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Old 10-29-2019, 10:49 AM   #251
revrew
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
Rise, Vader!
Dick Grayson, sports reporter, Des Moines Register

Add another log to the fire of pop-culture references that liken Des Moines Dragons Head Coach Josh McDaniels to "Darth Vader." The popular meme references McDaniels as an apprentice to his former mentor, the hoodie-wearing, former New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick, in the way Darth Vader apprenticed under the hooded, evil Emperor of "Star Wars" fame.

The "Vader" McDaniels memes gained traction when Dragons Owner and GM Jack Ledger first pegged the former Patriot as the Dragons' new coach. The nickname only grew in popularity as the Dragons streaked out to a surprising and dominant 7-1 start to the season.

But now Ledger, it would appear, has made the "Star Wars" meme stick for good.

In a rare post to his wildly popular social media site Joker.com, Ledger created an animation of the scene from "Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith," where Darth Vader first appears in his iconic black suit, rising from the operating table. Only instead of the evil Emperor calling upon Vader to, "Riiiiise," Ledger's animation inserted the Joker (to whom Ledger has often been compared by Ledger's design) cackling out the famous line.

As Ledger's "Vader" rises in the animation, he grips a Dragons hoodie in one hand (a reference to McDaniels, who wears the signature purple garment on the sidelines) and a banner that reads "7-1," the Dragons current record.

Needless to say, Ledger's nearly 100 million followers on Joker.com instantly made the post go viral. Ledger only rarely posts to Joker.com, but when he does, it's a doozy, typically fanning his followership into a frenzy.

McDaniels has so far issued no comment about the comparisons to Darth Vader. When asked about it in passing at a recent practice, the coach merely cracked a slow, mysterious smile and cocked a mischievous eyebrow.

Ledger's post has generated millions of responses, mostly positive one of the most common being the animation of Dragons fans holding aloft signs that read, "Long live Lord Vader!"

If the Dragons continue their current success, especially against next week's 7-1 Washington squad, the nickname may indeed become permanent.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 10-30-2019, 09:49 AM   #252
revrew
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
Season 8, Week 10: 7-1 Dragons welcome 7-1 Washington

Washington comes in riding a 7-game winning streak, while Des Moines is trying to forget the "No-No in the Snow" in their last contest in Green Bay. Despite their identical records, however, these two teams are far apart statistically. The Dragons have been dominant, while Washington has been narrowly beating their opponents.

And in more good news, after a much-needed bye, it appears the Dragons are finally starting to get healthy. MLB Dale Griffin is still out, but both Dragon centers and several other key reserves return.

The game opened the way Des Moines has opened almost every game this season, taking the first drive 80 yards to paydirt, rookie RB2 Bubba Clayton running it in from 9 yards out. Clayton would finish with 2 TD rushes on the day. Then, on the second drive, the Dragons did it again, this time on a pass to WR1 Louis Forbes, who caught it short and raced 62 yards to the end zone. Forbes would finish the day with 171 yards receiving, 104 of them after the catch, and 2 scores of his own.

FB Dwight Stanton continued to find role on offense, catching 3 passes for 62 yards, and racking up yet another pancake block.

All cylinders clicking, as the Dragons roll to an easy victory, 41-16.
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Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 10-31-2019, 08:44 AM   #253
revrew
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Season 8, Week 11: 8-1 Dragons travel to 3-6 Minnesota

A victory was expected, but the injuries suffered in the win over Washington could prove costly, as both WR1 Louis Forbes and DE Ricardo "Man Child" Heuring won't be suiting up for several weeks.

What's worse, however, is the Dragons were forced to play in a blizzard again, this time to even more disastrous results.

QB Dakota Corriveau played his worst game of the season, tossing a pair of picks, while the team lost a trio of fumbles, and despite the Dragon defense shutting out the Viking offense in the first half, a pair of Minnesota defensive touchdowns and sloppy play from Des Moines doomed the Dragons to another embarrassing loss in the snow.

