LEGION – The final week of the Regular Season in the Legion of Defense was Week 12 but the finale was so close, no results or playoff match-ups could be certified until after the week’s stat corrections were finalized. Everything hinged on the outcome of a single game featuring AF#23 Mighty Pats vs the 2016 Defending Champion and AF#5 Suspension Freaks. On Monday, that game finished with a Pats victory, 48-46, but with a final score so close, stat corrections could easily have reversed the win, particularly in an all IDP league like the LoD. A lot of the post season seeding was dependant on the outcome of that game. A Pats win, would advance them to 8-4-0 and give them the Premier Division Title, relegating AF#9 Insane Clowney Posse and the Freaks to the Premier and Points Wild Card slots, but, a reversal would leave all three teams with 7-5-0 records and a slew of tiebreaker rules would kick in. Had that turned out to be the scenario, the Mighty Pats would have been left out in the cold while the Freaks claimed the title and Sleeper Agent would have qualified for the Points Wild Card. Either way, the 2016 League Runner-Up Clowns were locked into the post season as the Premier Division 2nd place team.
Adding to the drama of the multiple scenarios was Sleeper Agent (669.00 points), Mighty Pats (660.50 points), and AF#11 Chinese Bandits (654.00 points) were all shooting for the same Points Wild Card slot if Suspension Freaks was granted a win on stat corrections, and other week 12 stat corrections had the chance to affect those point standings as well. In the end, however, the league stat correction deadline came and went with no fireworks or fanfare and no change to the Legion’s 2017 playoff landscape. Mighty Pats wins the Premier Division, with a final 8-4-0 record and claims the #1 seed in the Championship Tournament with a Week 14 Bye. The Wild Card game is now confirmed to be a rematch of the 2016 Championship between Shane Rocks’ Freaks and Nexecutioner’s Clowns, and there’s no shortage of talent or bad blood in this one; this is Frazier-Ali.
These two go into the Wild Card match with the Clowns having a better record, but with the Freaks having a monster season points total. They’ve faced each other 6 times over the past 2 seasons and Insane Clowney Posse have beaten the Freaks in 5 of those meetings. Unfortunately for the Clowns, the one game Suspension Freaks pulled off a victory, was a 77-58 upset in Legion Bowl IV for the 2016 Legion Championship. Now they’ll meet again, the fourth time this season, in a Wild Card that doubles as a Legion Bowl rematch. The Insane Clowns have beaten the Freaks 3 times this season, already, but the oddsmakers have the Bouncing Tigers installed as 4 point favorites for the match, so this promises to be an epic match-up.
Though not as climactic, there was final week drama in the seeding of the rest of the post season as well. In the All-Pro Division, Chinese Bandits finished 8-4-0 after waiting for a Week 11 stat correction that never came but could have overturned a half point loss to The Cavalry. The Bandits beat Gates of Delirium in Week 12, but the Gates finished 8-4-0 as well and already had the tiebreaker over the Bandits, thanks to another half point win in Week 9. As a result, Gates of Delirium clinched the Pro Division Championship and a Week 13 Bye before heading to the Championship Tournament. The Reserve Division came down to the wire as well, with Sacks Fifth Avenue and Roxsteady playing head to head with the winner slated to win the division and be playoff bound as well. That turned out to be Sacks who won 42-17 and finish 7-5-0.
The only active game for Week 13 is the Wild Card game between those two titans of the league. Beginning in Week 14, Mighty Pats, Gates of Delirium, Sacks Fifth Avenue, and the winner of the Wild Card Game will play a 3 week, round robin Championship Tournament against each other with the top two finishers going head to head in the Week 17 Legion Bowl V. Meanwhile, the loser of the Wild Card Game will become the #1 seed in the Play-In Bracket, with the rest of the League seeded into the single elimination bracket by regular season finish. The Winner of the Play-In Bracket faces the 4th place team from the Championship Tournament in the Week 17 Premier Bowl, traditionally a game that decides which of the two will be in the following season’s Premier Division. The Legion Offices, however, have recently confirmed the rumours that have been going around all season about a league restructuring scheduled for the 2017-18 off season, particularly after this season’s Standings #2 (Chinese Bandits) and Points #2 (Sleeper Agent) both fail to make it into the post season under the existing format. No details of what that may look like have been confirmed yet, but all Leegion officials will say, is that the options being looked at are taking competitiveness and existing rivalries into account, and that the results of this seasons Play-In Bracket will have some reward in 2018. So lets all buckle up, the 2017 Legion Playoff battle is about to begin.