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Poetic Justice for 
Manford Fowler
This Week 
by Niofred Koskelo, FFL Analyst
I tell ya,
                           as a former coach with the Chicago Black Sox, 
nothing was
                           more irritating than losing to Miami.  Especially 
                           when Fowler was with the team.  They'd march into 
                           with their movie star tans and their Playboy centerfold 
                           and the trash-talk about being the underclass of 
the WFC with a lazy shiftless owner would begin.

                           That's why it was so damn enjoyable watching this pathetic 
                           team get crushed by Chicago.  That and the fact 
                           I won a truckload picking Chicago to win this one.
                           3 pointsthat's all Miami could muster.  Tommy Maddox 
                           have played worse if he actually had been paralyzed.  
                           Dillon couldn't get it going.  Even Phil Dawson missed 
                           couple field goals.  Playoff bound?  This team looked 
like they were getting paid to roll over.
                           And while Chicago won, let's get one thing straight -- they 
                           like crap, too.  In a game in which Miami's punting 
                           justified future pay raise demands and Tommy Maddox 
                           turning the ball over, Chicago had no excuse for not 
                           up more points.  Edgerrin James and Derrick Mason 
                           virtual non-factors, Peerless Price was nowhere to be 
                           in the red zone, and even LaDainian Tomlinson 
                           to move the chains.
                           Seemed like neither of these teams really had that playoff 
                           going for them this week.  That's something they'll 
                           to regain, and quick.  For Miami, losing meant it has 
                           beat an explosive Middletown offense fresh off big wins 
                           Charleston and (guess who?) Miami.  Not only 
                           but it has to do it on the frosty plains of Middletown.
                           Chicago, meanwhile, may have played it's way into the 
                           round and a matchup with the Montana Blazers with 
this win. 
                           Not to belittle the Dallas Knights, but let's face it, 
                           guys snuck in the back door while the bouncer was in 
                           can, if ya get me.
                           My picks for next week?  Well, I'd have to think that the 
Black Sox will carry the momentum of their division title into 
the first round and take care of Dallas.  LaDainian Tomlinson 
won't have it as tough against that Dallas defense as he had 
against Miami.  Final score:  33-28.  
                           In the other game next week, well, just because I'm hoping to 
                           Manford soil himself as Miami gets back to the Fantasy 
                           I'm going to have to pick the Miracles to win, 42-39.
                           That's all from the Coach, still calling 'em like I see 'em.


Coach K: A Finn's-eye View of the Second
Well boys and girls, Coach K is finally off
                           the streets and living the life of 
                           the high-roller at the Mohegan Sun Casino in beautiful Uncasville, CT.  Sure my 
                           FFL picks havent come through, but the dice have been good to me lately and Im 
                           lettin' it ride.  We are down to the last 6 weeks of the regular season now, 
                           putting us over the midseason hump.  I don't think anyone expected some of the 
                           weird stuff we have seen this season.  A little bit of recap:
                           The Challengers are 7-1.  Just let that sink in.  The most consistently 
                           lackluster team in the FFL has shocked everyone with their play so far, as 
                           Jerome Bettis and Garrison Hearst have provided improbably superior seasons.
                           Only 4 teams have winning records.  Besides Charleston, it's just New York, 
                           Miami and Montana at 5-3.  That means the South probably only needs 3 wins in 
                           the last 6 to guarantee them a first-round bye.
                           Everyone is still in the race.  People will make the case that Atlanta can 
                           start getting their draft board together with that 2-6 record theyve got, but 
                           if they can start winning it might only take a 7-7 record to make the playoffs.
                           So with all of these teams bunched up and duking it out for playoff spots, 
                           something has to give, and it is quite possible that the playoff teams will be 
                           determined by the strength of each team's schedule down the home stretch.  
                           Here's a look at what each team faces in the coming weeks:
                           Charleston Challengers:
                           Week 9:  Black Sox
                           Week 10:  at Predators
                           Week 11:  at Thunder
                           Week 12:  Z-Force
                           Week 13:  Conquistadors
                           Week 14:  Syndromes
                           Strength of Schedule:  .458 (3rd easiest)
All the rowdy rednecks are starting to feel that this might
                           finally be the year 
                           Charleston wins it all.  And there is good reason for Chris Bransfield to get a 
                           little cocky.  His team has a cake schedule and plays its final three games at 
                           home, where they are unbeaten this season.  In addition, the Challengers two-
                           game lead over everyone else means they are almost assured of a first-round bye 
                           in the playoffs.  More good news:  Charleston just traded for power runner 
                           Ricky Williams.  The bad news:  Jerome Bettis and Garrison Hearst are both 
Coach K's call:  FFL East Champ, playoff bye week

