since week 10 of the 2096 season, ironically also in France, but at Bordeaux.
We outgained Paris 345-225 total yards, winning the turnover battle 3-1. QB Bart Tanner threw for 257 yards and a touchdown, with TE Arnie Huffman on the receiving end. RB Renaldo Billodeaux ran for the score settling touchdown.
Result: 29-0 win

Week 8 vs Snapfinger
The Jazz are notorious for having a talented team, yet struggling to even challenge for second place in a very tough Southeast division with Tucker and Augusta the clear top teams and Orlando every other season also in the mix. They went into this game with a 1-5 record and underdogs to us. For us it turned into an opportunity to legitimately jump ahead of Gothenburg in the division standings as they were 4-3 going into their bye week - at 3-2-1 we were technically division leaders already with a better winning percentage, but with 4.5 wins versus their 4 wins, it would feel more legit.
After a strong continuation of the shutout in Paris by our defense, yet sloppy play by our offense, perhaps supported by the Jazz' strong defensive play, we found ourselves leading 9-0 going into the 4th quarter. Then it finally became a real football game, with missed field goals, more turnovers and finally touchdowns on both ends of the field. But eventually the built up lead proved sufficient to maintain and post our first win in Oranje Haven of this season.
We tied the Jazz in total yards at 289-289, losing the turnover battle 2-1. QB Bart Tanner threw for 180 yards with 2 interceptions, yet a touchdown pass to WR Rodolfo Lane.
Result: 19-10 win

Week 9 at Bordeaux
The struggling Vineyards seem to already have given up their hopes to make something of this season, result of their 2-5 start. Our confidence boosted by our division leading status, we saw ourselves once again kicking for 5 field goals at a French division rival, again struggling inside the red zone to haul it in. A strong 16-0 lead was eventually brushed away by Bordeaux to a tie-game score going into the 4th quarter. And that point, our defense picked it up, making interceptions one after another and as we brought it up to 2 scores again, Bordeaux got into no guts no glory, falling short on 4th down and setting up our victory clinching field goal.
We got outgained 335-372 in total yards, yet won the turnover battle 3-1. QB Bart Tanner threw for 217 yards, with a touchdown pass to WR Rodolfo Lane. RB Rusty Kemp hauled in a rushing touchdown.
The bad news of the day was WR Jessie Vertelney tearing an ankle ligament and ruled out for 6 months, hence, ending the season for him.
Result: 29-16 win

Week 10 at Orlando
Fresh of a gut wrenching 54-17 loss against Tucker, the Talons had something to prove to their fans and themselves about still being competitive, hence, still being in the mix for the wild cards in the AOC. With us missing WR Jessie Vertelney, our confidence was at an all time low, the last time we missed him we played a turd of a playoffs game.
Our defense and special teams certainly did their best to keep us in the game as we ended up trailing 10-9 at half time on a shanked extra point. But with their offense getting anything going in the second half, the slugfest was on and the Talons kicked for a 2-score lead. With nothing but a touchdown to play for, we ended up in another Hail Mary situation: QB Bart Tanner found WR Rufus Montgomery open enough to catch it at the Orlando 25-yard line and make some ground, but was tackled 17 yards shy of the game winning play.
We got outgained 306-388 in total yards, although made up for it by winning the turnover battle 3-0. QB Bart Tanner threw for 210 yards with 1 touchdown to TE Corbin Robbins.
Result: 9-13 loss

Week 11 at Gothenburg
Leading the division by 1.5 wins, visiting the Giants we got a chance to take an even bigger lead by evening the head-to-head and putting ourselves a situation where even tie-breakers were still salvageable. A loss would instantly make that moot with Gothenburg completing the head-to-head sweep.
Albeit finding still struggling Giants in their own home, on our time of possession we completely let ourselves down. One strong 71-yard drive early in the game aside, it was a display of ineptitude, light and day from what kind of team we had proven to be in the week 1 clash with them. Interceptions and a missed field goal kept the Giants from taking a lead, until a rare fumble from RB Rusty Kemp got recovered by the Giants at our 1-yard line, with less than 2 minutes to go, setting them up for an until then unimaginable game winning score. They threw it into their own hands in the end zone and that was that.
We got outgained 185-403 in total yards in a 2-2 turnover battle. QB Bart Tanner threw for just 156 yards with 1 touchdown to WR Rodolfo Lane.
Result: 7-14 loss

Week 12 vs Capital City
Although an opponent to not underestimate, sporting a 5-5 record going in, we felt that this had to be the game to stop the losing streak quickly and hold onto the slim lead in the division title race. Seemingly reborn, we pounded away at will and scored 27 unanswered points in the first half to pull it off quickly. But the 27-7 lead was as safe and sound as it the big lead against Tucker was and in the second half the Blues kept hanging on and by virtue of an 80-yard touchdown pass, they got within 2 scores and a three-and-out later scored another touchdown to make it just a 7-point lead for us. With almost 5 minutes to go, we showed a display of ball control and time management, getting the chains to move when needed and eventually draining their time outs and knee dropping ourselves to the second victory in Maassluis of this season.
We outgained them 500-449 in total yards, winning the turnover battle 2-0. QB Bart Tanner threw for 347 yards with touchdown passes to TE Corbin Robbins and WR Rufus Montgomery. WR Rodolfo Lane gained 120 yards receiving. RB Rusty Kemp and RB Renaldo Billodeaux each ran for a touchdown.
Result: 34-27 win

European Division
1. Maassluis 6-4-1
2. Gothenburg 6-5
3. Bordeaux 4-7
4. Paris 4-7

Yes, we're still in the lead after 11 games, but it's a small margin, we can't afford any mishaps from here on if we really want to show the world we're ready to end the Giants' domination of the division. Bordeaux has clawed their way back into almost in the race, while Paris' fluke victory over Gothenburg has them tied in wins with Bordeaux, but not really in the mix here. The wild card race has 6-5 Augusta ahead of Gothenburg on head-to-head tie-breaker, with both behind 7-4 San Antonio.

The San Antonio Tidal Force happen to be our next opponents, which makes it even more crucial to defend Oranje Haven well and get ahead of them with tie-breakers on our side. Sure, we're legitimate playoffs quality this season in the AOC, but we've struggled in close games, yet when outplayed, we still made it close until the very end.

Back to what I said 6 games prior, we have to continue to look at it 1 game at a time. So, San Antonio up next, I will avoid looking past that. Another tough opponent, as there are few pushovers in the AOC. Today (week 12) we showed at last we can play well without WR Jessie Vertelney around. Let's build on that.
* 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

Last edited by MIJB#19 : 08-05-2023 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 08-12-2023, 05:17 AM   #807
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: Go Bordeaux?

Sitting at the top the division, with almost the slimmest of margins possible ahead of the Gothenburg Giants, our regular season campaign continued with two games against teams in the mix for a ticket to the playoffs, followed by 3 home games against teams that after week 12 are already extreme longshots.

