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Old 12-24-2018, 07:49 AM   #51
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
2079 Off-Season: New center, dozens of renegotiations
Party in the Merchantmen front office: today the Merchantmen signed center Nicky Sherman from the IHOF champions Moontown Darksiders and struck new deals with all 21 players that were at the table with the Merchantmen management. Not a single player turned down the contract offered, a rare feat.

Sherman is a 31-year old center, played 9 seasons with the Moontown Darksiders after being traded by the Outer Banks Ospreys in his second season. Sherman has been a tremendous player for the Darksiders, allowing just 19 sacks and making 322 key run blocks for what has been a state of the art offense since the Darksiders drafted Derek Barge. Sherman has three IHOF Bowl victories on his resume and has been a guarantee for 35 key run blocks, aside from last season when a 4-game absence due to a wrist injury made him miss about a month of action. Sherman signed a 3-year deal, worth $95M, with a $40M bonus and a $5M base salary this season, escalating to $25M salaries in the second and third season. The signing of Sherman is bad news for Steven Houshmandzadeh, who was expected to step in as the new center after the retirement of Tom Anaya.

The Merchantmen found the cap space to be able to afford Sherman through no less than 21 renegotiations, all accepted by the players. That list of players: tight ends Randal Curtis and Branden Schwrizke, wide receivers J.R. Mills, Brody Stevens and Dennis Nadell, linemen Carlos Webb, Oscar Meadows, Louie Murray and Steven Houshmandzadeh, punter Tito Honrsby, defensive tackle Glen Stiegler, linebackers Antonio Battle and Glenn Brewer, cornerbacks Alonzo Hitchcock, Ezra Slocum, Herman Glenn and Bart Lahnum, and safeties Maurice Harkleroad, Rex McIndoe and Jonah Harden.

The Merchantmen will need some of the new cap space to work out contract extensions with tight end Monty Elliott and guard Harvey Hank, as well as giving contracts to restricted free agents running back Ronald Graham and defensive end Max Lyons. Four players are unrestricted free agents: wide receivers Mickey Allen and Patrick Henry, and linebackers Chance Nason and Alexis Turner.

Biggest question mark remaining in Maassluis is the quarterback situation. Retirement of Bennett Morris has the Merchantmen looking at Sammy Erickson and Ellis McAlister as the alternatives. An attempt to trade for a quarterback looks like it has little chance. The Merchantmen already had one team reply their quarterback is not available for trade. The top draft prospects look like misfits for the Merchantmen as Alvin Engelberger and Hugh Gaines are said to lack the agility to fit their game plan. Top free agent Ike Woodhouse might be too expensive with the current cap situation in Maassluis...
* 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 12-24-2018, 06:41 PM   #52
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
75th season anniversary: 50 Legends, Class of 2064 period
To celebrate the 75th season of the Maassluis Merchantmen, I selected 50 players that I consider the legends of that time span from 2004 until the start of the 2078 season. I split the list of players into 5 groups, each being a time period of roughly 15 seasons. We'll finish with episode 5: Class of 2064 period.

C #76 Zack Whelan 2056-2067
Center Zack Whelan joined the Merchantmen as a second round pick in the 2056 draft. The plan was to make him the future replacement of Cristian Sampson, but Whelan was forced into action five times. It was quickly clear that Whelan had the talent to grow into being the best run blocker up the middle in the league. In 2058, Whelan became the full time starter and in his first three seasons he had a minimum of 44 key run blocks, earning back to back All-IHOF Second team honors. Whelan was a backup for IHOF Bowl LIV and misses IHOF Bowl LVII due to injury. A suspension cost Whelan the 2064 season, an in retrospect cut his career short. The Merchantmen drafted a replacement in 2065 in Tom Anaya, but injuries across the line got Whelan back on the field after all. His role quickly got smaller, although he was activated for the IHOF Bowl LXIII victory. As a result, Whelan is one of three players on roster for 3 IHOF Bowls, but to his own disappointment, he got to start in none of them. After spending the entire 2067 season inactive, he wasn't re-signed in the 2068 off-season. Despite the gaps in his activity, Whelan retired with 296 key run blocks, 5th highest in franchise history.

QB #8 Lester Lowe 2057-2065
Quarterback Lester Lowe joined the Merchantmen through trade in the 2057 off-season. Initially considered exchange money in a trade up with the Augusta Greenjackets, from #29 overall to #14 overall to get wide receiver Riddick Stanley while sacrificing a first round pick next draft, Lowe was suddenly promoted to the starting role ahead of Chow after decent, but underwhelming play in the first 5 games. Lowe started with a loss, but followed up with 5 straight victories without interception and continued to impress en route to the IHOF Bowl LIV, which the Merchantmen lost 34-27. The Chow era was over, Lowe time had began. He followed up with three 4,000-yard seasons, and four with 32 touchdown passes. Interceptions started to pile on, but Lowe did well enough to guide his team to IHOF Bowl LVII, a close contested 17-14 loss. The 2064 season turned out to be his last as the starter. The demise had kicked in and prior to the 2066 season, after a season with just 14 pass attempts, Lowe decided to retire. Lowe retired with a 89-40 record 29,690 passing yards and 239 passing touchdown, 5th in Merchantmen history.

WR #83 Riddick Stanley 2057-2068
Wide receiver Riddick Stanley joined the Merchantmen after a trade up from the #29 to the #14 overall pick in the 2057 draft. Stanley's quarterback was also acquired in that trade, as Lester Lowe became the starter from week 7 in that season. Stanley broke out in his sophomore season, catching 102 passes for 1,536 yards and 14 touchdowns. From there on his performance slowly went down, aside from a spike up in the 2068 season, his last season in Maassluis before joining the Iowa Cobbers for his last two seasons in the IHOF. Stanley was a key player in the offense for Maassluis, outlasting many changes on the opposite side of the field and the switch from Lester Lowe to Alfred Hickman. Stanley was the top receiver for a team that reached IHOF Bowl LIV, IHOF Bowl LVII and finally got the Merchantmen's only title in the IHOF Bowl LXIII victory. He's one of just two Merchantmen players active in all three bowl games and the only one to start in all three of them. Stanley retired with Hall of Fame worthy numers. With 13,511 receiving yards and 100 receiving touchdowns, he retired ranked third for the Merchantmen in all three going into the 2078 season. J.R. Mills surpassed Stanley in receiving yards in the 2078 season.

DE #92 Jordan St. Pierre 2057-2067
Defensive end Jordan St. Pierre was a low fifth round pick in the 2057 draft for the Merchantmen. An afterthought, given a chance to make the team as a rotation backup for the pass rush. Against all odds, St. Pierre was listed as a starter from his rookie season and onwards. Granted, his playing time was about 1/3rd of the time in his rookie campaign, including the IHOF Bowl LIV loss. His pass rush ability became more apparent from his third season onwards. He was a starter in the IHOF Bowl LVII loss and followed it in the 2061 season with 15.5 sacks and All-IHOF honors. By then he had established himself as a building block. In 2062 Shaun Hartman and Preston Urquoila came along, while in 2064 Daquan Strugielski became the fourth member of the fearsome front four. St. Pierre saw his numbers decline, but as a sidekick to these stars, as a 10th year veteran he got his chance to shine in IHOF Bowl LXIII with 2.5 sacks. He retired after the upset deficit in the 2067 AOC Championship game. At that time he ranked 2nd for the Merchantmen with 78.5 sacks and following the retirement of Hartman and Strugielski, he's 4th all-time in sacks.

DT #95 Shaun "The Behemoth" Hartman 2062-2074
Defensive tackle Shaun Hartman was only the 28th overall draft pick in the 2062 draft, but the Merchantmen knew it for sure: this was the guy they wanted. And they chose wisely, Hartman was a day one starter and didn't miss a single game for 13 seasons. The first three seasons were relatively disappointing, as the Merchantmen misses the playoffs. But Hartman was a force, earning All-IHOF first or second team honors from his second to twelfth season, being a seven-time first-teamer. Playing exclusively from the inside, Hartman was a pass rush machine, recording 116.5 sacks, 281 hurries and 57 blocked passes in regular season action. He added 577 tackles, 252 assists and 22 forced fumbles. He's second in sacks and first in hurries and blocked passes of all Merchantmen players. His finest hour came in IHOF Bowl LXIII, where he made 3.0 sacks, 2 hurries, 6 tackles and forced a fumble to earn IHOF Bowl MVP honors. His ferociousness earned him the nickname Behemoth with the Merchantmen fans. In 2074, Hartman decided to step away from football. In the 2079 off-season, Hartman got inducted into the Hall of Fame.

CB #34 Peter Tucker 2064-2075
Cornerback Peter Tucker was the #10 overall pick in the 2064 draft, the first of many tremendous Merchantmen picks that draft. The Merchantmen hoped to get a shutdown corner in Tucker, but that doesn't exactly describe the kind of player Tucker turned out to be. Rather than throwing away from him, Tucker was often faced with the WR1 of the opponent and had the task to deflect the ball or at least make sure the receiver wasn't going to gain ground. With 45 interceptions and 130 defended passes, he ranks 1st and 2nd in Merchantmen history. But Tucker also supported the run defense, for a conrberback he made the remarkable total of 1,039 tackles and 284 assists. Tucker earned All-IHOF honors seven times, 4 times as a first team selection. Tucker made crucial interceptions in the playoffs of the 2066 season in he divisional round and conference final, en route to IHOF Bowl LXIII victory. The Merchantmen retired the #34 jersey the day Tucker announced his retirement from football.

