Woe is Commish. Or rather, woe was Commish.
Yes it’s true. Commish was in a pretty deep shame spiral after Week 5. The kind of spiral so deep that Commish felt like Roadblock struggling to get out of the Pit of Chaos in GI Joe II: The Revenge of Cobra – only Commish was emotionally trapped rather than physically trapped. And in that pit, Commish battled his own failure demons rather than the hyperaggressive sentient creeper vines which Roadblock faced. But the similarities are eerie.
Then, something happened. Commish, like Roadblock before him, climbed out of that pit. He battled, he picked himself up, got back on his feet. And he started to move forward again, slowly at first, but clearly forward. Maybe things would turn out all right. Just maybe, things would slowly get better. But before that happened, the scene wasn’t pretty. No sir, not pretty at all.
In fact, let’s take a quick look at the 5 stages of grief according to the Kubler-Ross grief cycle as experienced by the Commish while viewing the MNF game and realizing the unrealizable was happening – his team was on its way to producing a 48 point game.
Stage 1 -Denial
“I’m only down 74 to 26 going into MNF? With all my big stars playing? No problem!”
Stage 2 – Anger
“How the F*CK is Adrian Peterson not DESTROYING the Saints m*th#rf*cking godawful run defense!?!? Why the F*CK does Lance Moore SUCK??! Who the F*CK does Reggie Bush think he is?!?!”
Stage 3 – Bargaining
“Let’s see, two minutes left. Down by 25. Please, oh please have Brees throw a TD to Moore. Then put Peterson in to return kicks – and he’ll take that back, and then I’ll never trade Reggie Bush again – and then things will be fine…”
Stage 4 – Depression
Umm, see “Hope Nobody Expects Commish Notes” post on MLOM site
Stage 5 – Acceptance
See Commish Notes – Week 5
And that’s how it happened. Commish was in a bad place after the game. A real bad place. But, then Commish started thinking. If MLOM can make Commish feel so bad, so incompetent and so worthless as a fantasy GM, then there has to be a flipside hasn’t there? It’s only because successes in MLOM can soar Commish to such high heights when things go well that it could also plummet him to such low valleys when things go poorly, right? And isn’t that why we all keep coming back? To experience those highs that come with the great victories? Commish says yes.
What’s that Michael Jordan poster quote?
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Exactly. It’s not how many times you get knocked down, it’s how many times you get back up.
So with that in mind, it’s back on your feet, Crackheeds, and Commish – there’s still plenty work to do. The show must go on. The season continues. This dance is just gettting started.
And with all that motivational mumbo-jumbo said – the Heed’s shitty performance cannot be let off so easily in week 5. And talking helps. So here we go. For the fifth time in recorded league history, a sub-50 point performance has been shit out by an underachieving team. Here’s the list so far – the foulest, smelliest, most vile stink bombs ever seen:
1. 46.96 – Los Pescaderos, Week 6, 2001 (Ironically vs. the Crackheeds)
2. 47.71 – The Brown Trout, Week 13, 2005 (vs. The GBP)
3. 48.01 – LT’s Crackheeds, Week 5, 2008 (vs. Los Pescaderos)
4. 48.47 – The Rat Pack, Week 10, 2007 (vs. LT’s Crackheeds)
5. 49.02 – Mormon Defenders, Week 9, 2005 (vs. The GBP)
So this week’s game is the third worst single performance of all-time. (Thank God for the Buhr brothers.) It’s in the books. Let’s take a closer look.
Anatomy of a 48 point game
QB – Drew Brees
GM Perception: Red hot Brees, Monday night, against the so-so Vikings pass defense? It’s a no brainer
Stats: 26 of 46, 330 yards, 1 TD, 2 picks, 6 rushing yards, 1 fumble – 13.49 points
Reality: Lance Moore and the officials were actively working to destroy Brees and the Saints. And that said, Brees cannot take the blame. This was the team’s best performance.
Harsh reality: Bree’s last pass was a hail mary at the end of the game – it was picked off for that last minus 3 points to drive the score below 50.
RB – Adrian Peterson
GM Perception: “All-Day” against the godawful Saints Run D? Sign me up!
Stats: 32 yard rushing, 1 reception for 9 yards, 3.77 points
Reality: You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. No, seriously, you’ve got to be fucking kidding me.
RB – Chris Perry
GM Perception: Any 20 touch RB in the NFL can’t be bad to start right?
