Welcome to the final post for the 2020 season of The Football Club: Nineteenth Year Trophy Edition II. This was an unusual season in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic affected the NFL games as many games were switched around when different players and coaches game down with the virus. Even our own club member freespirit came down with the virus and was in a fierce battle for her health. But we all got through the season and a new Club Champion has emerged. Before we get into that, I just wanted to let you know that The Football Club is tentatively scheduled to return next season for its 20th year of operation. The name of next season’s club is planned to be The Football Club: Twentieth Year Final Edition. That’s right, this could perhaps be the final season of the club coming up. I could change my mind later, of course, but I kind of feel like the club has run its course and two decades is long enough. Time will tell. I like how Double-Double put it on Club Chat, when he said: “Hopefully we will have year 20 unless this system comes crashing down“. With that, let’s get into the season in review for each player.
The 2020 Club Champion is Mr. T: Social Distancing From Winning (often shortened to Mr. T: SDFW). Mr. T accomplished this by scoring 7 Weeks at #1, 1 MVP Award, and 4 MVP Award Runner-Ups. His 391 Points on the season nearly matched the all-time record of 394 Points posted by Hoosier Daddy in 2012 (which is the record for non-Bonus Points seasons). As a result, he will be receiving the Rhapsody Ralph Trophy in the near future to place on his mantel. Delivery of the trophy will be easy, since he lives only one block away from club headquarters (as does our other neighbors The Rickster and former club member Bumpskier). Many club members were very happy to see Mr. T win the club title for the first time and congratulations poured in for him on Club Chat. Double-Double told Mr. T: “Congrats Turfa! Have a Double Double on me the next time I see you.” Mr. T has been a long-time member of the club since the late 1990s. In fact, back in the 3rd season (when we had a record 48 club members participating), Mr. T finished in 4th Place, which was very impressive. But this season, Mr. T took making impressive picks to a whole new level. He just would not let up week after week in scoring lots of Points, no matter how hard The Rickster or anyone else was trying to chase him down and overtake him. In addition to winning the club title, Mr. T was also a member of the Pro Bowl Championship Team – The Gridiron Guardians. And Mr. T led the league in picking the Most Games of the Week with 23 out of 35 – 66% correct. With his outstanding victory in winning the club title, I don’t think Mr. T will ever let me forget my joking comment encouraging him to play this season since we needed more “bottom-feeders” in the club. Mr. T went all the way to the top, while I failed to defend my club title and became the newest bottom-feeder. In addition, Mr. T won the club with 20 more Points than I did last season (when I ended with 371 Points). So congratulations, Mr. T! But now that you are the champ, you will need to drop your Social Distancing From Winning moniker, because you did the exact opposite. You were Social Distancing From Losing. The Runner-Up this season was The Rickster, who ended with 382 Points. In most seasons, 382 Points would be enough to win the club title. The Rickster has long been known to have late-season surges, where he begins dominating and posting huge weeks of Points down the stretch. And what was most impressive was how The Rickster ended the season during Week 17. With everything on the line, The Rickster stepped up and delivered a huge 38 Point week (tied with Stinkerbell for the Best Week/Highest Score of the Year) to win the Week 17 MVP Award. Had Mr. T scored 25 Points or less in the final week, The Rickster would have taken home the title. However, while he was the Runner-Up in the Points Standings, The Rickster was not the Runner-Up in the Super Bowl Tournament. The Rickster became our first 4-time Super Bowl Head to Head Champion by defeating Halibut J-Bird 27-17 in a rivalry match for the ages. And The Rickster won the Most MVP Awards this season with 3 in total. In summary, it was another outstanding season for The Rickster. Our 3rd Place finisher was Nighthawk, who finished with 377 Points. Nighthawk’s shining moment this season was welcoming Baby Hazel into the world. The only time all season in which he had a brief dip in making good picks and scoring Points was around the time of Baby Hazel’s birth, which is understandable for sure. Nighthawk was named our Comeback Player of the Year. While he didn’t go anywhere and has been in the club for quite some time, he was given this award because he logged 6 weeks at #1 in a return to past