Week 13 vs San Antonio
The Tidal Force came to Maassluis, understanding that winning at our place would move them firmly into pole position for a wild card, while a loss could put their aspirations in jeopardy. For the neutral fans, this game was circled for this week and, boy, did it deliver for them.
We scored a quick touchdown on our first drive, setting the tone for our offensive power of the day, while San Antonio responded with a long drive for a field goal and after pushing us back deep on our second possession, they took the lead on a 1-play drive. In the second quarter we took full control, scoring 20 unanswered points into a 27-10 lead.
The second half was even more of a true shootout, with both teams scoring left and right, seeing a mid-fourth quarter short pick six bring the Tidal Force back within a touchdown, trailing 41-34. On their tie-up drive a fumble inside our half kept them off the score board, while their defensive three and out was replied by a game winning pick six on scored by our rookie first round pick Zachary Blair. Trailing by 14, San Antonio came close, on a pseudo Hail Mary throw, but they felt short on yards and time.
We outgained them 439-430 yards, winning the turnover battle 3-1. QB Bart Tanner threw for 365 yards with touchdowns to WR Antonio Price, TE Ted Gordon and TE Corbin Robbins. RB Renaldo Billodeaux and RB Rusty Kemp scored a rushing touchdown each. WR Rodolfo Lane gained 131 yards receiving, while WR Rufus Montgomery gained 124 yards receiving. As already mentioned, rookie CB Zachary Blair scored our 6th touchdown on an interception return.
Result 48-34 win

Week 14 at Texas
Another big test as we were visiting the Atlantic Coast Division leading Texas Sharks. Historically we seem to have their number, the last time a Sharks team beat a Merchantmen team was in 2084.
It proved to be a big test indeed and we passed it. Despite pretty sloppy play throughout the game, struggling to get the chains moving against the Sharks defense, we relied heavily on a triplet of big play touchdowns and on our defense forcing them to kick field goals three times. CB Bryan Sokol opened the score with a 39-yard interception return, QB Bart Tanner connected with WR Rodolfo Lane on an 83-yard touchdown pass early in the second quarter and RB Renaldo Billodeaux ran for a 53-yard score late in the third. In between, K Oscar Harrington converted a 51-yard field goal with second remaining to half time on a short drive set up by nailing them at their own 1-yard line on the preceding drive. Texas came back to life offensively really late in the fourth quarter, but by then it was too little too late already.
We got outgained 334-364 in total yards, but won the turnover battle 2-1. QB Bart Tanner threw for 248 yards, with touchdowns to WR Rodolfo Lane and TE Corbin Robbins. Lane racked up 153 yards receiving in the process. As already mentioned, RB Renaldo Billodeaux ran for a touchdown, while CB Byron Sokol returned an interception for a touchdown.
Result 34-24 win

Week 15 vs Bordeaux
And then came the revenge of Preston Gray. Our former wide receiver got a second life in the IHOF with the Bordeaux Vineyards. On a day where we actually could have used his skills, still missing Jessie Vertelney with a season ending injury and also losing WR Rufus Montgomery for the rest of the season with a broken arm. Instead, Gray scored twice on a short pass into our end zone. We struggled all game long against the Vineyards, despite that it went back and forth. When we kicked a field goal to make it 24-21 in their favor, we fully expected to get another shot at winning the game. Instead, Bordeaux played out the clock with an impressive 70-yard drive, lasting 4:27 minutes to play spoiler in our pursuit for the division title.
We were outgained 395-408 total yards, with a level 1-1 turnover battle. QB Bart Tanner threw for 280 yards, with 1 touchdown to TE Corbin Robbins. RB Renaldo Billodeaux ran for our other touchdown.
Result 21-24 loss

With Gothenburg on a winning streak, we fell behind them by 1/2 a win in the division title race. But to our luck, the other AOC wild card hopefuls San Antonio and Augusta both lost at their division title clinching divisional foes Houston and Tucker, respectively.

Week 16 vs Moontown
Against the struggling Darksiders, this turned into a non-contest. They wasted all their strong offensive play mojo on their first two drives, while we managed to keep scoring and scoring and forcing turnovers when our defense and special teams unit were on the field. QB Harrison Singleton got some action in the fourth quarter and despite his 2 interceptions thrown, they scored only 1 field goal to somewhat save face.
We outgained them 358-209 total yards, winning the turnover battle 4-2. QB Bart Tanner threw for 198 yards and 1 touchdown, caught by RB Rusty Kemp. QB Harrison Singleton threw for 38 yards in garbage time. RB Rusty Kemp scored a hattrick of touchdowns, adding 2 rushing ones to the aforementioned receiving touchdown. RB Renaldo Billodeaux also ran for a touchdown. FB Kenneth Holse forced 2 fumbles on punt returns.
Result: 34-10 win

With some help, we ended up clinching a trip to the playoffs, with 1 game still to go. A win combined with a Gothenburg loss to Bordeaux would move us into the division title. A loss and a San Antonio win elsewhere would drop us to sixth seed and make for the only scenario where we would face Houston instead of Gothenburg in the playoffs. Our motto of week 17: Go Bordeaux!

Week 17 vs Paris
Missing 2 of our 3 wide receivers still, we hoped to not stumble on the other French team in our place as well and make an upset from Bordeaux moot to begin with. It turned out to be a game in which we were the clearly better team early, steamrolling to a 28-10 lead barely into the second quarter. But the Musketeers kept clinging on, seeing a 90-yard pick six in their favor bring it back to 28-24 by half time, still in our advantage.
And then came one sloppy second half, in when our offense looked bland, penalties kept hurting us (in particular C Zack Chaplain, freshly back on the team after a nasty injury, being responsible for it 4 times) and our take it away drive ended in another interception. The defense proved strong enough to stop Paris several times on what looked like short field situations that could have tilted this game into a loss. Neither team scored in the second half, quite bizar after the high scoring first half.
We outgained them 366-326 total yards, losing the turnover battle 1-3. QB Bart Tanner threw for 243 yards and a touchdown pass to TE Corbin Robbins. RB Renaldo Billodeaux ran for 2 touchdowns.
Result 28-24 win

Bordeaux didn't complete their road spoiler mission, they instead got crushed in Gothenburg. At the same time, San Antonio tripped over their division rivals Fort Wayne, who posted their first win of the season against a team with a winning record and claim the last wild card. With a 9-7 record, Fort Wayne had the tie-breakers on less worse divisional record than San Antonio and less unimpressive strength of victory than Augusta (who beat 2 teams with a winning record).

European Division
1. Gothenburg 11-5
2. Maassluis 10-5-1
3. Bordeaux 6-10
4. Paris 5-11

A bummer, we failed to stop the Giants from yet another division title, in what seemed to be a season where we were the better team over the course of 16 games. The most crucial games, the head-to-head clashes, both went to them. We're the only team in the league that didn't lose a game by more than 1 score. Caveat being, one team didn't lose a single game at all as the Toronto Lake Monsters steamrolled to a 16-0 record and arguably the second best regular season campaign in league history (only behind the 2032 Tucker Tigers - you may have heard from them before, that team is mentioned in the recent dynasty list I wrote about).

In the playoffs, the AOC will be contested by 16-0 Toronto, 14-2 Tucker (they got crushed at home 41-10 by Toronto), 12-4 Houston (lost to Toronto, but beat Tucker), 11-5 Gothenburg (they lost to Toronto and Tucker, but beat Houston), 10-5-1 Maassluis (we lost to Tucker and twice to Gothenburg) and 9-7 Fort Wayne (they got humiliated 55-0 by Toronto and lost big twice to Houston).

The NAC will see a field of 12-4 Hanalei, 11-5 Kansas (they lost 32-22 at home to Hanalei), 10-6 Williamsburg (they lost 28-17 at home to Hanalei), 9-7 Capital City (they lost bit to Hanalei and Kansas), 10-6 Arizona (they split with Kansas, lost at Williamsburg, but won at Capital City) and 10-6 Colorado (they split with Hanalei and beat Williamsburg).

So, the season isn't over and we'll get the ultimate chance to prove we were the better European team as we face the Giants in Gothenburg in week 18. My confidence in the team has taken a hit when we lost WR Jessie Vertelney and even more when WR Rufus Montgomery joined him. We lost a game when DT Efrain Hutchins was out as well. The latter returned versus Paris and unlike the limping offense, our defense should be in full galore.

We can do this team. The Giants are struggling. We have shown more fire power on offense (we scored 429 points, they 378), slightly more stinginess on defense (319 vs 325 points allowed), our running game is superior, our passing game is slightly better, their run defense is slightly better and their pass defense slightly better. We're slightly better in forcing and avoiding turnovers. Our special teams unit was 3rd best in the league, but we're not better by a wide margin over Gothenburg. All things considered, home field advantage factored in, this could be as much of a coinflip as a game can ever be.

We'll have to prepare for this game the best we can, figure out where we floundered at times this season and then go out there and prove that we've truly improved to beat the Giants when it really counts. Go Merchantmen!
* 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
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Old 08-19-2023, 05:34 AM   #808
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: 2116 playoffs!

