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  1. "It sucked. There's no other way I can put it, it sucked to see another team holding that championship trophy aloft" Tyson Kelly had just finished rewatching and reliving last season's EFL Championship game. For many players on the losing end, it's not something they'd be eager to do, having to sit there and re-watch everything. Every missed opportunity, every dropped pass...and crucially watching your opponent be crowned champion. For Kelly though, it was a cathartic experience he wanted to have. "I didn't want to shy away and act like the game never happened. Was it easy to sit through? No absolutely not. Did I make the pain of losing any better? Not really. But to try and brush it aside and burn the tape...from my end that would be burning a tape of what was the biggest day of my life thus far. It didn't end how we wanted to obviously, but I can take pride in how we fought that game out" Kelly said Indeed the Wolfpack gave it their absolute all and put up a valiant fight, with Kelly himself posting six catches for 70 yards and a touchdown. But, in the end, they were simply overpowered by the high-octane Memphis offence and succumbed 35-21 "What can I say, we gave them our best and matched them for three quarters, but we just couldn't keep up with them for that last quarter. Like I said, I'm proud of how we performed and pretty pleased with how I played personally. It's really disappointing that we couldn't send Boaty McBoatface and Dewey Jackson out on a high note, but sometimes fairy tales just don't have that happy ending" The loss of Dewey Jackson to the expansion draft (where he would be picked by the Toronto Skyhawks and subsequently traded to the NY Herd) was particularly felt by Kelly, as Jackson had taken the young Kelly under his wing after being drafted and helped him with the transition to being a full-time receiver "I can't speak highly enough of Dewey and how great of a teammate he was to me. He's been a great mentor for me the last three years and given me so much insight into playing receiver that's really helped my development. I wish him nothing but the best in NY and I'm sure I'll catch up with him when we face off this season" Boaty McBoatface's retirement did open up a spot for a lead back in San Antonio, but that seems likely to be filled by draftee Cheeks McIntyre, with Kelly content playing wide receiver "Maybe if this had happened after my first season, I'd be jumping up and down to get that lead back role, but I've really grown into this receiving role and I'm enjoying it. Obviously, if coach wanted me to be the starting running back, I'd be glad to do it, but with us grabbing a tremendous talent in Cheeks McIntyre, I'm happy to stay where I am and lead him be our lead back" Kelly said of the matter It is likely that defences will likely be paying Kelly closer attention this season, as he likely shapes as the Wolfpack's leading wide receiver. With Matt Saracen still on the roster, Kelly is not the only receiving threat to worry about, but he will no longer be able to fly under oppositions defences' radars. Having posted 3 consecutive seasons of 900+ receiving yards, but not one over 1000 yards, Kelly says he knows he must up his game to the next level, especially with the extra attention he will receive. "I can no longer hide behind a better receiver, safe in the knowledge that there's another receiver who'll occupy more of the defense's attention. It's up to me to combat that extra attention and rise above it. We've just lost a thousand yard receiver, so we've gotta make up for that. I know another 900 yard season ain't going to cut it anymore. I don't want to be a sidekick that can't hack it as a main guy, I'm determined to be a sidekick that grew with the extra responsibility to become the lead. Might be a big ask of someone who's only played full time receiver for three years of his footballing career, but that's my aim for this year because that's what this team needs from me" Kelly said emphatically The Wolfpack will certainly be relying on Kelly to make that step up as they aim to return to postseason action.
