Sad news as the Shotguns have been forced into giving a forfeit for their scheduled match against the Bulls, meaning that the FFL season has just one game left! Hard to believe it’s over already, although the end of the FFL season means the beginning of the playoffs, so it’s not all bad news. So I’m going to fall short of my pre-season goal to watch 20 FFL games, however with playoffs included I’ll still hit 22 for the season.
The other news is that the planned FFL breakfast tailgate is going to be shifted to lunch. You’ll find all details here : http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/event.php?eid=180445828670625. Don’t forget to confirm your attendance as soon as possible so we can get organised! We want to get as many people there as possible, and of course we’ll have the Tribes v Gators game to watch afterwards as the Tribes go looking for consecutive win number 48. Nothing better than watching a football game in nice weather with good company!
Games this weekend
@ Ostend – 12:00 – Brussels Bulls v Limburg Shotguns
Since 2000 : Bulls 2, Shotguns 0
Last match : April 17, 2011 – @ Leopoldsburg – Bulls 53, Shotguns 0
Unfortunately the Shotguns have forfeited this game, I guess because they’ve run out of players. It’s a sad way to end the season but let’s hope they can use the lessons that they’ve learnt to become better in the future!
@ Ostend – 15:00 – Gent Gators v West Flanders Tribes
Since 2000 : Tribes 9, Gators 0
Last match : April 11, 2010 – @ Anderlecht – Tribes 29, Gators 9
Any team will have a tough time of it in Ostend against the Tribes, and it’ll be no exception for the Gators. A win for Gent would leap them up into 5th place, as they hold the tie-breaker over Antwerp, while a loss will leave them in 7th. On the other hand, a Tribes win will give them their fourth straight perfect regular season.
Gent are scoring just 6 points per game, leaving them last in the league. They are going to want to control the clock, keeping the Tribes defense on the field for as long as possible, and that means they’ll have to run the football well, and complete a lot of their passes, even if they are short ones. Also a lot of responsibilty will fall on the Gators special teams, especially their punt and kickoff teams, because they can’t allow the Tribes returners to give their team good field position. Also a couple of good returns from Gent won’t hurt the situation at all.
I’m sure that the Tribes will want to spread the ball around and get a lot of people involved in the offense, both on the ground and in the air, and give their home crowd something to cheer about. Their defense will look to control the dangerous playmakers of Gent and try to smother their running game and go for their third shutout of the season.
Man v Machine
So far I have 17 and the computer has 13, meaning I can’t be beaten by the machine, so score one for humanity!
This week I have : Tribes by 34
The computer has : Tribes by 29
Benedict Verheyen, West Flanders
“Just a thought on forfeited games, the game gets a 50-0 score. This could affect the play-off chances of teams, but this year this isn’t the case. In the future we might have 2 teams that are in the sprint for a play-off spot where point difference might be important. If this is then decided by another team’s forfeit and an automatic 50 point in favour, i don’t think that’s fair. So maybe 50 points is too much ? Or are there any tiebreaking rules to deal with this?”
Well, I don’t think it would have that much of an effect. The first tiebreakers are head to head games and then points scored in those games. Next after that is head to head and points scored against the team ranked just below the two (or more) tied teams. So it would have to be that the team who gave the forfeit was ranked just below the tied teams, making it even more unlikely. It may not be fair if it ever came to that, but it’s also not the fault of the team who “wins” by forfeit.
Patrick Brady, Brussels
“I wonder what are the odds that we could have a night game under the lights in Berchem next year? That’d be pretty cool.”
Indeed it would! Maybe have the first game at 4pm and the second at 7pm or something. Depends on ground availability and such I suppose.
There have been a couple of polls flying around on facebook, the first was who the Belgian Champion will be this year. I picked the Tribes as I refuse to pick against them until anybody can show that they can win against them. But I’d say that this year is definitely the least likely that they’ll win since 2006, when the Tribes actually came out of nowhere having missed the playoffs the year before. The threats from our nation’s capital are stronger than ever before.
The other poll was about the future of the BFL and how we see it going forward. I like the idea of Xavier Van Cauter – one national division and then two regional divisions under that, however I don’t think that’s on the cards. I think this was the sort of thing that the FFL wanted to hear months ago at the brainstorming sessions. Speaking of that, when are we going to hear what’s actually going to happen next year? Having said that, I know that our president is rather busy with preparations for the Belgian Bowl, so I’ll let him off for now!
Monday will be a review of the tailgate and the game in Ostend, but after that things get tricky. I’ll see what I can do about a preview of the BFL Wild Card playoff games on Thursday.
The plan is to reveal the All-FFL team on Monday, May 30, because there will be no football to review from the day before. I’m not exactly sure how this will be done but I think I’ll write something up about each player and I’ve been collecting photos which will be put into a gallery online as well as I doubt y’all will know all the players in the team by name. Hopefully I’ve done a good job.
As the Belgian Bowl takes place on a Saturday, I’ll let you know what the schedule will be with the columns that come after the game as I’m not sure yet myself. By the way, the Belgian Bowl itself is less than a month away, so I hope you’ve all got your tickets. It’s going to be one big celebration of American Football in Belgium, and as we’re all a part of that, we should all be there. And anyway, I want to have a group photo taken with my readers as a souvenir of my 2011 FFL season! Hopefully see you guys in Ostend on Sunday, don’t forget about the tailgate, I have a good feeling that the food is going to be excellent! Until next time.