Week 18 @ Gothenburg

The disappointment of missing out on the division title was shoved aside quickly, as we had a chance to avenge it in a road game at the Giants. I had confidence in our team that we were strong enough to pull off the semi-upset here.

We started strong, seeing QB Bart Tanner completing 19-yard and 26-yard passes to WR Antonio Price and WR Blake Begay. Price was our mentor/WR4 at the start of the season, Begay was a mid-season signing to get our roster back up to 5 wide receivers with 2/3rd of our best trio in the league out with long term injuries. The drive ended in the end zone, but without any points as Tanner's pass was picked off there. Gothenburg responded with a strong drive, but on a 4th and 1 situation at our 34-yard line, they went for it and our defense stood strong. On our next possession, Tanner found Price for 30 yards, but somehow failed to get the ball into the hands of his tight ends in the end zone on goal line situations as we settled for a 21-yard field goal for the 3-0 lead. Gothenburg immediately responded with a 63-yard catch and run, setting up a short run for a touchdown and the 7-3 Giants lead. And things got even better for the Giants on the very next play from scrimmage as Tanner saw another pass picked off, this time returned the full 23 yards for a Giants 14-3 lead.

At the start of the second quarter, QB Bart Tanner succesfully connected with TE Ted Gordon on third and longish, while RB Rusty Kemp moved the chains with a 20-yard run on third and 3. We got as close as the Giants 21yard line, but an unsportsmanlike penalty pushed us back and instead trying to kicking it to a 1-score game, we punted. The Giants had a strong drive in response, until CB Byron Sokol interfered with an interception and got us back into Gothenburg territory. 4 plays later we finally scored our first touchdown of the game, RB Rusty Kemp ran it in from 9 yards out. The Giants' reply was strong, with a couple of 14-yard plays followed by a 47-yard touchdown run to put them into a firm 21-10 lead. RB Renaldo Billodeaux replied with a 31-yard run on our next drive, but once we reach the red zone, we floundered and settled for a 33-yard field goal, making it a 1-score deficit. The final 2 minutes saw both teams play it cautious into a 21-13 half time lead for Gothenburg.

Early in the third quarter, neither team scored on their first two possession, but we did play a stronger field position battle, pinning the Giants at their own 1-yard line. With some luck (the referees caught a Giants' lineman holding one of our guys on a 43-yard pass), we got the ball back quickly and shortly after QB Bart Tanner found TE Corbin Robbins for 26 yards, he found WR Antonio Price for a 19-yard catch and run touchdown. Gothenburg responded with their first strong drive of the second half, pulling off a tricky play on a 44-yard pass directly into the end zone, while we were lining up expecting a running play. It put the Giants up 28-20 by the end of the quarter.

In the fourth quarter, we started with a failed 3rd and short throw and found ourselves somewhat lucky again as the same Giants lineman caused a penalty on long pass. We recovered our own fumble on the first play of our next drive, but QB Bart Tanner quickly set things right with a 18-yard throw to TE Ted Gordon, followed by RB Renaldo Billodeaux' 22-yard run to set up a 42-yard field goal for a 28-23 deficit. Gothenburg responded with a strong drive, but arrived at our 19-yard line, as they were ready to make it a 2-score lead again, LB Bobby Diaz picked off a pass and possibly saved the game. Tanner completed twice on third downs for a new set, but on the third third down, Tanner not only got sacked but also lost the ball and the Giants recovered it near midfield. A crucial 47-yard pass on 3rd and 14 extended the Giants' drive deep into our red zone and after they burnt 2 of our time outs (we actually wasted one to save 7 seconds) they pounded it in for a 35-23 lead. Yes, we responded with a decent drive, but wasted too much time and our potential miracle ending pass ended up in WR Antonio Price getting tackled 2 yards short.

We outgained them 468-457 in total yards, lost the turnover battle 2-3 and had a 12-yard per drive field position advantage. QB Bart Tanner threw for 295 yards, with a touchdown to WR Antonio Price, who also had 107 yards receiving, but Tanner also threw 2 interceptions and lost a fumble. RB Rusty Kemp ran for a touchdown.

Result: 23-35 loss

And with that our season ended with the worst result of the season as all our previous losses were by a single score. We proved that we deserved to win 1 game against the Giants this season, but clearly, we did not, we lost 3 times against our biggest rivals and based on that, it's fair to say they deserved to move on in the playoffs.

The Giants ended up getting beaten 31-14 in the next round, being the first of three teams beaten by the Toronto Lake Monsters on their successful mission of going undefeated. Until this season, 4 teams had gone 16-0 in the regular season and 2 of those actually kept going for a 19-0 season. Up for debate, probably, but the 2116 Lake Monsters are quite possibly the second single season team in league history, behind the 2032 Tucker Tigers. Most certainly they will attempt to do it again in 2117. They'll have to get past us in Oranje Haven in week 7 to make that work though.

On to 2117.

We'll go into the off-season only just under $20M over the cap, with 44 players signed and 6 restricted free agents. mentor QB Blake Stai, K Oscar Harrington, running downs DT Francisco Blades, over the hill CB Joel Delgado and back from arthritis CB Kent Wodarz will be unrestricted free agents. And we have 12 draft picks, with 6 of them lumped together between picks 2.15 and 2.24. As a tiny bit of solace, we ended up earning that 24th pick in every round, by virtue of being the best team that got eliminated in the wild card round. So yeah, we played better than all 5 teams we got their second round picks from. But I'd probably be willing to trade the whole bunch of them if it would have gotten us a victory over the Giants in that wild card round. But that's not how life goes. But we've gotten closer again. Let's regroup quickly and focus on improvement. The division has to become ours again, let them not catch up in all time division titles. Go Merchantmen!
* 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

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Old 08-23-2023, 10:37 AM   #809
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: Where have the second round picks gone!?

The 2117 off-season rolls on and a couple of things have gone on so far.

First of all, chronologically, we hired a new defensive coordinator. We bring in 57-year old Clyde Beeman, previously the Colorado Cutthroats' head coach and before that 16 seasons of experience as a defensive coordinator with 4 different teams.

Second order of business was the inevitable renegotiations phase. Sure, some players will have to wait for mid-pre-season, but those where there can be money scraped off their salary cap figure, they were talked with and 18 players signed a restructured contract with us. We quickly followed up by re-signing 6 restricted free agents: WR Blake Begay, G Alfred Pearsall, LB Ezekiel O'Neal, CB Adrian Kornegay, CB Marquis Wolf and S Peter Hinsley. We also released last season's signing RT Edwin Northcutt, he proved to be too much of a liability in the pass protection and was a relative cap friendly cut, accounting for $1M in lost cap space in this and next season each.

The result being that we're a comfortable $70M under the $623M salary cap, with 49 players signed. With a truckload of draft picks incoming, especially no less than 6 second round picks, that should put us like $40M closer to the cap. But, there's non Merchantmen offseason without trade, As it is now, I've traded away 10 draft picks, including all 6 second round picks and got 2 seventh round picks in return. And the first round picks from the Fort Wayne Fury and Harlem Apollos. Both should be projected to go worse than 8-8 in the upcoming season, which is, to me, a very good return of value. A third round pick from Chesapeake was also part of the acquisitions.

It means that, upon conclusion of the second round, rather than having 7 names to present, we have just 1 new player. And, lo and behold it is just a kicker.

Our staff is convinced that Jeffery DeGroot - our Dutch speaking fans cringe over the spelling, but they'll have to learn to live with it - is potentially on par with Oscar Harrington as a kicker in terms of field goals and extra points, but with kickoff ability added on. That's a nice improvement to what already was a formidable special teams unit.

The roughly $60M of cap space we'll have remaining after rookies are signed, we'll spend on a handful of veteran free agents, if they look good enough to improve our team. But we'll also have to reserve quite a bit for the pre-season renegotiations (or earlier if some moron player agent advices to hold out), in particular for LT Dan Clancy and TE Corbin Robbins, as both are deservingly demanding to get paid. Clancy wants to improve to a $41M cap figure and Robbins to $30M. They currently combined for roughly $26M, which basically means we need to reserve $45M for them.

