A couple of game previews and ten thoughts headline the blog this week.
Well, if it isn’t Monday again. Did you realise that this will be the final Monday blog before the season starts? Of course, you did!
Good news, FFL fans, we now have every single game covered, and that means that definitively, the stats are on! Now what I need from every team is a list with your players and numbers (given that licenses are in, this should be possible now). I only really need it at your first game, however earlier is better (if your website is up to date, then that will be fine too). Also I need one email address from each team where I’ll send the stats to each week (there will be one, fairly large, excel file and a couple of word documents).
The stats themselves
The full stats matrix gets sent to one person within each team (probably the head coach, but it’s up to you), and that person can do with them what they will. I’ll use the stats to write, and also I’ll provide certain top fives and things on “The FFL Blog Extra” group on facebook (search for it and join, it’s an open group).
For the players:
– Don’t ask the person taking the stats about them during the game. They have to concentrate, and the chances are that they can’t answer your question anyway (it’s designed to be easy to analyse afterwards, not to answer questions on the fly)
– Don’t ask me for your stats, you can bug your coach instead
– Don’t write to me for something trivial (in my experience, it’s normally linebackers who complain about their number of tackles. There are reasons that you didn’t get as many tackles as you thought. But mostly, I just genuinely don’t want to hear about it)
– You can write to me if it’s something important (for example a forced fumble credited to the wrong person)
For the coaches:
– Please tell the stats person if any player is wearing a different number to usual (or if they change part of the way through a game)
For the stats people :
– I have put the sheets together and am busy making an example drive to show what you’ll have to fill in. Try to come and see me either this weekend in Puurs or next weekend in Anderlecht so I can show you as the game is in progress too. I know that you’re going to have questions, so please ask them!
That’s enough of that – we have two games to talk about, so let’s get into it
#3 Brussels Black Angels v #2 West Flanders Tribes
Well, we begin with a tricky one. Seems that the Angels are without their superstar RB Trouillez (he of the 100 yard game and 50 yard touchdown against them Tribes in last year’s Belgian Bowl). I guess the Tribes front seven can expect a heavy dose of HB Banza, but the Angels are going to want to have it balanced out, and they have just the guy out wide to make that happen, WR Delaisse. Keep your eyes on this guy, he’s poised to break out. Tribes LT Vanhauwere is back this year and that’s big news for a team who like to have balance in their offense. On defense they have players shifting around to cover their losses at linebacker, with just one of the four returning for the tilt at what would be their seventh straight title. Some of the Tribes are just brimming with confidence, others are more reserved. One thing is for sure – as QB Vermaut goes, so do the Tribes, and nobody wants to win more than him. I’m afraid that I have to go against my pre-season ratings, RB Trouillez was so important last season, and I like the Tribes special teams to be all over the Angels. However I’ll be rather surprised if there’s more than a touchdown between the teams at the end – it’s tradition.
My prediction : Tribes 27, Angels 21
#5 Limburg Shotguns v #4 Puurs Titans
First of all, a little bit of Shotguns news : LB/RB/coach Chase Curren is unable to play with the team any more due to work priorities. I think that this is going to cause a lack of direction in the team, especially with Lawrence Grudgeon already headed off to the Bulls, and having to find a new quarterback as well. It’s not all roses for the Titans though, as they’re looking to break in a new quarterback of their own, plus they have the added pressure of playing at their new home in Puurs in front of the whole FFL. I’m expecting a bit of an ugly game for all those reasons, but I also expect the Titans to dominate with run defense and control the field position with their special teams. It should be a good hit-our for them as they prepare to take on the Gators next weekend.
My prediction : Titans 26, Shotguns 0
Ten thoughts I think I think
1 – I think that the Bulls will no longer be number 1 after this weekend. The Tribes and Angels were so close behind them that the winner of their match up will likely take over the top spot
2a – I think that Limburg will no longer be number 5 after this weekend
2b – I think that I have no idea who’s coaching the Shotguns any more
3 – I think that a lot of people are going to have a very good look around the Titans facility on Sunday, as well they should
4 – I think that there will be at least 20 ‘new’ players in the All-FFL team this year
5 – I think I hope it doesn’t rain too much this week. The last thing we want is a sloppy field slowing everybody down
6 – I think I’m glad that pre-season is over. It’s so much easier to write about football when there is football to write about
7 – I think, like I did last year, that we’ll see two FFL teams in the Belgian Bowl. At least, I may hope so, because it would be tough to write a decent Belgian Bowl preview when it involves a team that I haven’t seen all year. Don’t let me down, FFL!
8 – I think I wonder what happened to those guys who went to foreign countries to play football and said that they’d write and let us all know just how they’re doing
9 – I think we should all say a big prayer to the Football Gods : to protect everyone from injury and not rain on our heads too much, to let everyone play with aggression but with restraint when required, to make the burgers hot and the beer cold, to let the ball break the plane and go between the posts, to let the refs see everything they need to see and nothing more, to let the offense move the football and the defense to stop them, to let us all get better in what it is that we do, and above all, to let the best team win.
10 – I think these are my non-FFL thoughts this week
– It’s only like 6 weeks until I go back home for a holiday. I’m looking forward to catching up with family and friends, knowing automatically which way north is (I still don’t have that here) and going to watch the football. I haven’t seen my team play live in about 5 years! But I have something very important to do while I’m there, and that’s why I’m actually going, everything else is just a nice bonus. – I’ll miss the next month of softball training because I’ll be busy watching you guys play football. After that, we go back to training on Monday night, which is good because I can play again, but it’s bad because then Monday evenings are very, very busy.
The early weather forecast for Puurs on Sunday is sunny and 13°. Sounds like football weather to me! I look forward to seeing everyone in Puurs on Sunday, but don’t forget about the Thursday edition before then!