0421 – BFL Week 7 rankings

Here we are again, back on Thursday with the rankings and the mailbag too. We’ve almost reached the half way point of the regular season. Can you believe it?

Computer rankings

1 – Waterloo Warriors                     + 26.0
2 – Gent Gators                                 + 21.7
3 – Brussels Tigers                           + 21.3
4 – Ostend Pirates                            + 18.9
5 – Brussels Black Angels               + 14.0
6 – G-D Fighting Turtles                 + 9.0
7 – Brussels Bulls                             + 7.1
8 – Leuven Lions                               + 2.6
9 – Puurs Titans                                – 3.1
10 – Liege Monarchs                        – 5.3
11 – Izegem Tribes                            – 13.9
12 – Limburg Shotguns                   – 20.4
13 – Antwerp Diamonds                 – 21.3
14 – Wapi Phoenix                           – 27.4
15 – Charleroi Coal Miners             – 28.9

You might wonder how the computer ranks the Pirates higher than the Angels and the Bulls higher than the Titans when the higher ranked teams lost last weekend. This is mostly because the Pirates clubbed the Titans 33-0 early in the season, and the computer is struggling to adjust.

Power Rankings

1 (=)       Gent Gators (4-0)
2 (=)      Brussels Tigers (1-0)
3 (=)      Brussels Black Angels (3-1)
4 (+1)    Ostend Pirates (1-1)
5 (+5)    Puurs Titans (2-1)
6 (-2)     Brussels Bulls (1-2)
7 (-1)      Waterloo Warriors (1-0)
8 (-1)     Grez-Docieau Fighting Turtles (2-0)
9 (-1)     Leuven Lions (2-1)
10 (-1)   Liege Monarchs (1-1)
11 (=)    Izegem Tribes (0-2)
12 (=)    Limburg Shotguns (1-3)
13 (=)    Antwerp Diamonds (0-3)
14 (=)    Charleroi Coal Miners (0-3)
15 (=)    Wapi Phoenix (0-1)

So the Titans make a big jump, up 5 places to number 5 with their narrow victory over the Bulls.

Mailbag

Bart Killens, Gent

“Which games did you enjoy the most  so far?”

Hmmm, good question.. Let’s go with a top 3.

#3 – Ostend Pirates v Brussels Black Angels – An exciting game that went down to the wire with both teams having a chance to win.

#2 – Brussels Black Angels v Gent Gators – A well played game that established the Gators as the team to beat in the FFL this season.

#1 – Grez-Doiceau Fighting Turtles vs Liege Monarchs – A fairly tight game all the way that exploded in the final quarter with big plays and touchdowns.

Robbe Pieters

“I really think that (Gators) QB Killens, and WR’s Lezy and De Ruyter should be in the Belgian Barbarians. I partly say this as a Gator fan and half as an objective fan of football”

Well, maybe you remember one or two weeks ago I said that there was one team who decided not to nominate any players to the Barbarians? It was Gent. So in that case it’s up to the Barbarians staff (and mostly me, seeing as I’m head scout) to decide which Gators players should be there. I don’t want to talk too much about selections yet, but it would be fair to assume that there will be quite a few Gators receiving invitations to the Combine.

Tom Van Put, Puurs

“The C’mon man (from Monday) sounds way too familiar 🙂 I encourage everybody to watch the Titans-Bulls game once it is on-line. It was a great game!”

Indeed, it’s amazing how many people just don’t understand the rules of the game.. The Titans-Bulls game came online an hour or so ago so I’ll be sure to check it out later on this evening.

The blog stats

I like to do this once in a while, to go back and check out in which countries this blog is most popular , so let’s have a look. Here is the list over the last three months :

1 – Belgium (obviously)
2 – United States
3 – Netherlands
4 – Germany
5 – Italy
6 – United Kingdom
7 – France
8 – Denmark
9 – Ireland
10 – Spain

I do want to give a special shout-out to number 11 though, and that’s Macao. Hello Pedro!

Upcoming

12pm @ Waterloo : #10 Liege Monarchs vs #15 Wapi Phoenix
I said : Monarchs by 22. Computer says : Monarchs by 22

3pm @ Waterloo : #14 Charleroi Coal Miners vs #7 Waterloo Warriors
I said : Warriors by 44. Computer says : Warriors by 55

2pm @ Grez-Doiceau : #2 Brussels Tigers vs #8 Grez-Doiceau Fighting Turtles – GAME OF THE WEEK
I said : Tigers by 13. Computer says : Tigers by 12

Outro

Dang computer. I make my predictions on Monday and I only check what it thinks usually on Wednesday – it’s copying me, and not the other way around! Anyway, that’s it for today, until next time

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

0420 – BFL Week 7

So week 7 is in the books and there were a couple of great games played. I also think it’s very positive that (even though there was one game ended early) each team scored one touchdown, and even 7 of the 8 managed two touchdowns. Offense for the win!

And my thanks go out to Bart Killens, Kim Jolie and Mathias Lagae for their help describing the game in Sint-Agatha.

Barbarian News

There has been some news – the Izegem Tribes have handed in their 3 nominations of players to go to the Combine. However, the names will remain a bit of a secret for now. We’ve asked that all nominations from the teams are handed in by May 1. After that, we’ll make our selections as well and the players will be informed individually. Only then will the list of players be posted for everyone to see.

In other, non-Barbarians related news, the Fighting Turtles are on the move. They’re now known as the Grez-Doiceau Fighting Turtles. We’ll have conformation soon if their home game this Sunday will be played at their new field, but it looks likely.

Game reports

Gent Gators 56 – Limburg Shotguns 6

So I’m not going to enter into the ‘mercy rule’ debate again, but this game was ended early as the Gators lead the game by 50 points after RB Cocquyt scored on the ground in the third quarter.