  2. Username: Higgo4 QB: Vince Carswell ($7) RB: Cheeks McIntyre ($2) WR: Takitscher Vorschlaghammer ($6) WR: Tyson Kelly ($4) WR: Henry McDolin ($4) FLEX: Margaret McPoyle ($3) TE: Apollo Cross ($1) K: Evenging Chong ($1) DST: Memphis ($2)
  3. This was quite long, I know, and apologizes for that if that turns anyone off. I kinda just kept writing and stopped keeping track of how long it was. It was when I was finished that I realized but couldn't really cut it down any further Yes, it took the entirety of the greatest hits of Carly Rae Queen to write Yes, I should 100% be asleep instead of worrying about ranking wins
  4. The Memphis Mambas are your S20 EFL Champions! For me, it’s a bit of a bittersweet moment, as one of my players also lost in the EFL Championship game, but I’m very happy to have played a part in Memphis’ championship win and that I can call Hunter Higgins an EFL Champion So, how I have celebrated this championship win? Invite some friends and family over for a massive party? A certain global pandemic and the subsequent restrictions placed on individuals have made that pretty impossible Share a glass of red with my significant other? Sounds good, apart from the distinct lack of a significant other Drink alone in my bedroom with the knowledge that a championship victory in a simulation football league may be the only speck of joy I experience for some time? Wow that got awfully dark awfully quickly so let’s just move right along No, because I’m a nerd, I’m ranking all of Memphis’ games on the road to the EFL Championship (playoffs not included as they are obviously numbers 1 & 2), all to the sweet tunes of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Run Away with Me” Queen’s “We are the Champions” 14. Week 4 vs San Antonio – L 52-17 By far the biggest loss the Mambas suffered all season, ironically against their EFL Championship game opponent. Much like Andre Iguodala with the Grizzlies, the Mambas simply didn’t show up, with the defence surrendering 500 yards of offence and the offence simply couldn’t get it going to keep pace with the Wolfpack offence in a game that was effectively over at half time 13. Week 14 @Seattle – L 34-17 Not exactly the ideal way to head into the playoffs, losing to a team that had nothing to play for, having been eliminated from playoff contention the previous week. A very similar game to the previous entry, just with a smaller score line. Ranks slightly higher as I believe in the concept of gamesmanship… 12. Week 13 vs Miami – L 26-24 Another loss in the lead into the playoffs to a team out of contention. This time, the game was relatively even throughout and came down to an end of game field goal. Given Miami, at least record wise, are a better team than Seattle, this got the nod 11. Week 8 vs New York – L 27-24 OT These next two were tough to separate, given they both came roughly as each opponent was on the rebound from a tough start to the season. Given Memphis beat NY by 35 in their first meeting, I had to rank this lower. Looking at the stats, it’s arguable that Memphis should’ve won the game, based on time of possession, first downs and total offensive yards. Others would argue Memphis was lucky to even get to OT, given it took a late Tak TD and 2-point conversion to tie the game up. 10. Week 6 @Miami – L 38-31 Again, the stats would indicate a Memphis victory, but it took two final quarter Tak TDs to get the score line close, with Miami blowing the game apart in the 3rd quarter and Riley Carswell get one over on brother Vince with 2 picks, one returned for a pick six. This is thankfully the last loss I need to rank 9. Week 5 @ LA – W 35-16 I’ve rambled a little so far, so I’ll keep this short: Beat a team that had only won one game up to this point. As expected. 8. Week 12 vs LA – W 31-17 I’ve rambled a little so far, so I’ll keep this short: Beat a team that had only won two games up to this point. As expected and hey, it clinched a playoff spot 7. Week 7 vs Seattle – W 24-17 A back and forth game that required a last minute TD from Tak to secure the narrow victory. This game was probably more important to Seattle, as it kick started the first of two three game losing streaks that derailed their season. From a Memphis perspective, it was certainly a win 6. Week 9 vs New Orleans – W 24-19 A weird one. Memphis dominated the key statistically categories, yet just could not put points on the board. The defence picked off Krakens QB Ja LongArm 3 times, Carswell threw for 415 yards and yet still Memphis needed two last quarter Antonio Gonzalez touchdowns to sneak past the Kraken. 5. Week 2 @ New Orleans – W 19-7 Could’ve ranked higher but a) it was earlier in the year and was LongArm’s second ever EFL start and b) the offence kept settling for FGs rather than TDs. But this was arguably the defence’s finest game, keeping an eventual playoff team, that was up and about following a Week 1 victory over the reigning champs, scoreless until the last minute. 4. Week 10 @ San Antonio – W 30-13 Memphis avenges their terrible earlier loss to the Wolfpack with a dominant win on the road in San Antonio. The defence made life miserable for Wolfpack QB Peter La Fleur. Whilst the offence failed to score in the second half, they did enough in the first half to get the job done. 3. Week 4 @ Wisconsin – W 27-21 I knew the conference games would be in the top three, purely for their importance in a tight playoff race. This game helped clinch home field advantage and to go to Wisconsin early in the season and come away with a road win was a real testament to how these Mambas had progressed. Carswell was slinging it, Tak was unstoppable and the defence kept QB Teppei Renomitsu in check. What more could you ask for? 2. Week 1 vs NY – W 45-10 Crazy to think the game from Week one made it this high up, but it really set the tone for the season and a message to the league that the Mambas young guns were ready to take the leap to playoff and championship contention. It was the equal highest points the team put up and was a real showcase of how deadly this Mambas offence (particularly receiving core) was going to be 1. Week 11 vs Brigade – W 45-28 Massive. A 17-point victory against the team they’d face in the playoffs. Not only that, but it would decide the tiebreaker over Wisconsin that eventually clinched home field for the Eastern Conference title game. Who knows what happens if the Conference title game isn’t played in Memphis? A game the Mambas controlled throughout, with a late Dale Cooper TD an emphatic cherry on top. “This is what awaits you Wisconsin” the Mambas hissed