Dragons walk away from a painful 34-22 loss.
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Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 11-01-2019, 10:06 AM   #254
revrew
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Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
Season 8, Week 12: 8-2 Dragons host 5-5 Bills

The Dragons came out of the gate angry in this one. After sloppy play in the previous game, Des Moines found its groove early in this contest, and the characteristic McDaniels fashion, the Dragons piled on the offense early.

WR2 Robbie "No, I'm No. 1" Thompson caught 11 of 14 for 116, and QB Dakota Corriveau rediscovered his new reliable friend, FB Dwight Stanton for a rumbling, run-em-over TD catch, and suddenly the Dragons were back to their old selves.

SS Mitch Plante swatted 3 passes out of the sky, while not allowing a single catch to lead the defense. A pair of garbage-time scores made it look closer than it was, as the Dragons right the ship with a 27-21 victory.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.

Last edited by revrew : 11-05-2019 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:32 AM   #255
revrew
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Season 8, Week 13: 9-2 Dragons visit 1-10 Rams

Another game the Dragons should be expected to win, but once again, there's a lot of talent on the bench with injury. In particular, the Dragon receiving corps is more like a hospital ward, as the only available starter is WR Robbie "I'm the man now" Thompson, who will have to carry most of the load by himself. In fact, the Dragons were compelled to sign two URFAs just to fill out the roster for this one. Expect some very, very green receivers to get into the game.

Indeed, the complete lack of WR depth was felt strongly. While Thompson caught 9 passes for 103 yards and a score, the backups forced into active duty were largely absent.

The silver lining in this game were the unusual suspects stepping up. Rookie RB2 Bubba Clayton had perhaps his best game, breaking off a pair of big runs to rack up 73 yards with 6.08 ypc and a touchdown, while also catching 3 passes for another 32. DE4 Tony Garcia came up huge, particularly in the red zone, winning player of the game with 7 tackles and 4 sacks, the best day of his career by far.

SS Mitch Plante continued to power the defense with 4 defended passes, but it was rookie CB1 Alfredo Hanson's pick-6 in the 4th quarter that put this one away, as a wounded Dragon team gets the needed win, 27-6.
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Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:56 AM   #256
revrew
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Season 8, Week 14: 10-2 Dragons host 8-4 Dolphins

With no relief for the limping receiving corps, the Dragons nonetheless followed the winning formula of driving to an early lead, then turning the defense loose to mop up the opponent.

QB Dakota Corriveau definitely struggled, but when a play was needed, he turned to WR Robbie "I'm officially the man now" Thompson, who only caught 4 passes on the day, but 3 of them went for touchdowns!

Meanwhile, the running backs, Carlton Agree and rookie Bubba Clayton, came through as needed, racking up 4.31 and 4.36 yards per carry, respectively.

And while DE Elias "Beast" Reese and SS Mitch Plante gobbled up sacks and pass deflections to preserve the lead, the breakthrough play came late in the 3rd quarter, when rookie URFA TE3 Butch Engleberger out of Iowa State (who has already forced 2 special teams fumbles on the year already) scooped up a muffed punt and ran 44 yards to paydirt.

A complete game from the rest of the team today to help out the struggling Corriveau, powering a 31-23 victory.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:37 AM   #257
revrew
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
Season 8, Week 15: 11-2 Dragons host 5-8 Vikings

It wasn't that long ago the Vikings forced 5 turnovers, ran the ball all over the Dragons, and handed Des Moines its second loss of the season. Time for revenge!

Key players returning to the lineup from injury were DE Ricardo "Man Child" Heuring, CB3 Calvin Minnig, and WR4 Isaac Kinney. But would it be enough to reverse fortunes against the Vikings?

In a word nope.

Vikings QB Kris Van Pelt just seems to be Dragon Kryptonite, while Corriveau continues to struggle without his #2 and #3 targets. What's worse, the Viking #8 rush defense completely dominated the Dragon rushing attack.

