FANTASY ADDICTS – Capping off a season for the ages, On The Rox has captured the Fantasy Addicts Championship, defeating Orange Lantern Corp 635-536. Tons of confetti fell from the rafters and rivers of Hennesey flowed in celebration as Captain Ahab, finally got his white whale, a quest that’s lasted 5 long seasons. In the two-week, cumulative points championship, On The Rox went up early, leading 342-267 at the intermission, led by a 65 point performance by their quarterback Aaron Rodgers and 12 position players scoring in double digits. In the week 17 second half of the championship, Rox came out blazing, with Rodgers posting another 64 and this time with 9 players in double digits as they finished the lanterns off with a 292-269 second half score.
A charter member of the Fantasy Addicts, and run by AF Registered Coach Rox, the Addicts’ Championship has been elusive despite fielding excellent teams in several seasons. 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.
But 2016 was destined to be different right from the start. Whereas Coach Rox had fielded good, and even great, fantasy squads in prior years, this year’s On The Rox roster was nothing short of spectacular. Week 1, facing off with budding league rival The Great Khalil, both AF Registered Coaches representing Fantasy Addicts in the 2016 Pro Bowl Tournament, in a season opener that promised to be a dogfight, and it wasn’t even close. On The Rox rolled right over TGK, 387-282, taking both offense and defense of the week honors and posting the 7th highest offensive performance and the 12th highest score in league history. In Week 2, 329-283 over the expansion NZ Warriors; Week 3, they squeaked past the rival monkeys in a high scoring shootout, 337-330; Week 4, down went the Hostiles, 304-274.
It wasn’t until Week 5 that On The Rox posted a score below 300 points, loosing their first game of the season, 253-278 against none other than the Orange Lantern Corp. But the performance proved to be just a momentary lapse. In Week 6 they had the hammer down again, knocking the spots off the league’s last undefeated team the 5-0 WhyNots, 314-230. In week 7 they went into the record books again, destroying Black Sheep 395-227, again sweeping both Offense and Defense of the Week awards, and posting the 7th highest score in league history. They broke the 300 mark again in Week 8, but came up short in a 317-357 loss to Mighty Pats. They went on a roll going into the Addicts’ ladder scheduling in weeks 9, 10, 11, and 12, winning 3 of the 4 games – 363-234, 336-265, 327-306, 311-346 – and taking the Offense of the Week award in all 4 weeks consecutively. The match they lost in that stretch – a second loss to the Lanterns which they followed with a rematch win, 286-277 in the season finale, only the second time all season they failed to break 300 points.
By Week 7, On The Rox had made it to number 1 on the AF Top 25, and remained there all season. As the 10-3-0 ladder champion and total season points leader with 4260 regular season points, they shattered the league points record (AF Scoring Era) by almost 300 points (and would have placed 6th all time even by pre AF scoring). They received Offense of the Week 6 times and Defense of the Week 4, as well as posting the high score of the week 4 times. They also absolutely shredded both the offensive and defensive total season points records en route to the most dominant season of football the league has ever seen.
In the 2016 Playoff semifinals, they faced the Great Khalil, a rematch of the 2015 semi-finals and of the Week 1 statement win Rox posted to start the season. This time around it was much closer, but On The Rox still prevailed, winning 258-229 in a close game that wasn’t settled till late on MNF, and just like that, Rox was back in the Addicts’ Championship for the second consecutive year. Their challenger, led by AF Registered Coach Dan “The Polish Rifle” Mayhoff, though not having as impressive a year as Rox, rolled into the match with accolades of their own. League arch villain, Orange Lantern Corp, had 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. The Lanterns won Offense of the Week twice, Defense of the week twice, posted 6 regular season 300+ point games, and were the only team all season to receive a 400 Club Award for posting a score over 400 points; they entered the championship ranked 16th in the Association, but none of it was enough.
On The Rox’s championship win was not only the long sought after League Championship, but also marked the club’s 50th all-time league victory, surpassing their arch rival monkeys on ecstasy to become the winningest franchise in league history. How ever are they going to top it all next season?