We still have 5 unrestricted free agents in QB Blake Stai, K Oscar Harrington, DT Francisco Blades, CB Joel Delgado and CB Kent Wodarz. I'm expecting Stai to sign in Bordeaux to mentor the 1.1 pick they traded up for (QB Hardy Henson). Harrington's tenure will likely end after 15 seasons in Maasssluis, in which he moved to 1st all time in field goals scored (9 more than the previous record holder Charles Anthony) and 2nd all time in points scored (81 behind Anthony, so he would have broken it with another season on team). Blades already got an offer to consider, while Delgado's and Wodarz' demands have to get more reasonable to be worth it.
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Old 08-25-2023, 03:49 PM   #810
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: Here come the 2117 hold outs...

Free agency and the draft are in full swing. We finished the draft with three picks in the seventh round with WR Brian Cote, CB Chase Finley and S Phil McCleskey. Cote is a special teamer with route running and decent getting downfield ability. Finley is a 6'3" corner with man to man ability, turnover forcing skills and special teams value. McCleskey is a special teamer with man to man skills, run defense and is a punishing hitter. It's quite possible Finley and McCleskey will challenge CB Joel Delgado for a roster spot. If Delgado actually signs the 2-year deal we've offered him. We did already bring back DT Francisco Blades on a new 3-year deal, but CB Kent Wodarz has not yet signed the 2-year deal we offered him.

The splasher of free agency for us was the signing of C Jim Mayes. Although a year older than C Zane Chaplain, I think the latter should really know he put himself in trouble with all the penalties in week 17 at Gothenburg. I do think Chaplain is more likely to be our backup center than C Duane Ondre. We missed out on a veteran right tackle we were pursuing, which means we're still an offensive tackle short, which is where I think I want to go, rather than keeping 3 centers.

The most intriguing part of the off-season could be what the contract negotiations with LT Dan Clancy and TE Corbin Robbins end up in. We made them both very generous offers, but their boneheads of player agents turned them down, apparently incapable of seeing how those offers included more overall and more guaranteed money than what they were requesting. We'll make a second offer tomorrow and then we'll find out whether one of them is going to be silly and hold out. We still have nearly $40M of cap space to work with after rookie contracts are factored in.

QB Blake Stai has finally signed with the Bordeaux Vineyards. We'll thank him for being our QB3 for a season of not having a young kid to mentor for him. As mentioned before, he'll go there to mentor the top pick of this draft class.

K Oscar Harrington is still without a new team. It seems that no team wants to pay him $12 for a single season. I mean, this isn't some random kicker, he needs one more season to become the 12th all-time to get over 2000 points scored, should jump into the top10 all-time in field goals scored. He's still good enough to do it, that's for sure. Maybe some team will pick him up in time for training camp or pre-season. We'll see. But it won't be us.
* 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

Last edited by MIJB#19 : 08-25-2023 at 03:50 PM. Reason: cuz i had to
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Old 08-26-2023, 06:12 PM   #811
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: home of the kickers

Early free agency concluded and we signed a couple more players. CB Joel Delgado and CB Kent Wodarz re-signed with us for 2 seasons. On the open market we signed LT Lester Money, a 30-year old veteran, huge framework (6'7", 327 pounds), very good run blocker, fair in pass protection. And we signed K Dalton Jackson.

Wait, didn't we just pick a kicker in the first round? We did, but Jackson will be a mentor for this kid, at minimum through pre-season. Surely we're not going into the regular season with 2 kickers, are we? At the same time, it gives us an insurance in case K Jeffery DeGroot tanks in pre-season.

K Oscar Harrington is still unaccounted for, which means he'll still be allowed to walk around at our training facilities until training camp starts.

We sent out about 2 hands full of offers to undrafted rookies, which appears to be the area of the game where we're the best in the league in finding keepers: 21 of the 59 players currently on roster were undrafted rookies. Although CB Kent Wodarz was actually released by us in his second season and late in the regular season brought back after injuries decimated the secondary.

As this is traditionally the hold out stage, we were more than happy to find out that, albeit they turned down an even more generous offer than the one we put on the table earlier, TE Corbin Robbins and LT Dan Clancy seem to be okay with waiting until pre-season for further negotiations and both are willing to report to training camp. We have about $25M in cap space to work something out with them. And I'm also mulling over whether we should lock up WR Rufus Montgomery now, rather than face his final season of the rookie contract negotiations, like we're having with Robbins and Clancy here. But we'll get on that in pre-season.
* 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

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Old 08-27-2023, 01:31 PM   #812
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: 9 new players, 7 new faces

K Oscar Harrington has officially left the Merchantmen. After 15 seasons of service (247 games), he signed a 1-year contract with the Capital City Blues.

We signed two second-year pro's with familiar names in QB Kent Figures and LB Wendell Reynolds. Figures was a 7th round pick for us in 2116 and after we released him in pre-season, he was picked up by the Texas Sharks on a 1-year deal as their emergency quarterback. Reynolds was an undrafted rookie in 2116, didn't make the final 53-men roster, but kept hope and we'll bring him to training camp 2117 for his second chance.

We also brought in 7 undrafted rookie free agents, all of them on pretty cheap, but not cheapskate contracts. RB Benjamin Reilly has very interesting hole recognition potential, if it holds up, he could challenge RB Edwin Erickson for the RB3 spot, but Reilly's lack of special teams ability limits the odds. FB Ron Carlisle is mainly suited to protect the quarterback from blitzers. TE J.J. Lang has promising route running and special teams potential. P Greg Stephenson is an insurance signing in case P Tyrons Johnston falls apart in pre-season. CB Alexis White is a small (5'7", 185 pounds) special teams ace, with zone defense potential. S Wayne Bridges is potentially a run stopper and zone defender. S Roderick Olivera has some special teams potential, but he'll have to improve on it to even make the pre-season roster.

We'll go into training camp with 68 players signed. Clearly way too many for the actual pre-season limit of 60. Especially the secondary group will need some trimming, we're bringing 17 men into training camp, that's insane.

Evaluating our undrafted rookie score, we managed to get 7 of 9 targets. We missed out on two wide receivers that signed lucrative deals with the two most decorated franchises in the league. WR Irving Stargell received a $4.5M bonus from the Tucker Tiger, where he might turn out to be their new punt returner, or might do nothing but end up on the trade block like half the wide receivers that are picked up by them as rookies. The Chesapeake Chitterlings offered WR Shane Zigler a $3.99M salary, it could make them their new special teams booster with excellent punt return potential.

Another interesting tidbit: the Bordeaux Vineyards made QB Clyde Morris the mr. irrelevant pick. He ran a spectacular 4.32 40-yard dash at the combine, but more importantly, makes for the interesting sandwich of the first and last pick in the same class being both quarterbacks for the exact same team. We actually looked at Morris as our plan B for our last 7th round pick, but with no mentor around, it made it bit less sense to hope the kid could grow to be our future starter after QB Bart Tanner and QB Harrison Singleton. We let QB Blake Stai walk away, he's now in Bordeaux to mentor Morris as well as #1 overall pick QB Hardy Henson.
* 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
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Old 09-01-2023, 04:29 PM   #813
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: 53 men for 2117 set?

Pre-season action has finished and we're already down to 53 players on roster. I'm still keeping my eyes open at a couple of positions as for some backup roles and players I'm not happy. But I do think we've done a great enough job to stick the 2116 team together. In two waves we trimmed down from 68 through 60 to 53 men.

The first wave saw us release QB Kent Figures, FB Rob Carlisle, C Duane Ondre, K Dalton Jackson, LB Wendell Reynolds, CB Alex White, S Terry Bridges and S Roderick Olivera. Most were undrafted rookies, but Figures and Reynolds were mid-pre-season cuts last season. Jackson became unneeded when it turned out our rookie K Jeffery DeGroot is ready to play. Ondre was the only player with playing time experience on the team, he lost out to the veteran free agent signings.