The Dragon offense never really got off the ground, and Des Moines drops another loss to the Vikings, 24-13.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:01 AM   #258
revrew
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Season 8, Week 16: 11-3 Dragons visit 10-4 Jets

A HUGE late season game, for both clubs. On the injury front, the Dragons return WR3 Myles Kinney, but SS Mitch Plante is sitting out with a pulled groin. Ouch.

The Jets, thankfully, come in without their multi-season All Pro running back, instead relying on a committee of backups.

Unfortunately, the loss of Plante proved more than the Dragons could overcome, as Jets QB Ellis Bertolone, a player clearly destined from birth to play for the Jets (see his name again), absolutely destroyed the Dragon secondary. Completing 17 of 18 passes for 4 TDs and no picks, Bertolone was the bomb, and the Dragons couldn't answer.

Elias Reese played well, gathering a pair of sacks, but it wasn't enough, as the Dragons lose, 31-15.
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Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 11-11-2019, 01:13 PM   #259
revrew
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Season 8, Week 17: 11-4 Dragons visit 6-9 Bears

In the final week of the season, with homefield advantage on the line (but a bye assured), the Dragons were glad to welcome back MLB Dale Griffin and SS Mitch Plante, but less thrilled to visit Chicago and its winter lake winds.

The game did not start well for QB Dakota Corriveau. Unlike the games where the Dragons came out fast, Corriveau struggled mightily. No points in the first half, and with two picks to start the second half, it was looking like this one might be a loss.

But SS Mitch Plante and FS Gerald Barnes kept the Dragons in it with a pick each. And despite the previous week's struggles with pass defense, the Dragons today looked like their old selves, surrendering only 81 yards passing to the Bears.

Finally, with three minutes left in the game, Corriveau hit WR Robbie "Unquestioned No. 1" Thompson for a 32-yard TD strike to cap off an 80-yard drive.

Then, down by 6 with 2:19 seconds to go, the Dragons got the ball one more time on their own 25-yard line. The drive was slow. Working sidelines. Calling timeouts. 11 plays.

Then, on the last play of the game, Corriveau found a streaking WR Robbie "Mr. Superstar" Thompson for the 27-yard game winner as time expired!

The extra point was good, and the Dragons limped into the playoffs (AND HOMEFIELD ADVANTAGE) with a 14-13 victory.

Congratulations to the Des Moines Dragons, your NFC North champions and the NFC's top seed!
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Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
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Old 11-12-2019, 08:53 AM   #260
Chas in Cinti
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Congrats! Wild to see the breakout at QB... system, or have the ratings pushed up as well?
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:51 AM   #261
revrew
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chas in Cinti View Post
Congrats! Wild to see the breakout at QB... system, or have the ratings pushed up as well?

Corriveau came in as a rookie (league scout) rated at 11/33. He's 47/47 now, so he's seen some breakout growth. But this is his 3rd season at roughly 47 rating.

I attribute it to a few factors:

- WR2 Robbie Thompson broke out this year, from 44/44 to 53/53. It's the first time Corriveau has had 3 legitimate threats at WR.
- The new coaching system brought a more diversified offense. Particularly the use of receiving backs, FB Dwight Stanton (who has always been a stud, but was never really used prior to this season) really brought a new dimension to the team, and rookie RB Bubba Clayton upped our RB catches by 35 over the course of the season compared to previous seasons.
- Continued growth of cohesion. This is Corriveau's 6th season at the helm, and he benefits from an O-line among the league leaders in cohesion, while his top 2 receivers are also 5-year vets to the team. I really do think FOF7 has a bump in the impact of cohesion at about the 5 or 6 year mark.

But you're right about Corriveau's big jump in effectiveness. His numbers this year: 67.4% completion, 4626 yards, 33 TD, 12 INT, 100.5 rating.

His best previous year was 21 TD to 17 picks and an 86.6 QB rating.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.