Stats: 31 rushing yards, 3 receptions for 9 yards, 1 fumble lost – 2.35 points
Reality: Yes, it can be bad – very bad
Harsh Reality: Perry had a 12 yard rushing TD called back because of holding….by Pescadero Housmandzadeh. Perry also was wide open in the endzone and overthrown by….former Pescadero Carson Palmer. Twice.
WR – Santonio Holmes
GM Perception – This guy is SO worth trading Reggie Bush for!
Stats: 4 catches for 65 yards, 15 return yards – 6.93 points
Reality – (sobbing uncontrollably)
WR – Amani Toomer
GM Perception – With Plexico suspended, this guy has 10+ targets locked up for sure!
Stats: 4 catches for 64 yards – 6.27 points
Reality – The Giants make a crazy effort to spread the ball around as much as possible for the first time in years.
WR – Lance Moore
GM Perception – Colston out? Shockey out? This guy’s good for 2 TD’s every week, right?
Stats – 5 catches for 31 yards – 4.57 points
Reality – He’s not
Harsh Reality – Dropped a perfectly thrown pass from Brees. No wait, didn’t just drop it, hit it up into the air so that some clunky white Viking LB could pick it easily, as if off taking it off a nearby table.
TE – Owen Daniels
GM Perception – Winslow is on bye. He should be good.
Stats – 5 catches for 47 yards – 5.63 points
Reality – Nothing particularly wrong with this game considering the topsy turvy TE market.
K – Matt Prater
GM Perception – I need a kicker. The Broncos score a lot.
Stats – 3 FG, 1 XP – 13 points
Reality – Sadly, the MVP of the team for the day.
Def – Buffalo Bills
GM Perception – K-Dub, though I love him, is good for at least 3 turnovers
Stats – 41 points allowed; no sacks, no turnovers; MINUS 8 points
Reality – Remember that scene in Dances With Wolves where that Buffalo gets shot like 15 times in a row from close range after it’s clearly dead? Yeah, that.
And there it is. It’s no simple matter to amass a sub-50 point game. It’s not an individual effort. It’s a team phenomenon to achieve a stink-bomb of such high order.
OK, let’s move on. (At least until the Heeds/Pesca Recap below – then Commish will vent some more. Told you there would be a lot of bitching.)
Good God. Thanks to the Canuck’s heroic (not quite Duke like, I won’t go that far; let’s say Gung Ho ish) Monday night performance, the hapless Joes were able to avoid the dreaded Cobra sweep this week. Regardless, things haven’t been this bad for the Joes since Cobra Commander put those Cubes in place all around the globe, which worked in concert in pyramidal fashion to block out the sun, thus making the entire world dependent on Cobra for energy.
Yes, Cobra Commander is still on all the TV screens demanding the surrender of the Joe team and the free world. And why shouldn’t he? WIth the Joes down 9-4 in the series so far, he really does have the world in the palm of his hand.
The Joes really need to get their act together. Where’s Duke? Where’s General Hawk? Where’s Snake-Eyes for crying out loud? With every Joe team totally out of their gourds like Shipwreck in the Synthoid episode, things are looking bleak.
The Canucks remain the lone bright spot for the Joes this week, being the only Joe team to finally get into the top five of scoring teams. At fifth place in points, they are just a few points above Los Pescaderos. Other than that, the Joes aren’t worth talking about.
Cobra is woth talking about, however, so let’s see how things break down. Eron, allow me to use my superior knowledge of all things Joe to alter and expand upon your analogy a little. Let’s meet Cobra – from first to fifth place:
Los Pescaderos – Cobra Commander. In charge – for now. But holding on by merely a thread. Paranaoid of those who would overtake him. Not as strong as some others, but uses demagoguery (tude) to maintain his slim grip and stay on top. Always looking over his shoulder.
The Rat Pack – Destro. The real power here. Merely biding his time to take over Cobra and be it’s more powerful, more forceful, more dominating ruler. Allows Cobra Commander to think he’s in charge – for now…
The GBP – Major Bludd. One of Cobra’s top lieutenants. In the inner circle. Not as powerful as Destro. But does he have his own plans to rule Cobra? Time will tell.
