“Halibut J-Bird Sinks His Talons Into the Week 13 MVP Award!”

Week 13 MVP Award Winner –
Halibut J-Bird (32 Points)

Halibut J-Bird has been one of the most consistent players all season.  He has soared inside the Top Five for 11 of the 13 weeks that have been played so far.  However, he had not yet had his big prey capturing moment where he sunk his talons into and flew away with an MVP Award.  That changed last week when he scored 32 Points to claim the Week 13 MVP Award.  He did this by getting both Games of the Week, the Triple Crown, the Monday night game, and 2 of the 3 Point Spread games.  However, his biggest pick last week was the one that he didn’t make.  He declined to take the risk and pick Triple Jeopardy, and that had far-reaching implications in the club.  By not selecting TJ along with his pick of Chicago, it saved him from losing 2 Points (as 13 other club members did).  As a result, he earned sole possession of the MVP Award and more importantly he led his Pro Bowl team to victory by 2 Points.  Had his team The Supernovas lost those 2 Points, they would have tied their team match and lost out on a bye week.  Well done and smart picking, Halibut J-Bird!  Halibut J-Bird probably celebrated his MVP win by cooking the rest of the frozen halibut he caught and had shipped home from Alaska last summer.  Our Week 13 MVP Award Runner-Up was none other than Mr. T: SDFW.  Mr. T got his 30 Points the same way that Halibut J-Bird did.  The only difference was that he selected TJ and thus lost -2 Points from his final score.  Even so, it was an incredible week for Mr. T, helping him to muscle his way back into 1st Place for the third time this season.  Mr. T has disproved any doubters by being a dominant force in the club this entire season.  Before the season, I jokingly told him that he should participate in the club this season because we “could use more bottom-feeders“.  What was meant as a joke may very well have lit a fire in Mr. T and inspired him to make great picks all season.  As things turned out, I ended up being the bottom-feeder and Mr. T ended up flexing his muscles (or great picks) at the top of the charts.  The Top Five was really shaken up last week to a degree rarely seen in the club this late in the season.  The new Top Five consists of #1 Mr. T, #2 Hoosier Daddy (5 Points back), #3 Nighthawk (6 Points back), #4 Halibut J-Bird (7 Points back), and #5 Drummer Boy (15 Points back).  As you can see, Daddy & His Boys teammates Hoosier Daddy and Drummer Boy made huge jumps in the standings and both reached new peak positions.  Don’t forget about my comment in last week’s column that Hoosier Daddy “currently has the momentum of a freight train barreling down the tracks“.  Anyone who is in his path might want to think about quickly moving out of the way.  And Drummer Boy is showing that his 3rd Place finish last season was no fluke as he is also making another run at the Club Championship.

The Super Bowl Tournament’s Wild Card Round took place last week.  This is oftentimes the most exciting round because 16 players are all in action battling against each other.  And we had some very exciting (and disheartening for some) developments.  Let’s first take a look at the four matches which took place in Conference One.  (1) freespirit def. (8) Double-Double 24-18 despite coming down with COVID and battling the virus full scale last week.  freespirit was not well enough to do any research or even e-mail or text her picks in, so she called in and asked me to read off the list of games, after which she picked her choices.  She was able to pick well enough spur of the moment like that to advance.  (2) Captain Insano def. (7) The Cat 12-4 to win a defensive struggle and advance.  This was the first time all season that The Cat’s secret picking strategy failed miserable and it couldn’t have happened at a worse time.  In the biggest match of the week (and perhaps of the season), (3) Halibut J-Bird def. (6) Hoosier Daddy 32-26.  The moment that Halibut J-Bird secured his victory by winning the MVP Award, I knew that Hoosier Daddy would not be happy.  Hoosier is a very good sport, so he doesn’t mind losing.  But it just seemed like week after week this season just by chance he happened to be matched up against either the MVP or MVP Runner-Up Award winner for that week (or another high-scoring player).  When that happens, even if you have a strong score for the week, it won’t be enough to win.  At a press conference after the match, Hoosier commented: “I’d like to say: Yet again… my opponent went off this week and won the MVP, ousting me from the Super Bowl. How truly disappointing! All this despite a strong showing as usual.”  But our defending Super Bowl Champ Hoosier took the loss in stride and said he will now refocus his efforts on winning the club title, which is very much within his grasp to do.  Finally, (5) Drummer Boy def. (4) Bob Swerski 29-16 in a match that Drummer won by nearly two touchdowns to advance.  In seeing the results of this match, Hoosier Daddy added: “I’m rooting for my teammate, Drummer Boy, to win it all!

