Site link : http://www.clanger.com/nml2/
What a disappointing week for the Swami in both the NML and the NFL. The Rabble Ownz was owned, my crystal ball was cracked, and the NFL was filled with high scoring performances by all those sissy WRs and QBs. Sigh... Oh for the days of dominating defenses.
Time to erase the sad memory with this week's entry in the House of Pain. Once again we head back to the 70s. It was a time when football was being transformed from a "sport" into the huge multimedia juggernaut that it is today. It was the personalities of those teams back then that grabbed the fans interest, and took football to the level that it is today. The fans for the game started coming from all walks of life. Super Bowl parties became just that - parties. Many of the people came just to drink and act rowdy. They had no idea what a FG was, or even that the ball was shaped like Arnold's head.
The most flamboyant and infamous of these "personalities" belonged to none other than the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders, as their name suggested, were the Bad Boys of the NFL. Led by the rodent faced Al Davis, whose famous line was "Just win baby", they broke the rules for almost every NFL tradition. Their players had beards and long hair - never before allowed in the NFL. Some of them smoked. Curfew was a joke as who knows how many Raider babies are now driving around the Bay area.
Their antics weren't limited to off the field stunts, either. You would be surprised at how many rules are in the NFL today simply due to tactics that were started or exploited by the Raiders. Probably the most famous was stickum. Oh the stickum! They say Fred Biletnikoff still has his Super Bowl MVP award stuck in his hands as the half life of the sticky tar he slathered on them for the game won't ease up until 2015.
But rebel attitudes and chetz were just for the media. Underneath it all was one heck of a football team. They were unfortunate enough to be in their prime during the glory days of the Dolphins and Steelers, but provided some of the most exciting AFC playoffs to date. Don't talk to them about the Immaculate Reception, however, or they will pop you in the nose. They would rather be remembered for the year when the Silver and Black finally rose above all - 1976. Their complete dominance of the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI secured a permanent spot for the Raiders in NFL history, as well as John Madden a lucrative career in video games and broadcasting.
The '76 raiders had their share of offensive stars, but defense is what wins Super Bowls. And what a defense they had! The Vikings scored 2 TDs when the game was no longer close and some of the 1st stringers were resting. Otherwise, the game would have been a shutout and one of the most lopsided Super Bowls to date. The Raider defense was mean and nasty, and was the main reason that their Bad Boy image has persisted all of these years.
As most teams did in the 70s, they played a 4-3. The workaholic on the front line was Phil Villapiano. While the rest of the Raider players were being talked about by the announcers, he was the one who always seemed to be around the ball making tackles, causing fumbles, etc. The media was in love with two of his fellow linemen, however: Otis Sistrunk and John Matuszak. These two men were huge. I mean really huge. Not only that, they were pretty doggone ugly. Otis' steam coming off of his bald head set the stage for many highlight reels to come, but Matuszak was the one Hollywood picked up on. No, he wasn't Ogre in Revenge of the Nerds, but Ogre's character was probably created after him. Matuszak starred in such cinematic greats as Ringo Starr's "Caveman" and the cable TV series "1st and 10". He was a huge giant with wild flowing hair that would make a berserk proud. He also could simply look at an offensive lineman and get him to wet his uniform.
While the line wreaked havoc in the opponent backfield, the linebackers shut down the middle as only they can. Willie Hall is considered by many to be one of the top 10 middle linebackers of all time, and sure played like it. He could knock down 2 or 3 people at a time to get to running backs, or drop back and snag a pass that any foolish QB threw into the middle. The star of the linebacking corps, however, was The Stork. Ted Hendricks was one of the 2 linebackers in the league at the time (Jack Lambert being the other) that were taller than they were wide, but probably the last person you would want to hit you. Hendricks took "being all over the field" to new heights, earning him a place in the Hall of Fame. He is tied for the records of most safeties recorded in a career (4), and most post season fumbles recovered (4).
With that kind of front seven, you would think Jennifer Love Hewitt and Sarah Michelle Gellar could have played safety and it wouldn't have mattered. Interesting as that might have been to see, the Raiders had other things in mind. As tough as their line and linebackers were, a new definition of pain was defined by their defensive backs. Their corners were the style players. Willie Brown set a record for the longest interception return for a TD in Super Bowl XI and also went on to the Hall of Fame. He is still considered by many to be one of the greatest CB's to play the game.
