BFFL Champions!

19 Seasons have come and gone, here are the 19 past champions.

I. (1995) Wait N’ See defeated The Only Way to Fly
II. (1996) The Losers defeated NoBRAINers
III. (1997) The Losers defeated Branch Davidians
IV. (1998) Branch Davidians defeated NoBRAINers
V. (1999) The Terds defeated The Chupacabras
VI. (2000) Chupacabras defeated the NoBRAINers
VII. (2001) Branch Davidians defeated the NoBRAINers
VIII. (2002) The Trojans defeated the Branch Davidians
IX. (2003) The Losers defeated the Fighting Elvi
X (2004) The Rogainers defeated Branch Davidians
XI. (2005) Criminoles defeated Branch Davidians
XII. (2006) Brown Power defeated Fighting Elvi
XIII. (2007) Brown Power defeated Phat Crew
XIV (2008) Horns defeated Rogainers
XV. (2009) Criminoles defeated The Horns
XVI. (2010) Branch Davidians defeated Hispanic Causing Panic
XVII. (2011) The Horns defeated The Treffer Hogs
XVIII (2012) The Horns defeated the Branch Davidians
XIX. (2013) The Horns defeated the Criminoles.

2013 Rewind

0E134893-1C48-11E4-BE03-7EB6B7B99C03-540x360It began as it ended…

The 2013 Season began just as the 2012 season began. The Horns began the year as the defending Super Bowl Champions of the BFFL.
The 2013 Draft also began just as the 2012 draft began with Brown Power picking in the 1st spot for the 3rd year in a row and the 4th time in 5 years. Many had come to the conclusion that there was collusion or that Edward had sold his soul to the dark side. Regardless here is a look at the 2013 draft order with the 2st round picks included.

2013 1st Round Draft
1 Brown Power Adrian Peterson
2 The Trojans Doug Martin
3 Rogainers Arian Foster
4 The Horns Jamaal Charles
5 B. Davidians Marshawn Lynch
6 Nightmares C.J. Spiller
7 Austin Villains Peyton Manning
8 HCP Calvin Johnson
9 Criminoles Drew Brees
10 The Losers Ray Rice

For the second time in three years Brown Power kicked off the BFFL season with the first pick of AD. As is nearly always the case in the BFFL, running backs dominated round 1 with 7 of the first 10 going to that position. 8 more came off the board in round 2. 169 picks after AD the 19th draft concluded with the pick of Ryan Succop. Every year there are the draft steals and this year was no different. Round 17 the Trojans were able to secure the services of Josh Gordon. Alshon Jeffery was a 16 round pick by the Criminoles. There were some notable 1st round bombs, players who did not live up to the pre-draft hype. Arian Foster and Doug Martin went 3 and 2 respectively and neither did much in injury plagued seasons. Second round picks Trent Richardson and Steven Jackson suffered similar fates.

With the draft complete the BFFL was ready to kick off the 19th Edition regular season to see if history could be made.

Rewrite the History Books.

Twice before a BFFL team had won Back to Back Super Bowls. Both times the team failed in the following season. Brown Power failed to make the playoffs in their three-peat season and the Losers made it all the way to Championship Sunday before falling. This time it would be the Horns who would get the shot at the three-peat. In 2011 The Horns parleyed a less than stellar 6-7 regular season into a hot playoff run and their 2nd Super Bowl in 3 years. The 3rd Super Bowl win and second in a row came in the 2012 season after a stellar 9-3-1 season in which the Horns fell 12 points short of the scoring title. Tied with the BD’s and the Losers for most Super Bowl wins at 3, the Horns quest in 2013 was to rewrite the history books by winning their 4th Super Bowl in 6 years and winning their 3rd in a row. Even an appearance in the Super Bowl would mean the Horns who joined the league in 2008 would have appeared in 5 of the last 6 Super Bowls. That is some ownage.

Regular Season 19

The season began very routinely with the Horns getting out to a 3-3 mark when the hump week came along in week 7. At week 7 the BD’s and Criminoles were at 5-2 and leading their divisions while the 2 time defending champs sat 1/2 game back of the West lead. HCP and the Rogainers got off to miserable 1-6 and 2-5 starts of which they would never recover from.
When the regular season finally came to an end in week 13 the Branch Davidians had ended the season at a very respectable 8-5 mark but had finished in a tie with the red hot Brown Power who won the Division on tie breakers. The Criminoles destroyed the East by 2 games with a stellar 10-3 mark.

Week 1 of the playoffs had the first time playoff bound Austin Villains battling the perennial playoff contending Branch Davidians and the Villains won convincingly on the road, 121-77. The defending champs and the Nigerian Nightmares played in the Saturday night game on NBC and the Horns quest for 3 remained alive after a hard fought 95-91 win over the Nightmares.

On to Championship Sunday where the Criminoles who had a first round bye, would host the upstart Austin Villains who are led by fellow niner fan, Richard Barnett. The Cinderella season would come crashing down on Championship Sunday for the Villains who lost 84-106. In the Sunday late game, the Horns went to South East Metro to face West Champs Brown Power, who were looking for their 3rd Super Bowl Title. Brown Power scored 105 points in the game, but it was not enough as the Defending Champs added 10 more to that to come home with at 115-105 victory over Brown Power. So the Horns who had just made it in at 7-6 were now on the cusp of rewriting the BFFL history books.