Last edited by revrew : 11-12-2019 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:55 AM   #262
revrew
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No More Number 2 Guy
Dick Grayson, sports reporter, Des Moines Register

With the 130th selection of the 2028 draft, the Des Moines Dragons selected wide receiver Robbie Thompson out of the University of Iowa. He wasn't the first receiver the Dragons selected in that draft (the honor, notably, went to the 7th overall pick, Iowa State alum Louis Forbes). He wasn't even the first Hawkeye receiver the Dragons selected, as Thompson's college teammate, Xavier Bradley, was taken by Des Moines with the 99th pick.

In response to Thompson's selection, NFL draft analyst Todd McShay laughed that if a receiver had "ever scored a touchdown for an Iowa school, come on down! The Dragons will take anyone, so long as you're from Iowa."

No one's laughing now.

To be fair, McShay's low opinion of young Thompson wasn't unanimous. Fellow draft commentator Mel Kiper suggested Thompson may exceed his former teammate, taken a round earlier.

"Thompson has good speed, looks the ball in over his shoulder very well," Kiper said at the time. "He may not have been the go-to guy at Iowa, but I see him with more upside at the next level."

For four years, Thompson wasn't the go-to guy for the Dragons either.

But this year, that predicted upside came through with a huge upswing.

In his 5th season, the former 5th round pick emerged from fellow draft-mate Louis Forbes' shadow to catch 125 passes for 1,480 yards and 13 touchdowns, all career highs, and all marks among the top 10 receivers in the league.

Forbes, meanwhile, though he's been an outstanding member of the Dragons' franchise-changing 2028 draft (which also netted 1ts Team All-Pro DE Elias "Beast" Reese), suffered through injuries to play in only 7 games for the worst statistical season since his rookie campaign.

When Dragon QB Dakota Corriveau needed a completion this season, more often than not, he wasn't turning to Forbes, but to Thompson. Could it be fair to say Forbes is old news and Thompson is "the go-to guy" now?

"Naw, don't dis Forbes that way," Thompson told the Register. "We came up together in this system, and if he wasn't hurt all year, he'd have had a monster season."

Thompson isn't known, however, for a self-deprecating manner, and when the questions turned to his role, Thompson brought more bravado.

"Just don't dis me anymore, either," he said. "I ain't the 'Number 2.' I've heard that crap all year. In fact, I heard I was the 'Number 3 or Number 4' for four, long years. Maybe I was, maybe I wasn't. But let's be honest: I'm no Number 2. I'm 'The Man' now."
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 11-13-2019, 09:39 AM   #263
revrew
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Season 8, Conference SemiFinals: 12-4 Dragons host 12-5 Panthers

Welcome back, WR Louis "Am I still No. 1?" Forbes! Just in time!

Something about getting Forbes back seemed to put the Dragons back in the groove, as Des Moines took the first drive down the field and put up 3. The next drive down the field, more points. The next drive, etc., etc., and at halftime, the Dragons had a 23-0 lead!

All phases of the game came together today, as the Dragons dominated field position and time of possession, racking up 5 sacks and doubling Carolina in passing yards. How this happened, I can't tell you. Carolina is the best passing team in the league by far, sporting the #1 AND #2 receivers in the league in BOTH receiving yards and touchdowns.

The Dragons, however, with the best safety tandem and the best pass rusher in the NFL, were having none of it.

Kudos to DE Elias "Beast" Reese, who added a sack to 3 QB hurries and 3 QB knockdowns. Game ball, however, went to Corriveau, who split up the passes to both WR Louis Forbes and WR Robbie Thompson, while also finding FB Dwight Stanton on 5 passes for 45 yards.

The Dragons advance with an unexpectedly easy, 33-13 victory!
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 11-15-2019, 10:11 AM   #264
revrew
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Season 8, NFC Championship: 13-4 Dragons host 13-4 Tampa

The first half of this game looked more than dicey for the Dragon offense. A missed field goal, an interception, and another pick returned for a touchdown sent the Dragons into halftime with only 6 points on the board and trailing by 7.