Cobra Kai – Stormshadow. Incredibly powerful and deadly. But aloof, distracted somehow. Focused on individual battles, not control of the division. Very dangerous. If he could focus…
The Poo Fish – Firefly. Not a threat to command. But a very useful weapon at times. Capable of blowing thing up from time to time. Then disappears and lies low for a while. Someone to watch…
Week 5 Games
Los Pescaderos over LT’s Crackheeds 74.08 to 48.01
And now a scene from after the game in the Crackheeds locker room: Drew Brees walks in, kicks a bunch of water bottles, and sneaks menacing sideways glances at Lance Moore. Nearby on a bench, Adrian Peterson has a thousand-yard stare. Chester Taylor stares angrily at the back of Peterson’s head. “All Day my ass,” he grumbles. Mushin Muhammad paces and back and forth. He mutters to himself. “Sure, keep me benched, I’ll just keep scoring fuckers…” Matt Prater strides in, tosses a water bottle to Chris Perry, who promptly drops it. Then Perry picks it back up – and drops it again. And does it again. “What’s everyone looking at?” he asks. Santonio Holmes isn’t paying attention. He’s looking into a mirror. “God I look good…”
Well, enough has been said about the Heeds. What about the Pescas? 74 points? That kind of output, and especially in the larger context of topping 100 points only once all season, is not the kind of scoring power a team needs to stay on top. Before Commish’s meltdown, he particularly enjoyed watching Brandon Jacobs blow up, from the comfort of the Pesca bench of course. It’s true Los Pescas had a bad break with the Edwards concussion (good thing Commish wasn’t high when he saw him hit his dome – that’s not the kind of thing Commish would want to laugh at), but the fact is there are still significant QB question marks plaguing this team. And Megatron, talent that he is, is stuck on the Lions. Also, someone explain to Commish how TJ Houshmandzadeh gets those kinds of numbers? Commish has seen him play a lot, and just doesn’t feel he’s all that talented. What gives? Los Pescas are now in 6th place in points though first in the league. That kind of combination often leads to a precipitous drop down the standings when the other teams catch up in wins. Will that happen to Los Pescas? Will it happen this week? Find out – in Marvel Comics!
Fun Fact: Los Pescaderos move to 3-4 all time against the Heeds. From week 3 Commish notes, on the topic of low scoring games: “Fact is, as high as this game is on the list, we may never see another game like Rat Pack vs. Cobra Kai, week 7 of 2001, only 126 combined points…” Well, looks like “never” is now, taking only two weeks to arrive. THIS game is now, officially, the lowest scoring game in MLOM recorded history. Yup, at 122.09 points, Commish dubs this the biggest Toilet Bowl MLOM has ever seen. Heeds and Pescas – well done.
Cobra Kai 111.31 over Fightin’ Birdmen 72.76
One of Commish’s favorite episodes of GI Joe featured an epic battle between StormShadow and Spirit, the Navajo Tracker of the Joes. Spirit had a friend, a Bald Eagle (called, lamely, “Freedom”, as if John Aschcroft had named it). Anyway, at one point in this epic hand-to-hand battle StormShadow threw a deadly chinese star and it was intercepted in mid-flight by a darting Freedom. The fight continued, eventually ending in a draw. Having dubbed Fwats “Stormshadow” and with Birdman being Birdman, I feel the comparison is now too obvious to ignore. And though that fight in the episode ended a draw, this one didn’t, with Stormshadow laying a beating (but not quite an official beat-down; that requires a 40 point margin of victory) on the Birdman, and his Eagle named Freedom. It appears Cobra is now officially rewriting Joe history!
The Birdmen have a winning record, and sit atop the meager Joe division for the moment, but they don’t give off the vibe of a particularly good team to the Commish. They’ve only topped 100 points once, and they’ve been below 85 points three times in five weeks. The inconsistent at best QB play of both Manning and Rivers is hard to figure, Larry Johnson seems to be in the Turner-the-Burner mold of world-beater one week, egg layer the next, and even LDT seems to be in a funk. The lone bright spot appears to be Lee Evans who continues to shine, and not to mention dominate Little Buhr’s entire receiving corps by himself. Commish will cut the Birdmen a break this week, because everyone on his team except for the Giant’s (freakin’ awesome!) defense was on the road. But Commish will have his eye on this team; the bad news is that the Birdmen don’t look like a division winning squad. The good news is that they play a damn weak division.
The Cobra Kai Dojo is now 2-3, but are a better team than their record. If they can stabilize the QB position, they will be an unremitting terror in MLOM. The receiving corps is off-the-chart good, and they have a stable of young running backs, not to mention Willie Parker, that they can unleash based on match-ups. With Gates rounding out the team at tight end, Commish is shocked, frankly, that this team isn’t 4-1. These guys could be a powerhouse to watch in the future. Commish is excited to see how this Cobra division plays out.
Fun Fact: Cobra Kai move to 5-2 all-time regular season against the Birdmen. They have a 3-game win streak going in the regular season, however The Birdmen ousted Fwats on their way to the crown in the semi-finals of the 2006 playoffs.