LB #51 Gabe Hamilton 2064-2074
Linebacker Gabe Hamilton was the #12 overall pick in the 2064 draft, the second of many tremendous Merchantmen picks that draft. Hamilton peaked early, earning Defensive Rookie of the Year honors ahead of teammates Tucker and Ross. In 2066 he made 152 tackles, 5.5 sacks and defended 17 passes, earning All-IHOF honors. He brought his a-game to the playoffs as well, making 13 tackles and 8 assists in the AOC Championship victory en route to the IHOF Bowl LXIII victory. Although that turned out to be his best season, Hamilton remained to be a key player for 9 seasons, coming 2 tackles short in 2072 to have a century in all of them. He lost his starting role in 2073, was active in a single game in 2074 and a tough roster cut decision in the 2075 pre-season, not making the final 53-men list. Hamilton retired in the 2076 off-season and it is rumored he talked his Class of 2064 compatriots Peter Tucker, Edward Ross and Daquan Strugielski to retire together with him. Hamilton recorded 1,72 tackles, 326 assists, 23.5 sacks, 80 defended passes, 5 interceptions and 15 forced fumbles.

LB #58 Edward Ross 2064-2075
Linebacker Edward Ross was the #16 overall pick in the 2064 draft, the third of many tremendous Merchantmen picks that draft. Initially playing second fiddle to Hamilton as the premier linebacker, the roles changed from the 2067 season and onwards. By that time, Ross was already wearing a championship ring, just like all his teammates in the IHOF Bowl LXIII victory. Albeit the highlight of his career being there and then, Ross continued to grow into perhaps the best outside linebacker in league history. He earned All-IHOF honors four seasons straight in 2067-2070, being a three-time first-teamer. Ross was a lock for 100 tackles, but also was a key factor in the pass rush and pass defense. Ross retires with 1,423 tackles, 407 assists, 49.0 sacks, 17 interceptions, 94 defended passes and 25 forced fumbles. The tackle total ranks him 3rd all-time in the IHOF. For the Merchantmen he ranks 1st in tackles, 11th in sacks, 9th in defended passes and tied 3rd in forced fumbles. Ross retired in the 2076 off-season and is expected to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

DE #98 Daquan "Da Machine" Strugielski 2064-2075
Defensive end Daquan Strugielski was the #217 overall pick in the 2064 draft, the last of many tremendous Merchantmen picks that draft. In his rookie campaign, Strugielski wasn't a sure thing yet, but in his second season the 10.5 sacks were the start of a 9-season stretch of 10.0 or more sacks in all but one season. He was one of the pass rush monsters in the IHOF Bowl LXIII victory. From 2069 onwards, Strugielski earned All-IHOF honors, winning back to back Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2071 and 2072. The latter a result of also being an above average tackle machine from the defensive end position. he made 50+ tackles four times, including those DPOY seasons. The continuing production of sacks in those seasons earned him the nickname 'Da Machine'. Strugielski made 7.0 sacks in a time-share role in 2074, but his 2075 season ended in a deception: 0.0 sacks in 17 games, including the lost wild card game. Strugielski retired in the 2076 off-season after a Hall of Fame worthy career.

QB #3 Alfred Hickman 2065-2072
Quarterback Alfred Hickman joined the Merchantmen out of the blue in the 2065 off-season. Lester Lowe was still in charge, but the Merchantmen felt that a kid with 0 starts on his resume was worth sending their 1st roud pick next draft to the Hanalei Dragons. Hickman won the starting gig and delivered with a tremendous season: 4,545 yards and 32 touchdowns versus 16 interceptions, a 12-4 record and a loss in the divisional round. In 2066 the interceptions started to pile up. From week 11 through 17, Hickman threw at least 2 picks, but 10-5-1 was enough to go into the post-season. Supported by the superb defense, Hickman quarterbacked the Merchantmen through the playoffs and into IHOF Bowl LXIII victory. Despite throwing for 231 yards, the MVP honors weren't his. Hickman continued to be a lock for 4,300 yards and above. Contract disputes made the Merchantmen cut Hickman right after training camp 2070. In 2071 Hickman returned for another couple of one-and-done seasons. The 2073 off-season was Hickman's second departure, cut as contract negotiations were expected to fail again. In 7 seasons, Hickman threw for 30,325 yards, 198 touchdowns and 153 intcerceptions, guiding the Merchantmen into the playoffs every time and towards their only IHOF Bowl victory.

C #77 Tom Anaya 2065-2078
Center Tom Anaya was the Merchantmen's surprise first round pick in the 2065 draft. Following the suspension of Zack Whelan, the Merchantmen decided to give the line to Anaya. He became a day one starter. His stats as a rookie were unimpressive, but the Merchantmen started an eight-season streak of playoffs football. Anaya wasn't just great for the Merchantmen, it became apparent he was an all-time great run blocker. The All-IHOF honors were limited to two times, but he wasn't a stranger to 40 key run blocks. He was around early enough to party after the IHOF Bowl LXIII victory, yet hung around long enough to celebrate the Merchantmen's 75th season. Anaya retired after the 2078 season, ranking 8th in key run blocks and 2nd in block opportunities in IHOF. He ranks first for the Merchantmen in both figures, while his 213 starts top previous record holder Louie Flannery by 2.

WR #82 J.R. Mills 2069-2078
Wide receiver J.R. Mills cost the Merchantmen a treuckload of picks, but the #9 overall selection was high enough to get him. And boy was he worthy it. Not from the beginning though. Despite a 1,000-yard campaign as a rookie and making it a four-season streak, Mills' stamina appeared to be an issue. Injury sidelined him for the majority of the 2073 season. Upon his return in 2074, he upped his game and kept improving, becoming a 1,500-yard receiver and peaking with 111 catches for 2,228 yards in the 2077 season. Coming in at the second most productive season by any receiver in IHOF history. The Merchantmen hope to build on him for another handful of seasons. Mills had another All-IHOF second team season in 2078 with 1,756 yards receiving. His 17 receiving touchdown were a personal record and second best in Merchantmen history. Going into 2079, he ranks 6th in receptions, 3rd in receiving yards, 5th in receiving touchdowns and a superior yards per catch and yards per target figures. Mills

OT #65 Oscar Meadows 2071-2078
Offensive tackle Oscar Meadows was a surprise first round pick in the 2071 draft for the Merchantmen. Right tackle isn't traditionally a position the Merchantmen invest in, but Meadows has the size and talent to be worthy of that. In his first seven seasons in Maassluis, Meadows proved to be the stud of the line. He allowed 33 sacks and made 198 key run blocks so far. In 2078 Meadows earned his first All-IHOF honors, being a second-teamer with 33 key run blocks and only 4 sacks allowed.

LB #52 Antonio Battle 2073-2078
Linebacker Antonio Battle joined a rich history of first round picks at his position. He had the honor to join the Merchantmen shortly before the big names retired. The veterans imediately recognized Battle's talent and he became a full-time starter as a rookie. With four 100-tackle seasons, 11 interceptions, 50 defended passes, 8 forced fumbles and 12.0 sacks in 5 seasons, his two All-IHOF team selections aren't surprising. He's a premier linebacker, a worthy succesor to Edward Ross and preceding names. In 2078 Battle earned his second All-IHOF first team selection.
* 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 : 12-27-2018 at 11:13 AM. Reason: minor name in text fix
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Old 12-27-2018, 10:28 AM   #53
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
75th season anniversary: 50 Legends, epilogue
To celebrate the 75th season of the Maassluis Merchantmen, I selected 50 players that I consider the legends of that time span from 2004 until the start of the 2078 season. I split the list of players into 5 groups, each being a time period of roughly 15 seasons. Epilogue.

If you counted the names carefully, you'll notice that the 5 articles of 50 Legends actually consisted of only 49 names, one short. The explanation is simple, I picked only 1 player from the list of active players in the 2076-2078 time period. With 2078 in the books and hopefully the beginning of a new strong era, it's the perfect timing to promote one name from the also-rans list.

Bennett Morris bailed on us after one season, that's an easy "no". Walt Blair is 10 games in, that's too short. Carlos Webb hasn't broken out into becoming a threat to the run blocking legends yet. Stiegler and Hitchcock actually earned All-IHOF first team honors in the 2078 season, but they'll have to wait for a future episode of whatever number of legends. Which leaves the honors to...

