Nate Kaeding kicks the ball from wherever he damn feels like...
Why is a kicker the MVP of the People's Champion this week? We'll get to that in a bit. That's called a teaser to make sure you keep reading. Like when your local nightly news says "Could communist terrorist pedophiles be moving next door to your family? Find out at 11."
But enough about Canucklehead, let's talk Week 11.
It's official. Renal Failure has clinched a playoff spot. Mathematically, spiritually, ecumenically. Last season they were the last team eliminated from the playoff hunt, this year they are the first to get in. And our 99-91 victory over Predator Press has reminded the HBFFL that they can't come into our house and grind their boots on our couch. All these things should make the People's Champion pleased, but the People are far from jovial this day.
The starting Renal Roster underperformed. Severely. Our emergency backup players who will only play if something happens to our prized starters put our starters to shame. Fielding the lineup of Eli Manning, Percy Harvin, Jeremy Maclin, Pierre Thomas, and the San Francisco Defense, the Renal Bench could have beaten the Bald Spots and the Googlyeyed Goons. And if we bothered keeping a backup tight end or kicker the Renal Bench might have also beaten Prestige Worldwide's score too.
They say if Eli Manning pokes his head out of the ground and puts up 40+ points the week after the trade deadline, there will be six more weeks of winter and an owner pissed off that Eli picked now to be valuable trade bait.
Strange Fact: In the three games that Renal Failure has not exceeded their projected score, they are 3-0.
Our usual big guns Maurice Jones-Drew and Philip Rivers both put up a measly 13pts a piece, and MJD was playing the horrid Buffalo Bills who let Chris Johnson slam a bear into the moon on them with a 45-point day last week. Look, we knew that 29pt projected score was a tad on the high side, and our pessimistic side would have been okay with 19pts. But 13?
Also failing the People this week... TJ Houshmandzadeh barely got more points than letters in his first name (3pts), the Philadelphia Defense only got five points and one INT from the Interception Dispenser Machine Jay Cutler, and even Dallas Clark didn't impress us because his one touchdown catch for three yards was the totality of his receiving day. Who do you think you are? Mid-2000's Jerome Bettis?
Bettis once carried the ball five times for one yard and three touchdowns in a game. Also he might have once eaten a whole buffalo, but that's unconfirmed.
More Cheerful Fact: Renal Failure has reached the 10 win mark faster than any other HBFFL team ever. In 2008, Fantasy Virgin didn't get their 10th victory until Week 13. The White Strypers didn't get theirs until Week 14.
Thankfully Hines Ward and Stephen Jackson salvaged the day for the People with 23 and 22 points respectively, but who really kept our ass out of the loss column this week was kicker Nate Kaeding and his 14 points. Yeah, our kicker outscored our starting Top Ten quarterback and our MVP Top Three running back, and we still won. What team does that?
THE WILD CARD, BITCHES!
Finally, the "Renal Failure QB/K handcuff strategy" has paid big dividends. If your QB stalls out, the kicker gets field goals. If your QB is kicking ass, at least your kicker is supplementing that big day with extra points. The flaw in this is if the running back on the team is scoring all the touchdowns. But then every strategy has weaknesses. That's why they're called "strategies" and not "certainties."
There are only three certainties in life: death, taxes, and losing to Renal Failure...
Somewhere in some third world country is a child who thinks the Arizona Cardinals won the Super Bowl last year. That's because at every Super Bowl (and every sporting even for that matter) there are two sets of championship merchandise, one for each team. That's how the winning team is wearing t-shirts and hats saying they are Super Bowl champions as soon as the clock hits 00:00. The shirts for the losing team are shipped out of the country, never to be seen by American eyes, and given to humanitarian efforts in countries that don't have futbol Americano. Or indoor plumbing. Or age of consent laws.
And so the People's Champion imagines a young Somali boy being handed one of LOBO's "I defeated Renal Failure in 2009" t-shirts by a Red Cross worker, and then wearing said shirt as he joins a band of pirates, hijacks an oil tanker, and then has his head explode courtesy of a U.S. sniper. And as the mess is mopped up, the Marines or Navy or whatever branch of the military is in charge of killing pirates will look down on this headless boy and someone will wonder who he was. To which someone else will respond "I don't know, but he must have been pretty good at fantasy football to beat Renal Failure in 2009."
Someone won't be updating their lineup for Week 12...
But while LOBO can't wear his t-shirt yet without people pointing at him and screaming "You didn't beat Renal Failure, you Fraud Fraudy McFrauderstein!", he can take solace that he is still in control of his playoff destiny. At 6-5 Predator Press is in third place with the total point tiebreaker over What the Canuck? and can remain there as long as he wins out against the Bald Spots, Prestige Worldwide, and The Ramblers.
And staying in third would be beneficial for LOBO, for the four-seed must play the Number One seed and The People's Champion can clinch first place with a single win over his remaining opponents: Googlyeyed Goons, Team Duckgirl, and What the Canuck? And considering Paula started the out-for-the-year Owen Daniels and the suspended-for-four-games Dwayne Bowe this week, there's a better than average chance we'll have first place firmly in the People's hands by the end of Week 12.
But we say this to Duckgirl (the Looks) and Canuck (the Ducky): don't expect us to pull our starters for Weeks 13 and 14 and let you skate to easy victories to help you make the playoffs, because the People don't play Fantasy Football just to play Fantasy Football...
We also play for liquor and loose women who are impressed with our 10-1 record...
Preview of the People's Week 12 on Friday for your post-Thanksgiving reading pleasure.
---Renal Failure splits the uprights, but not with Adam Nougateri