                           New York Z-Force:
                           Week 9:  Blockers
                           Week 10:  at Blazers
                           Week 11:  Syndromes
                           Week 12:  at Challengers
                           Week 13:  Tsunamis
                           Week 14:  Thunder
                           Strength of Schedule:  .542 (tied for 2nd hardest)

                           If the playoffs started tomorrow, New York would have the second best record in 
                           the league by virtue of their recent win over Miami.  Still, the road ahead is 
                           a tough one.  The Z-Force will face tough road games in the freezing cold of 
                           Montana and the humidity of Charleston.  In addition, New York will be pushed 
                           by the young Syndromes and the improving Thunder in critical divisional match-
Coach K's call:  They're in, but they'll finish behind the Thunder.

                           Montana Blazers:
                           Week 9:  Miracles
                           Week 10:  Z-Force
                           Week 11:  at Tsunamis
                           Week 12:  Knights
                           Week 13:  at Black Sox
                           Week 14:  at Conquistadors
                           Strength of Schedule:  .479 (tied for 4th easiest)

                           The real test for Nick Surowiecki's team may come in the next two weeks, when 
                           Montana faces fellow 5-3 teams Miami and New York.  Priest Holmes will sit out 
                           the Miami game in the hopes of being fresh for the divisional rivalry games.  
                           If they can take one of those first two games the rest of the schedule looks 
                           fairly light.  
Coach K's call:  FFL West Champ, playoff bye week

                           Miami Miracles:
                           Week 9:  at Blazers
                           Week 10:  Tsunamis
                           Week 11:  at Blockers
                           Week 12:  Predators
                           Week 13:  at Syndromes
                           Week 14:  at Black Sox
                           Strength of Schedule:  .438 (2nd easiest)

                           The Miracles have been notorious for choking in the second half of the season.  
                           This year they might end up following the opposite pattern, if only because of 
                           a stretch of floundering opponents after their Week 9 match-up with Montana.  
                           Miami is 4-1 since a pathetic 10-2 loss to Charleston on Week 3.  
Coach Ks call:  FFL Central
                           Champ, top spot on wild card week

                           Boston Thunder:
                           Week 9:  at Tsunamis
                           Week 10:  at Conquistadors
                           Week 11:  Challengers
                           Week 12:  at Syndromes
                           Week 13:  Predators
                           Week 14:  at Z-Force
                           Strength of Schedule:  .500 (6th easiest)

                           After winning three in a row, Boston had their streak snapped by the Z-Force.  
                           Boston will have its opportunity for revenge on the final week, and the game 
                           could decide which of the two opponents packs for a playoff game and which 
                           packs for Pebble Beach.  Boston will get some relief with some mediocre 
                           opponents from outside their division, but they'll need Ahman Green and Jeff 
                           Garcia to keep going strong against Charleston, Middletown, and New York if 
                           they plan on repeating.  Still, this team hasn't missed the playoffs in a 
                           longgg time.  
Coach K's call:  Boston's in the playoffs

                           Chicago Black Sox:
                           Week 9:  at Challengers
                           Week 10:  Knights
                           Week 11:  at Predators
                           Week 12:  Blockers
                           Week 13:  Blazers
                           Week 14:  Miracles
                           Strength of Schedule:  .521 (tied for 5th hardest)