The second wave saw us part ways with TE Richie Osborne, WR Brian Cote, WR Kai Cote, P Greg Stephenson, CB Chase Finley, CB Joel Delgado and S Phil McCleskey. Stephenson was an undrafted rookie, while Brian Cote, Finlay and McCleskey were our three 7th round picks. The other three were tougher cuts. Osborne spent 2 full seasons on roster, but was never activated and lost the roster spot battle to undrafted rookie TE J.J. Lang. Kai Cote had spent 8 seasons on team with us in which he missed all but 2 games as an undisputed member of the special teams unit, unit now as I chose to stick with last season's mid-season signing WR Blake Begay in that role. Delgado leaves the team after 11 seasons of service, he spent all of last season in the inactive seven after previously being a starter or at minimum in a time-share.

We extended a bunch of contracts with potential 2118 free agents being QB Harrison Singleton, TE Arnie Huffman, C Zane Chaplain, P Tyrus Johnstone, DE Calvin Buckley, LB Xavier Hoover and S Noah Matthews. But the biggest news in that area was the signing of LT Dan Clancy. Eventually he signed a contract of $228M over 5 years, that's quite a bit less than the $248M offer he turned down earlier on. Player agents are so unpredictable... TE Corbin Robbins still hasn't signed a new deal with us, but I'm determined to make it happen. And if there's something left after that, we'll make a big offer to WR Rufus Montgomery, locking him up for 5 years into the 2121 season before he starts asking prima donna money like WR Rodolfo Lane and WR Jessie Vertelney did and are collecting. Just over $30M sounds rich enough to me.

I'll run down the roster later on, because I might make some last minute changes and would like to make that 53-men report accurate for opening day's roster.
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* Former GM of GEFL's Houston Oilers and WOOF's Curacao Cocktail
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Old 09-03-2023, 05:25 AM   #814
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: 53 for 2117!

Okay, I'm still not completely sold on this collective of 53 players, but for now, I'm ready to settle with these men for our sequence of opening games until the bye week. Let's run down the team by position group, with their rough scouted ratings. Spoiler: we have only 5 new players and none of them om our defense, despite the truckload of rookie defensive backs that we brought in for training camp.

40/40 QB Bart Tanner
30/30 QB Harrison Singleton
Tanner is our man. He played his best season in 2116 with 263 passing yards per game and 24 touchdowns versus 13 interceptions, while increasing his yards per carry figure to 6.9. Singleton is in decline and is clearly less suited for the offensive style we're playing. We're going into the season without a third stringer. If emergency rises, we'll be forced to cut one of the undrafted rookies at another positon, hoping the injured quarterback doesn't need to go to injured reserve.

45/45 RB Rusty Kemp
40/40 RB Renaldo Billodeaux
35/35 RB Edwin Erickson
30/40 RB Benjamin Reilly (rookie)
25/25 FB Kenneth Holse
We'll go by the Kemp and Billodeaux tandem for another season, with Erickson stuck behind Billodeaux. Reilly looked good in training camp, but we sat him in pre-season, while his lack of special teams skills makes him useless as an active backup. Reilly and Erickson are the guys least secure of their roster spot, both will be inactive backups. Holse has slowly turned into mostly a special teamer, at which he's a key member of that unit.

Tight Ends
55/55 TE Corbin Robbins
50/50 TE Ted Gordon
30/30 TE Arnie Huffman
20/35 TE J.J. Lang (rookie)
Robbins and Gordon will both get their share of targets, with Robbins last season having surpassed Gordon at that. Huffman is another reliable receiver, making the 3TE formation a serious threat. Lang has the potential to become the best third down receiver from this bunch. None of these guys are true blockers, which is kind of unusual for a Merchantmen offense.

Wide Receivers
70/70 WR Jessie Vertelney
65/65 WR Rodolfo Lane
60/60 WR Rufus Montgomery
35/35 WR Antonio Price
25/25 WR Blake Begay
25/25 WR Maurice Sweeney
We said goodbye to long-timer Kai Cote, his spot on the special teams unit is taken by 2116 mid-season signing Begay, who has show to be a useful WR4 or WR5. Sweeney is our kickoff returner, Lane our punt returner, both are elite guys. Price proved to be a reliable WR4, but will start the season inactive. But the core of this offense is really the Lane, Montgomery and Vertelney trio. We can no longer claim they're the best trio in the league, the Toronto Lake Monsters' has to be considered the top trio. But last season we finally managed to adjust our threesome's respective roles and routes, making them play more efficiently.

Offensive Line
75/75 LT Dan Clancy
60/60 G Herb Nieves
55/55 C Jim Mayes (veteran FA)
45/45 G Alfred Pearsall
45/45 G Andes Uwaezuoke
45/45 C Zane Chaplain
45/45 RT Lester Money (veteran FA)
40/40 RT Clayton Bernstein
A bit of an overhaul was required in this unit. Despite our tremendous running game, the pass protection was terrible. Mayes boosts that on the inside, while not making the group weaker in the running game. The addition of Money hopefully brings along the run blocker on the right side that I feel we lacked last season (I mean, we still ran for 5.1 yards per carry, so what's the problem?) It means we have plenty of players capable of playing. I'm basically done with Chaplain, but figured he could still be a worthy backup, although we might have thrown cap space away by extending his contract. I think Uwaezuoke will be the run blocking guard for one more season ahead of Pearsall, with Nieves having recovered well from the initial bust tag into an overall good guard. Last but not least, Clancy has got to be the most solid pas blocking left tackle in the league now, so we hope he improves on it.

Defensive Line
65/65 DT Carlos Fischer
55/55 DT Efrain Hutchins
50/50 DE Lonnie Wynn
50/50 DE Calvin Buckley
45/45 DT Francisco Blades
45/45 DT Bryan Lomax
35/35 DE Ernest Frias
35/35 DE Christopher Wrighster
This is the same bunch as last season and we'll try to give them the exact same roles as much as possible. Which means all eight will be on the active roster and into the rotation, even the studs Fischer and Hutchins will take a breather at times.

65/65 LB Jorge Mayes
45/45 LB Xavier Hoover
40/45 LB Ezekiel O'Neal
40/40 LB Bobby Diaz
35/35 LB Raymond Casper
35/35 LB Nicholas Giles
This group is the same as last season, but the sudden decline of Giles means he's become basically unneeded as he's now the worst of this group in terms of pass defense and run defense, while useless for the special teams unit. O'Neal will likely jump into the running downs formations where Giles was playing last season. Mayes remains to be the only all downs guy, with Diaz the pass protection expert and Hoover the running downs support.

45/55 CB Zachary Blair
45/45 S Dan Peterson
40/45 CB Asher McElroy
35/50 S Cesar Welch
40/40 S Peter Hinsley
35/35 CB Marquis Wolf
30/30 CB Skip Horner
30/30 CB Byron Sokol
30/30 S Noah Matthews
30/30 CB Kent Wodarz
25/30 CB Adrian Kornegay
A big group with many different specialties. Wodarz will ride the bench again, being one of many zone defense specialist and surpassed by the second-year guys Wolf and Welch. Blair has recovered a bit after the initial first round bust stamp, hopefully growing into the shutdown corner role that we projected him to be capable of playing.

Special Teams
80/85 K Jeffery DeGroot
65/65 P Tyrus Johnstone
20/20 LS Roderick Kaeding
Oh yeah, and then there's this bunch. Kaeding is elite, yet there are 5 guys my staff thinks are even more impressive long snappers. DeGroot is almost everything we can hope for in a kicker. He might have trouble getting the distance on the 50+ field goals, but he's got the outlook of being the best kickoff specialist with excellent accuracy. Johnstone is a decent enough holder, but that's actually an area where we could still improve in...
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* Former GM of GEFL's Houston Oilers and WOOF's Curacao Cocktail
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Old 09-10-2023, 03:55 PM   #815
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: 2117, first six weeks

Let's enjoy the lead while it still lasts?
Okay, little spoiler, let's go over our first 5 games of the 2117 season, all played in the first 6 weeks.