RB #23 Lucas Blackwell 2069-2077
Lucas Blackwell was the Merchantmen third round pick in the 2069 draft. Instead of bringing him slowly, he impressed enough in camp and pre-season to get 20 carries from the start. Blackwell came along with a skill set unusual to the Merchantmen, as he wasn't known for his breakaway speed, but did bring the instinct for hole recognition. On top of that, Blackwell was showing the power en determination to be a third down back. His endurance was slightly lacking, meaning the Merchantmen kept Blackwell basically active about 2/3rd of the time for most of his career and rarely seeing Blackwell active on the first play on the first possession. His career yards per carry wasn't impressive at 3.96. With 6 1,000-yard seasons, he played above the odds as a part-timer. Eventually his elusiveness and fumbling habits made the Merchantmen decide to release Blackwell in the 2078 off-season, deeming him too expensive for a backup role behind recently selected rookie Walt Blair. As a result, Blackwell's production was halted after 9 seasons with 9,531 rushing yards and 75 rushing touchdowns, with a 48.6 success rate on third downs. he's second all-time for the Merchantmen in carries, rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. The later trailing Nobert Talley by a single touchdown, a record that would have been in reach for Blackwell with one more season... Blackwell tried out with the Arizona Miners in training camp 2078, but didn't make the 53-men roster and retired in the 2079 off-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 12-27-2018, 11:11 AM   #54
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
For the heck of it, I tabulated the 50 Legends to create a listed top50, assigned every player three scores from 1 to 5 on "star player value", "popularity" and "longevity". The first one being slightly subjective but basically ranging from hall of famers . The popularity rating resembles my own "heart for the player" value, again ranging from 5 for "favorites" to 1 for "I had to play him by lack of having anything better". Longevity was a simple formula of dividing the years of service by 3 and rounding to the closest whole number. Tie-breakers went to my own decision (shocker!).

Top 50 Merchantmen 2004-2078
1. DT #95 Shaun "The Behemoth" Hartman 2062-2074
2. WR #89 Terry "The Gasket" Haskell 2036-2048
3. DT #78 Charles Gomez 2004-2014
4. LB #55 Wesley Devine 2036-2048
5. DE #98 Daquan "Da Machine" Strugielski 2064-2075
6. WR #86 Gabe Springer 2016-2027
7. C #77 Tom Anaya 2065-2078
8. LB #58 Edward Ross 2064-2075
9. QB #3 "Fumblin'" Justin McDavid 2004-2017
10. LB #54 Daniel "Double D" Duncan 2040-2049
11. WR #82 J.R. Mills 2069-2078
12. C #76 Zack Whelan 2056-2067
13. QB #5 Russell "Rusty" Harrison 2020-2034
14. QB #1 Bryson Chow 2045-2058
15. LB #50 Cody Cluff 2004-2016
16. LT #60 Kerry Zumdahl 2031-2038
17. CB #34 Peter Tucker 2064-2075
18. LT #63 "Indestructible" Ivan Jacques 2007-2015
19. RB #20 Stanley Givens 2023-2026
20. G #71 Ricky Castillo 2032-2038
21. QB #8 Lester Lowe 2057-2065
22. RB #29 Donald Terry 2037-2044
23. K #8 Al Bettis 2006-2019
24. WR #87 Jack Money 2037-2046
25. CB #39 Everett Heiser 2052-2062
26. LT #64 Roman Torrez 2051-2063
27. OT #65 Oscar Meadows 2071-2078
28. QB #14 Louie Flannery 2006-2021
29. RB #25 Norbert Talley 2048-2055
30. WR #83 Riddick Stanley 2057-2068
31. FB #20 Albert "The Shovel" Shalon 2029-2039
32. WR #83 Adam Brautlacht 2034-2044
33. LB #52 Antonio Battle 2073-2078
34. S #46 Lincoln Gilmore 2004-2014
35. CB #27 Randall Allen 2019-2023
36. DE #92 Jordan St. Pierre 2057-2067
37. S #49 Thurman Hopper 2031-2044
38. S #42 Perry Walker 2030-2043
39. WR #84 Scott Dupuis 2043-2053
40. QB #3 Alfred Hickman 2065-2072
41. RB #29 Mark McConnell 2027-2035
42. LB #51 Gabe Hamilton 2064-2074
43. S #48 Jimmy Chellino 2020-2031
44. WR #80 Terry Thomason 2023-2035
45. QB #7 Jay McGee 2030-2039
46. C #79 Cristian Sampson 2047-2059
47. DT #56 Dennis Lucas 2041-2050
48. WR #81 Alfredo Bass 2012-2014
49. RB #23 Lucas Blackwell 2069-2077
50. WR #83 Vince McAlister 2015-2018
* 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 : 12-27-2018 at 11:15 AM. Reason: cosmetic fixes
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Old 12-27-2018, 06:55 PM   #55
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
Game technicality:
Originally Posted by MIJB#19 View Post
2079 Off-Season: Morris and Anaya retire
Center Tom Anaya was the Merchantmen's 2065 first round pick. He played 14 seasons in Maassluis, playing in 213 regular season and 18 post-season games. Anaya made 487 key run blocks and allowed just 54 sacks. He ranked 8th all-time in the history of the IHOF in key run blocks in the regular season. He was the leading run blocker for the Merchantmen 12 times, including his rookie season, twice earning All-IHOF First team honors. Unsurprisingly, he's the all-time leader for the Merchantmen, 92 key run blocks ahead of Cristian Sampson, a starter for the Merchantmen in the '50s.
It's premature, but it looks like #77 has been retired, it's no longer available for new Merchantmen players. Anaya would be the third player to get a retired number after #25 for RB Norbert Talley and #34, presumable retired for CB Peter Tucker.
* 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 : 12-27-2018 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 12-28-2018, 09:42 AM   #56
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
2079 Off-Season: Free agent signings, renegotiations
The Merchantmen signed five players today. Linebackers Chance Nason and Alexis Turner each signed a new two-year contract. Additionally, veteran wide receivers Erik Slechta, Gene Sweazy and Nicolas Tucker were signed to two-year contracts. All five will likely battle for a roster spot with special teams duties. Tucker will also get a chance to battle for the kickoff duties ahead of behind Bart Lahnum, 4th in the league last season.

Slechta comes over from the Williamsburg Colonials, where he was a member of their special teams unit. Sweazy was a free agent throughout the 2078 season, getting cut on roster cut day by the Frederick Red Menace, where he was a special teamer for 3 seasons. Tucker was a pre-season cut by the Moontown Darksiders in their successful 2078 campaign, where he was a special teamer for 9 years and had been the premier kickoff returner from 2074 to 2077, until he lost the roster spot to Marvin Rayburn, who ranked 3rd last season.

The Merchantmen also announced contract extensions for guard Harvey Hank and defensive end Herb Crane. Hank was on the final year of his rookie contract and signed a 5-year deal worth about $116M, with a bonus of nearly $30M. Hank has been a crucial element for the pass protection, while having proven to be a worthy run blocker as well. Crane enters his sixth season in Maassluis and was also up for renewal, signing a 3-year $33M contract. His playing time increased last season, in particular on passing downs, ranking third on the team with 7.5 sacks and second with 15 hurries.

With the draft ongoing, the Merchantmen have 14 players still on their final contract, expecting to negotiate with most of them in the pre-season. Punter Santiago Hitchcock and linebacker Roosevelt Dees won't be amongst those players. Hitchcock signed a one-year deal, hoping to earn the holder duties. Dees has asked for a trade and has been on the trade block, trade talks with one team feel apart over the asking price. Key players still to be resigned include third down back Raul Curie, potential starting fullback Donald Latschaw, kicker Dave Eiermann, defensive end Todd Clinton, defensive tackle Willie Turner, linebacker Stan Foster, nickelback Giovanni Morton, safety Ben Gilbert and long snapper Chris Bertolone.

Contract negotiations with wide receivers Mickey Allen and Patrick Henry have reached an impasse. Merchantmen management is unwilling to comply with their demands. Henry spent the entire 2077 season inactive. Allen will have to battle with the recently acquired free agents for a special teams and fifth receiver role, as the Merchantmen expect to see sophomore Rico Techen jump into the WR4 spot.
* 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 12-28-2018, 09:51 AM   #57
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
General Manager notes: 2079 draft rounds 1, 2 and 3
We went into the draft with a truck load of draft picks. As result of trades in the previous two drafts, we had 3 additional second round picks and an extra fifth round pick.

We spent the 2.17 pick as exchange money for a trade up from #29 to #18 to be able to select linebacker Craig McCorkle. The staff assed him as underrated, which for me was the determining factor. He's strong and agile, a bit green and slightly undersized, but we'll be happy to have him team up with Battle and Brewer. We might consider playing a bit more linebacker heavy formations.

The second and third round ended up being a trade frenzy. We sent 2.12 to the Hanalei Dragons for a 2nd and 5th next draft. Then we sent the 2.26 to the Toronto Lake Monsters for their 2nd and 7th next draft. We sent the 2.29 to the Rochester Razorbacks for the Moontown Darksiders 2nd next draft. Finally we swapped the 3.29 for the North Plainfield Plague's 3rd next draft. This should be fun again next off-season...

McCorkle is in and we've still got five picks to be made, with the #29 overall in all four rounds, while having the 5.14 as a bonus.
* 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 12-29-2018, 10:08 AM   #58
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
General Manager notes: 2079 draft rounds 4 through 7
And then there was a trade. And another one. And a potential trade partner calling in 2 minutes too late. We shipped a player overseas for the first time in 22 seasons. And a trade that didn't go through, that got amended and eventually was trimmed to a different trade. And then we traded back into the draft. Craziness!