The Rat Pack 130.26 over The Gang 96.26
The Roston battle, always a favorite in MLOM, reveals to us in 2008 two teams at a crossroads. The once powerful Gang seem to be reeling, the divorce with Peyton Manning has gone badly, and taken a lot out of old PPR’s Gang. On the flipside, perennial lovable losers (if you love Rats) Rat Pack have grown a pair and have taken the league by storm this year, establishing themselves, in Commish’s opinion, as the dominant team to beat. It was unfortunate for PPR that Matt Schaub pied out of his start. Alas, it probably would not have been enough to win, though it would have made this game that much more interesting. Still, not a bad effort from the Gang – their best this season easily in terms of points. The Domenik Hixon pick-up was sweet, and Commish must give due props. Ryan Grant remains, however, the bust of the draft so far, and the Gang receivers, after Plexico, tend to rival the Heeds’ in terms of sheer ineffectiveness. Still, with Addai, Witten, and some others, things could turn around – a little – for this one awesome team. With any luck they might even be mediocre this year.
And then there’s E-ron. His team keeps getting better and better. First in points easily and breathing down Gabe’s neck for the Division lead (check out that match-up this week), Eron has managed to lead his Pack to more and more points every single week. Through five games the team is averaging 122.33 points per game – yeesh. His total points to date? 611.66 – the three sixes are telling, and Commish wonders again exactly what Eron has sold, and to whom, to be this good. Commish likes to imagine the Rat Pack monster icon as being exactly what Marshawn Lynch turns into when he is in his sassy “Beast Mode”. In fact, maybe the entire Rat Pack has gone Beast Mode. Yes, Commish thinks they have.
Fun Fact: WIth this win the Rat Pack break the tie with “Father”, and move to 5-4 all time. This win breaks the 3-game win streak by PPR; the Pack hadn’t won this match-up since 2004.
The Poo Fish 108.55 over the Mormon Defenders 50.85
Coming in the season Little Buhr led MLOM in two notable things: 1)Overall Points and 2)Beat Down wins (>40 points). The Brown Trout/Poo Fish/Chupacabra/Romosexuals, coming into 2008, had put up 12 official Beat Downs, more than anyone else. And this win, too, will go in the books as an official Beat Down, but it has less to do with the Poo FIsh and more to do with the Defenders. That said, Little Buhr needs wins, and he’ll sure as hell take this one. Commish is still trying to imagine this team without Bush and Chambers, as they were drafted. Commish sees now that he was wrong to give them a B- draft grade when in fact a C- seems more appropriate. But hindsight is 20/20, and “the trade” happened, and here we stand. And you know what? The Poo Fish and the Heeds are not all that dissimilar. Romo is Brees, Brees is Romo. Peterson and Bush. Both teams have a couple of big stars and otherwise a whole lot of filler. Both teams can play spoiler, but neither team scares anybody. Yes, you might say Commish feels a certain kinship with Little Buhr. Who knows, maybe there’s even a bikini top bet in the future…
Has anyone seen, heard from, or talked to Norm? Commish is getting worried. His last move was two weeks ago. He doesn’t talk trash like he once did. Somebody call Norm right now and make sure he’s OK. Yes, it’s true, Norm has plenty of reasons to be depressed – he has plenty of reasons to want to hang himself with his own shoelaces. Brady is gone, and his Defenders are struggling. They’ve dropped 10 of 11 games going back to last season. And lost in the madness of the Heed’s epic failure this week is the fact Norm and his Defenders only put up 50.85 points. Yes, that’s right, we were one point away from having two sub-50 points games in the same week. Oh the shame! Worse than that, this is the SECOND 50-ish point game by the Defenders this season! What is going on? Brady goes down, Rodgers gets hurt. MJD is about as frustrating a player to own on a fantasy team per his value as a draft pick that there is. And between the Heeds and the Defenders – who together have notched 3 of the top-10 all-time worst performances so far this year, things are looking bleak indeed. Please, somebody call Norm. Commish needs to know that he’s OK. Michael Jordan quote Norm – Michael Jordan quote – the poster is hanging in your gym!
Fun Fact: The Poo Fish move to 5-4 against the Defenders.