But give credit where credit is due the Dragon defense kept Corriveau and the struggling offense in the game. On the day, the Dragon defenders held the Buccs to only 224 total yards, while piling up 5 sacks and a pair of interceptions. DE Elias "Beast" Reese won gameball for the Dragons by leading all defenders in tackles and sacks (2.5), while rookie CB1 Alfredo Hanson refused to give up a single reception all game.

Midway through the third quarter, Corriveau started to find his groove. Relying heavily on a pair of all-star wideouts and the emerging fan-favorite, FB Dwight "Swiss Army Knife" Stanton, Corriveau led Des Moines on a methodical, 80-yard drive, capped off with a 1-yard TD pass to WR Louis Forbes.

By the time the final gun sounded, Stanton had caught 5 passes, WR Robbie Thompson had caught 7, and Louis Forbes had hauled in 11 receptions for 120 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The emergence of the offense came just in the nick of time, as Dragons win, 23-20.

Congratulations, Dragons, you're going back to the Super Bowl!
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 11-18-2019, 11:37 AM   #265
revrew
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Super Bowl: 14-4 Dragons vs. 14-5 Colts

The Colts' 11-year veteran QB Courtney Sells has been a playmaker in this league for a long time, joining the 2-mile club as a passer 5 times over his career, while boasting the NFL's all-time mark for most yards per carry as a deadly scrambler who routinely tops 500 yards rushing per season.

The rest of the team is a picture of diversity, including a thunder-and-lightning duo in the backfield, a pair of 1000-yard receivers, and a secondary that is not only among the league leaders in tackling proficiency, but also ranks #3 in the NFL in preventing completed passes.

To get to the Bowl and face the Dragons, the Colts survived a tough division that included a pair of 11-5 teams and then crushed a Kansas City team that was riding a 13-game winning streak.

The team the Colts ran into, however, had been the picture of elite all season. The Dragons came to the Bowl boasting the NFL's undisputed best defense, ranking No. 1 in getting to the quarterback, pass defense, overall defense, AND points allowed per game. The Dragon offense, while not as studly, nonetheless boasted a top-10 mark in passing efficiency and ranked #7 in points scored per game.

The first quarter of the game was all about defense and special teams. After the first Dragon drive fizzled, Colts' punt returner Ezra Ogden rattled off a HUGE punt return, setting up the Colts at the Des Moines 17-yard line. Six plays and a scant 7 yards later, however, the Colts had to settle for a field goal.

Then, when the Colts' third drive of the day ended on a 3rd down sack deep in their own territory, the Dragons BLOCKED the punt and recovered it in the end zone!

END Q1 Dragons lead, 7-3.

In the second quarter, the Dragon offense found a way to drive, as rookie RB Bubba Clayton rattled off a pair of big runs and a 30-yard pass reception. The unexpected, unaccounted-for spark plug pushed the Dragons into field goal position twice, one of which connected for 3 more points.

The Colts were stymied until the last drive of the half, when the ever-dangerous scrambling QB Courtney Sells escaped for an 11-yard scamper on 3rd down, then connected on a 41-yard TD bomb to tie it up.

HALF Game tied 10-10.

In the 3rd quarter, the Colts found a way to claim the lead on a 31-yard TD scamper by RB Eric Robertson.

But a Dragon INT by SS stud Mitch Plante set the Dragons up for a field goal to keep it close.

END Q3 Dragons trail, 17-13.

In the 4th quarter, however, the Dragon defense reared up and dominated with a performance that will go down in Super Bowl history.

On the Colts' opening drive, All-Pro DE Elias "Beast" Reese wrapped up the Indy QB, while rookie CB Alfredo Hanson stormed in on a blitz and forced the fumble, giving the Dragons the ball and fresh fire. QB Dakota Corriveau then led the team on a 6-play drive, capped off by a 19-yard TD pass to WR Louis Forbes.

The Dragons took the lead, and the Dragon D had no intention of EVER giving it back.

