Ninja Hands Animal Their First LossMar 2nd, 2016 | By AndyBandit | Category: Game Recaps, Winter League
I have mixed emotions about last night’s game between Ninja Squirtles and Animal Style, but I’ll save my thoughts until after the recaps. We’ll start with Joanna Whitney from Animal’s side:
SUCCESS FOR ANIMAL!!!! And by “success” I mean that Animal Style beat our score against Squirtles last year. And by “beat our score” I mean by more than double! (Last year was 15-4 and I was reminded that we only scored those four points in the very beginning and never scored again the rest of the game.) Ok, so technically Squirtles takes home the victory tonight at 15-10. They are a solid team filled with exceptional players, they deserve the win, but hey, Animal Style held their own, and with savage guys and two lady subs to boot! I’d say that counts as a serious success for us.
My carpool showed up at 7:58 and saw a total of 4 ultimate players on the field between all four teams playing tonight. Squirtles start to trickle in and Animal Style is holding strong at five players by 8:15. We know that we will be missing a few players due to work and caring for our new team mascot, but we are confident our team will start trickling in late as usual. Then we get an email stating two players are sick, and those two players are usually a carpool for a third. Not looking good. We get to seven players. Just enough to field a team. At 8:25 both teams agree to say the game must start by 8:40 no matter the numbers situation. We get one more lady. Upon realizing our fate, the cavalry is called in and asked to bring beer with her. Thanks Katelyn! We were determined to have fun no matter how big this uphill battle was shaping up to be.
We resign ourselves to playing with one sub and get started on offense thinking we can at least come out with something strong, then we turn it over. Squirtles gets the first point. We respond back with Jake’s signature roll in the dirt catch. Maybe it won’t be so bad, but then again there are a lot more points to play. Squirtles get a few more points and so does Animal Style. Nahall arrives to give us one more sub. We get a few nice long hucks, Jake even pulls one down with two defenders on him with an easy short pass to Dave for a score. However, Squirtles have a slight edge on us, especially with their defense. There was one point where Cortez was covering me deep and easily had position on me to get the d when Brandon swoops in to pull what’s typically a “classic Animal Style move” and steals the d from Cortez. A quintessential Stephanie Tanner quote of “how rude” was definitely uttered, but it was good d all around. Then Brandon answers a different defensive point with a callahan when Squirtles held us in their end zone after a pull. Half was 8-5 Squirtles. Animal was already satisfied having beaten our previous year’s score, but we could feel that a close game was now in sight.
Some beers are popped because we wouldn’t want them to get warm, we’re not animals… oh wait. We take a quick half and are back out on the field. No rest for the weary. Squirtles get the first point of half and Animal answers back. Animal goes on a tiny run and at one point are only down 11-9. Our excitement kicked in, but it got the best of us. Or maybe it was the beer? One of the points Scrappy put up a throw no one expected that went over two men’s hands, even while jumping, to land nicely in her receiver’s fingers. I heard that she owed Jake a beer after that one. Noted. Some more strong plays on both sides. Both teams getting hucks, Squirtles playing a very specific kind of zone that held us. Then at 13-9 the exhaustion became noticeable. We were making some forced plays which ended in turns. We were getting excited, but tired at the same time. Execution lagged while Squirtles held strong. The final point of the night was from a turn on our part and a Squirtles man took off for the wide open catch to end it 15-10. Hands were slapped, beers were drank, and In-N-Out was eaten. We may not have our undefeated record, but every game was a success.
One of these days we need to do an analysis of number of players who show up to games per week. I’m 100% certain more players come in weeks 1 and 2 than the last two weeks, but I’d like to know the actual numbers.
Also I’m pretty sure Stephanie Tanner would’ve said “how wude”. She dropped R’s liked a Boston cab driver.
And here’s another great gif from Ninja’s Spike.
Click on it and give it a couple seconds and it’ll start playing. At least, that’s what happens on my computer.