This game was all Gent. WR Lezy did something that I don’t really recall happening before. Not only did he score a hat-trick of touchdowns, but it was a “natural hat-trick” at that (that is, three touchdowns by the same person in the same quarter with no other touchdowns in between). The quarter was the first, and half way through it the score was Lezy 18 – Shotguns 0.

QB Killens had a sweet day at the office, firing 5 touchdowns in total, WR De Ruyter and RB Cocquyt caught the other two. The other majors were made by RB Mankusa with two scores on the ground and also by S E Piqueur on a 60 yard interception return.

The Shotguns only score came on a long pass to WR Moore but there was just too little of it to have an influence on the game.

Puurs Titans 14 – Brussels Bulls 13

Sure sounds like it was a real barn-burner at Sint-Agatha, coming right down to the wire. But it didn’t start very well for the Titans. They fumbled on their second play from scrimmage, the ball was picked up by S Mees and he returned it all the way for a touchdown and the extra point was good, 7-0 Bulls.

The Titans response would be swift. A couple of plays later, RB Kabongo takes a sweep right, finds some room and is gone. The extra point is no good so the Bulls lead 7-6. But they’d extend that lead not long after. A long drive would end up in the Titans endzone, although crucially the two point conversion was no good and they were then up 13-6.

Puurs tried to respond but were forced to punt, P Lagae managing to have his punt downed at the 1-yard line. The next play from scrimmage the Bulls were stuffed in their own endzone for a safety, 13-8 Bulls.

There was a bit of back and forward then but the Titans recovered a Bulls fumble to give themselves a short field and eventually RB Steenackers scored from 3 yards away to make it 14-13 just before half time.

The second half was more of a defensive struggle, but the Titans had a good drive down into the redzone but they were stopped there. The Bulls would make one last attempt to win the game, driving down to about the 20-yard line of the Titans, but the field goal attempt would be blocked by DE Van Put. A couple of knees later and the upset was complete!

Brussels Black Angels 20 – Ostend Pirates 14

This one turned into a great game, a bit sloppy in parts with turnovers but really competitive. It would be the Pirates who would open the scoring, after an interception they had good field position and it was that old combination, QB Vermaut (8/31, 118 yards, 2 td, 3 int) to TE Brutyn (4 catches, 66 yards, 1 td) for the first touchdown, and after the extra point from K Laleman it was 7-0 after the first quarter. The Black Angels answered emphatically with a bustling 25-yard touchdown run from last years’s MVP HB Banza (18 rush, 106 yards, 2 td) and just like that the scores were tied at 7 and that’s the way the teams entered half time.

Brussels got on top in the third quarter, intercepting QB Vermaut twice and scoring on a pass from QB T Bouron to WR #85. And then on a drive that started in the third quarter but was finished in the fourth, HB Banza scored again on another bruising run to put the Angels up 20-7 and things looked grim for the Pirates.

And it only got worse when Angels CB Delaisse made his second pick of the game. But the Pirates defense would step up and force three straight three-and-outs for Brussels.

QB Vermaut found WR Laleman (2 catches, 43 yards, 1 td) across the middle for a nice touchdown to bring it back to 20-14 and they got the ball back and took it to midfield but could get no further, on fourth down LB Dosunmu made a sack and the game was over.

The Black Angels outgained the Pirates 180-160. For Brussels defense, CB Delaisse had 7 tackles, 2 for a loss and 2 interceptions. For the Pirates, LB Van Hee had 8.5 tackles, and LB Debaillie also had 8.5 tackles, but also 4.5 were for a loss and 1 sack.

Leuven Lions 44 – Izegem Tribes 14

The first thing that I’d like to say about this is that I didn’t get the stats in the last quarter – it started raining and rain doesn’t mix well with the paper I write stuff down on. But the numbers will tell their story, complete or not.

The Lions opened up with a heavy dose of RB Van Vlasselaer (25 rush, 96 yards, 2 td) on their opening drive of 10 plays and 55 yards, and he ended up capping it with a 1-yard plunge.

Their second drive was the total opposite. QB Baete dropped back on the first play and looked to pass, found nothing, and then ran it himself 75 yards for a score, and suddenly the score was 13-0 at the quarter and it wasn’t looking good for the Tribes.
But they’d turn it around on a long drive of their own, QB Huysman also showed his speed around the edge for 25 yards before sneaking it into the endzone on the next play to make it 13-7 and things were looking up.

At least until QB Baete broke contain again and scampered up the sideline, dodging and spinning his way into the endzone, this time for 55 yards. He even managed to find time to throw a touchdown pass to WR Sakyi-Gyinae just before the half to make it 26-7 at the long break.

The third quarter was much the same, Van Vlasselaer and Baete running around and the Tribes chasing after them. The Tribes were forced to go with their back-up QB Pype, and he had a little success but did manage to get himself outside and bust it all the way to the endzone for a 50-something yard run as well.

The Lions outgained the Tribes 360-96 (don’t forget that this doesn’t include the 4th quarter – if I had to guess it was probably about 450-180 for the whole game). On the Lions defense, LB Rochette had 6.5 tackles where 2 were for a loss, and LB Caelenberghe had another 6 tackles. For the Tribes both LB Veryser and LB Van Marcke had 6 tackles, with 1 for a loss.

Players of the Week

Lions QB Baete : 4/12, 73 yards, 2 td. 9 rush, 191 yards, 2 td

Black Angels CB Delaisse : 7 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 2 int

Pirates LB Debaillie : 8.5 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack

Tribes LT Vanhauwere : As well as playing great left tackle, he had 3.5 tackles and this…

Play of the Week

Tribes T Vanhauwere recovers an onside kick, but he doesn’t go to ground like a normal offensive lineman. He starts running it back, smashing a couple of Lions to the ground before being tripped up after an 8 yard gain.

