Friday, April 02, 2010

SOFA recaps, along with my April Fool's joke

Attention SOFA participants of all levels of attendance:


In light of national sports scandals and recent unparalleled (and questionable) feats of athleticism seen on the field, the commissioner has decided to institute drug screening for all players in the Springfield Open Football Association.

The service will be provided by In-Quest Technologies of Springfield, and will cost $10 per person. It is compulsory for all on-field participants. Those who miss or skip the session will not be allowed to play. For those who choose not to attend on account of Easter Sunday, an extra round of testing will precede the following week's game. Anyone who tests positive will be banned from playing until they pass the next round of testing, to be announced at a later date.

This urine test will screen for all anabolic steroids, hormones, masking agents and stimulants, with a particular emphasis on the following:

Amphetamines (Greenies, speed)
Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone (Oral-Turinabol)
Human Growth Hormone (hGH)
Insulin Growth Factor (IGF-1)
Pseudoephedrine (Meth, Sudafed)
Stanozolol (Stromba, Winstrol)
Tetrahydrocannibanol (THC)
Diuretics (Alcohol)
Nicotine (Nicotine)
Acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin)

On-site testing will begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday, just before this week's game. This applies to both male and female players, who will be called individually to give a specimen under the close supervision of a medical technician. As per usual custom, men will duck under the stands and women will just have to be creative.

So make sure you come on out on what promises to be a gorgeous spring day, and make sure you drink lots of fluids prior to arriving. RESIST THE TEMPTATION TO PEE BEFOREHAND!

Thank you for your understanding in this sensitive matter.

--Commish Ian

3/14: After weeks of scoreboard-shredding blowouts, SOFA notched its closest and lowest-scoring game in quite some time. Ian, Trevor, Jack, Joe, Jerome, and Caleb divided up in some combination to notch a 61-56 final score.

It could have been a blowout. But the losers — meaning the team I was on — clawed back from the abyss of a 20-odd point deficit. So, as our late commissioner Chris would say whenever he lost, it was a moral victory.

3/21: A freak snowstorm limited turnout, so we didn’t play. Instead, I went to the mall to buy a new pair of jeans.

3/28: Early in the game, Dave intercepted an attempted two-point conversion and ran it back to his end zone. Ian gave chase, but didn’t have much of a shot at stopping it.

“It was just two points, man,” Jerome told an out-of-breath Ian afterwards. “It’s no big deal.”

“Yeah,” Ian replied, “But he’s still gotta earn it.”

Alas, that play was ultimately the deciding factor in a game that seemed to have been decided for the losing team throughout. After trailing for nearly the entire game, Trevor’s Team (Jack, Caleb, Dave, Trevor) rallied in the final minutes to beat Trevor’s Other Team (Joe, Ian, Jerome, also Trevor), 76-74.

TT drew first blood on a touchdown by Dave to take a 6-0 lead. But TOT quickly ran up a lead that neared 20 points at times. With Joe steering the sled at quarterback, Ian scored three touchdowns and Jerome added several more. The TOT defense bent but didn’t break, relatively speaking, making several key fourth-down stops. Ian intercepted Caleb in the end zone, running it back to midfield, setting up a TOT score. Jerome had a pick as well.

TT was not too shabby itself, however, tightening the lead when it mattered most. Jack, Caleb and Dave each took turns at quarterback, employing a varied offense featuring play-action(-esque) trickery. Jack’s expert reading at quarterback, combined with Caleb’s versatility and Dave’s general craziness, kept them a formidable force even when the game seemed decided.

Ultimately, a fluke play turned the tide. With the score 74-70 in TOT’s favor, and faced with a fourth-and-short with less than 30 seconds left, Joe tossed an easy pass to Ian for the first and to cement the game. But Ian, whose hands had been reliable the entire game and was wide open on the play, dropped it. Paging Jackie Smith.

This led to TT taking over and driving down the length of the field (less impressive than it sounds) and scoring on a Jack pass to Dave. Alas, the play was called back after Ian, playing safety, questioned why Joe had not covered his man. Turns out that Joe was in the midst of clarifying a time issue when Jack called hike. So the down was replayed. Not that it mattered much, because soon after Jack threw the game-winning TD to win it. Technically, TT should have gone for the extra points, because that would have given TOT a chance to tie it with a pick-2 per NFL rules, but nooooooooo! Instead, a thrilling game ended with the wrong team winning yet again. At least it was thrilling.

Game balls:

Player of the game: Trevor. Rumor has it that Trevor had not even wanted to play this week, fearing he wouldn’t be any good. But playing all-time offense, he turned out to be a serious playmaker, scoring three touchdowns and at least one PAT, and serving as a successful foil for his teammates on both sides. The mercenary.

Quote of the game: Trevor, to Ian: “I like it better when I’m on your team.” But hey, maybe he said that to the other guys too. The mercenary.

Every little bit helps: Caleb threw an impressively long field goal for TT. So I guess you could say that was the deciding factor, but I already said Dave’s 2-point runback was the deciding factor. The point is, TT had to earn it.

Catch of the game: Earlier in the game, Ian bobbled a kickoff reception. But on a later kickoff, Ian was still resetting when Jerome alerted him to a ball headed straight at him. “Oh, oops,” Ian said, twisting nearly 180 degrees and executing a perfect catch and substantial runback. Since then, Ian has vowed to stop paying attention more often.

Sorry, Starship — something will stop you after all: Dave, who’s usually good for a score or 19, often found himself stopped on several plays like a mere mortal. And while he did rack up the points, no one can ever take that away from the TOT defense.

We’ll be out again for Easter Sunday, so get your priorities straight and come on out! You can be among the first to try our BRAND-NEW FOOTBALL! And for Pete’s sake, don’t come out early for drug testing. Ah, Pete. Where have you gone?

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