After an incredibly long semi-final clusterbang, the DA Fantasy Football finals are ready to get underway in week 17. Obviously, for the final, we will give DA his due in being the true inspiration behind this league. I certainly remember reflecting on that historic Monday morning last year when I said to myself, “He did what? And the score was what?” DA’s greatness or in this case ability to play atrocious quarterback cannot be summed up by mere statistics. Don’t get me wrong. He has the numbers. 2 of 17 passing in that historic Buffalo game. That still shocks me. Against Tampa in ’06 he went 10 of 27 with 4 picks. He was a stalwart in his own league this year.
It is more than all that, though. It is the feeling that DA instills in a fan base. This is a man who was run out of Cleveland for Jake Delhomme. He was a man who was so atrocious in Arizona he was pushed aside in the line-up by not one, but two, no-name rookie quarterbacks. Playing in perhaps the worst division in the history of the modern NFL, DA was incapable of holding off Max Hall and John Skelton. Can you even fathom the despair and hopelessness you must feel when he takes the field? And, it has become a beast that haunts DA. If you saw his press conference after the laughing incident, you know this is a broken and tired man. He’s baffled by his own ineptitude. He looks in need of second career.
I hope this isn’t the last we’ve seen of him. You can only be this bad for so long, and eventually it will catch up to you. Even at the quarterback position in the NFL, a position only about a dozen guys can hold down, there are limits to the amount of damage you can cause. DA is approaching that limit at breakneck speed. What a couple of years it has been, though, right? Aren’t we the lucky ones?
Right before Tom Watson chipped in to beat Jack Nicklaus at the 1982 U.S. Open, Jack Whitaker was doing a post round interview that basically amounted to a premature discussion of his victory. Speculating about what would have been a record 5th Open title, Whitaker opined, “Jack, it’s a pleasure to be in your time.” Pure poetic class, and I can’t help but feeling the same way about DA.
So, the Finals:
The Match-Up: Team Motorboat vs. Neckbeards and Codeine.
How they Got Here:
As I said, the Semi-Finals were a complicated affair. Minnesota’s inability to stick with a starting quarterback, blizzards, having internal debates about the rules…it was some high drama. For the five people involved (probably not). In the end, I think the deserving guys came out on top.
Team Motorboat cruised into the final. He built himself a nice lead in the first half of the semis, and then hammered home the decisive victory on Sunday. He saddled up Matt Hasselbeck and benefited from his early injury and bonus yards. He also got a nice solid performance from Troy Smith. As we know, it god so bad in SF, that the Niners couldn’t bear one more week with Mike Singletary. While Motorboat had a slow burn going, BK swung for the fences, but came up short. He was done in by the Jets defense. Even with a pick-6, Jay Cutler could only manage single-digit points against them. John Skelton’s inexplicable 0 INT performance left BK unable to make up the gap from week one, and Nichols moved on.
In the other semi-final things were a bit tighter. Neckbeards started the week with a five point lead, but the tide appeared to turn on Thursday when Jimmy Clausen blew up in Pittsburgh. Clausen threw for just 72 yards and put up a whopping 38 points. Advantage: Slop Jocks. Luckily for Neckbeards, they had an ace in the hole and his name was Kerry Collins. The most underrated stat in DA Fantasy in the incompletion. 2 of 17 remember? Well, Collins crafted a brilliant 14 of 37 performance. In the end the total was a final’s clinching 48 points. With Mark Sanchez unable to provide much help, The Slop Jocks needed touchdowns and accuracy out of Joe Webb to have a chance. His pedestrian win was good enough for a couple of points, which set-up Neckbeards for the finals showdown with Team Motorboat.
3 Putt DA of the Week:
There were some choices here. I thought about Mike Vick. Ryan Fitzpatrick was dreadful, but that was a nothing game, a blowout from the opening whistle. Jimmy Clausen was terrible and Eli threw 4 interceptions in what amounted to a playoff game. But, in the end, I think I have to go with Collins, because of what his performance meant to the league. While the other guys were doing regular season work, Collins was under a conference championship game type spotlight. Well played, Kerry.