Quote of the Week

“You should write that in your blog” – Tribes assistant coach, Benedict Verheyen

I hadn’t seen Bene for a while and he asked me how my daughter was doing. My daughter, Mai, is now 7 and does gym lessons. She trains 3 times per week, each session lasts 3 hours.
When the football games are over sometimes I listen to what the coaches have to say to their players. Mostly when I’m around the losing team’s huddle I hear the coach almost begging for people to please show up to training. When I told Bene how much Mai has to train he then gave the quote.

C’Mon Man of the Week

I could be specific about this but I’ll keep it general because it happens so often and it’s so ridiculous.

If you are on the punt return team, and you hear people yell “fire!”, then you are supposed to GET THE HELL AWAY FROM THE DAMN FOOTBALL! Don’t touch it, don’t follow it, don’t go anywhere near the thing.
As the Barbarians Special Teams Coördinator, the only thing I have to say about it is this – C’Mon Man!

Game previews

12pm @ Waterloo : Liege Monarchs (1-1) vs Tournai Phoenix (0-1)

I was pretty impressed with the Monarchs against the Turtles, they probably should have won. But now they’ve got to re-focus themselves on the Phoenix, who have had a month to make adjustments and get ready for this game after being clubbed by the Warriors last time around.
Prediction : I expect a more solid Tournai team on the field this time, but I can’t see them being able to win against Liege. Monarchs 28 – Phoenix 6

3pm @ Waterloo : Charleroi Coal Miners (0-3) vs Waterloo Warriors (1-0)

Charleroi come off a pummeling at the hands of the Tigers and now they’re faced with a Warriors team in good form too. I’m sure the Warriors won’t be looking past this game, but in the back of their minds will be the fact that they play the Tigers themselves in their next game.
Prediction : Waterloo will be too strong all over the field for Charleroi to be able to contain for much of the game. Warriors 44 – Coal Miners 0

2pm @ Grez-Doiceau (probably) : Brussels Tigers (1-0) vs Grez-Doiceau Fighting Turtles (2-0)

This has been the big game in the LFFAB for the last few years, and this time the game should be played at The Lair (isn’t that what the Ninja Turtles used to call their base? It’s been a long time). Anyway the Turtles will definitely be looking to knock off the Tigers and move to 3-0 and take a stranglehold of the LFFAB, but their offensive line will have to stand up to the pressure of the Tigers’ front seven.
On the other hand, the Tigers haven’t faced a challenge like this since they won the Belgian Bowl, and the question will be if they’re ready for it.
Prediction : This should be a good game, I think the Tigers will eventually be able to overwhelm the Turtles, but they’ll sure get a good fight. Tigers 30 – Turtles 17

Outro

I quite enjoyed myself on Sunday, with good football and the first nominations for the Barbarians. Let’s hope that that trend continues this weekend as well! Until then

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

0419 – BFL Week 6 rankings

Welcome to the Thursday rankings and mailbag. I first want to thank you guys for all your suggestions and ideas regarding the future structure of the league. I didn’t think I’d start a discussion just by one little comment, but it’s a big and complicated subject, that’s for sure! But first let’s begin with the rankings.

Computer rankings

1 – Waterloo Warriors            + 26.0
2 – Gent Gators                        + 24.6
3 – Ostend Pirates                   + 23.0
4 – Brussels Tigers                  + 21.8
5 – Brussels Bulls                     + 14.8
6 – MSG Fighting Turtles      + 9.5
7 – Brussels Black Angels       + 6.9
8 – Izegem Tribes                    + 2.6
9 – Liege Monarchs                 – 4.9
10 – Puurs Titans                     – 10.0
11 – Leuven Lions                    – 11.0
12 – Limburg Shotguns          – 19.9
13 – Wapi Phoenix                   – 27.0
14 – Antwerp Diamonds        – 28.0
15 – Charleroi Coal Miners    – 28.2

The Brussels Tigers big win moves them immediately up to number four.

Power Rankings

1 (=)      Gent Gators (3-0)
2 (=)     Brussels Tigers (1-0)
3 (=)      Brussels Black Angels (2-1)
4 (=)     Brussels Bulls (1-1)
5 (=)     Ostend Pirates (1-0)
6 (=)     Waterloo Warriors (1-0)
7 (=)     MSG Fighting Turtles (2-0)
8 (=)     Leuven Lions (1-1)
9 (+1)   Liege Monarchs (1-1)
10 (-1)  Puurs Titans (1-1)
11 (=)    Izegem Tribes (0-1)
12 (=)   Limburg Shotguns (1-2)
13 (=)   Antwerp Diamonds (0-3)
14 (=)   Charleroi Coal Miners (0-3)
15 (=)   Wapi Phoenix (0-1)

I said a few times during the game that Liege were definitely better than I’d suspected, so I rewarded them with a slight move up the Power Rankings. At the top I left Gent number one – we’ll learn more about the Tigers after their next game, when they play the Turtles.

Mailbag

Francis Njufom, Brussels

“Really disagree with you about the mercy rule. That shouldn’t exist! We just need 2 divisions. No teams on either division would make a 50-00! Some people are just make a “trip” to watch a football game. What are you saying to people coming to watch a football game and ending in the middle of the third quarter? We are discussing again and again every season about making two division. Making 2 divisions would provide a higher level for ALL teams. That would let new team to go to a full championship without any forfeit.”