Okay, so here’s why I’m a little torn. On the one hand, wouldn’t that have been cool if Animal Style pulled this one out? And really impressive that they kept the game so close despite the savage guys. I tend to root for the underdog, and so an Animal Style victory would’ve been one to talk about. But on the other hand, if they HAD won, where the hell do I seed them after that? Then they’d be undefeated with a win against the defending champs, and I guess the only thing that would make sense would be to put them 4 and Ninja 5. And then they’d just end up replaying each other in quarters on Sunday.
Well, I don’t have to worry about that. With the loss, Animal Style (6-1) is squarely the #5 seed, and Ninja (5-2) will fall no further than 3 regardless of the outcome of the Marshall / Dumbledore game. So that will give Animal Style a new opponent in quarters, which is good.
On the other field, Night’s Watch played a rematch against Tarmac. Here’s Duck of Night’s Watch:
In times of war, it seems to become very common for soldiers to develop a certain level of blood lust in the field of battle. Normally, the level of adrenaline and nervousness will fuel you as you know an upcoming opponent will challenge your limits physically and mentally. But every now and again, you get the rare opportunity to satisfy a hunger of a rematch against a worthy foe. This night, Night’s Watch would get to satisfy that feeling with a second run in with House Tarmac.
I was a little later than normal this week, showing up to the battlefields just as the moon rose to 8pm. As I approached the camp, the Watch had only three able bodied contenders. Usual circumstances for these events have taught me not to panic. The night was young. Our foes seemed to be suffering the same dilemma, at first. Soon they would field a significant number of warriors, while the Watch again seemed to be lacking in the weeks of finding recruits. But the battle goes on! And with the war nearing an end, we knew tonight would need everything we had and more.
The game began with House Tarmac on the offensive. They struck quickly and took the early lead, but the night is young and far from over. We answered right back and scored our own. From here, the Watch erupted with a combination of offensive and defensive vigor that would even make the Wall we are sworn to protect shake. We found ways to move our attacks through their ranks and shut down their advances dead in their tracks. We came prepared for a blood bath based on the previous encounter that took us into the wee hours of the night. Night’s Watch took half 8-2.
The watch started on the offensive for the second half and wasted no time continuing our surge. We brought the score to 10-2 and Tarmac came alive. Like the White Walkers of legend, they began to fight back. And with our history of battles over the course of the season, it’s been very nerve wracking to watch another army’s score creep closer and closer. But this night, no such thing would happen. The Watch would move quietly and swiftly through the night to deliver our final blow and end the battle at 15-7.
Despite the score, both teams fought bravely and intensely. There were gravity defying battles in the air, speeds as if no armor was being worn at all, and there was much spirit. We know what this team is capable of doing. If given the chance to play them a third time, I would not be surprised if the game mirrored our first encounter.
With that, we have one final push to end this war. Our scouts from the south tell us that all of the armies are marching to gather in one place. One final battle to claim the ultimate prize. One last day of this Game of Throws.
Ultimate prize would be pretty impressive. But I gotta imagine even winning C this year is going to be a feat. Either Retro or Sky Life will likely be dropping into that bracket, and that’s going to make it a damn difficult job to take the title there from one of those two.
Night’s Watch finishes 4-3 with the win. Tarmac ends 3-4. They will be the 10 and 11 seeds and will go against each other a third time in their first game on Sunday.
There’s three games going tonight.
The biggest is the Kong (1-5) vs. Hungry Hydra (4-2) game. There’s some seeding implications here, and it also has an effect on the teams at the 2 and 3 spots. Despite Kong’s loss to Animal Style, they’re still viewed by many as a bigger tournament threat, and so where they fall will impact teams playing tomorrow.
Rooks (1-5) and Kapow! (0-5) will have a rematch, that was rained out a couple weeks ago. In week 3, Rooks won this game 15-9. A win for Rooks would give them two on the season, the most in their history.
And Retro (3-3) and Sky Life (2-3) will finally play the make-up game that was rained out in week 2. They may end up playing each other again in their first game on Sunday, but I’m still glad this game will be played. Last year Retro beat Sky Life in B Bracket semis on the way to their 4th straight B bracket win. B is going to be a harder road to win this year with Animal Style, Kong and Hungry Hydra all likely to be there, and you’re gonna have to beat two of those teams to take it.