Week 1 at Bordeaux
All eyes were on Bordeaux' rookie QB Hardy Henson, the #1 overall pick. He was in for a tough matchup, kind of stuck in an all pass approach whilst still so much to learn. Our own first round pick K Jeffery DeGroot struggled a bit, missing a long field goal at the end of the first half that could have trimmed the deficit to 10-9 there and then, shortly after aforementioned Henson threw his first career touchdown pass. In the second half, slowly but steady we took control and bended the score into our advantage, starting the new season with a victory.
QB Bart Tanner threw for 281 yards, with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. TE Arnie Huffman caught the touchdown pass, whilst RB Renaldo Billodeaux ran for our other touchdown.
Result: 20-13 win

Week 2 vs Frederick
Our second game of the season saw us outgain our opponents, but with 2 missed field goals and perhaps more crucial the combined 7 catches for 103 yards by our wide receiver trio. All in all, a weird game where we looked stronger, but took too little out of our opportunities, seeing both our sure-handed running backs losing a fumble.
QB Bart Tanner threw for 263 yards, without touchdown or interception.
Result: 6-14 loss

Week 3 vs Fort Wayne
Rarely is a victory good for a team's draft position, but this season we get two opportunities to prove that wrong, starting with this clash against the Ft. Wayne Fury. We're in possession of their first round pick next season, so a win would be great in that aspect.
The offense finally woke up, supported by a stellar special teams performance and hard to beat defense after two early touchdowns allowed. The team really showed how entertaining football can be, eventually piling up on the points.
QB Bart Tanner threw for 223 yards with 4 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. WR Jessie Vertelney caught 2 touchdowns, WR Rufus Montgomery and TE Arnie Huffman 1 each. RB Renaldo Billodeaux ran for a score.
Result: 43-20 win

Week 4
Bye week blues. Always in week 4. Boring.

Week 5 at North Plainfield
Traditionally the Plague are team we struggle against, especially when we're hot and they are not. We struggled once again, but this time around, our own defense put up even more of an impressive showing, aside from one unexpected 63-yard catch and run touchdown from their running back. The team showed it can win ugly games as well.
QB Bart Tanner threw for 259 yards with no touchdown or interception. RB Renaldo Billodeaux ran for our only touchdown.
Result: 13-7 win

Week 6 vs Rochester
Back home, the team decided to entertain their own fans once again. It took a pair of interceptions out of QB Bart Tanner's throwing arm to help the visiting Razorbacks get into our half oft the field, showing how hard to beat our defense is proving to be so far. The defense sacked the opposing quarterback 7 times, whilst also forcing him to run for it 9 times, both career highs for him.
QB Bart Tanner bounced back from his mishaps, throwing for 344 yards and 3 touchdowns, whilst also running for a score. RB Renaldo Billodeaux pounded a touchdown in early in the game. WR Jessie Vertelney, WR Rodolfo Lane and WR Arnie Huffman made the receiving touchdowns.
Result: 38-20 win

An interesting tidbit to mention: our defense consists of 25 players that all were on this team last season already. The actual change of personnel there was the release of veteran CB Joel Delgado and the return of CB Kent Wodarz after his recovery from arthritis. This unit is doing well so far, but 5 games is still a small sample size...

European Division standings
1. Maassluis 4-1
2. Gothenburg 4-2
3. Paris 1-4
4. Bordeaux 0-5

Our sole loss came to the Frederick Red Menace, currently sitting pretty at 4-1-1 atop their traditionally tough division, whilst the Gothenburg Giants have lost 26-24 at the still unbeaten Tucker Tigers and lost 26-24 against last season's 19-0 juggernaut Toronto Lake Monsters. That monstrous team will be coming to Maassluis in week 7, making for a big test for our division leading team. I'm not optimistic about this game, but if we're for real, we'll surely put up a fight there. Missing our shutdown CB Zachary Blair won't make things easier against their throw-throw-throw approach. Blair will miss the remainder of the regular season with a concussion. But I think we have enough experience and role players to step in and show we're not hanging on one player that much. Now imagine our prima donna wide receivers actually starting to play up to their ability and maybe we can pull the upset and prove the world that we're not a fluke division leader...
* 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
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Old 09-17-2023, 05:16 AM   #816
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: 2/3rd-ish 2117 report!

We've gone through a swing of 6 more games and, after quite the rollercoaster we're still a top the division. I won't say "don't ask how", because you know I'm going to tell you here and now anyway.

Week 7 vs Toronto
The defending league champions came to town and didn't didn't just show their all pass attack near perfection, they also taught our quarterback a lesson in ball control. QB Bart Tanner was intercepted 4 times, while he and RB Rusty Kemp also added a lost fumble to the tally and QB Harrison Singleton got his share as well with one more interception. Yup, 7 turnovers against the team that went 19-0 last season, I think you can quickly imagine how such a game would end. Well, it was 14-44 by half time and neither team scored a touchdown in the second half.
QB Bart Tanner threw for 227 yards with touchdowns to TE Arnie Huffman and WR Jessie Vertelney, who also had 102 yards receiving for the day. We gained 439 total yards, which is quite good against this opponent and we lost the field position battle by just 7 yards despite losing the turnover battle 2-7.
Result 14-50 loss

Week 8 at Paris
Despite giving up 378 total yards, the Paris Musketeers needed an early pick six to put points on the score board. Our own offense was underwhelmingly bad, yet they eventually put just enough points on the board to avoid an embarrassing loss.
QB Bart Tanner threw for 237 yards, with a touchdown to WR Rodolfo Lane.
Result: 13-7 win

Week 9 at Harlem
Struggles with our wide receivers not living up to their cap figures, it has helped our quarterback into turning into a pick machine this season and in this game another pair of lost fumbles made for steep hill to climb. We also have to give credit to an opponent that saw their running back run for 141 yards on us. But at the end of the day, when you're losing the turnover battle 0-4, it requires excellence on all the other drives to avoid deficit, which we were not capable of.
QB Bart Tanner threw for 263 yards with a touchdown to WR Rufus Montgomery, while RB Rusty Kemp scored our other touchdown.
Result: 20-31 loss

Week 10 vs Bordeaux
And then, when you thought we had rolled our snake eyes already, Bordeaux got something of a single roll Yahtzee! against us. In what was a very strong showing from our offense and defense, we found ourselves trailing 41-20 with 14 minutes to go in the game. All that most the result of the Vineyards scoring touchdowns on a fumble return, punt return, interception return and a kickoff return. Despite that, we didn't give up and took advantage of a pair of 4th quarter interceptions thrown by their backup quarterback (almost evening out on QB Bart Tanner's 4-interception game).
We almost pulled the unlikely comeback, scoring a pair of touchdowns and a
field goal to set us up for trailing by 4, moving downfield with under a minute remaining and Tanner throwing that 4th interception in the end zone to end the game.
QB Bart Tanner threw for 368 yards, threw 2 touchdowns, ran for 1 as well. RB Rusty Kemp ran for a touchdown, TE Corbin Robbins caught 2 touchdowns. WR Rodolfo Lane for a change lived up to his talent and exorbitant salary with 152 yards receiving.
Result: 37-41 loss

Week 11 vs Gothenburg
Having dropped to second place in the division based on the divisional game loss to Bordeaux, we were fully expecting to see the downfall continue with a near knock out punch by the Giants in our own house.
After a bit of a false start for them, we took the quick lead with a short 35-yrd drive for a touchdown and after both offense put down dominant drives for a 14-7 score in our advantage, everybody was getting ready for a shootout.
Nothing of that came through in the remaining 3 quarters and a bit as the stingy defenses on both sides put quite the display on the field. Especially our pass rush showed up for a change and late in the game saved the day when Gothenburg was driving for would could have been a comeback from behind touchdown as DE Christopher Wrighster had a strip sack complete with recovering the losse ball.
QB Bart Tanner threw for 252 yards with 2 touchdowns. WR Jessie Vertelney and TE Ted Gordon made the touchdown catches.
Result: 20-14 win