You’re forgetting that I made a trip from Izegem to Liege and would have been happy to have had the game terminated early! On the other hand I agree though, having two divisions would eliminate the need to have the mercy rule at all.

Bart Killens, Gent

“The FAFL now has 9 teams while LFFAB has only 6 this season. Do you think if this remains next year, we should send the top 4 FAFL and top 2 LFFAB to the playoffs? Or do you think LFFAB has just enough quality in the top 3 to be better than FAFL nr 4 ?”

If it remains like that (I don’t think it will, but that’s another story) then I think it should be changed. Last year the LFFAB had a “final four” which was after their regular season and before the BFL playoffs. I guess what I mean is that it doesn’t matter if the LFFAB #3 is better than the FAFL #4 because there should be 4 FAFL teams in the playoffs anyway (and 3 LFFAB teams). Maybe have a play-in game between FAFL #3 and FAFL #4 before the cross-over. Of course this would take an extra week, but I think that 4 out of 9 in the playoffs is fairer than 3 out of 9.

Now I recommend you go back to Monday’s blog (https://dalehousden.wordpress.com/2014/03/17/0418-bfl-week-6/) and scroll down to the bottom where you can read the comments and ideas that people had about the structure of the league.

So here’s what I think about league restructure:

I do think that there should be two divisions, but I don’t think you should just take the top four from the FAFL and the top four from the LFFAB. It shouldn’t just be about results – if you did this, you’d have well established teams like Leuven, Puurs and Izegem in division two, and I don’t feel that that is right.

There should be a list of criteria that a team should have to satisfy to be allowed to play in division one. For example
– at least 30 players on the senior roster (or some other number, not sure exactly)
– a non-playing head coach
– a working junior program
– and so on

New teams would have to play at least one year in division two, as would teams who are in financial problems.

I also wouldn’t relegate teams just because they finished last in division one. Each year you’d just look at the criteria again and see which teams qualify and which do not. One year you might have 12 teams, the next year 16, and the year after 14, it would depend.

I think a problem with two divisions is that players who are in a team in division two might want to leave their team and join a team in division one though, so there could perhaps be some sort of mechanism to stop this.

But having said all this, I still don’t see it happening. This would require the LFFAB and the FAFL to join forces with all the teams and the BFL to make one large competition (whatever the structure might end up being), and if you ask me then that’s a pipe dream.

I also liked the competition proposal from Mr Anonymous. If you had 20 teams who played on a similar level then I think that that’s a good one (I would do a different final 8 though, the same one that they do in Australian Football. It would take one more week than your proposal, however). I also like very much that you have included the Barbarians Combine too!

If you want to get the attention of the people in control of American Football in Belgium, then you shouldn’t go through me. I’m just this guy, you know? The BFL has a facebook page (Belgian Football League), as does the FAFL and they have a website too. If you want your suggestions heard, then the best thing you can do is tell the BFL, FAFL and LFFAB directly.

And one more thing – I must be totally out of the loop, because I have never heard of the Verviers Mustangs nor the Zemst Rats!

Stijn De Backer, Brussels

“That Sarah scored on a 2 point conversion is just great, this young lady was joined this past Saturday by 2 girls from the Puurs Titans Cadets that suited up to play tackle. With 1 girl playing Quarterback and the other one a Center it was fun to see these girls hold their own and even do better than some of their peers. The Titans cadet center managed to keep the Tigers Nose Tackle in check despite the Tigers boy being bigger. If you like cadet tackle football, we’ll be in competition every other saturday till the end of May.”

It’s just great that so many young people want to play this game, boys or girls. Sarah’s conversion got a lot more of a cheer than the Tigers’ touchdowns, so people are definitely aware that she’s out there. Girls can be pretty determined to achieve something (believe me, I know, I have a daughter) and if they set their sights on playing football then they can get that done too.
As for your second point, I would like to see some cadet football some time. I’ll have to check out a schedule.

Upcoming

12pm, Sint-Agatha : #1 Gent Gators (3-0) vs #12 Limburg Shotguns (1-2)
I said : Gators by 46. Computer says : Gators by 45

3pm, Sint-Agatha : #4 Brussels Bulls (1-1) vs #10 Puurs Titans (1-1)
I said : Bulls by 16. Computer says : Bulls by 25

12pm, Leuven : #3 Brussels Black Angels (2-1) vs #5 Ostend Pirates (1-0) – GAME OF THE WEEK
I said : Black Angels by 13. Computer says : Pirates by 16

3pm, Leuven : #11 Izegem Tribes (0-1) vs #8 Leuven Lions (1-1)
I said : Lions by 12. Computer says : Tribes by 14

Outro

So thanks again for your ideas and suggestions, just don’t forget that this isn’t any sort of official forum. It’s a nice place to share ideas but don’t assume that the people who run football in this country read this! Until next time

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

0418 – BFL Week 6

BFL action was live from Liege on Sunday, and the Football Gods provided the appropriate weather, the first game gloomy with dark skies, and the second game warm and sunny. Let’s see what happened.

Game reports

Brussels Tigers 58 – Charleroi Coal Miners 0

I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to say about this game. If there was ever an argument for playing in two divisions (major league and development league, perhaps?), then this was it. Don’t get me wrong, the Coal Miners tried, but they weren’t able to get much done, football-wise.

The Tigers pretty much just went into their offensive huddle and decided who was going to score the next touchdown. WR #20 had the best time of it, scoring 3 touchdowns and 3 two point conversions by my reckoning.

The Football Princess (WR Viola) managed to score as well, catching a two-point conversion that took the score to 50-0, which is of course the point that an FAFL game would have ended. I recommend that the LFFAB do the same in the future, because I don’t see how this is helping the Miners develop, and I don’t see how this is helping the Tigers improve either.