After all the smoke had cleared, we added a 4th round pick next draft, substituted our fifth next draft for Chesapeake's, gave linebacker Roosevelt Dees a new home and selected three rookies.

Kicker Herb Easter was our 4th round pick. The top rated kicker this draft will have a tough road ahead: We've picked 15 kickers in the previous 74 drafts and only 5 of them made the roster for week 1. Of those 5, only 3 survived the roster cuts for their second season and only 2 of them stuck around for more than 2 seasons. And the two that did stick, played 7 and 8 seasons with us. That's excluding Dave Eiermann, who's still active in the league, having spent 3 seasons on our roster. Wouldn't it be something to see the man named 'egg man' get replaced by a kid named Easter? So let's hope Easter breaks the trend and is a keeper. He had the best combine of all kickers, but might be just a kickoff specialist, which in this day and age is much less important than it was back when Al Bettis was the legend.

Our first pick in the 6th round was wide receiver Dwight Clements. Undersized at 5'8", but he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.29 seconds. Imagine that: J.R. Mills lining up with on the other side the gazelles Clements and Rico Techen (clocked at 4.25 this off-season) distracting the opposing secondary.

Our second pick in the 6th round was linebacker Jermaine Page. The trade of Dees made me decide to grab just one more rookie at this position. Page is a special teamer and can play zone defense. We'll have to consider hiring a mentor for Paige and first round pick McCorkle. Too bad the market on inside linebacker mentors is non-existent. There are 3 of these guys across the league, none in the open market. Chicago and Williamsburg won't trade their best linebacker, I suspect, and Paris shouldn't feel happy about trading their best special teamer. So much for that mentor suggestion...

All this wheeling and dealing means we're listing 53 players on roster, 4 incoming draft picks and leaving 3 open roster spots for the pre-season. I'm leaning towards bringing in a quarterback, long snapper and a defensive tackle. But we'll see what's available in late free agency after the draft.
* 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 12-30-2018, 06:31 PM   #59
Join Date: Mar 2015
this is great stuff mijb -- i keep coming back here to check your updates.
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Old 01-01-2019, 08:27 AM   #60
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General Manager notes: 2079 Training Camp Report
Training camp has finished, we're in preparation for the pre-season games, which we'll start at home against the Williamsburg Colonials and then on the road at the league champions Moontown Darksiders. We'll stay in the USA for about a week with training sessions at a location on the East coast, continuing with a road game at the Brooklyn Fightin' Bums and finishing at home against the Outer Banks Ospreys.

We signed two undrafted rookies to join us in training camp. Quarterback Karsten Muchnick and defensive tackle Cameron Erlitz. We also tried to bring in the best rookie long snapper Dustin Cooksey, but he decided to sign for about $250K more with the Orlando Talons. In retrospect, we should have offered Cooksey a better contract, that kid might turn out to be the best in business. Now we'll have to deal with another top 5 talent in Chris Bertolone, who's asking for a much bigger contract than what we could have tried to sign Cooksey for. The guys that did join us are strip sack specialist Erlitz and kick holder Muchnick. Both stand a good chance to make the 53 men roster.

Training camp was mediocre. With only 6 rookies in camp, the number of players that made progress wasn't spectacular. Our first round pick linebacker Craig McCorkle appears to be the real deal. He was the most improved player in training camp, according to our staff. Fellow rookie linebacker Jermaine Page, third year cornerback Amari Lavelli and rookie kicker Herb Easter were the other three guys that were reported as much improved.

Smaller improvement was reported for most of the other rookies and second and third year players, with a special mention for sixth year quarterback Ellis McAlister, who continues to improve and by our staff is graded as the 29th best player in the league at his position, with Sammy Erickson as the 24th best. We've moved on from the loss of Bennett Morris, we're going to stick with these two guys as our options. Despite some cap room to work with (about $18M), a good chunk of that will be used to extend a couple of contracts later on this pre-season. But more importantly, there's no team out there with 2 quarterbacks better than Erickson and McAlister. Maybe the Iowa Cobbers, but we can't afford the league nestor Cesar Small and their man of the future Zachery Hatcher isn't an improvement over either of our two guys.

We'll go into pre-season with 60 players signed, hopefully. We've made one offer to a free agent to join us post camp. We failed to persuade Mickey Allen to stick around for another season as our WR5, his salary demands far exceeded what we were willing to pay him in that role. He should have seen it coming with the four new receivers that we acquired in the off-season. The not to be named player should jump into a bit of a hole on our roster.

A slight disappointment in training camp were running back Walt Blair and wide receivers Dwight Clements and Rico Techen. Their progress was there, but I had hoped for more improvement. It's the second training camp where we have to list Blair as 'good progress', but not spectacular', that to me is a minor concern about his overall ability. Minor, because we've seen what he can do in the 2078 season, he's quickly proven why we had to move on from Lance Blackwell and give this kid the rock. If he stays healthy, he'll be that kind of player that gives Erickson or McAlister all the time to do their thing.

Lastly, our backup left tackle Richie Coughenour made good progress in training camp and by my staff has improved to being the third best pass blocking left tackle in the league. Quite the dilemma, given that we just gave Louie Murray a 5-year $100M contract. Coughenour is up for renewal of his contract, he's still willing to sign a new deal with us, but unless we give him playing time this season, I fully expect him to want to play elsewhere the season after. And he's unlikely to see much of that this season, if the guys we have and newly signed all-world Nicky Sherman show us in pre-season they're in good shape...
* 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 01-01-2019, 06:50 PM   #61
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Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
Will McAlister be number 17?
For decades, the starting quarterback for the Maassluis Merchantmen was the same guy for, well, over a decade. Louie Flannery came in on the mid '00s and was the clear cut starter throughout the '10s. Russell Harrison owned the '20s, while Jerry McGee dominated the '30s. Perry Coleman started early in the '40s, then Bryson Chow finished that decade and was the man under center through most of the '50s. Then there was Lester Lowe followed by Alfred Hickman and then the times of change started. The list of opening day starting quarterbacks, consists of 16 different names, so far. Sammy Erickson hopes to maintain that number for a while, but Ellis McAlister hopes to be number 17 in week one of the 2079 season. Borrows from an old article over at the IHOF website, here's an updated list of opening day starting quarterbacks for the Merchantmen:
2004 Calvin Snider
2005 Leonard Lyon
2006-19 Louie Flannery
2020-29 Russell Harrison
2030-32 Jay McGee
2033-34 Russell Harrison
2035-39 Jay McGee
2040 Stanley Bissel
2041-44 Perry Coleman
2045-57 Bryson Chow
2058-64 Lester Lowe
2065-69 Alfred Hickman
2070 Robbie Rhoades
2071-72 Alfred Hickman
2073 Winston Buckner
2074 Robbie Howe
2075-76 Erick Loera
2077 Sammy Erickson
2078 Bennett Morris
2079 ???

Ellis McAlister has been named the starter for the first two pre-season games, playing amidst a mix of youngsters and hard to replace backups. Walt Blair will be active, but J.R. Mills and Brody Stevens will be inactive. Sammy Erickson will be inactive, but likely play with the first teamers, such as Mills and Stevens, in the last two pre-season games. Rookie Karsten Muchnick will serve as the backup to McAlister and will likely see a lot of action as the mid-game replacement. On the defense, Antonio Battle and Glenn Brewer will be inactive, while the rest of the defense will likely be play in rotation, just like it will likely do in the regular season. Things might chance in the secondary for the last two pre-season games, a decision to be made after the first couple.
* 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 01-03-2019, 04:12 PM   #62
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General Manager notes: Ellis McAlister, here are the keys for 2079
So much for that quarterback battle. McAlister, the team is yours.

It's always hilarious to see how training camp can give you a basic idea on what the team will be like, only to see the bunch of guys go into action and have some of these kids all of a sudden look like a complete different football player. Nothing of that, in a sense of having huge demasque moments, but we've had some medium ones and the quarterbacks were on both ends of it. On a scale from 1 to 100, this is where we stand, according to our staff:

50 (+7) QB Ellis McAlister
38 (-11) QB Sammy Erickson
14/28 (+1) QB Kartsen Muchnick

58/65 (+1) RB Walt Blair
39 RB Raul Curie
33/34 (-1/-2) RB Ronald Graham
40 FB Gilbert Taliancich
32/38 (0/+3) FB Darien Latschaw

57 TE Monty Elliott
42 TE Branden Schwirzke
41 TE Randal Curtis
13 (-4) TE Markel Ellison
60 WR Brody Stevens
54 (-4) WR J.R. Mills
49 WR Dennis Nadell
31/37 (+5) WR Rico Techen
24/28 (0/-6) WR Dwight Clements
18 (-6) WR Nicolas Tucker

81 C Nicky Sherman
38 (-5) C Steven Houshmandzadeh
68 (+1) G Harvey Hank
67 G Carlos Webb
19 (-9) G Bryson Hamilton
70 (-3) T Oscar Meadows
48 (-1) LT Louie Murray
32 (-7) LT Richie Coughenour