Week 12 at Brooklyn
And then a real shootout came to the football field. Helped by 3 interceptions thrown by their quarterback in the first 20 minutes of the game, we took an early lead and even saw it in become a 2-score game late after a tremendous 60-yard touchdown run by RB Renaldo Billodeaux. A fumble by this hero helped the Fightin' Bums set up their touchdown for a 31-30 lead with just over 4 minutes to go. With just over 2 minutes remaining, we decided to punt, nailing them deep inside their own red zone. The gamble proved to be worth it as we trhee-and-outed them, followed by a strong punt return by WR Rodolfo Lane to set up a 45-yard field goal for the 33-31 lead. Our rookie K Jeffery DeGroot succeeded and in the nail biting final 45 seconds, Brooklyn failed to get into field goal range as well.
QB Bart Tanner threw for 265 yards and a touchdown to TE Ted Gordon. RB Renaldo Billodeaux ran for 118 yards and 1 touchdown, RB Rusty Kemp also ran for a touchdown.
Result: 33-31 win

That was quite the rollercoaster of games as we ran into quite the load of of turnovers, in particular QB Bart Tanner's return to his 2115 habits of throwing multiple picks in a game. We thought we fixed that issue last season, but apparently not. The wide receivers also went a huge step back this season, WR Jessie Vertelney has 5.9 yards per target, WR Rodolfo Lane has a 48.9 catch percentage and WR Rufus Montgomery has less than 3 receptions per game. Their combined tally is 127 catches for 1673 yards and 9 touchdowns in 11 games. These guys are just not untalented enough to have these totals.

Despite all that, we're still hanging onto the division lead, for a big part based on a bit of an off season for the Giants and in particular our head-to-head win flipped the division lead into our favor.

European Division
1. Maassluis 7-4
2. Gothenburg 6-5
3. Bordeaux 2-9
4. Paris 1-10

Our remaining schedule isn't easy at all. We're visiting Augusta Greenjackets (5-6) next, in recent seasons our rivals for the wild card race. Then we'll host the Chesapeake Chitterlings (8-3) in what seems to be a back to 10-win quality season for them. Then we'll host Paris, which has to be the closest thing to a guaranteed win as you can have in the league this season. And we'll close it out with a stretch of road games at Williamsburg (6-5) and at Gothenburg. Both of them are looking more stable than we do, which says quite a bit as they are not playing their best football at the moment. Again, a tough stretch, where under normal circumstances going 2-3 would be mildly acceptable, but given where we are right now, to win the division we'll need to win at least 3 games, preferably the last one, but we'll have to stop doing this forecasting and try to focus on game by game. Augusta is a tough cookie to crack.
* 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

Last edited by MIJB#19 : 09-17-2023 at 05:30 AM.
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Old 09-23-2023, 04:58 AM   #817
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: late 2117 regular season stretch

The last 5 regular season games are in the books. It was a tough series of games, with potentially 4 playoffs making teams on the schedule and one mismatch in the middle. How did that play out?

Week 13 at Augusta
At the halfway mark of the season, the Augusta Greenjackets were 2-6, but with a small winning streak against teams they're supposed to beat, the were ready for this big test in their own house against us. They've made the playoffs in 3 of the last 4 seasons, always had a winning record and rightfully so as they have an impressive team, in particular their HOF bound quarterback Kaden Banks.
Despite that early on we kind of kept pace in a bit of high scoring game in the first 20 minutes, trailing 17-13, a 96-yard drive from the Greenjackets was a punch in the face moment as it appeared to end the shootout kind of game it was earlier on. We were clearly outmatched and after another long drive from the Greenjackets late in the fourth quarter to put them 14 points up, it was finally over.
QB Bart Tanner threw for 257 yards with 1 interception. RB Renaldo Billodeaux and RB Rusty Kemp scored our touchdowns for the day. We forced no turnovers, had just 2 big plays on special teams (a 70-yard kickoff return and a punt to the August 4-yard line) and allowed a 100-yard rusher for the second time this season.
Result: 20-34 loss

Week 14 vs Chesapeake
Coming in with having won 2/3rd of their games, the Chitterlings were considered red hot, with their career backup out of nowhere starting quarterback somehow getting the job done. Richie DiGiacomo played well in Maassluis as well as he threw for 333 yards and 3 touchdowns, also running for a score, without any turnovers.
After wild first quarter we were already leading 24-14 as the Chitterlings' defense looked incapable of stopping us. The game somewhat settled down from there on, although we kept stuffing their rushers, while smooth sailing offensively and letting our rookie kicker put the points on the board.
QB Bart Tanner threw for 298 yards and 3 touchdowns. TE Corbin Robbins caught 8 passes for 108 yards and 2 touchdowns, while WR Jessie Vertelney accounted for the other receiving touchdown. WR Rodolfo Lane scored a punt return touchdown and RB Rusty Kemp ran for 103 yards.
Result: 40-28 win

Week 15 vs Paris
What should have been a confidence boosting last home game of the regular season against the weakest opponent in the conference, turned out to be a tough nut to crack as the Musketeers achieved to keep our offense from scoring any touchdowns. Luckily, our defense showed up today, keeping them to 241 total yards and just 1 touchdown. A fourth quarter fumble from our sure-handed kickoff returner gifted Paris their second touchdown of the game and put them within a score. We kicked another field goal late and on our final drive we played out the clock convincingly to haul in a narrower than it needed to be victory. QB Bart Tanner threw for 274 yards with 1 touchdown.
Result: 22-16 win

Week 16 at Williamsburg
The Colonials had a shaky start to the season (3-5 halfway in), but they regrouped and with a 5-1 stretch they were ready to host us. Their running back Craig Worcester and quarterback Landon Miceli ran all over us, as they gained 135 and 62 yards respectively. We didn't play much worse or less well, but as we lost the turnover battle 1-3 and chickened out late in the game, punting while down by a touchdown and never got the ball back anymore as the Colonials effectively ran the clock out.
QB Bart Tanner threw for 224 yards with 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. TE Arnie Huffman scored our only touchdown of the game.
Result: 13-20 loss

Week 17 at Gothenburg
And then came the all or nothing game to determine the European Division title, knowing the losing team would likely miss the playoffs despite a winning record. Both the Giants and us went into this game with a 9-6 record, but we were still leading the division based on the head-to-head win earlier on. The scenarios were simple: lose and our season would end as we'd always fall behind the Augusta Greenjackets in the final wild card race. Tie and we'd win the division on the head-to-head win earlier on. Win and Gothenburg would still sneak into the playoffs if Augusta would lose in Orlando. Gothenburg's six losses all came down to a single score, while we had little confidence in terms of knowing how to win at their place, our last win their was in 2103, even our most veteran players were still in college when that happened.

We won the toss and saw our kick returner bring us to our 41-yard line for our first drive to start. QB Bart Tanner connected with WR Jessie Vertelney for 15-yard and 22-yard gains to quickly bring us into scoring position and a couple plays later rookie Jeffery DeGroot put us up 3-0. After three and out, our punt returner Rodolfo Lane brought us to the Gothenburg 42-yard line and it was Lane again that hauled in a spectacular 52-yard touchdown after Tanner found him on 3rd and 20 halfway into the Giants' half. Gothenburg responded with a stellar kickoff return, a 25-yard pass and eventually a short touchdown pass to make it 10-7 in our advantage. We kept playing as a team on a mission on our next possession as we overcame another 3rd and long with a 28-yard catch by TE Corbin Robbins and a 21-yarder by him on 2nd and 24. After a 18-yard catch by WR Rufus Montgomery we ended the first quarter at the Giants' 5-yard line and on the first play of the second quarter, Tanner found Robbins for the touchdown and a 17-7 lead.

Gothenburg fought back and it wasn't until DE Christopher Wrighster made his second sack of the game for them to get halted and settle for a field goal. Despite a 30-yard pass from QB Bart Tanner to WR Jessie Vertelney, we were quickly forced to punt, yet nailed them at their own 7-yard line. With several long plays, the Giants marched into our territory, but after we stuffed both their running backs, they chose to punt rather than attempt a 54-yard field goal. RB Rusty Kemp ran for 29 yards to bring us past midfield, eventually setting up a 33-yard field goal which K Jeffery DeGroot converted for a 20-10 lead. Attempting to make it back to 1 score down, S Peter Hensley intercepted a deep throw to end that drive. But our Tanner immediately returned the favour and we needed our defense to stand strong to get toi half time with that 20-10 lead.