Anyway, the bottom line is that the Tigers have made their debut in 2014 and they look like having yet another great season.

Mont-Saint-Guibert Fighting Turtles 29 – Liege Monarchs 22

Well I admit that I was fairly wrong about this one, I kind of figured that the Turtles would walk over the Monarchs but that was far from true.

In fact it was the home team who scored first with a bit of trickeration in the second quarter, the old WR reverse pass from #4 found a wide open WR #30 who walked in for a touchdown, and then the Monarchs converted with a run from QB #15 (13/28, 84 yards, 2 td, 2 int – 9 rush, 50 yards) and it was 8-0.
It wouldn’t take the Turtles long to get on the board themselves, actually it was their next play from scrimmage, QB Firszt (13/23, 213 yards, 2 td, 2 int) found a streaking WR Dejehet for 66 yards and 6 points. The conversion made it 8-7 Monarchs and that’s the way it would stay until half time.

The Fighting Turtles came out in the third quarter and scored on their first possession, RB Elias (5 rush, 13 yards, 2 td) finishing off from 2 yards away, and a field goal later the Turtles were up 16-8 heading into the final frame, seemingly in control. But then all hell broke loose.

A long Monarchs drive ended in a touchdown when QB #15 found WR #17 (5 catches, 29 yards, 1 td) on a short pass which made it 16-14 Turtles. MSG’s next play from scrimmage was intercepted by CB #20, and a couple of short passes later WR #4 had caught a touchdown, and WR #81 caught the two point conversion and the Monarchs led 22-16.
When QB Firszt was intercepted again things looked grim for the Turtles but their defense stiffened and Liege couldn’t move the football any more. TE Schoonheyt caught a pass across the middle, bounced off a defender and scored, with the conversion it was 23-22 Turtles. Again the Monarchs couldn’t go anywhere, failing a fourth down attempt, which left a very short field for the Turtles, and RB Elias sealed the deal from 6 yards away and the final score was set, 29-22.

The Turtles outgained the Monarchs 242-199, but both teams seemed to be constantly hurting themselves with penalties.
On the Turtles defense, LB #42 Duga had 7 tackles, including 3 for a loss, while S Maris had 5 tackles and 1 interception before getting himself ejected.
For the Monarchs, their best defensive effort came from LB #56 with 6 tackles (and at least 3 more that were voided by penalties).

Players of the week

Turtles TE Schoonheyt – 6 catches, 94  yards, 1 td

Tigers WR #20 – 3 td, 3 2xp

Turtles LB Duga – 7 tackles, 3 tfl

Play of the week

Coal Miners LB #54 surprised everyone on the sidelines by making a leaping one-handed interception against the Tigers.

Quote of the week

“How do I place this?” – the Brussels Tigers (back-up, I may assume) kicker didn’t have much experience with the kicking tee during the game against the Coal Miners

C’Mon man of the week

Whoever made the event of the Liege gameday had better look at the actual location of the field. The address given was actually right in the middle of Liege, rather than at the field itself. Hence, we were late arriving. C’Mon man!

Game previews

@ St-Agatha, 12pm – Gent Gators (3-0) vs Limburg Shotguns (1-2)

When people think of the Gators they think of them spreading the field and taking to the air. But don’t forget about their defense. Their last two games (against the Bulls and Tribes), they’ve given up 91 yards total offense. Not per game, but 91 yards total.
Limburg have struggled to move the ball consistently and will need to improve all over the field if they want to compete.
Prediction – Gent play fast and this game is to be played on the fastest field in the country. I don’t like to predict forfeit scores, so I won’t, but it’ll be close to that. Gators 46 – Shotguns 0.

@ St-Agatha, 3pm – Brussels Bulls (1-1) vs Puurs Titans (1-1)

Now here’s a match-up with a twist. One of the Titans defensive linemen has left the team and joined with the Bulls, so I’m sure that they’ll be trying to make a point to him. The Bulls offense looked much better against the Shotguns and they’ll want to stay in the flow for this game, but we all know that the Titans can sure play defense. So can the Bulls, however.
Prediction – The Titans need to get the ball to their receivers in space, but the question is if they’re capable of doing it or not. Bulls 22 – Titans 6

@ Leuven, 12pm – Brussels Black Angels (2-1) vs Ostend Pirates (1-0)

This should be a game where we’ll learn a lot. The Pirates face a strong test in the Black Angels, and they’ll want to continue their winning ways. The Angels have won their last two as well, and won’t want to drop to 2-2. Brussels have plenty of power, but believe me, there are quite a few players on the Pirates roster who know a thing or two about toturing the Black Angels.
Prediction – The real question is how will the young guys from the Pirates shape up against a quality opposition. I think they’ll do alright, but I still expect Brussels to win. Black Angels 27 – Pirates 14

@ Leuven, 3pm – Leuven Lions (1-1) vs Izegem Tribes (0-1)

Here’s another interesting one. Both teams have young, mobile quarterbacks who will need to be contained by the opposing defenses. The Tribes gave the Gators trouble at the beginning of the game, and their offensive line is pretty good too. The Lions made a good fist of it against the Angels and if their receivers get on the same page as their quarterback then they’ll do some damage.
Prediction – This could be a most entertaining game, with plenty of speed out on the field, but I think the Lions at home will do just a bit more. Lions 26 – Tribes 14

Barbarian News

So we think that pretty much all teams have been informed about the player selection procedure. Now it’s just a waiting game until the nominations roll in.

Outro

I’m definitely looking forward to some excitement in Leuven, I think we’ll see two great games with plenty of action. Don’t forget to like and comment so we’ll have a mailbag on Thursday, otherwise it’ll just be the rankings. Until then

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

0417 – BFL week 5 rankings

Welcome to the Thursday edition of the Barbarian Blog. We’ve got the rankings for you and also the mailbag, so let’s get started.

