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CowboyinAmerica last won the day on December 18 2022

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  1. Think the playoff dream is dead, but at least I'll take the numbers!
  2. Wait that's not how you tank what the hell
  3. Phalanx back on the upswing!
  4. Winning streak! I'm taking what I can get here
  5. Lol, this question feels like it's chastising me a little bit. I haven't held a league job in a while, by personal choice - I've had a lot of high-level jobs in sim leagues previously, and I've found that it burns me out quickly. I don't want that. I'd like to think I'm contributing by creating content though, it seems like people really like the power rankings and such.
  6. Generally I like more PT heavy systems over casual. As weird as it may sound, that's part of the fun for me - trying to match what others are doing with earning and seeing my player grow as a direct result of the work I put in. As for where those PTs occur I'm not picky, but generally I like writing for the EFL over the VHL. The VHL has enough content, it'd be great if more people made some for here.
  7. We don’t have any words and we know you don’t want to hear them. We understand your anger, your frustration, your sadness. Everything you’re feeling – we get it. This isn’t the ending we imagined, and certainly not the one we wanted. Thank you for being there the entire way.
  8. 1500+ words, for the weeks ending 1/14, 1/21 and 1/28 (a day later in VHL)
  9. Last season in my preseason rankings, I wrote that every Eastern Conference team would beat every Western Conference team. But after I wrote that, I started to second-guess myself. Sure, that’s what it seemed like on paper, but is the EFL really that straightforward? Do I really think that absolutely no Western Conference teams will come out surprising? Well, turns out I had a reason to be skeptical - in the regular season at least. The worst team in the East finished at 8-6, while the best team in the West finished at 5-9. Until a playoffs that had Toronto fans wondering why God has forsaken them, things were really going to form. My S38 Predictions (Final standings) 1. New York Herd (1) 2. Miami Neptune (3) 3. Wisconsin Brigade (4) 4. Toronto Skyhawks (2) 5. San Francisco Frenzy (5) 6. Minnesota Frontier (T-6) 7. Los Angeles Reign (8) 8. Seattle Predators (T-6) The good news is, I don’t think this season will be as stratified between the conferences. The Reign in particular are making a concerted effort to win right away, the Predators are looking to make an offensive leap as Pratts, Hartless and Hol’This enter their second seasons, and the Frenzy may be looking to follow up their surprising title with a back-to-back shocker. Yes, the East is still stronger as you’ll see below. And yes, the past couple of postseasons have proven that anything is possible. But here’s my thoughts as we enter another season of EFL fun. 8. Minnesota Frontier: We’re officially in the early stages of rebuild territory in Minnesota. Granted, this isn’t a total teardown like we’ve seen in L.A. in recent seasons. Lunatia is sneakily one of the most talented QBs in the league in his sixth season, RB Bumper could receive a big haul if he were put on the trade block, and Malinpa is a linebacker capable of anchoring a defense. But with no other players on defense above 400 APE as of this writing (and just inactive SS Macaroni Salad above filler status), it’s going to be near impossible for even a talented offense to keep up. Now with two firsts for next draft after trading for New York’s, I believe there’s recognition in Minnesota too that trying to sneak into the playoffs in a weaker West isn’t a sustainable recipe for success. 7. San Francisco Frenzy: So much of the EFL depends on the QB position, no matter how much talent there is on the rest of the roster. Toronto learned that the hard way over a number of seasons since their inception. It might have been what kept Miami out of the playoffs last season. And as L.A. and others have shown recently, throwing a rookie into the fire usually doesn’t end well. Sure, the Frenzy defense is serviceable, with long-time stalwarts Moon and Ivanov combining with Makaratt and Backer for a solid base. But there’s going to be some growing pains for rookie QB Killian Rose, especially with second-year Sherman Moss really his only option to throw to. If the Frontier and Frenzy were to combine rosters it’d be a great team, but separately, I don’t see the All Defense route going well in San Francisco. 6. Seattle Predators: This team is going to get there. I really like their long-term prospects, taking a similar trajectory to what New York did about five seasons ago and letting a young offensive core grow together while a more veteran defense holds things down in the meantime. Hartless to Hol’This has the potential to be the EFL’s next great passing duo, and the addition of Gabrijela Kazimira in the draft gives the offense so much flexibility. LB Pratt is young enough to still be around when this team gets good as well, and I wouldn’t sleep on Maple Dogwood as a potential CBotY in the future. I wouldn’t expect a deep run or even a .500 record, but making the playoffs in a weaker West would be a nice stepping stone to being a true contender in two seasons or so. 5. Wisconsin Brigade: Welcome once again to the Eastern Conference bloodbath, as we make a major jump in team depth between the bottom three and the top five. We begin in Wisconsin, who finished fourth in the EFL but also in the East last season. I think it could happen again. This is going to look like a much different team than the one helmed by Captain Cutthroat the past two seasons, but the signing of sixth-season D'Quan Gilbert to pair with Jean Luc Pikachu should give Dogwood Maple some confidence to really take the helm this year. As always, lifelong Wisconsin linebacker Yalla the Biter is the most talented player in the EFL as well. But the issue is, I just named every Wisconsin player (four of them) above 600 APE, including just the one on defense. The depth over top-end talent route can get you so far, and the team’s coaching staff is great at gameplanning. But in the East, I think jumping two teams for the playoffs is a tall order. 