SB7: The Barbarian Horde

SUPER 16 – The barbarians are at the gates, battleaxes and war clubs swinging, ready for the kickoff of Super Bowl 7 in the Super 16.  After a Wild Card Weekend, where for the first time in the league’s 7 year history, four Division Champions clashed in the semi-final round the Warlords from the Wild West and the Norse Gods from the Frozen North have emerged atop the pile of bones collected over the 2018 season and stand ready for one final conflict to determine who will be Champion.

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Entering the 2018 post season as the #1 seed, the AF#4 WRATH OF ODIN (12-1-0) enjoyed a first round bye before hosting East Division Champion AF#21 Steel Curtain (8-4-1).  Coming off of a huge 290-208 win against 5th seeded Wild Card, AF#17 Who Dat Saints (8-5-0), Steel Curtain’s Week 14 score, along with their penchant for putting up skyscraper- high scores in December had fans thinking they were perfectly suited to take on the Viking marauders that had been terrorizing the league all season, but it wasn’t to be.  Despite some key performances, including 34 points from lead back Derrick Henry, and a strong showing on defense, the black and yellow maxed out for the week at just 184 points, their 4th lowest outing of the year and well below their season average of 204 points per game.  That left the door open for ODIN to complete what was ultimately a 90 point comeback during Sunday Night Football, led primarily by Gurley’s 29 points on offense, and John Johnson’s 30 points in the defensive backfield, ODIN finished the Pittsburgh franchise’s season with a final 216-184 score.

In the West, Division Champion 1 Eye Til I Die (9-4-0) fell a game short of the #2 seed, which went to the perinnial powerhouse, South Division Champion AF#16 Birds of Prey (10-3-0), but after dispatching BIGDOGINTEX (8-4-0) in the Wild Card Game 232-199 with the help of double-agent Amari Cooper and his 44 week 14 points, 1 Eye would have the chance to even up against the Birds.  After getting off to a promising 49

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point lead on Thursday night, BoP watched that lead shrink as the one eyed bandits came roaring back, turning the game into a foot race.  Led as they had been all season by an intimidating defense, the Raider franchise put up 28 points a piece from Darius Leonard and Khalil Mack, along with a whopping 41 point performance from Lavonte David in this unexpected shootout.  The BoP ran out of stem just shy of the 200 point mark, while 1 Eye kept beating a dead bird on Sunday night, ultimately finishing their campaign for an unprecedented 6th Super Bowl appearance with a 230-198 final score.

The weekends results sends WRATH OF ODIN and 1 Eye Til I Die to Super Bowl VII, a first time appearance for 1 Eye, and a second for ODIN, who won Super Bowl III, the 2014 4-Way Championship while playing as BEARMINATORS.  It will be just the third time these two clubs have faced each other in head to head play, and sets up a rematch of the Week 12 Game of the Week: Warlords and Norsemen

The Super 16 Week 12 Game of the Week

Here’s what AF had to say about that match-up:     When two playground bullies try to play on the same slide, you get a match-up like the Super 16’s Week 12 Game of the Week featuring this season’s two bad asses. Odin can clinch the #1 seed and first round bye for the post season with a win in this one, while a victory for 1 Eye, will keep them abreast of the eventual winner of the Thanksgiving Jamboree match between the 8-3-0 Who Dat Saints and Birds of Prey in the race for the same first round bye.  The Western Warlords are perfect against the North Division franchise in two prior meetings when playing as the BEARMINATORS, can they keep up the streak now that the club has relocated to the Vikings, even though Odin is averaging 35 more points per game than 1 Eye?  Both teams will get their final punches in on Monday Night, so we’ll have to wait untoil then to find out.

That meeting turned into a WRATH OF ODIN victory, 270-191, as the Norsemen closed on the series to 1 game to 1 Eye’s 2., but the upcoming Super Bowl doesn’t look like its going to be quite so one-sided.  Even for the season Odin has had, that game was an outlier, their highest scoring performance of 2018, and 1 Eye’s score, fell on the low side of their per game average.  The latest line from Vegas has Odin installed as favorites, but by just 12 points, and 1 Eye’s impressive collection of defensive players are facing some juicy match-ups this week, not to mention his hometeam starters will be playing an emotional final game in The Black Hole.  It would be hard for any Championship Game to match last year’s overtime shootout Super Bowl VI between the Birds of Prey and Arizona Firebirds, for excitement, but this year’s match-up should give it a run for the money.