Computer Rankings

You may think it illogical for the computer to have dropped the Gators’ ranking by about three points, but it thought that Gent would beat Izegem by about 30. Because they ‘only’ won by 22, they get a ratings decrease. It’s tough at the top!

1 – Waterloo Warriors          + 26.0
2 – Gent Gators                      + 24.6
3 – MSG Fighting Turtles    + 24.2
4 – Ostend Pirates                 + 23.0
5 – Brussels Bulls                  + 14.4
6 – Brussels Black Angels    + 6.9
7 – Izegem Tribes                  + 2.6
8 – Brussels Tigers                – 0.5
9 – Liege Monarchs               – 4.8
10 – Puurs Titans                   – 10.0
11 – Leuven Lions                  – 11.0
12 – Limburg Shotguns        – 19.9
13 – Charleroi Coal Miners  – 20.8
14 – Wapi Phoenix                 – 27.0
15 – Antwerp Diamonds       – 28.0

Power Rankings

The Bulls vs Shotguns game made me rethink my rankings of those teams, so I put the Bulls back in the top four and move Izegem up one spot as well.

1 (=)          – Gent Gators (3-0)
2 (=)         – Brussels Tigers (0-0)
3 (=)         – Brussels Black Angels (2-1)
4 (+1)       – Brussels Bulls (1-1)
5 (-1)        – Ostend Pirates (1-0)
6 (=)         – Waterloo Warriors (1-0)
7 (=)         – MSG Fighting Turtles (1-0)
8 (=)         – Leuven Lions (1-1)
9 (=)         – Puurs Titans (1-1)
10 (=)       – Liege Monarchs (1-0)
11 (+1)      – Izegem Tribes (0-1)
12 (-1)       – Limburg Shotguns (1-2)
13 (=)        – Antwerp Diamonds (0-3)
14 (=)        – Charleroi Coal Miners (0-2)
15 (=)        – Wapi Phoenix (0-1)

Mailbag

Mr Nobody from Parts Unknown

“I really don’t reply that much but this time I need to. This disturbed me a lot:
I don’t know what happened and I don’t care – I thought that we had grown beyond this. Apparently I was wrong.

Maybe you should check the gametape and reconsider. The Shotguns QB was (even due to the 31-0 lead) getting late hit time after time. (Some Bulls players got ejected for this behaviour also) but even after that the Bulls kept doing that. And this of course can light some fuses.”

So let me get this straight, Mr Nobody. You’re disturbed with me because I think that players should be able to control themselves? Not sure I follow your logic on this one. However, you may be interested to hear that the Barbarians are not interested in undisciplined players.

Sven Rochette, Leuven

“Great seeing you again on the field Dale, last time was at the All-Stars game in Ghent years ago. You’re doing a great job for our beloved sport, keep it up man. I’m very excited to see what the future brings for the Barbarians.”

Well thanks man, we had some fun in that All-Star game didn’t we? The Coaches and Staff are excited and we hope that the players are too!

Bart Killens, Gent

“How do you watch the gametapes for scouting players? Do you watch every play 22 times to check all the players on that play?”

Well, no, not 22 times. You must keep in mind what I’m trying to achieve at the moment. That is to make a list of players who we’d like to have at the Combine.
Some players I already know that I want them there, so I don’t need to scout them as much. Some players will soon be nominated by their teams, so I won’t need to scout them either. Some players I’m pretty convinced that they won’t be able to provide enough to the National Team to justify selecting them. Some players aren’t Belgian… It’s a process of elimination.
But I would say though that every play of every game that’s available I’ve seen at least 5 times, and some quite a lot more.

Bart Killens, Gent

“How many players have been nominated by their coaches to be selected for the Barbarians?”

Zero. We’ve talked to many coaches but there is not a deadline (yet). And just to be clear, this is not a nomination to play for the Barbarians. This is a nomination to go to the Combine, after which the team will be chosen.
Oh, and by the way, one team have decided not to nominate any players. The official word from them is that they believe in the National Team as it is, so they don’t feel the need to nominate anyone, they’ll just accept the nominations that come from us. Personally, I think that’s kind of unusual, but hey, it’s their choice!

Upcoming

@ Liege

12:00 #2 Brussels Tigers (0-0) vs #14 Charleroi Coal Miners

15:00 #7 MSG Fighting Turtles (1-0) vs #10 Liege Monarchs

Outro

Needless to say I’ll be found in Liege on Sunday. I’m most interested to see what the Tigers and Monarchs bring to the table, as I’ve not seen them play yet this season. It looks like being a bit cloudy but hey, it sounds like football weather to me! Until next time

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

0416 – BFL week 5

So week five is already over (there are actually 16 weeks this season, not including playoffs), and I suppose the results were fairly predictable. But each game always throws up things that were unexpected, and that’s why the games are played! The weather also played a part, there seemed to be a lot of fans in Beringen (certainly a whole lot more than earlier in the season) and it looked like there were a whole heap in Gent too. As my dear ol’ Dad would say : “It was definitely good for football”!
Oh, we’ve got room for one little extra thing this week. From now on I’ll have four players in the players of the week, and one of them will be an offensive lineman. The hogs deserve a bit of love too!

This week our thanks go out to John Jolie, Bart Killens, Klaas Allosserie and Ken Meersmans for their help in describing the games in Gent!