The Colts' next drive netted a whole 1 yard, as the Dragons forced a 3-and-out.

And despite Dragon kicker Alexis Galloway missing his SECOND field goal of the game on the ensuing drive, the Dragon D kept up the attack.

Trailing 20-17, the Colts got the ball back with 2:25 on the clock. But the Dragons refused to give up anything deep, limiting Indy to dinks and dunks and checkdown passes. One such checkdown was thrown to RB Eric Robertson, but when Robertson turned to head upfield, Dragon MLB Dale Griffin blew him up, forcing a fumble that landed in the arms of DE Ricardo "Man Child" Heuring. The freak athlete then rumbled, plowed, and stiff-armed his way for a 40-yard fumble return TOUCHDOWN! It was the second defensive score of the day for the Dragons.

With only 1:03 left on the clock, two original Dragons Griffin and Heuring had given the Dragons a 27-17 lead.

On the very next play from scrimmage, Colt QB Courtney Sells read sideline coverage to prevent clock stoppage, and so he opted instead for a slant pass and a likely timeout. But Dragon bump-n-run specialist CB Lee Ross was all over it. He burst in front of the receiver and picked it off!

The Colts' only 4 drives of the 4th quarter read like this: Fumble, 3-and-out, Fumble return for touchdown, interception.

And with that, the Dragons sealed it up!

DRAGONS WIN! DRAGONS WIN! Des Moines brings home the Super Bowl victory, 27-17.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 11-18-2019, 11:37 AM   #266
revrew
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...
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Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 11-18-2019, 11:37 AM   #267
revrew
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
Thus, Jack Ledger accomplished the impossible: He built a team of players from a single state (and not Texas or Florida or California, mind you) and forged them into a SuperBowl champion.

What's more, Ledger introduced a new age of local fan loyalty to a National Football League that had lost its mojo to the NCAA. When Ledger took over the defunct and bankrupt Detroit Lions and moved them to Des Moines, the average NFL team could only boast a handful of local players at best. But record-setting attendance and merchandise sales in Iowa, of all places had persuaded many owners to begin considering local fan loyalty as a viable business model. Notable college heroes began to be drafted with more regularity to their hometown NFL teams. Contracts with local heroes that had once been cut short, disheartening the local fans, began to see extensions instead, as NFL general managers became less mercenary and more attuned to their fan bases. And as a result, ratings, ticket sales, and brand impression for the entire NFL were on the rise.

As for Ledger and the legendary Des Moines Dragons, they did not repeat their Super Bowl victory. Original Dragons like MLB Dale Griffin and TE Kelvin Satterfield saw their performances begin to wane with age. WR Robbie Thompson, while he had a fine career, never did recapture the lightning in the bottle performance he found in the 2032-33 season. QB Dakota Corriveau suffered a career-altering injury just a few seasons later. On the brighter side, DE Elias "Beast" Reese and SS Mitch Plante both finished Hall of Fame careers with the Dragons, and Des Moines won several playoff games with Coach McDaniels at the helm.

Eventually, Ledger sold the Dragons to a less eccentric ownership team, and 6 years after the SuperBowl victory, Des Moines drafted its first player in team history not to hail from Iowa. Appropriately, the draft pick turned into a complete bust and one of Des Moines' most notoriously bad draft selections. But the dam had been broken, and the Dragons' Iowa-only policy was no longer enforced.

To this day, however, the most popular, most viral, and most viewed social media post on Joker.com is Ledger's post-SuperBowl offering: The Joker, in full purple suit and wide grin, arms extended, laughing to the sky, as he walks arms outstretched and spinning through a lush, Iowa cornfield. And when the Joker stops to look at a single stalk of corn, he plucks off an ear, peels back the shuck, and instead of a corn cob, the object within is a Lombardi trophy. The scene ends with the Joker laughing, and the surrounding cornfield mirrored in the trophy's silver surface.
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Old 11-19-2019, 03:39 PM   #268
Chas in Cinti
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Cincinnati, OH
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