2003: Two Out, Two In, Two Out, Two In
And it's back to business as usual in the SFFL... The Northern Conference returned to its annual turnover as the Elephants and SQUONK both decided to bail out for this season. So, two out. But in short order Private's Parts announce the return of Dave Daigle's Eager Beavers and an unnamed new expansion team to be run by his brother. Two in. But soon after the dust settled, both suffered "employment challenges" and bowed out due to financial constraints. Two out.
The clock kept running while these two open slots remained. There were rumblings of contraction -a move not supported by the commissioner. The Dynamic Duo surfaced and brought his son Scott into the league as owner of the new Doughboys. Tick, tick, tick. Just two weeks before the draft and the Invaders announced that Chris Clark's oft maligned Rough Riders were coming back to the fold. Joyous news! Two In, get ready to rock and roll.
A number of changes were tabled during the off-season. Many went down in flames: Expanded Scheduling, Adding a Tight End, Adding a third Wide Receiver, and numerous scoring system permutations. But a few did make the cut: The elimination of SCAB players and the "Team Concept" for Quarterback and Kickers. You would now have to make sure you draft to avoid too many players at one position on a bye and you better pick a healthy QB or two. In order to accomodate these changes the teams would now have a roster of 14 players instead of the previous 12. With that SFFL season #9 begins...
|Northeast Division||Owner||Northwest Division||Owner|
|Dynamic Duo||Jim Sargeant||Destroyers||Larry Guidi|
|Gravy Boat Captains||Rob Vanderwer||Doughboys||Scott Sargeant|
|Rough Riders||Chris Clark||Hemo Goblins||Dave Bertola|
|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 saw the Dynamic Duo at 4-3, the Gravy Boat Captains at 3-4 and Rough Riders at a badly beaten 2-5 as teams seemed to put their best effort into welcoming them back.
In the Northwest Division, the Hemo Goblins were riding high at 5-1-1, with a game and a half lead over the upstart rookie Doughboys (4-3) and another 1/2 game over the Destroyers (3-4).
The Southeast Division as usual had Private's Parts off to a fast 6-1 start and leading the TigerSharks (3-4) by three full games and the Young Guns (2-4-1) a half game back from there.
The Southwest Division mirrored the Northeast Division and found THRAK (3-4) leading the Fighting Lounge Chairs (3-4) by one game and the Invaders (2-5) by two games.(klp 12/16/03)
In most seasons the playoff picture doesn't unfold until the last couple of weeks of the season. This year was no exception as things weren't really decided until the final week of the season. In the Northeast Division was very tight all season. And the Gravy Boat Captains (6-7) pulled off a must win game in the final regular season game against the Rough Riders (4-9) to secure a playoff birth. Unfortunately the Dynamic Duo (5-8) could not do the same and missed the playoffs for the second year in a row.
The Northwest division saw the Hemo Goblins (11-1-1) improve upon their championship run of last season. The rookie Doughboys (8-5) hung tough and secured a playoff spot in their inaugural season. The Duo's loss and a huge final week win gave the Destroyers (6-7) a chance to return to the playoffs after missing them last season.
Meanwhile in the Southeast, Private's Parts (7-6), who jumped out to a quick 6-1 start saw their fortunes reverse to 1-5 in the second half of the season. No desirable, but good enough for another playoff run. The TigerSharks (6-7) continued their middle of the road performance and secured their first ever playoff birth. The Young Guns (4-8) finished a disappointing season at the bottom of the league without ever winning a conference (0-7) or division (0-4) game.
The Southeast saw THRAK (9-4) take the division lead in the second week enroute to their best season since their title run in 2000. The Fighting Lounge Chairs (6-7) returned to the playoffs hoping for better results than they have achieved there previously. The Invaders (5-8) struggled throughout the season and did not make the playoffs this year.
Once again the first round of the playoffs saw the favorites win. One exception might be the Gravy Boat Captains (7-7) who defeated the rookie Doughboys (8-6) 104-83. The Destroyers (6-8) tried hard, but still fell short of the Hemo Goblins (12-1-1) in an 83-71 loss. In the Southern Conference, Private's Parts (7-7) were stymied by the TigerSharks (7-7) 105-84 and the Fighting Lounge Chairs (6-8) were flattened 73-37 by THRAK (10-4).
The Southern Conference championship pitted a relatively often playoff bound THRAK against this year's playoff newcomer, TigerSharks. And the newcomer wasted no time in showing their teeth as the TigerSharks (8-7) took a big 136-76 bite out of THRAK (10-5).
The Northern Conference championship featured the defending Cross-Dressed Champion Hemo Goblins squaring off against the Gravy Boat Captains. And in a rather uneventful game, the Hemo Goblins (13-1-1) dropped the Gravy Boat Captains (7-8), 88-54.
The 2003 Cross-Dressed Championship pitted a surging TigerSharks team against the reigning champion Hemo Goblins who appeared to be on cruise control to a second straight title. But it was not to be! The TigerSharks (9-7) grabbed the wheel from the Hemo Goblins (13-2-1) and ran them straight off a cliff in a 125-65 rout of last years champs. Thus once again the elusive two time championship goes to the wind and the Millionaire Pond Scum remain as the only team to ever achive it (1995-1997). And so another season goes into the Historical Archives with a first time champion. We now depart with an item we've not had in a few years; the quote of the year:
"I am sure that Scott would enjoy the challenge of taking on two guys at once."- Jim Sargeant owner of the Dynamic Duo 10.03.03
Comments made by the Dynamic Duo in an e-mail discussing the league office's mis-scheduling the Doughboys (Scott Sargeant) to play two opponent in week #8. Or at least that's what is hoped!(klp 1/2/04)