Week 9 MVP Award Winner –
Drummer Boy (33 Points)
2021 Club Champion Drummer Boy had one of the most incredible 1 1/2 seasons that the club has ever seen. When he won his Club Championship in 2021, he logged 14 Weeks at #1. That included taking over the top spot by himself in Week 5 and never looking back, with the exception of just one week when The Sad Salmon squeaked past him by 1 Point. Then came the 2022 season. After his rival The Sad Salmon held 1st Place during Week 1, Drummer Boy went on to take over the top spot in Week 2 and hold it for 6 consecutive weeks. It looked like he was running away with the club title once again. But then I uttered the infamous words right here in my weekly column during Week 6 of that year which disrupted his rhythm, when I said: “If there is one minor criticism of Drummer Boy, it’s that he doesn’t win any MVP Awards. I am issuing a standing challenge to him to step up and win an MVP Award sometime this season.” Two weeks later he scored a season low of only 11 Points and began dropping down the standings until he finished in 7th Place, 22 Points behind 2022 Club Champion Rad Dad. And I think Drummer Boy partially blamed my commentary for his collapse. The challenge had been too stressful to bear. If you think about it, in order to win an MVP Award you generally have to pick one or two key upsets for a particular week. Long-time club members know that you can’t just go out and pick straight favorites and be successful. Picking straight favorites every week will keep you either in the middle of the pack or in the bottom half of the standings. That’s because oddsmakers are often wrong when they are predicting which teams will win the games. In order to take on my challenge, it is possible that Drummer Boy began picking the wrong big upsets each week which did not pan out, thus resulting in his collapse and free fall down the standings. Now here we are one year later and Drummer Boy is back in the rhythm of making great picks and rising up the standings once again. At this point, I’m not sure if anybody can stop him from returning to 1st Place. He absolutely dominated in Week 9 and won the MVP Award with 33 Points. This included getting all the big category games right, including the Double Stakes, both Games of the Week, the Sunday night game, and the Triple Crown. Drummer Boy became our 10th different MVP winner this season, as nobody has yet repeated and won a 2nd MVP award. The Week 9 MVP Award Runner-Up was shared by The Rickster and Young Tuna, who both scored 30 Points. The Rickster seems to be growing stronger and gaining momentum every week. He is now in 9th Place, only 11 Points away from getting into the Top Five (where he belongs). What more can be said about Young Tuna? He continues to defy expectations of both his dad and the rest of the club. He scored 30 Points this week despite missing the 6 Point Sunday night game and getting Triple Jeopardy wrong. The Top Five currently consists of 1st Place Young Tuna (7 weeks at #1), #2 Roadrunner (9 Points back), #3 Drummer Boy (16 Points back), #4 Shaylene (21 Points back), and tied for #5 Captain Insano & Fearless Tuna (27 Points back). I’m actually surprised to still be in the Top Five after completely self-destructing last week. On Monday night, I made an ill-advised last second switch to my NY Jets. I should have learned by now that picking with your heart instead of your head is a bad strategy to use in the club. But I will be picking my Jets again this week, you can count on that. In looking at 7th and 8th Place, we have two great friends and 49er supporters Captain Jack Sparrow and Rad Dad separated by only 1 Point. These two players happen to be battling each other in Head to Head Weekly this week. So it will be interesting to see which player wins and how far ahead they can get above the other in the standings.
Last week, we talked about our past Club Champions in Years 1, 2, 3 & 7. Now let’s take a look at Years 4-6. In Year 4 (2000), The Cat (playing as Cat Man) won the Club Championship over Runner-Up my sister Annie-mole. There are a couple of interesting things about The Cat’s championship. First, he won by an astounding 32 Points. He probably could have sat out the final week of play and still have been the winner. Second, he won the title when we had the most club members who have ever played: 49 players in total. The Cat is currently semi-retired from the club. Year 5 (2001) was a shortened season, which was co-won by The Rickster (winning his first of 3 titles) and Unknown Artist (playing as Matinee Pioneer and winning his first of 2 titles). I will talk more about those two great players when we get to the other titles they ended up winning down the line. Year 6 (2002) was also a shortened season, as that was when I traveled to Europe for a couple of months and ended up meeting my wife Mrs. Tuna while spending a full month in Russia. Year 6 was won by legendary player and our faithful brother Rhapsody Ralph. We were all greatly saddened when Rhapsody Ralph passed away a couple of years ago but we look forward to seeing him again in the new world. In honor of Rhapsody Ralph, club members who win the club title are now awarded the Rhapsody Ralph trophy to celebrate their accomplishment. There will be more to come in discussing our past Club Champions in the coming weeks.