  5. I wouldn't be too hard on yourself, being able to bring four different teams to titles games is a testament to your abilities as a GM/AD (and it'll just make when you do break through for that title win even sweeter) I certainly do not envy the job you and all the others GM do and you're doing an excellent job in San Antonio. I'm certainly very happy to have you as one of my GMs I know it's tough, especially when you are so invested, but keep your head, this won't be the last time we're fighting for the championship
  6. Tyson Kelly mere hours before the EFL Championship game This is it. What we all dream of one day doing. I'm joining a select few who have had the privilege of playing in an EFL Championship game. Who knows when or if I'll ever be able to get back to this point again? (although I'm certainly hoping this isn't the last time I get to play in the big dance) That mean only thing: Nothing gets left in the tank. Tomorrow isn't a thing, there's no second chances, no do-overs to make up for a bad performance. It's been a pretty crazy personal journey from me. I've got from promising high school running back to being unwanted by colleges, not for my playstyle but for off-field issues that I have since corrected. The college then known as Alabama threw me a lifeline by taking a chance on me. I barely play my freshman season, get briefly converted to slot receiver in my sophomore season before exploding for 2,000 rush yards in my final college season. Already a rollercoaster ride...then comes the draft San Antonio sees a skill set in me that they can use to their advantage...not as a runner but as a receiver once again. Now, off my third straight season of over 900 yards receiving, I'm one game away from having my name forever etched in Wolfpack and league history, from adding some bling to my fingers with a championship ring. Crazy how things work out? Even this season, we've had our up and downs, hell we were down for most of the Western Conference game...but we found a way. That's what we've got to do again today. Memphis has the better record, they're the likely favourites...but I have confidence that we can find a way to win. I couldn't imagine a better bunch of teammates to share this game, this moment with. I'm honoured to represent the Wolfpack in this fight to become champions. Let's get it done
  7. Having a player on each side leaves me conflicted, here's to a great game Hunter or Tyson becomes an EFL Champion, who's it gunna be?
  8. Carswell over 400 yards passing Defence holding Renomitsu under 200 yards Going to the EFL Championship game:
  9. The streets of Memphis are abuzz with playoff fever as the Mambas return to the post season for the first time in four seasons. The Mambas finished atop the Eastern Conference and thus will host the Conference title game against the Brigade. For many on the team, it will be their first taste of EFL playoff action, with the "youth movement" and commitment to going to the draft following Memphis' S16 championship victory allowing the team to stockpile the young, talented core of players that've brought them back to the playoffs. For all the youth on the team, the key off-season additions of veterans Dan Wilinsky and Mr Cornholio and the impact they've had on this young roster cannot be understated. The match up promises to be an intriguing one, with Memphis coming into the playoffs off the back of two straight losses (although whether this is an indicator of poor play or simply gamesmanship after a playoff spot had been clinched remains to be seen) but have won both games against Wisconsin this season, including a 45-28 victory in Memphis in Week 11. In both games, QB Vince Carswell posted over 400 yards passing on the day, whilst the Mamba's defence was able to restrict Brigade QB Teppei Renomitsu to under 200 yards passing and well below his season average. Should both of these occur for a third time this season, it will go a long way to ensuring it is Memphis who represents the East in the EFL Championship game With so much talent on both sides of the ball, it is a less heralded member of the roster with something else to prove in this game. Strong safety Hunter Higgins will compete in his first playoff game since coming out of high school in New Orleans, having missed playoff action in college and (somewhat infamously) declaring for the draft, only to watch as his college teammates went all the way to win a national championship. Having spent two seasons developing alongside his fellow Mambas draftees, Higgins says he cannot wait to get out there in front of what will be a sell-out crowd of rowdy Memphis supporters "It's exciting obviously, it's freaking playoff football, if you're not excited by it then why are you playing?" Higgins said "Ever since we clinched a playoff spot, I've been itching to get the playoffs starts and for us to clinch home field as well and play in front of the great people in Memphis, just makes it even sweeter" "There are some nerves on my end, I think everyone of us young guys would be lying if we said we weren't a little nervous, but once I run out there, once I lay that first hit or make that first tackle, those nerves will subside and it'll be business as usual" Whilst he may not have the flashiest numbers, Higgins remains a solid contributor who plays his role and says that's all he's looking to do against Wisconsin "I'm not going to try and force anything, not going to take some enormous risk to make a flashy play and risk giving up a huge play. I haven't done that all year and I think it's served me and the team well. Any mistake is magnified by a thousand because there is no chance to make up for it next week, it's win or go home. As boring as it may sound, limiting mistakes and playing the percentages is a key factor to winning these high-pressure playoff games" Higgins said, before quietly adding "but you best believe if that ball is thrown my way, I'll be there to snag it" All eyes will be on the birthplace of The Nature Boy, The King and God from Bruce Almighty when the Mambas do battle with the Brigade for the right to advance to the EFL Championship game.
