2002: Two New Faces for '02
In a rare event, the SFFL off-season was very quiet. No major rule changes were implemented and the Commissioner thus was very happy to enjoy the down time.
Unlike past seasons, this one was on track and organized more than a month in advance of the first kickoff. The Eager Beavers and Rough Riders both opted to leave the league this season. All were sad to see them go, but life goes on and two new teams -the Hemo Goblins and Gravy Boat Captains- were quickly brought into the fold. Thus SFFL season #8 begins...
|Northeast Division||Owner||Northwest Division||Owner|
|Elephants||Ander Babar||Destroyers||Larry Guidi|
|Dynamic Duo||Jim Sargeant||Hemo Goblins||Dave Bertola|
|Gravy Boat Captains||Rob Vanderwer||SQUONK||Sam D'Angelo|
|Southeast Division||Owner||Southwest Division||Owner|
|Private's Parts||Bob Sikorski||Fighting Lounge Chairs||Len Swiat|
|TigerSharks||Tom Kuenzi||Invaders||Eric Palmer|
|Young Guns||Ron Mazur||THRAK||Kevin Papendick|
The mid-season factoid...
The Northeast Division was the tightest -alibet the weakest- race with the rookie Gravy Boat Captains tied with the Elephants at 3-4, with the Boats already sweeping the series. The defending champion Dynamic Duo was only a game back at 2-5.
In the Northwest Division, the Destroyer sat at 5-2 and hold a one and two game lead over SQUONK (4-3) and the rookie Hemo Goblins (3-4) respectively.
The Southeast Division once again had Private's Parts off to a fast 5-2 start and leading the Young Guns (3-4) by two games and the TigerSharks (2-5) by three.
The Southwest Division finds the Invaders and THRAK tied at 5-2 with the Invaders winning their first matchup handily. The Fighting Lounge Chairs lagged behind by three games at 2-5.(klp 10/25/02)
The year the stretch run was probably the closest its ever been. In the Northeast the Dynamic Duo finished with a better record, but it wasn't enough as they failed to make the playoffs, thus they didn't have a chance at defending their upset Cross-Dressed Championship. The rookie Gravy Boat Captains finished the regular season at 7-6 and were the only Northeast division team make it into the playoffs.
The Northwest division saw SQUONK win their first division title with a perfect 4-0 division record. That perfect record held off the Hemo Goblins and Destroyers as all three finished 7-6 overall in the regular season, thus sending all of them to the playoffs.
Meanwhile in the Southeast, Private's Parts defended their division title and captured the number one seed in the playoffs by virtue of a league best 9-4 record. They entered the playoffs looking to avenge last seasons drive-by shooting in the Cross-Dressed Championship by the Dynamic Duo. The TigerSharks (5-8) came on strong towards the end of the season and just missed the playoffs and actually finished behind the Young Guns who also struggled to 5-8 this year.
The Southeast was led by this seasons powerhouse, the Invaders. Although they only had an 8-5 record, the Invaders finished the season with an average points per game 13 points better than the next closest team. Although better than last year, THRAK (6-7) proved to be very inconsistent but took a 3 game slide into the playoffs. The Fighting Lounge Chairs (6-7) struggled through the first half of the season, but pulled it together down the stretch and got some help in end to capture the final playoff spot.
The first round of the playoffs saw all of the favorites win except the Gravy Boat Captains who where upended by the other rookie, the Hemo Golins 89-66. The Destroyers were destroyed by SQUONK 83-31 to setup the Northern Conference championship. In the Southern Conference, Private's Parts folded the Fighting Lounge Chairs 84-51 and the Invaders flattened THRAK 109-62.
The Southern Conference championship provided to be a rematch of last season as two former league champions, the Invaders and Private's Parts did battle for the chance to win a second title.. Private's Parts might have been the #1 seed in the Southern Conference, but escaped with a 2 point victory 79-77.
The Northern Conference championship pitted one the leagues perenial losers, SQUONK against the upstart rookie Hemo Goblins. Apparently SQUONK got spooked as the were dropped 90-70 by the Hemo Goblins for their first trip to the big dance.
The 2003 Cross-Dressed Championship proved to be a barn burner as no championship in recent memory held the drama this one did. The potentially lethal Invaders squared off against this seasons upstart rookie, the Hemo Goblins. After the Sunday games it appeared the Goblins would win going away. Unless of course the Invader's Pittsburgh defense could come up huge in the Monday Nighter...which is exactly what they did! But in the end it wasn't enough, as the big lead and some help from Hines Ward lifted the Hemo Goblins over the top 94-82. For the second year in a row a PUNK-ASS Rookie had won it all! Surely the veteran teams of the SFFL look forward to 2003 to avenge another failure...(klp 1/6/03)