49 DE Todd Clinton
42 (-2) DE Max Lyons
41 (-5) DE Arnie May
40 (-1) DE Herb Crane
59 DT Glen Stiegler
50 DT Chandler Posante
33 (-1) DT Willie Turner
20/33 (-2/+3) DT Cameron Erlitz
76 (-1) OLB Antonio Battle
40/76 (+2) MLB Craig McCorkle
64 OLB Glenn Brewer
40 (-1) OLB Stan Foster
26/35 (+3) MLB Jermaine Page
1 OLB Alexis Turner

53 (-6) CB Alonzo Hitchcock
49 CB Amari Lovelli
49 (+1) CB Ezra Slocum
43 CB Herman Glenn
38 CB Giovanni Morton
25 (-9) CB Bart Lahnum
47 S Maurice Harkleroad
37 S Rex McIndoe
34 (+1) S Ben Gilbert
20 (-4) S Jonah Harden

70 (+1) P Tito Hornsby
55 (-1) K Dave Eiermann
21 LS Chris Bertolone

QB Jamie Holmes: +1 in pre-season, but lost the kick holder battle to Muchnick
WR Erik Slechta: -6 in pre-season, not even worth a special teamer spot
WR Gene Sweazy: -10 in pre-season, not even worth a special teamer spot
P Santiago Hitchcock: -2/+3 in pre-season, but lost the kick holder battle to Muchnick
K Herb Easter: -3/-17 in pre-season, nope, not an elite kickoff specialists
LB Chance Nason: -5 in pre-season, took hit in special teams skills, bummer

That sets our 53 men roster. Or does it? Our depth at the OL took a hit. All the backups had terrible progression. Alas. I'm opting to look for a new backup guard after the next pre-season games. Afterwards, because we've offered a bunch of last-year players a contract extension. Once we know how much cap space is left, we'll consider using it.
* 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 01-03-2019, 05:01 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by tzach View Post
this is great stuff mijb -- i keep coming back here to check your updates.
Writing about the old stuff was both time intensive and cool to pick up. At the same time, this particular season of jumping back into writing, we actually had a solid season. The 500 points barrier feels like the borderline between also-ran and bowl worthy.

The team of 2023 was my favorite offense, it was fun to bring that talent together and see it work. Until injuries made the post-season end in deception. QB Russell Harrison, RB Stanley Givens, WR Gabe Springer, WR Terry Thomason...

The 2059 team that went 15-1, yet one-and-done, stung too. While the talent was marginal, that team was Jackie Collier Tigers good, the results were exceptional. A team that lost 2 bowl games around that season. QB Lester Lowe, WR Stanley, WR Oburn, TEs Forbes and Jurevicius... A defense with CB Everett Heiser, S Lonnie Razo, DTs Lapointe and Singletary...

In retrospect, I wish I had written about the 2066 season when we won it all, that would have been fun to re-read. Especially with the kind of team it was. It slightly was still built on the 2059 team building blocks C Whelan, LT Yonney, WR Stanley and WR Ellard. But with the enigmatic QB Alfred Hickman, but mostly being a completely rebuilt defense, with Shaun Hartman and the Class of 2064.

The team with the excellent defense of the 2037-2040 era was also fun. WR Haskell carried it. LB Wesley Devine, safeties Hopper and Walker...

And then there was the 2007 defense that grew into the zone only defense. Those were the times when novelties turned out to be over the line of what the game was supposed to do, forcing patches and all.

On to 2079, it will be really interesting to see what the loss of QB Bennett Morris and C Tom Anaya will do...
* 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 01-04-2019, 12:46 PM   #64
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General Manager notes 2079: Ellis who?
There's no turning back, for the 8th time in the '70s, we'll have a new (opening day) starting quarterback. Sensational, since we had only 9 different guys in the previous 66 seasons. Ellis McAlister is the name, an unknown for the outside world, but within the Merchantmen, we know this kid well. That is to say, we thought we knew this kid to be a career backup. But here we are, years of keeping him around are about to get a new twist.

It was the 2074 draft when we saw the name Ellis McAlister for the first time. We were coming of the Winston Buckner season, who turned out to be a one-season solution and felt that Robbie Howe might not be the long term solution. The awesome defense was aging, but still in full galore. Cap space was tight and I figured this should be the draft where would interview 12 quarterbacks and see what it might bring.

And interviewing we did, 12 different quarterbacks. Results were mixed, with only 2 kids giving us an "underrated" impression. One of them was Brandon Riley, the Augusta Greenjackets made him the #2 overall pick and they have made the playoffs in all 5 seasons with him under center, with one lost IHOF Bowl on his resume. In retrospect a wasted interview, but so be it.

The other "underrated" kid was Ellis McAlister. Was he anything spectacular? Not quite. His combine numbers were pretty good, Solecismic score of 38, 7.36 seconds in the agility test, 13 bench reps. Numbers that should a general manager get interested in a quarterback. He also had better than 'average' 40-yard dash and position drill scores. His scouted potential ranges, though:
24-36 screen
28-39 short
28-40 medium
33-44 long
3-14 deep
12-24 third down
29-40 accuracy
34-45 timing
37-49 sense rush
9-20 read defense
20-32 two-minute
32-43 scramble

It makes you (me as well) wonder why we interviewed McAlister, probably because of the interesting combine scores. We did though and by the time it was our first sixth round pick, I figured, why not get this kid with very high volatility a chance? We grabbed some left tackle with awesome agility and named Louie Murray 3 picks later. Murray started in every game we played after that draft, 80 straight regular season games and 4 more in the playoffs. McAlister has been on the field in just 1 of those 84 games, handing off three times to Lucas Blackwell to salvage a 40-14 victory at home over the Bordeaux Vineyards.

The progress notes of post camp, mid-pre-season and season end:
2074: 14/35 to 14/39 to 17/39
2075: 21/39 to 22/41 to 23/41
2076: 28/41 to 29/42 to 29/42
2077: 34/42 to 35/42 to 35/42
2078: 39/42 to 41/44 to 41/44
2079: 43/43 to 50/50 to t.b.d.

And there's the reason why McAlister hung around: the kid showed progress in ability in every training camp (+4, +5, +5, +5, +2 to fully developed). Additionally, he showed disgruntlement towards being the backup to Sammy Erickson. Usually a hint that said player is better than backup material. It shows, at this point, he's the 21st highest rated quarterback by my staff. With 5 years on roster prior to this season, he's good for cohesion as well, that can't be bad either. And on top of that, he's come a long way from the scouting report post interview:
44 screen
56 short
49 medium
88 long
27 deep
36 third down
60 accuracy
94 timing
49 sense rush
28 read defense
55 two-minute
34 scramble

Lastly, his combine numbers today are very similar to what he showed as a rookie. His combine score next off-season will tell us whether his latest improvement was a sip from the elixir of life or it was all written in the stars...
* 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 01-06-2019, 06:31 PM   #65
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2079 Pre-season Recap, stats leaders
The Maassluis Merchantmen finished the pre-season with a 3-1 record. They started with a 23-17 loss at home to the Williamsburg Colonials, gaining only 190 total yards but also allowing only 279 total yards. They followed up with a 21-17 victory at the Moontown Darksiders, IHOF's defending champions, outgaining their opponents 422 to 371 total yards. Third was a dominating 37-6 victory at the Brooklyn Fightin' Bums, outgaining them 382 to 229 total yards. The last game was another victory, beating the Outer Banks Ospreys 34-19 in Oranje Haven, outgaining the opponents 397 to 350 total yards.

Passing leading
McAlister 38/59 for 431 yd, 3 td, 1 int
Muchnick 21/43 for 305 yd, 3 td, 1 int
Erickson 22/32 for 280 yd, 3 td, 0 int

Rushing leaders
Curie 202 yd, 2.77 avg, 4 td, 1 fumble
Blair 124 yd, 3.88
Graham 17 yd, 2.83 avg

Receiving leaders
Nadell 23 for 304 yd, 4 td
Elliott 17 for 175 yd, 1 td
Sweazy 6 for 125 yd, 1 td (got cut)
Mills 9 for 125 yd, 0 td, 1 fumble
Stevens 6 for 107 yd, 1 td
Techen 6 for 62 yd
Curie 5 for 57 yd
Curtis 3 for 16 yd, 2 td

Blocking leaders
Hank 10/22
Sherman 6/23
Webb 6/21, 1 sack
Meadows 5/19, 1 sack
Taliancich 2/3
Elliot 2/5
Murray 1/5
Coughenour 0/10

Pass rush leaders
Lyons 3.0 sck, 2 blk, 0 hur
Clinton 2.0 sck, 3 blk, 3 hur
Stiegler 2.0 sck, 1 blk, 4 hur
May 1.5 sck, 1 blk, 5 hur
Posante 1.5 sck, 0 blk, 1 hur
Battle 1.0 sck, 0 blk, 0 hur
Crane 0.0 sck, 1 blk, 2 hur

Pass defense leaders
Hitchcock 2 int, 1 def
Morton 2 int, 1 def
McIndoe 1 int, 2 def
Lavelli 1 int, 2 def
Gilbert 1 int, 1 def
Battle 4 def
Harkleroad 2 def
* 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 01-07-2019, 06:11 PM   #66
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Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
2079 Regular season, week 1
At last, the Merchantmen were back on the field. The place to be: Oranje Haven. The opponents: the Paris Musketeers. Last season, the Paris Musketeers were 10-4 in games not played against the Merchantmen, but 0-3 against orange, white and blue. A warm welcome back for running back Walt Blair and an even bigger test for the new starting quarterback Elis McAliser.