                           Chicago now finds themselves in second place in the Central, though still in a 
                           position to make the playoffs.  They'll get a chance to play Dallas and Kansas 
                           City at home and another game in Atlanta.  Unfortunately, those games are 
                           sandwiched in between brutal tilts with Charleston, Montana and Miami.  Chicago 
                           will need to win one of these big games if they want to secure a playoff spot, 
                           and it won't be easy with Edgerrin James hobbling.  
Coach K's call:  The running game runs out of gas and Chicago
                           misses the playoffs

                           Middletown Syndromes:
                           Week 9:  Conquistadors
                           Week 10:  at Blockers
                           Week 11:  at Z-Force
                           Week 12:  Thunder
                           Week 13:  Miracles
                           Week 14:  at Challengers
                           Strength of Schedule:  .563 (Hardest)

                           No one has a tougher road to hoe than Middletown.  Their final four games have 
                           them in deep pipparkaku, so don't bet the talo on them making the playoffs.  
                           There are also going to be in dogfights against Phoenix and Kansas City.  If the 
                           playoffs started tomorrow, Middletown would be left out in the cold due to 
                           their head-up record with the 4-4 teams.  Mike Vick and Randy Moss are still 
                           young, so the future is bright, but it probably isn't going to be this year.  
Coach Ks call:  Just misses the playoffs

                           Here's where it gets really hairy.  Of the 3-5 teams, the best head-to-head 
                           record is in KC, at 2-0, followed by Dallas at 1-1 and a tie between Phoenix 
                           and Waikiki at 1-2.  Phoenix beats out Waikiki by virtue of scoring.  But 
                           remember, as new ties arise this scenario will be shot all to hell.

                           Kansas City Cockblockers:
                           Week 9:  at Z-Force
                           Week 10:  Syndromes
                           Week 11:  Miracles
                           Week 12:  at Black Sox
                           Week 13:  at Knights
                           Week 14:  Predators
                           Strength of Schedule:  .479 (tied for 4th easiest)

                           Kansas City may be 3-5, but they do have a schedule that works in their favor 
                           somewhat.  None of these games are beyond their reach.  Still, it seems like 
                           the old KC Magic Show has lost a bit of its luster this year.  Aaron Brooks is 
                           still a franchise quarterback, but the supporting cast has been spotty at 
                           times.  Coach Leinwand needs his boys to go at least 4-2 to have a realistic 
                           shot, and winning 2 out of the next four games might be too much to ask. 
Coach K's call:  Brooks
                           can't carry them in this year.

                           Dallas Knights:
                           Week 9:  at Predators
                           Week 10:  at Black Sox
                           Week 11:  Conquistadors
                           Week 12:  at Blazers
                           Week 13:  Blockers
                           Week 14:  at Tsunamis
                           Strength of Schedule:  .417 (Easiest)

                           Other than the Blazers game, the Knights have a chance of pulling out the 4 or 
                           even 5 wins needed to put them in the playoffs.  The key for them might be the 
                           Week 10 game against Chicago.  The Black Sox have looked vulnerable recently 
                           and Dallas would improve its position immensely with a victory.  Still, 
                           Keyshawn is hurting, and Brian Griese has been a nightmare of inconsistency, 
                           meaning the Knights may flirt with losses against teams they should beat.  
Coach K's call:  The schedule is there,
                           but they'll also need some help.  
                           Dallas manages to sneak in with a win versus the Tsunamis and a Chicago loss to 

                           Phoenix Conquistadors:
                           Week 9:  at Syndromes
                           Week 10:  Thunder
                           Week 11:  at Knights
                           Week 12:  Tsunamis
                           Week 13:  at Challengers
                           Week 14:  Blazers
                           Strength of Schedule:  .542 (tied for 2nd hardest)

                           Seems that Adam Fleming saw the writing on the wall and decided to start 
                           thinking about the future.  Trading Ricky Williams means Phoenix is probably 
                           done for the year, though Deuce McAllister and Kevan Barlow look like 
                           tremendous future franchise backs.  Chances for a big second half slim down in 
                           the face of a tough scheduleonly the Tsunamis game looks like a clear winner.  
Coach K's call:  In two years they'll
                           be back in the Fantasy Bowl.