History is made

The Criminoles who were also on a mission to hoist their 3rd BFFL Lombardi, simply never showed up. The game mimicked the NFL Super Bowl as the Horns outscored the Criminoles by 45 points to complete the three-peat. No team in BFFL History has won three in row. And now in 2014 the Horns will attempt to continue to write those records as they will be gearing up for a 4th title.
Will the Horns win their 4th in a row and 5 th in 7 years? Can the Criminoles get back? How about the Trojans who missed the playoffs last year, but since 2000 has only missed 2 other times? How about 3 time champ the Losers? Dare we even mention HCP for fear of the jinx? How about the Rogainers who won Super Bowl X, is it their turn every 10 years? The season is just around the corner and we will found out if history is ready to be made again!

For your viewing pleasure here are the final regular season standings in 2013
East W L T
Criminoles 10 3
Nightmare 8 5
Austin Villains 6 7
HCP 4 9
The Losers 2 10 1

West W L T
B. Davidians 8 5
Brown Power 8 5
The Horns 7 6
Rogainers 6 7 0
The Trojans 5 7 1

30% of the teams…….

Black and white numbers backgroundOf the 10 current teams in the BFFL, 30% have yet to do this. Can you guess? Yeah it’s fairly easy. 3 of the 10 teams have yet to win a Super Bowl.

The Austin Villains have yet to do it, but they are only entering their 3rd season as a franchise. They did make the playoffs last year in their second season.

The Nigerian Nightmares have been a part of the BFFL for three seasons and have made the playoffs twice including one appearance on Championship Sunday. Still working on the Super Bowl appearance.

There is one BFFL Franchise who has been in the BFFL since season 2. They are the Detroit Lions of the BFFL. They have had some very good teams over the last 18 seasons. They have made the playoffs in 9 of the 18 seasons. Twice winning their division and once winning a scoring title. They have made it to Championship Sunday 3 times and even on to the Super Bowl once. But 18 seasons and the frustration grows for this storied franchise. Who is this hard luck team?

It is Hispanic Causing Panic. Maybe this is finally the year that Chris can break through!

20 Seasons of the BFFL

nfl20 Years. 2 Decades. I was still in my 20’s. I only had 2 kids. I now have 3 in college and 1 a senior in high school. 20 years ago this summer Brain’s Fantasy Football League began. It actually had its genesis in 1991 when I read an article that appeared in a Sports magazine about these guys who were playing this game they called Fantasy Football. It described the fledgling game and how it was becoming popular in some of the bars and pubs in the Midwest.

Fantasy Football?

The article described how 12 guys would each draft 14 players from the pool of current NFL players to be on their Fantasy Team. Based on their performances each week during the season, these Fantasy Teams of real NFL players would accrue points. The points accrued each week would be tallied and winners and losers would be determined. The game had remained mostly on the fringes as it took a lot of time and effort by the person known as the “Commissioner” each week to tally the scores. The Commissioner had to scan the Monday and Tuesday sports pages totaling the scores of each participating NFL players to determine the Fantasy Team scores for the week. I read the article and was fascinated. I wanted to start my own league. I thought about it for a few more years. As I saw more and more articles, I finally decided in 1995 it was time. I began to pitch the idea to some of the guys at work. After a week I had recruited 11 guys and my wife for the inaugural season.

Humble Beginnings

Many of the original team owners were on different shifts so the first draft lasted for nearly 3 weeks. Done on clean room paper, the original draft was 14 rounds. That first season was rough. By 1995 the first couple of Fantasy Football magazines were appearing. There was a ton of good information on how to prepare newsletters, ideas for league format, league rules, scoring options and so much more. So every Tuesday night for 16 weeks, I would put the kids to bed and then pour through the Sun/Mon sports pages to get scoring done for the week. You can see the original spreadsheet I used in the archive section of the BFFL website (thebffl.wordpress.com). I learned a lot that year about Fantasy Football. That first year generated a ton of interest at work. By the time year 2 rolled around I had 22 guys wanting to play in season 2 of the BFFL!

Year 2, the BFFL grew to 20 teams. There were 2 10 team conferences. Each conference had its own draft. The winners of each conference would meet in the Super Bowl. I knew this could potentially be a problem if 2 teams met in the Super Bowl with the same players. Thankfully it did not happen that way.
Year 2 was a good year with 20 guys who all worked together, giving each other smack week after week. BFFL III had the same format as year 2 and once again the Super Bowl did not have any duplicate players.
Year 2 was also unique in that it was the first year I used a computer to do the scoring and newsletter. I used a program on Win 95 called “Fantasy Football for Windows”. It came with a $30 service that allowed you to download the stats beginning Wed mornings via dial up to their servers. That changed the game. Weekly newsletter/score prep went from 4+ hours to about 15 minutes. We used that for 2 seasons until 1998 when CBS Sports put out there inaugural product, which changed the BFFL and Fantasy Football in general forever. We are entering our 17th season using CBS Sports web product.

Big Changes

Year 4 also marked a big change for the BFFL as the 20 teams shrank to 14 and then to 12 and then to 10 on draft day when 2 teams did not show for the draft. We have been at 10 ever since.
Since 1998 the BFFL has had very little change. We have lost a few teams along the way as people come and go, and unfortunately we have lost a couple of owners in those 20 years. But the BFFL rolls on and we have had a strong core for most of the years. Three teams exist from the inaugural season and 3 more from season 2 and 3. One more in season 7 and the rest in the last 6 seasons.
With such a loyal strong base the Commish hopes he can write a column in 20 more years talking about the first 40 years!