ASSOCIATED FANTASY – For the first time ever, Associated Fantasy has honored s pair of teams at the Association level, awarding Birds of Prey of the Super 16 and the Fantasy Addicts‘ On The Rox with the AF Gold Star Award. Normally, the individual leagues within the Association each have their own awards and criteria, but the AF Gold Star is awarded by the Association to teams in Associated Leagues for reaching the milestone of 50 league wins. These are the first teams ever to be so honored, and the first teams ever to reach the 50 win benchmark, Birds of Prey doing it in Week 13 of 2016, and On The Rox doing so in the Week 17 Addicts’ Championship.
Coincidentally, but not surprising, both teams were also 2016 Pro Bowl teams, being named to that tournament based on their 2015 season success, with Birds of Prey winning the first ever tournament championship. The Gold Star Award, however, is based solely on wins in the teams’ respective leagues, and the 50th wins came in iconic matches for each team.
In the Super 16, the Birds hold the distinction of being the winningest franchise in the league’s history, and have won 3 of 5 league championships, as well as being the losing team in a 4th. Run by AF Registered Coach Roger Tripp, they entered the 2016 season with an incredible .780 career win percentage in league play as the S-16‘s resident Atlanta Falcons franchise, but battled the schedule monster the entire season. They finished as the third highest scoring team in the league, but with a final record of 4-9-0 were ranked 14th in the standings, more often than not, having been the second or third highest scoring team weekly who just happened to be playing the 1 team that outscored them that week. At the start of the season, they wagered their team name with the coach of the incoming Saints franchise, lost that game and bet in Week 3, and were forced to play all season as the Tweety Birds. A chance for redemption came along in the Week 13 regular season finale when the two teams faced off once more. The Who Dat Saints had already won the Division and clinched the playoff #1 seed, but the Tweetys were playing for honor. and came away with a 209-186 win to close out 2016. That emotional victory was their 50th in team history, reaching the benchmark in a quick 72 total games, including playoff matches, over 5 seasons.
Taking 1 game longer to reach their 50 wins, On The Rox did it in 73 total games, but accomplished it on a much larger stage: playing for their first ever league championship in a title match vs Orange Lantern Corps. They won that game, a two week cumulative match, 635-536, taking the Addicts’ Championship that had eluded them for 5 seasons. 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 Championship for the first time. Facing long-time league nemesis, monkeys on ecstasy, On The Rox came up just short, losing to the monkeys in the teams’ fifth meeting of the season after splitting the first four matches. But in 2016, nothing could stop them, as they sailed to a 10-3 regular season record with one of the most dominating teams in the Association, finishing number 1 overall on the AF Top 25, and winning their first league championship with their 50th all time win.
Each team’s Gold Star Award will be posted in their respective League’s Awards’ Pages until such time as AF creates an Association Awards Hall where replicas will be placed.