4. Los Angeles Reign: I know this is a large jump for a team that has finished last for multiple seasons in a row. Last year they were expected to take a mini leap, but still only finished with 2 wins. This year though, they’ve committed to going all in, bringing in WR Joshua Jones from Miami, WR Kyree Firpo Jr. from San Francisco, CB Dalibor Dvorsky from Minnesota, and linebacker Bo Cardoza from the draft to bolster units that were already growing well after multiple years of high draft picks. QB Rex Rider will be a popular pick to take an Isaac-like leap this season, especially with three receiving targets above 600 APE (including second-year Big Chest Brown), and while defensive players like Stetson David and Jedi Battlesmoke are still young, they’re talented. With all of that said - there’s nobody on this team above 800 APE as of this writing. There’s a lot of depth, and a lot of future high-end talent, which should be enough to win the West. But I’m not sure it’s enough to compete with the top East teams record-wise until that talent grows into themselves in another season or two. 3. New York Herd: New York was my top team each of the past two seasons, and I fully expected to have them first once again when I started writing. But then I started looking a little bit closer at this squad, and I have some questions. Sure, Alexander Chase Everett is still here, not having lost too much in his first season of regression. But his top three receivers last year were D’Quan Gilbert (now in Wisconsin), Nsikayesizwe Kolisi (now in Minnesota), and Count Olaf (at 262 APE in year 13?!?). You’re asking a lot of Dan Wilinsky III, likely to play full-time WR this year, and TE Ragnar Jarvinen to pick up that slack. Meanwhile, while Cillín Mac Suibhne and Isaac Martin II provide a strong backbone to a secondary, Snicket and Thomas are now both below 450 APE in their 13th and 11th season, respectively. And both are above the most talented linebacker, El Shrektabuzz who will be asked to do a lot in his second season. I view them similar to Wisconsin right now - a lot of really good talent, but I’m not sure it equals a really good team in the way they were the last couple of years. 2. Miami Neptune: I considered putting Miami below New York, partially as a “prove it” mentality and partially because I don’t like to hype my own teams. But taking an objective view, there’s a lot of talent here. This team is actually a bit similar to Toronto in that the defense should be exceptionally strong, with a few questions on offense. Adding first overall pick Raaja Rayu to a secondary that already included the last two CBotYs in Brian Meatball and Sherrick Newsome III seems like an embarrassment of riches, and Beretta Colt and Donovan Snark may be the best 1-2 LB combo in the EFL. Similar to last season, there will be a lot of questions around the passing attack - this time surrounding second-year QB Brian Harper, taking over as the starter for the first time. But free agent signing of now-perennial RBotY Captain Cutthroat should temper a number of those concerns, and I’d expect a heavy dose of the run game in a season where Harper and fourth-year receiver Amelia Michigan continue to grow. A ground-and-pound game may not be in vogue with the current EFL meta, but I could see it being effective with this Miami team. 1. Toronto Skyhawks: They could have won it all last season, and some would argue probably should have won. And there’s a good reason for that: This very well may be the best defense in the league. LB Bones Kentucky and defensive backs DeShaun Taylor and Kostas Ioannidis are now in their optimal seventh season; hybrid LB/safety Warren Grey is in his sixth. The defense has been growing to this moment for years, and there aren’t too many holes to exploit, especially with second-year safety Frau Bonk involved. This was an offense that heavily relied on QB Martin Isaac II and the receiving duo of Curtis Taylor and Dusty Wilson to make any headway last season. Isaac is still as good as ever, but I’m slightly worried about Taylor’s age finally catching up to him and Wilson’s growth in now his third season. If the game against a New York is turning into a track meet, there may be some issues. Still, if the main concern is an MVP candidate having an average receiving corps to throw to rather than exceptional, that says something about the team’s chances to finally get off the championship snide.
  10. Considering how many HOF inductions we've had since last April, I believe the answer is "Nothing"
  11. Reloading Miami -- Last season could have been a demoralizing one for the Miami Neptune, and with good reason: a 9-5 record but still missing the playoffs isn’t a fun outcome. And entering the offseason, there would be every reason to believe that the team’s players would still be pessimistic about what it means for their future. To hear cornerback Sherrick Newsome III tell it, however, that’s not the Neptune’s mindset entering free agency and the draft. With a largely veteran roster and the fourth pick in the draft in-hand, Newsome believes that the franchise is about to bounce back in a big way. “There’s obviously some tough teams that we’re competing with in the East, but we’re built for this,” Newsome said. “I’m in the prime of my career, Colt, Snark and Meatball are as good as ever, and Harper’s ready to take a big step forward. With our defense at the height of our powers and the offense coming along, I’m feeling alright here.” Plus, it helps that bottoming out isn’t usually the Miami franchise’s M.O. Approaching the end of his career, Newsome says he was drawn to the franchise last year in free agency partially for that reason: a team that knows how to retool and rebuild. To hear him tell it, the move was never a one season thing. “Look, we know that anything can happen in the EFL in any given game. Just ask Toronto that right now. But I wanted to give myself as many bites at the apple as possible,” Newsome said. “I think we’ve got another chance to take out a big chunk right here. And I’m feeling solid that we’ve got a good team here to do just that.”
  12. Claiming for this week instead (ending 1/7) because of holiday giveaways in both leagues
  13. A West team actually becomes good enough to beat an East team in the regular season. I know that's a scorching take, but I believe!
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