Crazy Canucks 128.85 over The GBP 113.76
Is it Commish or did this seem like the only close game this week? (Wonder which game will be game of the week.) Commish gives props to the Canucks for their sassy MNF comeback as a response to Jonny G’s almost-as-sassy SNF comeback just a night earlier. These kinds of games, and not the toilet bowls and toilet teams above, are what Commish likes to see. Strong work. The Canucks, for their part, seem to have quite the Jeckyl and Hyde mentality. In their three losses, they haven’t cracked more than 86 points and average only 74.82 points. In their two wins they haven’t scored less than 125 points and average 127.08 points. That means they haven’t scored between 86 and 125 points all season. They’re either on the verge of blowing up…or on the verge of laying a stink bomb. Commish attributes this to their high-profile but seemingly moody receiving corps, who have a ton of talent but have been highly inconsistent to date.
The GBP too have charted a slight up and down course this season, but at 3-2 and with the third most points (and that’s despite a 56 point outing two weeks ago) they seem to be in a good place to focus on getting a few wins, getting to the playoffs, and then making their move. Unfortunately they play in a tough division and might have a rough go somewhere in the middle, but time will tell. One possible issue for the GBP is that they are a team of the aged and the infirmed. Big Ben, Harrison, Ward, Westbrook, Portis, Gonzalez, and Boldin all have age or injury-prone-ness, which may prove to be the GBP’s undoing in later weeks.
Fun Fact: The Canucks move to 8-2 all time against the GBP. They swept the GBP last year but lost in 2006.
Weekly Awards (Note: Good and Bad Pick ups of the week are going away for now, Commish will try to mention that sort of thing in the text of the games if necessary)
Player of the Week:
Reggie Bush – Final Stat Line: 29 rushing yards; 7 catches for 64 yards; 176 return yards, 2 TDs, 1 fumble lost – 26.22 points
Ugh, this one hurts, but Bush’s performance helped Little Buhr notch up an offical beat down even after the game was won. And damn was he fun to watch.
Honorable Mention: Chris Cooley, TJ Housh, Big Ben, Kurt Warner, Minn D, Clinton Portis
Ronnie Brown Memorial Award: (sponsored by Jon Fogerty)
Aaron Rodgers – Final Stat Line: 25 of 37, 313 yards, 3 TD’s, 1 INT, 4 rush yards – 32.11 points
Honorable Mention: Brandon Jacobs (27.43 points)
“Put me in coach – I’m ready to play…”
Game of the Week:
Crazy Canucks over the GBP – Combining MNM with SNM! (read that any way you want)
Team of the Week:
Rat Pack – Look the Rat Pack is staying here until someone makes a statement that they’re more deserving. Commish doesn’t care that this is three weeks in a row for the Rat Pack winning this award. They’ve only gotten better every week. Hat’s off to the Pack – again.
Coach of the Week:
E-ron – See above. Commish doesn’t care if it’s boring, and Commish doesn’t care if it’s redudant. When you have the best team, and then just keep making them better three weeks running, you’re the coach of the week, enough said.
Goat of the Week:
There were definitely some good options this week. From Robert Royal’s -1.47 points, to the goose egg from Santana Moss, to the no-show from Schaub, Commish had some thinking to do here. But on the other hand not really. When a defense gets MINUS 8 points, and those 8 points are the difference between the third worst stink bomb of all-time, and not even making the top ten, the winner becomes all too clear. Hey Buffalo Bills Defense, come get your horns.
“Kurt Warner and his Kill”
1)The Rat Pack (4-1, 1st in points) – The plague is growing. Hide the women and children. Projected wins: 9 or 10
2)Cobra Kai (2-3, 2nd in points) – Too good to keep a losing record for long. Projected wins: 8 or 9
3)Los Pescaderos (4-1, 6th in points) – Cagey team finding ways to win, enough weapons to stay in the hunt and make a run. Projected wins: 7 or 8
4)The GBP (3-2, 3rd in points) – Strong start, but age, injury issues a concern. Could take a fall. Projected wins: 7
5)Crazy Canucks (2-3, 4th in points) – Enough fire power to make some noise, Jeckyl and Hyde tendencies may hold them back. Projected Wins: 6 or 7
6)The Poo Fish (2-3, 5th in points) – Hot and Cold, need too many things to go right to be a true threat to the top. Projected Wins: 6 or 7
7)FIghtin’ Birdmen (3-2, 7th in points) – Winning record misleading here. Commish has a bad feeling. Projected Wins: 5 or 6
8)LT’s Crackheeds (2-3, 8th in points) – Despite stink bombs, Brees and All Day will steal a few for them. Projected Wins: 5
9)Mormon Defenders (1-4, 9th in points) – Just can’t seem to win. Seriously, has someone called Norm yet? Projected Wins: 4 or 5
10)The Gang (2-3, 10th in points) – Averaging 74.77 points per game. That’s just over a stink bomb a week. Projected Wins: 4
Good Luck to all Teams this week.