Game reviews

Puurs Titans 18 – Antwerp Diamonds 0

The Diamonds were missing a few players due to injuries and started with just 18. It was a very physical game, in the beginning both teams moved the ball but could not score. Antwerp’s best plays came in the air, and the Titans’ best plays came on the ground. After some good redzone stops and a few mistakes by both teams, Puurs took the lead after a long run up the middle, which was the only score in the first half, 6-0 Titans.

After a deflected pass ended up in the hands of a Titan, they had the ball at the 15 yard line. After hard work and a lot of plays they finally got it in. The Diamonds didn’t help themselves with penalties and they had a hard time running the ball against the Titans linebackers. Another clutch pass ended up in the hands of a Titan so they could start again on the Diamonds 18. Yet again they were able to score on the ground.

There were a few wild and wacky plays in the game too, Diamonds P Butler had a crazy long punt after a nice bounce. Later on the Titans fumbled and the Diamonds could recover it on the 2 yard line. But on first and goal the Diamonds fumbled it right back to the Titans for a touchback.

Standing out for the Titans were their runningbacks, RB Steenackers scoring twice and RB Kabongo finding the endzone for the first time in his senior career. For the Diamonds, QB/CB Wauters had some nice passes and made an interception as well. Skill players Baeyens and Vervaet made some good catches as well. Antwerp don’t play in two weeks time so they have four weeks to get some players back for their game against Ostend.

Gent Gators 30 – Izegem Tribes 8

I must admit to being pretty surprised when I got this sms from Klaas while I was standing in Limburg – “Tribes lead 6-0”. LB Normon was able to recover a loose snap in the endzone and put the boys from West Flanders ahead.
The second quarter was much more business as usual for the Gators as QB Killens found WR Lezy to tie the score and in the dying seconds TE Defour found the endzone as well to just put the Gators up 12-6 at the half.

In the second half the Gators got it done with their running game, scoring on some big runs, RB Mankusa with one and RB Cocquyt the other two. The Tribes scored a safety after a missed snap rolling around in the endzone was booted over the end line by the Gators which ended the scoring at 30-8, taking Gent to 3-0 on the season.

Brussels Black Angels 28 – Leuven Lions 13

The Angels started out the game on fire, scoring twice on their first two drives courtesy of RB Godichal and HB Banza, the second coming on a very strong finish. Things looked bleak for the Lions but their defense stepped up, forcing a fumble and later stopping the Angels on a fourth down. Their offense were able to complete some passes but weren’t able to put together a long drive.
Actually, they didn’t need a long drive, only one play was enough as QB Baete found WR Sakyi-Gyinae on a 48-yard bomb which brought the score back to a manageable 14-7 Black Angels lead at half time.

But the third quarter went the same way as the first had, WR #85 making a catch along the sideline of the endzone for Brussels’ third touchdown, and then RB Godichal scored yet again, making it 28-7, the Lions again seemingly unable to stop the Black Angels.
The fourth quarter then went the same way that the second had. Angels QB T Bouron was intercepted by Lions DB #23 who returned it 80 yards for a touchdown. The conversion was no good but Leuven were back to within two scores, 28-13.
Brussels couldn’t run out the clock, giving the Lions the ball back, but time ran out on them.

The Black Angels outgained the Lions marginally, 235-194. Defensively for the Black Angels LB Banza had 5.5 tackles while DE Vrancken had 3 tackles, 3 tackles for loss and 2 sacks.
On the other side of the ball, Lions OLB Rochette had 7 tackles before having some ankle trouble, and DE Salvaggio had 5.5 tackles.

Brussels Bulls 38 – Limburg Shotguns 0

I’m not really sure where to begin with this one. But I guess I’ll start here – I only saw the first half because 1 – it was almost 2 hours drive to get home, 2 – I thought I was getting sunburnt, and more importantly 3 – the game was over as a contest (it was 31-0 already). As it turns out, the game was ended two minutes before the end to due it getting a bit out of hand.

I don’t know what happened and I don’t care – I thought that we had grown beyond this. Apparently I was wrong.

What I did see was the Bulls doing pretty much whatever they wanted, both on offense and defense. Bulls QB Njufom had a good time in the sun, finding receivers both short and deep, WR #86 (3 catches, 71 yards) in particular was a threat. Also their RB #27 (5 rush, 55 yards) showed good speed, finding the endzone once as well. S #30 lead the Bulls with 4 tackles and DE De Nolf chipped in with 3 tackles of his own.

For the Shotguns, they got outgained 238-34, with WR Hermans (2 catches, 34 yards) putting in a good effort.

Players of the week

Lions QB Baete – 10/22, 150 yards, 1 td, 1 int

Black Angels RB/S Godichal – 9 rush, 50 yards, 2 td, 1 int

Bulls QB Njufom – 7/11, 139 yards, 2 td

Shotguns LT Gijsel – completely neutralised the imposing Bulls outside rush on his side

Play of the week

Lions QB Baete had a bit of a tough time in the pocket against the Angels. Especially late in the first quarter, when he stepped around one defender, straight into DE Vrancken who levelled him, raising an “oooooooooh” from the crowd. Perhaps surprisingly, his head was still on his shoulders. A tremendous, clean hit.

C’Mon man of the week

If I was a quarterback then I’d hate the stats. Their numbers take a hit because of mistakes from others. They’ve got the toughest job in sports, and all they ask is that the guys who call themselves ‘receivers’ actually catch the ball when it’s thrown to them. An example, Lions QB Baete looks to throw, almost gets decapitated by The Terminator, escapes, dodges another lineman and then throws a strike off his wrong foot 35 yards downfield to an open receiver (lucky for you I didn’t get your number) who clangs the ball off his hands into the dirt. C’Mon Man!