                           Waikiki Tsunamis:
                           Week 9:  Thunder
                           Week 10:  at Miracles
                           Week 11:  Blazers
                           Week 12:  at Conquistadors
                           Week 13:  at Z-Force
                           Week 14:  Knights
                           Strength of Schedule:  .521 (tied for 5th hardest)

                           Waikiki has played better in recent weeks and Clint Portis deserves much of the 
                           credit.  He and Steve McNair are going to be surrounded by talent next year 
                           when Waikiki gets inundated with draft picks.  Waikiki may surprise one of the 
                           playoff hopefuls, but it doesn't look like they've got enough left to get there 
Coach K's call:  They'll be home for Christmas.

                           Atlanta Predators:
                           Week 9:  Knights
                           Week 10:  Challengers
                           Week 11:  Black Sox
                           Week 12:  at Miracles
                           Week 13:  at Thunder
                           Week 14:  at Blockers
                           Strength of Schedule:  .542 (tied for 2nd hardest)

                           Well, at least Atlanta's final three games are on the road so they don't have 
                           to show their faces in front of Predators fans until next season.  Atlanta's 
                           offense has ground to a halt in the last couple of weeks, and things arent 
                           likely to get much better against a schedule full of playoff contenders.  One 
                           more loss and Atlanta can safely be written off, even if Buddha himself suited 
                           up for the remaining games.  
Coach K's call:  Start thinking about who you might take with
                           that first pick in the draft, 
                           Week 9 picks:
                           Z-Force over the Blockers
                           Knights over Predators
                           Thunder over Tsunamis
                           Challengers over Black Sox
                           Miracles over Blazers
                           Syndromes over Conquistadors


Niofred Koskelo: Dispatches From a Homeless Fantasy Football Analyst

(Phoned in to the FFL Tonight Studio)

Well fans, Old Coach is hitting the streets for his preview this week, mostly because thats pretty much where I live now. That Bransfield can take his trailer and shove it up hiswell, you get the picture.

Anyway, all of this time away from the old homestead has given me a lot of time to think and hang out with my old pals Jack Daniels and the palace guard on the Beefeater's bottle. Anyway, I have to say I feel a lucky streak coming on, and the Coach K campaign to get my damn house back is in full swing, let me tell ya.

Predators at Conquistadors:

Well, the Predators hopes are fading faster than Bryan Lajoie's career. I wouldn't be surprised if Fred DeBoer was hittin' the sauce by now hisself. Meanwhile, Adam Fleming's musical quarterbacks have managed to do everything cept win games. HAHAhhaaa (Coach Ks laughter fades into tears for the next minute or two) Anyway, Ill take the Con-C-Conquistadors this week.

Black Sox at Thunder:

The Black Sox have it all over Eamonn Wisneski's crew this weekwhat kind of Puerto Rican name is Eamonn, anyway?

Z-Force at Miracles:

(After a severe episode of vomiting, Coach K managed to blurt out that the Z-Force always beat Miami)

Challengers at Knights:

(Coach K then phoned in the rest of his picks from the hospital, urging us to loan him a ten spot and put it on the Knights to finally end Chris Bransfield's hot streak.)

Blazers at Blockers:

Alright, I'm ok now. Those no good Blazers cost me my house last week, so I say screw 'em. I'm putting my money on Kansas City to throttle Montana and their lousy coach, too.

Syndromes at Tsunamis:

Syndromes should wrap this one up by halftime, and by then I should be counting up my winnings for the week.

Here's to a hot streak and the good folks at the YMCA. And Bob Dayton, you smell like a fjord full of crap.