1998: Revamped Scoring & More New Faces
The 1998 offseason was very quiet until almost mid-July. Then the unwashed masses began to get restless. Some it would seem were ready to delve into the new season with wreckless abandon. The "Lord Almighty Commish" sent out a bulletin for all 1997 owners to ante up their opinions for the 1998 season. In a sad but not entirely unexpected move, the Millionaire Pond Scum -Three time defending champion of the SFFL and league founder- would not be returning for the 1998 season. There would definitely be a new Cross-Dressed Champion this season. The Bulimic Cannibals also indicated that they would not return this season. This came as a mild shock, as it was rather unexpected in their case.
A number of big issues were tabled for change this season. A major overhaul of the rules was undertaken The scoring system, starting line ups, league expansion, changes to the waiver system, trades, and other minor issues were discussed. Expansion became a moot point as the league now faced the difficult chore of recruiting two worthy replacement teams. The chances of finding four teams seemed remote. In the end trades were OKed, and a return to unlimiting the number of waiver moves. But the biggest change of 1998 would be a completely new, simplified scoring system. In addition to the scoring system changes the decision was made to reduce the roster headcount and starting line-ups by one running back and one wide receiver. This was done in hopes that the new scoring system and a deeper free agent pool would improve the competitiveness of the league as a whole. Time would tell...
Most of the original team owners no longer worked at the infamous Systems
Fabrication for which the league is named. So it seems only fitting that
both of the new team owners, Brian O'Connell (One-Eyed Meat) and Ron Mazur
(N.F.O. - The New Football Order) were fairly recent arrivals at the ol'
"Sys-Fab". This raised the count to 4 out of 10 teams being based at Sys-Fab.
A far cry from the inaugural 1995 season when 6 of the 8 teams were based
there. So with the draft set for Friday
August 14, 1998 the SFFL was poised for action.
|North Division||Owner||South Division||Owner|
|Eager Beavers||Dave Daigle||Fighting Lounge Chairs||Len Swiat|
|Elephants||Ander Babar||Invaders||Eric Palmer|
|Hackers||Jim Honer||N.F.O.||Ron Mazur/Tom Kuenz|
|One-Eyed Meat||Brian O'Connell||Private's Parts||Bob Sikorski|
|Rough Riders||Chris Clark||THRAK||Kevin Papendick|
The season got under way and a good time was being had by most for the first half of the season. In the North Division the Eager Beavers were thumping their tails on everyone with an impressive 6-1(4-0) record. Four other teams were knotted up at 4-3 and Rough Riders assumed their basement dwelling position at a reasonable 3-4(0-4) in very even division. Meanwhile in the South Division, the Private's Parts jumped out to a 5-0 record before stumbling down to a very good 5-2(4-1) record, still keeping them on top. The upstart N.F.O. (3-4, 2-2) was talking a lot of trash as they found themselves tied for second with the veteran THRAK also at 3-4(2-2). The Invaders followed at 5-2(2-2) and the Fighting Lounge Chairs were a dismal 1-6(0-3)!
The second half of the season saw thing progess pretty much in the same vein until the last couple of weeks of the season. In the North Division the Eager Beavers finished a respectable 8-5(6-2) as they took their lumps down the stretch, but still came out on top. The Elephants also stomped their way to an 8-5(4-4) record, but was seeded second in the playoffs by virtue of their lesser divisional record. The new kid up north, One-Eyed Meat (7-6, 5-3) edged out the Hackers (7-6, 3-5) with the better divisional record. In the South Division Private's Parts finished with a league best 9-4( 7-1) record. THRAK secured a second seed by virtue of their 7-6 (5-3) record, and the Invaders edged past N.F.O. with a 6-6-1(4-3-1) record.
The wildcard games saw the both the Elephants and THRAK advancing their second seed placements to the Divisional Championship games. There, the Elephants put there foot down on the Eager Beavers, edging them out by a mere four points to claim the North Division title. In the South Divisional Championship, Private's Parts disposed of THRAK without too much effort. So the stage was set...the Elephants would take on Private's Parts to determine who would assume the throne vacated by the departure of three-peat champion, Millionnaire Pond Scum.
The Elephants put forth a balanced attack with several individuals contributing to the overall effort. For Private's Parts they were stunned when their mighty Terrell Davis, the anchor of the team only mustered up 4 points. But in the end Jake "The Snake" Plummer -in a near career game- came through in a big way to lift the Part's to victory in their second trip to the big dance. Private's Parts - 101, Elephants - 84