And boy, did McAlister pass the test. His first three throws turned into negative yardage and a couple of incompletions, but attempts four and five to J.R. Mills were the kind of throws Merchantmen fans have gotten accustomed to the last couple of seasons. A drive with a 15-yard catch and run by Mills was followed up by Walt Blair's first 20-yarder of the season and the drive ended in a deep throw from McAlister to Mills to dance into the endzone for a touchdown.

The Musketeers replied with a drive ending in a 39-yard field goal, but the Merchantmen had only just began. Walt Blair ran for a career long 70 yards to put his team 14-3 up. Shortly after Paris' first offensive touchdown to make it 14-10, things got quiet for a while. Until the Merchantmen saw McAlister connect with Mills for 28 yards with just over 5 minutes left in the first half. Two plays later, Walt Blair stormed into the end zone from 26 yards out. The Merchantmen defense forced a couple of three and outs, but a couple of long passes to Mills and Dennis Nadell went unanswered as Dave Eiermann missed a 47-yard field goal to make it 21-10 at half time.

Paris scored first in the second half, seeing Shaun Dole convert a 47-yard field goal attempt. The Merchantmen quickly responded with a 40-yard field goal, as did Paris again with a 45-yarder. Dave Eiermann missed a 49-yarder to keep the score closer at 24-16 Maassluis.

The fourth quarter started with Paris equalizing touchdown drove. Despite a strong pass rush, the Merchantmen defense were unable to stop Neil Poling on 3rd and 18 from finding Eugene Hamilton in the end zone. A two-point conversion later and 24-24 was the score. Tossed from McAlister and runs from Blair kept the chains moving on the next drive and J.R. Mills once again found the end zone on a long throw from McAlister: 31-24, with 7:25 to go.

A quick three and out gave the Merchantmen a chance to pull the game away, but with 3 minutes to go, McAlister saw an underthrown pass get intercepted near midfield. Paris' hopes were broken only one play later, as pre-season revelation Giovanni Morton returned the favor. McAlister then found Brody Stevens and Mills for 17 yards each to waste Paris' timeouts to secure the 31-24 victory.

The end result was a close score, despite that the Merchantmen outgained the Musketeers 528 to 282 yards. Ellis McAlister completed 26 of 38 passes for 339 yards and 2 touchdowns with 1 interception in his first career start. J.R. Mills caught 11 of those passes for 192 yards and 2 touchdowns. Walt Blair ran for 179 yards and 2 scores. The Merchantmen fans saw the offense they had accustomed to in the first half of last season.

The Merchantmen take the early lead in the European division, based on tie-breakers that at this stage of the season are pretty pointless to look at. The Gothenburg Giants won a closely competed home game against the Bordeaux Vineyards 27-20.
* 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 01-10-2019, 03:50 PM   #67
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Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
2079 Regular season week 2
Back to earth. The Maassluis Merchantmen failed to produce the goods and stumbled on the Kansas Creationists on the road, losing 27-22 at a team that's financially cheating by being $40 million. Ellis McAlister tried to keep pace with all-world Eric Keith, but couldn't quite manage that, completing 17 of 37 passes for 244 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. Walt Blair was stuffed to just 65 yards on 23 carries, J.R. Mills was near-invisible behind the coverage, catches just 3 passes for 52 yards and 1 touchdown.

and week 3...
The Merchantmen bounced back in a quick fashion, storming to a 17-0 lead at the reigning AOC Champions Toronto Lake Monsters and eventually scoring the game winner in the fourth quarter for the 24-17 victory. The Merchantmen defense held Toronto to just 263 total yards. Ellis McAlister completed 24 of 35 passes for 316 yards, with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. Dennis Nadell caught 8 passes for 155 yards and 1 touchdown, while Monty Elliott had 2 receiving tocuhdowns. The stars of the offense, Walt Blair was practically nullified with just 25 yards on 27 carries, while J.R. Mills caught just 4 balls for 61 yards.

and week 4!
In high speed fashion, the Merchantmen fans have embrassed their new quarterback. The "Ellis! Who the fuck is Ellis?" chants have made a 1995 song popular in Maassluis. Ellis McAlister guided his team to a 33-7 demolition of the San Antonio Tidal Force, taking full advantage of the defense's 6 forced turnovers. McAlister completed just half of his passes, but with 208 yards and 4 touchdowns, the fans have nothing to complain about there. He continues to struggle in connecting with J.R. Mills, this time recording just 3 receptions on 12 targets, gaining 78 yards with no score. Walt Blair continued to struggle as well, gaining 98 yards on 26 carries. Dennis Nadell lead the Merchantmen receivers once again with 2 touchdowns and tying Mills' 78 yards. Tight ends Monty Elliott and Randal Curtis hailed in the other two touchdowns. Safety Ben Gilbert and Linebacker Antonio Battle each had a pair of interceptions, while Glenn Brewer made 2 sacks, including a forced fumble. Kicker Dave Eiermann missed another short kick. Cohesion on the kicking unit (or lack there of) is turning into a concern. Sammy Erickson played a couple of downs in garbage time.

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

The European Division continues to be incredibly strong. Maassluis will go into their bye in week 4, while Gothenburg and Paris will travel to Texas for visits to Fort Worth and San Antonio. Bordeaux travels to Atlanta.

Despite the struggling offense, the Merchantmen key players have had a big enough day to rank highly on the leaderboards. Ellis McAlister ranks 5th in passing yards (269 per game) and passer rating (98.0), Boasting a 2nd place in passing touchdowns. Walt Blair, barely, ranks 2nd with 92 rushing yards per game. Dennis Nadell ranks 8th and J.R. Mills ranks 10th in receiving yards (97 and 96 yards per game), while both join Monty Elliott in a big group of players with 3 receiving touchdowns.

With games played again the two pass-only offenses (Paris and Toronto), team defensive numbers are very skewed towards low number of rushing attempts.
* 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 01-12-2019, 11:45 AM   #68
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Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
2079 Regular Season week 5
The Maassluis Merchantmen were on their bye week.

and week 6!
The Maassluis Merchantmen dribble on, with good but not great football. The defense has surprisingly been the stronger side of the ball, while the offensive stars J.R. Mills and Walt Blair struggle to play up to their standards. And amidst this all, the new starting quarterback Ellis McAlister is winning the hearts of the fans, already getting his own walk on song for the third home game of the season. The Atlanta Vipers came to town, the reigning AOC South champions, a 2-2 team with a run-oriented offense.

The Merchantmen defense started the game strong, forcing Atlanta to go four and out (a holding penalty gave them their only first down). The Merchantmen offense didn't come out with a bang, seeing Ellis McAlister find J.R. Mills for 9 yards and Walt Blair running for 7 yards, but the next three plays being short runs, coming short to move the chains. Sophomere quarterback Santiago Lester then lead his offense to a long scoring drive for 80 yards, with rookie Brody Barrett running for the short touchdown run to put the Vipers 7-0 up. The Merchantmen offense was rusty on their next drive, saw punter Tito Hornsby nail the Vipers at their 2-yard line, only to have a penalty nullify it and the re-punt resulting in Atlanta getting the ball back at their own 48-yard line. Lester then got sacked at the Merchantmen 46-yard line on the second play of the drive to end the first quarter.

Penalties on both ends resulted in Atlanta facing second and 17 early in the second quarter, leading to a punt that Amari Lavelli returned 17 yards to get the ball outside of the Merchantmen red zone. After a strong 17-yard run from Walt Blair, it was Ellis McAlister who scrambled for 7 yards, but lost the ball in the pile at midfield, giving Atlanta the ball back. The Vipers then gained just enough ground to have Jalen Bennewith kick a 46-yard field goal for a 10-0 lead. With three medium length completed passes and a 10-yard run by Raul Curie, the Merchantmen rolled into the Vipers' red zone for the first time this game and had Dave Eiermann kick the 28-yarder to trim the deficit to 10-3. With back to back sacks, the Merchantmen defense the forced the Vipers to punt on fourth and 25, which was returned by Amari Lavelli for 20 yards to the Maassluis 46-yard line right before the to-minute warning. Both defenses then forced a three and out, leaving too little time for the Merchantmen to put points on the scoreboard on the last drive before the big break.

leading 10-3, the Vipers were happy to force a quick three and out to start the second half. But not for the first time in the game, the Merchantmen defense swarmed the Atlanta quarterback and Santiago Lester was flat on his back. On the next drive, Ellis McAlister connected with Dennis Nadell for 22- and 21-yard gains to march into the red zone, finishing it off with 10-yard passes to Nadell and Brody Stevens, putting 10 points for both teams on the scoreboard. Atlanta wasn't impressed yet, Santiago Lester found Caleb Flylum for a big catch and run for 35 yards, then found Johnnie Forsyth for 23 yards on a third and long and then Flylum in the end zone for a short touchdown pass. Atlanta went up 17-10 and then forced a fumble on the kickoff return, which the Merchantmen tight end Monty Elliott recovered to save the day. Another three and out on both sides of the field saw the clock run out and seeing the home team fans worried this game might not go their way.

