Rox/Lanterns Part IV: The Final Battle

2016-championship

FFAA LogoFANTASY ADDICTS – Five seasons into their quest for an elusive Fantasy Addicts’ title, On The Rox may be fielding their best team ever, going into the 2016 finals.  Number 1 in the league since opening week when they posted a 387 point statement performance (12th best in league history at the time), they finished the season with only 3 losses as the 10-3-0 ladder champion and total season points leader with 4260 regular season points – shattering the league record (AF Scoring Era).  In Week 7, they topped the AF Top 25 at number 1 for the first time, and remained there for the remainder of the season as the number 1 team in the Association.

Run by AF Registered Coach Rox, On The Rox went 12-1 in the league’s 2012 inaugural season, only to lose by 19 points in the semifinals to the now defunct 7-6 Balti-Maulers.  In 2013, they were defeated by the schedule monster, posting the second highest season points total in the league but suffering through a 6-7 record.  In 2014 they finished tied for second in the regular season with a 9-5 record, only to lose once more in the semi-finals, this time by just 27 points to the eventual League Champion, The U.  Finally, last season, after finishing the regular season with a 10-3 record as Ladder Champions, and squeaking by The Great Khalil by just 9 and a half points in the semi-final round, they arrived in the Fantasy Addicts Championship.  Facing long-time league nemesis, monkeys on ecstasy, in a championship that was dubbed King Kong vs Godzilla, On The Rox came up short, losing to the monkeys in the teams’ fifth meeting of the season after splitting the first four matches.

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Now, they’ve reached the Fantasy Addicts‘ two-week Championship Game for the second consecutive season, again beating The Great Khalil in the semi-final round, this time by 29 points in a close game that wasn’t settled till late on MNF.  Both teams were 2016 Pro Bowlers representing the league in that tournament and had finished 2016 as the #1 and #2 scoring teams in the Addicts, TGK utilizing the league’s ladder scheduling to climb out of a poor start into a playoff spot.  The victory marked league win number 49 for On The Rox, putting them ahead of monkeys on ecstasy for career league wins, but it will be win number 50, in the Championship, if they can get it, that On the Rox will be celebrating.  To do it, though, they’ll have to get through the league’s arch villain Orange Lantern Corp.

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The Lanterns have beaten Rox twice already this season in 3 meetings – 2 of On The Rox’s 3 losses.   In the single meeting in which Orange Lantern could not beat Rox, they fell short by just 9 points.  With a regular season record of 8-5-0, they have averaged an even 300 points per game this season, including their 311-252 victory in the semi-finals over the Mighty Pats – the only other team to have beaten On The Rox in 2016; Orange Lantern swept them in two meetings.  The league villain has been greedier for points over the back stretch of the season, averaging 315 per game over the last 8 games, meaning they could be peaking at the right time for their 4th game vs Rox.

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The two-week cumulative points match-up marks the first time in Association history when a pair of AF Registered Coaches have met in a championship game.  With Orange Lantern Corp being run by Dan “The Polish Rifle” Mayhoff, and Coach Rox both looking to add accolades to their record.  Rox has a career Association league record of 49-23-0 for a .680 lifetime win percentage, while The Polish Rifle‘s Association career gives him a 30-28-1 record for just a .520 win percentage through the 2016 season.  It would be an epic upset to defeat the Association number 1 for the championship, but despite Rox’s better record, the Lanterns have already twice shown they can beat them.  The oddsmakers, however, aren’t buying into that, installing On The Rox as a whopping 38 point favorite in the latest Vegas line, for the first half of the match, set to kick off in Week 16.

 

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