  10. Transaction ID: 8NF85358C45487152
  11. Tyson Kelly on the season thus far You can just tell this race for the two playoff spots in the West is going to come down to the last game of the season. Ourselves, New Orleans and Seattle all sit at 4-4 (sorry LA, but I guess that's the trade-off for you having great weather year round) and all three simply aren't gunna fit into two playoff spots. It means from here on, every game against either the Kraken or the Predators will take on extra significance. A win in those games is effectively worth two wins. I know I'm very keen to get back to playoff football and especially to atone for the way we played in last season's playoffs and I'm sure my teammates are with me on that. It's been a bit of an up and down season personally. Started the season off pretty hot and sat inside the top 5 in the league for receiving yards. Since then, I've kinda cooled off and my receiving partner Dewey Jackson has really picked it up for us. Part of that is on me in that I wasn't able to maintain my form, but let's be real, Dewey's a beast and rightfully this team's number one. I've started to pick it back up these past couple of games and that's the sort of form I'm hoping to continue for the remainder of the season.
  14. In case you, humble reader, have been blissfully unaware, the EFL will be expanding, with fresh new teams coming into the league following the completion of it's twentieth season. The announcement of expansion and the prospect of new cities playing host to an EFL team sparked a wild reaction from EFL fans: Strangers were fist-bumping in fine dining establishments: Even Neil Patrick Harris found the time to react to the news: All in all, it's safe to say the announcement was well-received by the masses. Fans in Toronto and San Francisco had extra reason to be excited, when their respective cities were announced as the first two locations of the new EFL teams. Toronto, to be named the Skyhawks (I take it this writer's suggestion of the Toronto Stratusfaction was a close second...) and headed up by @McWolf, will be the league's first venture into a city outside the US, albeit not too far from the land of the free and the home of the brave. This will represent a unique opportunity and challenge for those drafted by the Skyhawks, but we have all seen how Canada as an entire nation can rally around a lone Canadian team in an American sports league, so watch for the Skyhawks fans to be some of the loudest right from the get-go Over on the West Coast, the state of California became the first state to host two EFL teams with the announcement of the San Francisco Frenzy, spear-headed by @OscarTheSwagDude It's name and logo combination are said to have sent several individuals suffering from Galeophobia into a state of anxiety but has met an overwhelming positive response from the Bay Area and it's residents, who are already looking ahead to squaring off against the LA Reign (in what I'm calling the Cali ClashTM) Whilst the news of expansion is exciting for the fans and for the league in general, it is a whole different story for the players and general managers. The league has ruled that teams may protect up to 10 players, with a maximum of six players from one side of the ball. Inevitably, this will leave general managers with some tough decisions to make, decisions that could either prove incredibly successful or come back to bite them in the ass As for the players, to gain their perspective and thoughts on the expansion and what it may mean for them (and there is absolutely zero conflict of interest here), we caught up with Memphis Mambas safety Hunter Higgins for his thoughts "Look, don't get me wrong, it's definitely exciting to see these new teams come in, but for me, it's a bit of an awkward, unknown period, just because of the protection rules. At the end of the day, we've got a really talented group here in Memphis, so the reality is some talented players are going to miss out on being protected because of how the rules are set up. I'm not knocking the rules at all, it's just the way it is" Higgins said "For me, I clearly still want to remain a part of this team moving forward but I understand our GM is in an unenviable position. The only thing I can control is how I play on the field and hope that my level of play is enough to see me kept here. If it isn't, that's on me and there certainly won't be any hard feelings on my end. Until then though, no point in me concentrating on whether I may or may not be protected, that'll just distract me from helping this team win" It's certainly is an interesting time to be involved in the EFL, as it moves into a bold new landscape
  15. Hunter Higgins on the start to Season 20 It's been a really great start by the entire squad, we've really hit the ground running in starting off 4-1. The word "potential" has often be thrown in when discussing Memphis in the time that I've been here. That can be a very...dangerous phrase when describing a player. We've seen plenty of players over the years in many sports get that label early on and then simply never live up to that billing, frustrating the fan base and the coaching staff. It can be both a blessing and a curse and so it's good to see that at least with us, we seem to be edging more towards that blessing side and fulfilling that potential. There's still a long way to go so I don't want to go too early as anything could happen for the rest of the season, but it's been an awesome start. On a personal note, I feel I'm contributing and being a positive influence on what is an extremely stacked and talented defence. I've toned down my personal expectations slightly as well. I think I expected myself to become the jewel in the Memphis crown that shined the brightest and that extra pressure that I put on myself to do that may have contributed to my down year the last season. With so many talented players on both sides of the ball and especially in our secondary it would've been hard for me to really emerge as the guy and that's just something that I needed to accept. I needed to accept that it was ok if I wasn't leading the team in statistics or being the one to put up the highlight plays. As long as I'm doing what's required of me and contributing on my own way then that would be a good season, regardless of what the individual stats might suggest. I think that shift in mentality has really done me some good and taken a lot of the extra pressure off me.
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