Let’s now move on to Conference Two and take a look at the four matches which took place there.  (1) The Rickster def. (9) Stinkerbell 28-7, winning by three touchdowns and sending a strong message to everybody left in the tournament that he is the player to beat.  I don’t think anybody thought that The Rickster could win by such a large margin, but Stinkerbell just happened to have one of her first bad weeks of the entire season at the worst possible time.  (2) Low Fat Tuna def. (7) MJD Hogg 26-13 to avenge last season’s loss to MJD.  It was interesting to see how both of these players were moved into Conference Two due to the alphabetical order realignment, yet they still happened to meet up and battle once again in the Wild Card Round just like last season.  (6) The Sad Salmon def. (3) Slick Chick 16-12 in a rematch from the final week of the Head to Head regular season two weeks ago.  While Slick Chick won that first match, The Sad Salmon won the match that really counts and thus he has advanced into the next round.  I don’t think anyone in the club likes having to battle against a teammate, but sometimes it has to happen due to tournament seeding or other factors.  In the final match, (4) Mr. T: SDFW def. (5) Nighthawk 30-26 in a battle between two juggernauts.  Nighthawk has rebounded from having a couple of lower-scoring weeks due to the arrival of Baby Hazel, because lately he has had more time to think about and make great picks once again.  However, it was not enough to thwart the determination of Mr. T, who took no pity when beating and eliminating him.

This week, we have the Divisional Round in the Super Bowl Tournament.  And that means there are four great matches lined up.  The first match should be an epic clash of the titans with (5) Drummer Boy at (1) freespirit.  Can freespirit pull off another victory despite still battling COVID (but improving by the day)?  Or will Drummer Boy continue his run to a potential second consecutive Super Bowl Final?  The second match is (3) Halibut J-Bird at (2) Captain Insano.  These two players met in the regular season back in Week 9, with Halibut J-Bird claiming a fairly routine 22-7 victory.  However, do not count Captain Insano out.  Being that he is out of the running for the club title, the good Captain has his sights set fully on winning this tournament.  So he will do everything he can to try to cage J-Bird and get past him.  The third match is (6) The Sad Salmon at (1) The Rickster.  This might look like a mismatch on paper, with the rookie going up against the greatest Head to Head player of all time in the club.  But The Sad Salmon has surprised almost everyone in the club at how well he has done in his rookie season.  So he should not be counted out.  And we know that The Rickster would not make the mistake of overlooking any opponent.  I’m predicting a very close match.  The fourth and final match is (4) Mr. T: SDFW at (2) Low Fat Tuna.  While Low Fat Tuna might be the higher seed, I would have to say that Mr. T is the favorite going into this match because he is the #1 player in the club currently.  However, for me personally, the Super Bowl title is the one title which still eludes me here in the club, so I’m going to give it everything I have to try to pull off the victory and survive another week.

On a final note, Pro Bowl Team Weekly wrapped up last week with an incredible rematch of last season’s Pro Bowl Final.  In the match, which had a bye week on the line (as noted earlier in this column), The Supernovas def. Daddy & His Boys 70-68 to claim that precious #2 seed and get a week of rest.  5 of the 6 players on these teams had all picked Chicago with TJ and lost -2 Points from their final scores.  But, as noted earlier, Halibut J-Bird declined to pick TJ and thus delivered victory to his team The Supernovas.  This was a truly stunning development that shaped how the entire tournament turned out.  Thus, as the Pro Bowl Tournament gets underway this week, the top two seeds have bye weeks: (1) McTriple Play (7-4-1) and (2) The Supernovas (7-5).  So the First Round will get underway with these two matches: (6) Wild Animals at (3) Daddy & His Boys and (5) For the Win at (4) Gridiron Guardians.  May the best teams win, but let’s have fun whether we win or lose.