The Giants had the ball first in the third quarter, but it ended quickly for them when their running back was stripped of the ball and one of our defensive linemen landed on the ball. QB Bart Tanner shortened the distance with a 12-yard throw and 10-yard run to set up the field goal for the 23-10 lead, which still kept the Giants within 2 touchdowns. The defense forced a quick three and out, followed by our own offense's impressive three play series with Tanner finding FB Kenneth Holse for 15 yards, RB Rusty Kemp running for 21 yards and TE Corbin Robbins catching a Tanner pass for 21 yards. Eventually TE Arnie Huffman made the touchdown catch for a 30-10 lead. The third quarter wasn't even halfway then and the Giants responded with a 49-yard pass to set up an 38-yard field goal and making it 30-13. Our next possession was spoiled by penalties and Gothenburg marched into our territory right before the end of the quarter.

With their first play of the fourth quarter, the Giants scrambled into our red zone, but our defense showed up there and forced them to kick it for a 30-16 lead for us, making the Giants' deficit back down to 2 touchdowns. Our next drive was extended several times, with a 19-yard QB Bart Tanner throw to TE Ted Gordon on third down and a couple of 8-yard runs from RB Renaldo Billodeaux to eventually see the drive end on a 3rd and long turning into a Tanner to WR Rodolfo Lane touchdown pass, making it 37-16 with under 7 minutes remaining. Finally we started to believe that we were going to win this game. Our pass defense showed up on the next drive and eventually the Giants had to go for it on 4th and 4 and saw us tackle their receiver way short of the first down. We ran some time off the clock and after a long sack, the Giants were stuck in 4th and 15 with 2 minutes remaining and forced to go for it. Their pass feel way short and after we burned all their time outs, we saw our rookie K Jeffery DeGroot miss a 46-yard field goal attempt, seeing his perfect streak end after 71 field goals and extra points. Gothenburg marched downfield with their next two plays, but a strip sack by defensive player of the week DE Christopher Wrighster, the game was over as S Noah Matthews recovered the ball. Victory formation was there.

Elsewhere in the league, the San Antonio Tidal Force lost, pushing us up to the #3 seed in the playoffs and thus hosting the last wild card team. The stadium didn't immediately run empty as the Augusta at Orlando was going into overtime and the result there could help the Giants get into the playoffs. The Orlando Talons took a 19-16 lead on their first possession, but the Greenjackets still had their first possession to go. They moved the chains on a crucial 3rd and 9 situation and after a 21-yard catch got them already within field goal range, they kept on going and eventually scored a touchdown to end that game with barely a minute to go.

QB Bart Tanner threw for 353 yards with 4 touchdowns and 1 interception. WR Rodolfo Lane had 2 receiving touchdowns, while TE Arnie Huffman and TE Corbin Robbins accounted for 1 receiving touchdown each. DE Christopher Wrighster had 3.0 sacks, 5 tackles and forced a game winning fumble. The offense gained 469 total yards against the #1 defense in the league (the Giants still finished the season as #1 with 299 yards per game allowed).

Result: 37-16 win

European Division
1. Maassluis 10-6
2. Gothenburg 9-7
3. Bordeaux 3-13
4. Paris 3-13

After a 2116 campaign where I felt like the Merchantmen were stronger than the Giants, but the head-to-head sweep tilted things the other way, this season it feels like it was the other way around. With one caveat, last season the Giants were stronger in two close head-to-head games, this season we swept them with a tight game at home and a big win at their place. So one could say both seasons the stronger team in the head-to-head clashes earned the division title in that subset of games.

The Tucker Tigers (14-2) leads the playoffs field in the AOC, with the defending champions Toronto Lake Monsters (12-4) also getting a bye. the San Antonio Tidal Force (10-6) will host the Harlem Apollos (11-5), the latter are the shocker of the field here, after their 6-10 campaign last season and they actually have a -31 points differential this season. As I mentioned above, we'll get into the playoffs as the #3 seed hosting the Augusta Greenjackets (10-6). Gothenburg misses the playoffs with a +128 points differential. It's not quite unique, but it's weird nevertheless.

In the other conference, the Texas Sharks (12-4), Fairbanks Northstars (12-4), Arizona Miners (10-6), Williamsburg Colonials (10-6), Oakland Black Panthers (10-6) and Capital City Blues (9-7) are the playoffs teams.

Are we worthy? Hard to tell. We lost to all 4 playoffs teams that we faced in the regular season. We lost at Augusta fair and square, which sets up for what could be a coin flip of a game.

A quick rundown of the individual stats of the regular season?

QB Bart Tanner threw for 4,388 yards with 25 touchdowns and 23 interceptions. All three figures are career highs, albeit that interceptions figure should be considered a career low. Tanner threw the most interceptions of all quarterbacks in IHOF.

RB Renaldo Billodeaux ran for 827 yards with 6 touchdowns and 5.07 yards per carry. RB Rusty Kemp ran for 789 yards with 4 touchdowns and 4.67 yards per carry. QB Bart Tanner ran for 446 yards with 2 touchdowns and 6.46 yards per carry.

WR Rodolfo Lane had 66 catches for 965 yards and 4 touchdowns, TE Corbin Robbins had 72 catches for 925 yards and 5 touchdowns, WR Jessie Vertelney had 83 catches for 919 yards and 6 touchdowns, WR Rufus Montgomery had 43 catches for 633 yards and 2 touchdowns, TE Ted Gordon had 49 catches for 535 yards and 2 touchdowns, TE Arnie Huffman had 17 catches for 267 yards and 6 touchdowns.

Selected others:
WR Rodolfo Lane was 2nd in the league with 21.0 yards per punt return, WR Maurice Sawyer was 3rd in the league with 31.7 yards per kickoff return.

K Jeffery DeGroot scored the most field goals (39) which helped him in being 1st in the league with 155 points scored, whilst DeGroot also lead the league in kickoff stats like touchdownback percentage, yards per kickoff and average opponent drive start.

DT Carlos Fisher was 1st at his position in the league with 9 sacks. LB Jorge Mayes was tied 1st in the league with 4 interceptions amongst all linebackers.

Last but not least, LT Dan Clancy allowed 1 sack in 677 passing plays and shockingly lead our team with a career high 28 key run blocks.
* 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

Last edited by MIJB#19 : 09-24-2023 at 12:55 PM. Reason: "touchdown percentage"? obviously I meant "touchback percentage".
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Old 09-24-2023, 01:17 AM   #818
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Originally Posted by MIJB#19 View Post

K Jeffery DeGroot scored the most field goals (39) which helped him in being 1st in the league with 155 points scored, whilst DeGroot also lead the league in kickoff stats like touchdown percentage, yards per kickoff and average opponent drive start.

Speaking of which ... did Harrington get the 81 points needed for the 2,000 Point Club?
"I lit another cigarette. Unless I specifically inform you to the contrary, I am always lighting another cigarette." - from a novel by Martin Amis
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Old 09-24-2023, 12:47 PM   #819
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
Originally Posted by JonInMiddleGA View Post
Speaking of which ... did Harrington get the 81 points needed for the 2,000 Point Club?
Wow, good question. I just checked, it appears he scored 22 field goals and 37 extra points for the Capital City Blues, which put him solidly into the 2,000 club, becoming the 12th member of the quantitative elite of kickers. He exceeded Charles Anthony, our kicker from week 10 2026 through his retirement after the 2042 season. Harrington is still behind Shane Shields, our kicker from 2054 through 2065, but Shields also played in Tucker for 4 seasons, so in a Merchantmen uniform, Harrington was already ahead of Shields. Anyway, Harrington moved up to 9th all-time in field goals and 11th in points scored, 2 behind the #10... Few kickers stick around for a 17th season, it will be interesting to see whether Harrington will at the age of 36.
* 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
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