dominance. Every time he turned in his picks, I was expecting him to do well, and he always delivered. Nighthawk led the league all by himself in the Most Double Stakes category with 10 out of 17 – 59% correct. And he also tied for Most Sunday Night / 6 Point Games with 11 out of 17 – 65% correct. In addition, Nighthawk won the September Player of the Month Award. All in all, it was another outstanding season for Nighthawk. Our 4th Place finisher was Halibut J-Bird. Last season, Halibut J-Bird finished as the Runner-Up with 366 Points. This season, he nearly equaled that total by finishing with 363 Points. Halibut J-Bird’s highlights this season included reaching a Peak Position of #2 in the Points Standings, winning 1 MVP Award, 2 MVP Award Runner-Ups, tying for the Most Triple Crowns with 8 out of 17 – 47% correct, and finishing as the Super Bowl Tournament Runner-Up. Rounding out the Top Five we have Double-Double, who made a final week surge to finish out the season in 5th Place with 360 Points. This followed up on his very successful recent seasons in 2019 (finishing in 4th Place) and 2018 (finishing in 1st Place as Club Champion). Double-Double’s highlights this season included reaching a Peak Position of #2 in the Points Standings, claiming 1 MVP Award, and helping lead his team Wild Animals to the Final Four in the Pro Bowl Tournament. Like Halibut J-Bird, he also tied for the league lead with the Most Triple Crowns on the season. And with that, well done to all five club members who successfully finished in the Top Five! In view of the high level of competition, that is very commendable. There are 13 others who wish we could have done what you did.
Let me briefly touch on some of the highlights for the players who finished outside of the Top Five. #6 Stinkerbell had a very impressive season, logging 3 Weeks at #1 with 1 MVP Award. During Weeks 11 & 12, she held a 6 Point lead over the rest of the club while she was in 1st Place. Stinkerbell was also given the Sportsmanship Award for showing great courtesy and consideration to fellow club members. She narrowly missed finishing in the Top Five by one single Point. She also tied for the Most Sunday Night / 6 Point Games. #7 Drummer Boy made the Conference Final once again in the Super Bowl Tournament before narrowly losing to Halibut J-Bird by a field goal. Drummer Boy also peaked in the Top Five, finishing the season with only 10 Points less than his 2019 total when he finished in 3rd Place. #8 Hoosier Daddy took off like a freight train in the middle of the season and was steaming past players left and right as he barreled his way into 2nd Place. He was the co-winner of the November Player of the Month Award as he claimed 2 MVP Awards in a span of 4 weeks. Hoosier Daddy also tied for the league lead of Most Triple Crowns and Most Sunday Night / 6 Point Games. #9 Slick Chick was a dominant force throughout the season. She logged 1 Week at #1 and scored 1 MVP Award along the way. She also won the October Player of the Month Award. And nobody (except perhaps The Rickster) came close to matching her all-time club record of 5 MVP Awards in one season set back in 2010. Slick Chick won the category of Best Triple Jeopardy Ratio with 9 out of 12 – 75% correct). #10 The Sad Salmon won the Rookie of the Year Award. And while it is true that he was the only rookie, he didn’t win the award just to be nice. He stepped up and became a huge presence in the club right from the start. The Sad Salmon held a Peak Position of #2, won 1 MVP Award, and tied for the league lead of Most Sunday Night / 6 Point Games.
#11 freespirit had her strongest week in Week 17 when she scored 36 Points, which was the third highest score of the year. #12 Bob Swerski tied for the November Player of the Month Award, reached a Peak Position of #4, tied for the Most Sunday Night / 6 Point Games, and won 2 MVP Awards. #13 Low Fat Tuna failed to defend his club title and finished 8-8 with Triple Jeopardy after starting out 7-0. But I still had fun playing with everyone. #14 Rad Dad posted perhaps the best back-to-back weeks ever when he scored 32 Points in Week 15 and 35 Points in Week 16. As a result he won 2 MVP Awards, won the December Player of the Month Award, and led his team The Gridiron Guardians to a Pro Bowl Team Championship. #15 MJD Hogg won 1 MVP Award in Week 6 and was a strong competitor all season. #16 The Cat returned from Ecuador and employed his special picking strategy for most of the season. It was successful as it brought him 2 MVP Awards on the season. #17 Captain Insano did not have his best season, but he was a delight to have in the club as always. And #18 Badwater Nessie finished at the bottom but he did have some outstanding achievements along the way. He won 2 MVP Awards and was part of the Pro Bowl Championship Team – The Gridiron Guardians.