Usually when players meet up for some Sunday SOFA action, one of the toughest tasks is picking teams. Players generally shy away from being team captains, and teams tend to form on the basis of who can’t be paired together (due to fairness/treetrunkiness).
However, that was not a problem on Sunday for the nine men who assembled for an afternoon of flag football. With NFL playoff fever in full infection mode, Ian and Joe became catalysts for team loyalties. Ian, resplendent in his Saints cap, and Joe, with his ratty old Colts cap, made natural team captains. Each player picked a side (think Team Edward and Team Jacob, for those of you who need that sort of analogy, but way cooler). Once that was done, the Saints side bowed to fairness and gave Joe’s team a few players to even it out.
The Saints Partisans (Ian, Jerome, Sam, Aaron, Dave in rotation) slammed the Colts Partisans (Joe, Kenny, Chad, Steven) 92-64 in what will clearly prove to be a precise microcosm of Super Bowl XLIV.
The Saints got going early with Ian at the helm, spreading out the ball among his receivers with short, strategic plays. Their no-huddle offense went off without a hitch, just like they had practiced. Their playbook is only one page, and they were all on it (I'm here all week).
The Colts managed to score quite a bit, too, but Peyton Manning can only carry so much of the burden when he's not there. They turned over the ball several times on fourth down. Or was that the other Saints game? Probably both. We're consistent.
The Saints benefited mightily from the five-man rotation, which has lost only one game in SOFA history. It worked so well, in fact, that even the Colts couldn't catch a break when they had a brief run with the rotation.
After enduring a sick-sounding smack to the stomach, Chad had to sit out for a few plays. Ian substituted for him, eventually throwing a pick-six interception to Jerome, who was otherwise his teammate. The SOFA statistician's head exploded.
The Colts did manage to score on a nice reverse involving Chad, Steven and Joe. I guess you could say it was a "reverse" of fortune. Again, here all week.
This week's score of 92-64 was actually one of the lowest scores in recent SOFA lore. The way the NFC playoffs are going, this could well be the score of the actual Saints-Vikings game. As for the Colts, well, see you again soon.
• Newcomers Steven and Dave rocked out full-throttle for their respective teams. Steven, a Marine new to the area, was a force at receiver for the Colts. Dave's diminutive stature helped him be swift to the ball on kickoffs and did nothing to lessen the impact of numerous dives that helped him with several big plays (and left him with numerous dirt tattoos).
• SOFA now has a mascot! Or did for a few minutes in the second half, anyway. A beautiful, large, timid dog of indeterminate breed wandered onto the field and spent several minutes watching us from behind. Ian named her “Sophie” (get it?). Her owner eventually came calling, which was good, because she (the dog) was wandering close to the street by then.
• Ian was dynamite at quarterback, throwing touchdown passes in all but his last series, which was rescued by a Dave pass to Jerome for a TD. There might have been an interception too.
• Aaron and Sam were welcome sights for SOFA eyes. They, too, made pivotal plays for the Saints in their return.
• Someone (probably from Kickapoo) had carved a giant swastika into the mud before the game, and also drew one out on the gravel near the sidelines. Kenny raked it and replaced it with a much more aesthetically pleasing peace sign.
• Ian did not catch a pass in the game. There were also no girls at the game. Undeniably a connection there.
• Joe still hurts to hit. Chad too.