The Merchantmen were stopped short once again, this time pinning Atlanta at their 5-yard line. The Vipers struggled against the aggressive Merchantmen defense, were forced to punt and Amari Lavelli returned the punt 21 yards to the Atlanta 32-yard line. Randal Curtis then was Ellis McAlister's target for a short pass, but Curtis managed to find the hole in the defense and brought the ball into the end zone on a 29-yard gain. Dave Eiermann missed the ensuing extra point, meaning the Vipers were still up by a point: 17-16. Then, the wheels finally came off, as Lester Santiago saw his pass get picked off by Giovanni Morton at the Atlanta 30-yard line. Maassluis caught momentum, McAlister found J.R. Mills for 16 yards and on third and goal, Raul Curie showed his bulldozing skills to put the ball into the end zone. A two-pointer from McAlister to Dennis Nadell put Maassluis up 24-17. The dominating Merchantmen defense forced another three and out. Raul Curie ran for 15 yards, which got followed up by McAlister finding Walt Blair for two impressive catch and runs, the first one for 33 yards and the second for a 30-yard touchdown. Eiermann didn't miss this time and Maassluis improved the lead to two touchdowns: 31-17. Atlanta converted on fourth and 15 to stay alive, but the pass rush pressure made Santiago Lester throw the ball away three times. After the two-minute warning, the Vipers were not able to convert on fourth and 10, turning the ball over in Atlanta territory. The Merchantmen burned Atlanta's time outs, but the game wasn't over yet. The Vipers' hopes ended three plays later when Antonio Battle made the game ending interception in Atlanta territory.

Ellis McAlister earned his third player of the game honors in only his fifth start as he completed 19 of 29 passes for 263 yards, with 3 touchdowns and 1 lost fumble. Dennis Nadell was his top target again, catching 10 passes for 113 yards. Brody Stevens, Randall Curtis and Walt Blair had touchdown receptions. That same Blair ran for just 60 yards on 20 carries, but Raul Curie made up for it with 38 yards and a touchdown run. The defense impressed by sacking the Atlanta quarterbacks 8 times and picking him off 2 times allowing less than 300 total yards for the third time this season against a playoff team from last season.

Elsewhere in the league, the Paris Musketers reverted to a balanced game plan on offense and as a result saw Jon Miernicki run for 171 yards in a 39-21 victory at the Gothenburg Giants. The Bordeaux Vineyards didn't need much firepower to beat the struggling Fort Wayne Fury 30-7.

AOC Europe
1. Maassluis 4-1
2. Gothenburg 4-2
3. Bordeaux 3-2
4. Paris 3-3

The Tucker Tigers lost a 38-30 barnburner at the AOC Northeast leading Rochester Razorbacks, meaning the only undefeated team in the league are the NAC Mid-Atlantic leading Williamsburg Colonials. The Hanalei Dragons lead the NAC West with a 5-1 record, being the only other team with Tucker and Maassluis with 1 loss. Every other team in the league has lost at least 2 games already, with no winless teams and only 4 teams with just 1 win. Is competitiveness at an all time high? Probably not, but at the very least it keeps a lot of teams dreaming for going places this 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 01-17-2019, 06:26 PM   #69
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
2079 Regular Season week 7
Despite slightly outplaying an inferior opponent on the road, the Maassluis merchantmen lost 24-20 at the Fort Wayne Fury as that home team somehow managed to be more efficient down the field, as touchdowns trump field goals. Walt Blair had one of those games again, running 22 times for 163 yards and 1 touchdown. J.R. Mills was invisible with 4 catches for 42 yards. Ellis McAlister completed 17 of 33 passes for 186 yards and 1 touchdown, his lowest production to date.

came next: week 8
The Maassluis Merchantmen beat the Paris Musketeers for the sixth straight time in less than 2 full seasons. Scoring touchdowns was once again the Achilles heel, giving Paris a chance to almost get close enough for a game winning field goal to avoid the Merchantmen's 26-24 victory. J.R. Mills caught 5 passes for 148 yards, Walt Blair ran 27 times for 137 yards and a score, Ellis McAlister completed 20 of 27 passes for 263 yards and a pick.

followed by week 9
The Houston Mustangs dissected the Maassluis Merchantmen offensive game plan. The Merchantmen gained just 226 yards in a 20-10 loss. Walt Blair ran 16 times for 64 yards, J.R. Mills caught 4 passes for 75 yards, Ellis McAlister completed a measly 11 of 26 passes for 165 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception.

and eventually week 10
The streak of victories over French opponents increased to 11 wins for the Maassluis Merchantmen. Despite a sloppy showing, the Bordeaux Vineyards were beaten 17-10 in Oranje Haven. Ellis McAlister completed 18 of 29 passes for 216 yards, J.R. Mills caught 7 passes for 74 yards, Walt Blair ran 21 times for 82 yards and 1 touchdown.

AOC Europe
1. Maassluis 6-3
2. Gothenburg 6-3
3. Paris 4-5
4. Bordeaux 4-5

Next up: Maassluis at Gothenburg (the re-match is in week 15) and Paris at Bordeaux.

The Merchantmen get yet another chance to jump into pole position in the AOC, if they win. That's a big if, they've been in that position in Fort Wayne and Houston. The skeptics and pessimists expect the Merchantmen to completely fall apart. Optimists trust in Mills, Blair and McAlister, or in the defense, which is slowly falling in the ranks after the impressive victories against Paris, Toronto and Atlanta earlier in the season. The Solecimic Power Ratings has Maassluis and Gothenburg tied at fourth place as the best two teams in the conference, while the Solecismic probabilities calculator has Maassluis as the front runners for the #1 seed as well.
* 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 01-18-2019, 05:10 PM   #70
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
2079 Regular Season week 11
Gothenburg on the road, long time Merchantmen supporters are wary of this matchup. The Giants and Merchantmen were both sitting at the top of the division with a 6-3 record, with Maassluis having the mid-season tie-breakers. A chance for the Merchantmen to pull away for a bit and grab pole position in the Atlantic Ocean Conference.

The Gothenburg Giants drew first blood in the game on their first possession. Albeit not the desired 7 points, Roger Passut had a 21-yard run, 13-yard reception on a Tre Lynn pass and a 7-yard run to set up Myron Barcley's 51-yard field goal. The Merchantmen responded with a bulldozing drive. Ellis McAlister to J.R. Mills for 11 yards here, Walt Blair for 16 yards there, Blair for 11 yards, Blair for 7 yards, McAlister to Blair for 10 yards, McAlister to Monty Elliott for 22 yards and eventually the short throw into the end zone by McAlister to Elliott for the 7-3 lead. The game was on. Gothenburg immediately replied with a couple of big plays as Lynn found Passut (15 yards) and Cornell Perez (33 yards) for big catch and runs. It stalled there, still being close enough to see Barcley nail a 41-yarder for the 7-6 deficit. Maassluis quickly marched downfield on their second possession as McAlister connected with Mills (14 yards), Brody Stevens (10 yards) and Elliott (22 yards) with a 10-yard run by Blair in between, but a 16-yard sack pushed the Merchantmen outside of field goal range.

The second quarter rolled around and the Giants were playing well inside their own territory again. Tre Lynn found Richard Cook for 10 yards and C.J. Levine for 24 yards. This time, the Merchantmen defense had no answer on their end, Lynn found Roger Passut for 16 yards and Cornell Perez for 19 yards to march into the red zone. The Merchantmen thought they had them stopped short, but Ben Gilbert was penalized for pass interference and a new set of downs was just enough to see Passut run it in for the 13-7 Gothenburg lead. The Giants thought they had caught momentum, sacking Ellis McAlister for the second time. McAlister answered with a 29-yard laser to J.R. Mills, but on third and 19 his throw ended up in Gothenburg cornerback Skip Arnold's hands. The Merchantmen defense came up big, stuffing Passut twice and forcing Gothenburg to punt. With the ball back, deep inside their own territory, McAlister silenced the stadium with a 50-yard bomb to Brody Stevens. McAlister urged his team to hurry up and Walt Blair followed up with a 15-yard run. McAlister then found Dennis Nadell for 10 yards into he red zone, Raul Curie converted a big 3rd down run and Walt Blair blitzed into the end zone for the 14-13 lead. The Merchantmen secondary came alive and deflected three straight Lynn passes, giving Maassluis the ball back with still 83 ticks on the clock. McAlister immediately found Mills for 30 yards and on third down made a deep enough throw to make up for the third sack of the game to set up for the 54-yard field goal attempt to end the half. Dave Eiermann surprised all, shockingly succeeding to make it Maassluis 17, Gothenburg 13 at half time.