Quote of the week

“That was a meeting between an old number 50 and a new number 50. I’m old enough to be his Dad!” – Lions #50 DE Paolo Salvaggio ran into Angels #50 G Benjamin Dosunmu on the field

Week 6 preview

Brussels Tigers (0-0) vs Charleroi Coal Miners (0-2)

So finally the two-time defending BFL Champion Tigers get to play a game! We’ve had to wait a long time to see just what they have to offer this season, and I (along with the rest of the BFL) am most curious. Most teams don’t play their best in their first game of the season, so we probably shouldn’t expect a stunning performance, but I can’t imagine them having much trouble with Charleroi.
Prediction – I hope that the Coal Miners manage to find a few more players than they had in their last game, because they’re going to need them. Tigers 45 – Coal Miners 0

MSG Fighting Turtles (1-0) vs Liege Monarchs (1-0)

Both teams have played one game and both teams have beaten Charleroi, the Monarchs by 16 and the Turtles by 45, so I think that this is a good measuring stick as to how the game will go. I do believe that Liege is now the only team that I’ve never seen play before (although I did play once against the Liege Red Roosters).
Prediction – I liked what I saw from MSG last weekend and I think they’ll be able to continue their good form. Fighting Turtles 35 – Monarchs 6

Outro

So that’s the end of the blog for this week. As usual, on Thursday we’ll go over the rankings and we’ll see if we have enough to go with another mailbag, so as always, leave your questions and comments and I’ll get to them then! Until next time

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

0415 – BFL Week 4 rankings

Well it’s Thursday again, so that means it’s time for the rankings and we’ll even have a little mailbag too (it’s nice to be able to do one). Here we go

Computer rankings

1 – Gent Gators                         +27.3
2 – Waterloo Warriors            +25.6
3 – MSG Fighting Turtles       +23.8
4 – Ostend Pirates                    +15.6
5 – Brussels Bulls                     +13.3
5 – Brussels Black Angels       +13.3
7 – Izegem Tribes                      -0.9
7 – Brussels Tigers                   -0.9
9 – Liege Monarchs                  -5.2
10- Leuven Lions                      -9.7
11 – Limburg Shotguns            -12.7
12 – Puurs Titans                      -17.3
13 – Charleroi Coal Miners     -21.2
14 – Antwerp Diamonds          -23.7
15 – Wapi Phoenix                    -27.3

There were a couple of big wins for the Warriors and Turtles, so that sees their rating go up a lot.

Power Rankings

1 (=)              – Gent Gators (2-0)
2 (=)              – Brussels Tigers (0-0)
3 (=)              – Brussels Black Angels (1-1)
4 (=)              – Ostend Pirates (1-0)
5 (=)              – Brussels Bulls (0-1)
6 (=)              – Waterloo Warriors (1-0)
7 (=)              – Mont-Saint-Guibert Fighting Turtles (1-0)
8 (=)              – Leuven Lions (1-0)
9 (=)              – Puurs Titans (0-1)
10 (=)             – Liege Monarchs (1-0)
11 (=)              – Limburg Shotguns (1-1)
12 (=)             – Izegem Tribes (0-0)
13 (=)             – Antwerp Diamonds (0-2)
14 (=)             – Charleroi Coal Miners (0-2)
15 (=)             – Wapi Phoenix (0-1)

I didn’t really see anything that made want to alter anything in the Power Rankings. Maybe I could have flip-flopped the Warriors and Turtles but I’ll just leave it the same way for now.

Mailbag

Klaas Allosserie, Izegem – “Do you think the Warriors (infused with new talent at various positions) and the Turtles will have what it takes to threaten the Tigers?”

Well I haven’t seen the Tigers play this season, but if we assume that they haven’t gotten any worse since then, then I’d say that the answer is ‘no’. The Turtles got within a touchdown of the Tigers last season, and I wouldn’t say that MSG have gotten that much better, so I still expect the Tigers to go undefeated.

Bears #83 (I’m sorry I don’t know your name), Andenne – “I really love you start taking stats for de LFFAB. Thanks for your work.”

No problem bro. I take the stats during the games so I can write about them and I watch the game tape to scout players for The Barbarians. It’s fun to see all the different teams.

Benoit Lagae, Gent – “Do you consider it an advantage or a disadvantage for a team to start a season as late as the Tribes and Tigers do this year ?”

Good question! I would consider it a disadvantage though. I think I’d rather have my games spread out as much as possible rather than play one after the other. Just gives a little extra time for players to get over small injuries and gives the coaches a better chance to be prepared for the opponents.

Barbarians News

Not a lot to report at the moment, except to say that we’ve started informing coaches as to how they can select their players to go to the Combine. Hopefully the nominations will start coming in soon so we can begin to build this team! I have to say that for me, it’s a very exciting time. As of right now, there are 96 names on my list, and I still have to watch tape of at least one more game, so that number will be increasing all the time. At the moment I’m not thinking about the final team, just about the players who we’d like to have a closer look at at the combine.
I must say that I’m very happy that virtually all the games are being taped. It really helps a lot (not just for me of course, but for your coaches too). Great job everybody!

Upcoming

@ Gent

12pm – #13 Antwerp Diamonds (0-2) vs #9 Puurs Titans (0-1)
3pm – #12 Izegem Tribes (0-0) vs #1 Gent Gators (2-0)

@ Beringen

12pm – #3 Brussels Black Angels (1-1) vs #8 Leuven Lions (1-0) = Game of the Week
3pm – #5 Brussels Bulls (0-1) vs #11 Limburg Shotguns (1-1)

Outro

This Sunday I’m going to Beringen (if it would have been terrible weather then I’d have gone to Gent instead), so I’m looking forward to seeing some good football and checking out the Lions for the first time this season. Have a good game, no matter where you’re playing! Until next time

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment