0201 – Feb 06

Welcome one and all to the 2012 FFL Blog! I’m sure I’m not the only one looking forward to the upcoming season, but seeing as this is the first article of the season, let’s start things off nice and simple, because it’s not just the players who need a few pre-season games.

The top 8 games not to miss in the 2012 FFL season

8 – Mar 25, Berendrecht, 15:00. Antwerp Diamonds v Leuven Lions

Let’s begin with a rematch of a pre-season battle. The Diamonds handled the Lions at the Diamond Bowl a few months ago, but Antwerp had their QB Keymolen playing for them then, and now he’s off in the USA, which is an enormous loss. The Lions looked a bit out of sorts at the Diamond Bowl, but they’ve had plenty of time to get organised for this one. One thing to remember about this season – every game is a tie-breaker game, as each team plays all the others just once.

7 – Apr 1, Anderlecht, 15:00. Brussels Black Angels v Gent Gators

At the risk of sounding completely obvious, here is the Bart Killens Bowl! These two teams had a bit of a run-in last year, but let’s hope that we can keep things civil, and not see any of the nastiness of last year’s Tribes v Diamonds game. Rivalry games are always worth seeing, however, and this is the FFL’s newest.

6 – Feb 26, Puurs, 15:00. Puurs Titans v Limburg Shotguns

The first home game for the former Bornem Titans in their new home in Puurs (I’m thinking maybe ‘Othrys Field’ could be a good name for it), and it should draw a big crowd, as it’s the second half of the opening weekend double header. Two teams with new quarterbacks, it would seem, so it’ll be a matter of the offenses settling in and the defenses trying to disturb the new guys as much as possible.

5 – Mar 11, St. Agatha, 12:00. Gent Gators v Puurs Titans

The Gators. Each year comes and each year I think, “maybe it’s time for the Gators to step it up and make the playoffs”. And each year passes, and they never quite do it, some years are closer than others, sure, and at least now they’re settled at quarterback. So, is this the year? Because it’s games like this that they’re going to have to win if they want to move up towards the playoff spots.

4 – Mar 25, Ostend, 15:00. West Flanders Tribes v Brussels Bulls

To be the man, you have to beat the man. The Bulls have been close, so close, in their last few games against the Tribes, with the boys from West Flanders able to pull out something just when they really need it. But it can’t go on forever. Can it? Will the Tribes maintain their dominance or can the Bulls show that they’re the team to beat?

3 – Mar 18, Gent, 12:00. Brussels Black Angels v Brussels Bulls

The rematch of last year’s Donut Bowl (also in Gent, for those keeping track of these things). I wonder how long we’ll have to wait for the first score in this one? In any case, the cross-town rivals are sure to give it everything for supremacy in Brussels, and possibly the entire FFL (and by extension, the BFL) as well. I’m thinking that this game could be a real barn burner, as expectations are high this season in the capital city.

2 – Feb 26, Puurs, 12:00. Brussels Black Angels v West Flanders Tribes

For the second season in a row, the Tribes face their eternal challengers, the Angels, in their first game. You should all know the history by now, they’ve faced off in Belgian Bowls 21, 22 and 24. Both teams have new head coaches, both with their experience on the defensive side of the football. It’s the best matchup of the regular season. It’s at the Titans new field. It’s the first game of the FFL season. There’s nothing not to like about this game and no reason not to be there.

1 – Jun 9, Jozef Verhelle Stadium (Ostend), 19:30. Belgian Bowl XXV

There’s no way that there could be any other game at number one. From the outside looking in it sure seems that this year’s game is going to be even bigger than last year, and last year was already huge. Let’s just hope that we get another quality game for the fans, and let’s that the fans get into it. Personally, I hope to get security clearance and be allowed to be on the sidelines for the game (much better for taking stats). Failing that, you’ll find me sitting in the stands, surrounded by the loudest and craziest group of fans possible, and we all know who they were last year! (update – I’m allowed on the sidelines, sweet)

The stats

It seems likely that the stats are going to be taken this year, but not certain. I need confirmation from all teams that someone is definitely going to record the stats from the games that I can’t go to. I’ve been in contact with all FFL teams, so everyone knows which games I’m talking about. All teams must confirm by February 25 or it’s not going to happen. If you have questions or whatever, contact me.
As an update, two teams have given names of who’ll record the stats, three teams have said that somebody will do it but not said who, and the other three teams like the idea but haven’t made a commitment (yet). Don’t wait too long!

Upcoming

Friday is the press conference for the Belgian Bowl, and I’m most curious to hear what the plans are. Needless to say you’ll get a report here on Monday.

But before that, is the Thursday edition of the blog. In it you’ll find the FFL pre-season poll, plus your questions and comments as usual (I am still waiting for the votes from the Titans and the Lions!).

Now that the blog has moved to its new home, you can’t comment on it directly as you could before. The best way to comment will be to join the group called “The FFL Blog Extra” on facebook. It’s an open group so you can either ask to be added or have a friend invite you in.

Outro

That’s just about everything that needs to be said for the moment. It’s nice to be back! Until Thursday then.

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