Their safeties, however - oh my. They truly earned this team a spot in the House of Pain. Jack Tatum and George Atkinson were nothing short of mercenaries. They took great pleasure in hitting someone so hard that they had to be carried off the field in a stretcher. The stories surrounding these two and the rituals that they would go through in games was probably the single biggest factor in the Raider Bad Boy mystique. They weren't the greatest in coverage, but they didn't have to be with the likes of Willie Brown playing corner. They were headhunters, and have more than a few hanging on their trophy room wall to remind them of the good ole' days.
They completed the package for the Silver and Black. The Raider Defense is now the stuff of legends. They try to get it back every now and then, but nothing will compare to the squad they had in the 70s.
NML 7-9 (4 exact)
NFL 10-6 (0 exact)
OK, last week was lukewarm at best. The Crystal Ball needs to get warmed up before it can return to the prime form it attained in last year's NML. It's starting to warm up already.
Tribal Council vs Poop-Yar
I never understood why the show Survivor called for people to be voted off of the island. Why not have battles to the death? What a sissy way to settle it. So long as those are the rules, however, the Tribal Council keeps winning.
Council wins 3-0
Evil Inc. vs Aesir
Voodoo and the gang start off this year's NML with a win. Uh oh. Aesir lost to the wankers and will lose this week as well.
e.i. wins 2-1
OSWankers vs Desf
Desf loses to the latecomers and thus far unknown HofC. OMG here we go again! If this is a sign, Desf better invest in a bunch of copies of Diablo 2, because a repeat of last year's performance may mean a long season.
Wankers win 2-1
HPD vs HofC
HPD now carries the slogan "Hardcore Online Gaming" (change their name to "HOG" mb?). They even host a UT gibfest and other niceties like D2 forums and fantasy football (shameless plug for the former clanmates). They need to get "hardcore" about Myth again, however, and focus on getting peeps to show up for their matches rather than quibbling with Tribal over how close they played them. HofC won't pull the upset this week if they do.
HPD wins 3-0
Ancrik Vs PVC
Mordia PM'ed me that he was cracking the whip and PVC was practicing hard this week. Better get Pallor to quit alt-tabbing out of the session to go post in the forum, however, Mordia. I don't think she's paying much attention! (insert a scene of "Bear" being taught to pay attention from the movie Armageddon here - gender reversal pun intended). The practice will help, but Ancrik is playing some tough Myth.
Ancrik wins 2-1
NP Vs BoB
One of the better matchups this week. Both teams will win their 3rd party home map, but NP's talents on the Winter map were impressive in MWC. That gives them the edge.
NP wins 2-1
Dismay Vs 9c
Neither of these teams want to be reminded of Week 1. This is a gut check for both of them. The bigger gut goes to 9c :-)
9c wins 2-1
Thundercox Vs fhota
TC really took it to 9C in Week 1. fhota lost in a sweep to Ancrik. Would the Swami be stupid enough to... uh, oh. The Crystal Ball is throbbing and spitting lightning bolts. Fhota just might do it.
fhota wins 2-1
Ci Vs LoA
Another rough week for Loa, Another good week for CI
CI wins 3-0
DF Vs DM
I was asked to give an early prediction on this game while online. Apparently both teams like their chances :-) I like DF's
DF wins 2-1
TWF Vs ObsFists
Fists found out that the Ragtag team was pretty tough last week. This week they find out that TWF is as well.
TWF wins 3-0
Ragtag Vs Hammer
"When the Levee breaks..." The Zep fans better have a big plug to fill the dike when Ragtag comes crashing through. The rabble looks like they can play as a team just fine, thank you.
Ragtag wins 3-0
MoR Vs tDC
Every time I pick Moonshade and the gang to win anything, they let me down. Fine, go hide in the orifice that Ymir keeps posting pictures of you roaches! MoR will OWNZ Mb :p
MoR wins 2-1
GTM Vs OH
Uh oh, biggest upset to date? The Crystal Ball is silent. Oh well.
GTM wins 3-0
Ascension Vs Azur
This is a tough one. Ascension gets a little schooling by MUI, while Azur stops the hamsters mid orgasm. Hmm.. I dunno. The Crystal Ball is showing me the full layout of e.i.'s top heavy mascot. Total guess:
Ascension wins 2-1
MUI Vs RO
AFTER I join the rabble, Triggeris informs me that they really aren't Random Oblivion, but actually SWAT - OMG! CHETZ! What's a mother to do? Oh well, at least I'll learn some cool formations and how to write my name in the snow.
MUI and RO tie 1-1-1 (hehe :P)
Look to the forum for the Swami's NFL predictions!