Second half and the Gothenburg fans had renewed faith. The Merchantmen winning streak inside the division has to stop at some point, why not in Gothenburg, after 12 wins by the Merchantmen against Bordeaux, Paris and today's hosts? The Giants defense was reborn, notching a three and out to start the third quarter. Tre Lynn was back too, finding Jace Milam for 10 yards. Adam LeBel ran for 19 yards and 12 yards to march into Merchantmen territory and Lynn then found Denzel Givens for 11 yards and into the red zone. Roger Passut slashed through the Merchantmen defense for 12 yards and the go ahead touchdown: Gothenburg 20, Maassluis 17. The Merchantmen were unimpressed. Walt Blair ran for 10 yards on the first play of the drive, Ellis McAlister found Monty Elliott for 20 yards on third and short, then J.R. Mills for 16 yards and then for 18 yards and a touchdown. Maassluis was back in the lead with a 24-20 score. In the last 3 minutes before the break, Lynn found Steve Sinclair for 10 yards, saw another pass interference call put his team past midfield and Passut then ran for 18 yards, barely short of the red zone.

The fourth quarter started with Maassluis' bend but don't break moment, seeing Tre Lynn find Albert Gilmartin for 10 yards and holding the Giants to a 21-yard field goal, keeping Maassluis leading 24-23. Bart Lahnum's 33-yard kickoff return into Gothenburg territory, shortly followed by Ellis McAlister's 16-yard pass to Monty Elliott was enough to set up Dave Eiermann's 40-yard field goal for the 27-23 lead. Gothenburg was then three-and-outted, while the Merchantmen continued their efficiency: Raul Curie converted on 3rd and short, McAlister found Dennis Nadell for 33 yards on third and long, Walt Blair ran for 11 yards and McAlister found J.R. Mills for a jump into the endzone for a 34-23 lead. It wasn't all over yet, but now time wasn't on Gothenburg's side, trailing by 11 and just 2:31 to go. Tre Lynn found C.J. Levine on third down for 13 yards, then Albert Gilmartin for 14 yards and used his legs to run for 13 yards into the redzone. Adam LeBel then ran for 12 yards, followed by Roger Passut pounding his second attempt in for the touchdown. Luck ran out then and there. The two-point conversion failed and Maassluis recovered the onside kick. Their last time out was insufficient to keep Maassluis from securing it in victory formation: Maassluis 34, Gothenburg 29.

Maassluis had season highs both in points scored and points allowed, in what appears to be a deserved victory. The Merchantmen outgained the Giants by 83 yards and gained 1.3 yards per play more. Ellis McAlister earned another game MVP by completing 20 of 30 passes for 344 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. J.R. Mills caught 7 passes for 131 yards and 2 touchdowns. Monty Elliott caught 7 passes for 92 yards and a touchdown. Walt Blair ran 21 times for 110 yards and a touchdown.

AOC Europe
1. Maassluis 7-3
2. Gothenburg 6-4
3. Bordeaux 5-5
4. Paris 4-6

The Merchantmen haven't just taken the lead in the division, but also moved into pole-position for the #1 seed. Additionally, they have locked up tie-breakers over Gothenburg and Paris, while Bordeaux mathematically still has a longshot chance to brush away their inferior tie-breakers situation. In the AOC, the gap between #1 and outside the playoffs is as marginal as 1 1/2 wins.

Next up, the underperforming Chicago Norsemen. Despite their 3-7 record, Chicago isn't a pushover team. Their running game is unusually bad, while the passing game is an after thought, as it has been in decent decades. The defense is doing exceptionally well, ranking 2nd in total yards, leaning on 6th best yards per run and 3rd best yards per pass attempt. Again, no pushover, but in the current flow, the Merchantmen should be able to get this. The bookmakers are optimistic, having the Merchantmen floating around 9 or 10 point in their favor.
* 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 : 01-18-2019 at 05:11 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 07:40 PM   #71
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
2079 Regular Season week 12
The Maassluis Merchantmen rock on. After a 1-2 stretch in a 3-game series of road games, victories over Bordeaux and at Gothenburg restored confidence for the Merchantmen. This week's opponents were the Chicago Norsemen, a team known for their pounding offense and stingy defense.

It showed immediately in the first couple of drives. The Merchantmen struggled to gain ground on their first drive, requiring a penalty to get their only first down, yet the Norsemen displayed their run-run-run approach, which the Merchantmen didn't surprise in their 4-3 formation. Drive number two for the Merchantmen was much different, seeing Ellis McAlister connect with Dennis Nadell for 17 yards, followed with Walt Blair running for 30 yards into the red zone. Three more Blair runs later, the 7-0 lead was established. Chicago continued their run only approach, cycling through their backs Cory Lowe, Chuck Lyle and Shaun Vreede, shockingly converting on third and eight and then on third and 33. On their ninth play of the drive, Rickey Nelson found Irving Keilor for the tying touchdown pass. After a short kickoff, Maassluis started their next drive close to midfield and tried to force their way through with Walt Blair getting the ball a lot, changing gears a bit with a 12-yard pass from McAlister to J.R. Mills. It resulted in a 47-yard field goal by Dave Eiermann to put Maassluis 10-7 up on the first play of the second quarter.

The Merchantmen had caught momentum and forced and recovered a fumble on the following kickoff. Ellis McAlister failed to connect with any of this receivers, but Dave Eiermann didn't miss the 28-yard field goal attempt: 13-7, Maassluis. Another hilariously bad defensive showing on third and low, despite playing with all their linebackers on the field, the Merchantmen allowed the Norsemen to get into field goal range. Despite finally stuffing a carrier on third down, the Merchantmen couldn't avoid Darien Shield's 46-yard field goal for the 13-10 score in Maassluis advantage. Walt Blair and Raul Curie responded with big runs of their own, to march into Chicago territory, while McElister found Dennis Nadell for 24 yards and nearly into the end zone. An illegal cut block penalty pushed the Merchantmen back and after a sack on third and very long, Maassluis settled for a 40-yard field goal. The Merchantmen were once again made look foolish, allowing a 24-yard run on a third down attempt, but righted the ship just in time to hold Chicago to a 43-yard field goal. Walt Blair ran for 40 yards into Chicago territory, but the coaching staff blundered to not call a time out and try to run another play or two to try for a field goal, ending the first half in a 16-13 lead for the Merchantmen.

On the first Chicago drive of the second half, the Merchantmen defense were total morons once again, giving up a 17-yard run on third and long, but then regrouped and a sold out Oranje Haven cheered hard when a fourth down stop gave Maassluis the ball. The cheering didn't last long, Ellis McAlister misjudged on the next play and saw his pass get intercepted at the Chicago 46-yard line. Chicago continued to run, but this time Cory Lowe was barely held short on third and long, coming about a yard short. Maassluis failed to avoid a three and out, mostly due to an expensive penalty. Chicago fooled Maassluis with a successful pass from Rickey Nelson to Caiden Batchelder on third and short, but his receiver on a screen pass on third and long was quickly pushed to the ground to keep Chicago short of field goal range. Walt Blair replied with a 10-yard run, but three plays later, Maassluis punted the ball back to Chicago to end a scoreless quarter.

Still trailing 16-13, the Norsemen surprised the Merchantmen defense on third and short with a 34-yard pass from Rickey Nelson to Irving Keillor. The Merchantmen then quickly stopped Cory Lowe on a third and long run to keep the damage to a 40-yard field goal and a tied score at 16 all. Ellis McAlister came back to live, finding Monty Elliott for a chains moving short throw and then pacing for 33 yards into field goal range. Walt Blair ran for 10 yards and then for 8 yards into the end zone to put Maassluis 23-16 up with half a quarter to play. Had the Merchantmen finally learned their lesson? They kept Cory Lowe to a minor gain on third and very long to force a time consuming three and out. McAlister showed his accuracy, finding J.R. Mills for 11 yards and Randal Curtis for 15 yards, then Mills again for 16 yards to get into the red zone with the two minute warning stopping the clock. The Norsemen needed their time outs, but stuffed the Merchantmen, yet a 30-yard field goal was good enough to make it a two-score game. A penalty pinned Chicago deep in their own red zone for their all or nothing drive, which turned into nothing, as Rickey Nelson completed a screen pass to Shaun Vreede for 34 yards, which took too much time off the clock to trim the deficit. The Merchantmen players stormed the field, the 26-16 victory was secured.

Ellis McAlister struggled for three quarters, finishing the game with 16 of 27 passes completed for 158 yards and 1 interception. Dennis Nadell was the leading receiver with 5 catches for 73 yards. Walt Blair had a field day though, running 21 times for 143 yards and 2 touchdowns, earning him player of the game honors in a game where both teams ran for more yards than they threw for, but coming just barely short of 200 yards rushing (Chicago 199, Maassluis 190).

Elsewhere in the European division, the Gothenburg Giants beat the defenseless Arizona Miners 27-0, the Bordeaux Vineyards needed overtime to win 27-24 at the Iowa Cobbers and the Paris Musketeers swung past the Kansas Creationists 34-17. As a result, the divisional standings didn't change.

AOC Europe
1. Maassluis 8-3
2. Gothenburg 7-4
3. Bordeaux 6-5
4. Paris 5-6

Next up a round of games against teams that finished at the same position in another AOC division last season. Paris will visit the 7-4 Rochester Razorbacks, Bordeaux the 5-6 Harlem Apollos and Gothenburg hosts the 3-8 Orlando Talons. The Merchantmen will host the 6-4-1 Augusta Greenjackets, a rematch of last season's divisional round playoff game, which the heavily outplayed Merchantmen somehow won 24-23 in Augusta. A 91-yard pick six and three missed field goals, the Greenjackets will be motivated to avenge 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

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