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 NEFL Week 1 (May 11-12, 2012)

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jimmiekaska

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PostSubject: Re: NEFL Week 1 (May 11-12, 2012)   Fri May 11, 2012 11:52 pm

Scores

Friday 5/11

Crush 20 (3-0, 1-0)
Thunderhawks 6 (1-1, 0-1)

Saturday 5/12

Pioneers 66 (2-0 1-0)
Spartans 0 (0-1 0-1)

Force 15 (2-0 1-0)
Dragons 0 (1-1 0-1)

Gladiators 38 (1-0 1-0)
Storm 10 (1-1 0-1)

Rage 46 (1-0 1-0)
Rough Riders 41 (1-2 0-1)
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PostSubject: Re: NEFL Week 1 (May 11-12, 2012)   Thu May 10, 2012 6:42 pm

All information is up and all media will have received materials by midnight tonight.

I've been asked if I'm doing predictions this year and as always I'm not really much for predicting things. Most of my energy this year is going to be spent promoting the league and organizing information for the media covering the games. My in-depth informative stuff is contained in the PDF files below in the original post. What follows is not based on numbers, just my thoughts. From the same guy who invented Fat Man Tacos, here are your bulletin board points for this week...


Menomonie Thunderhawks at Eau Claire Crush
Power Rankings: MEN-9, EC-6
Coaches' Poll: MEN-7, EC-6
IMPORTANCE: The first of six divisional games for each team, and obvious geographic rivalry implications.
UPSET WATCH: Menomonie is a trendy pick this year to be a dark horse in a crowded Central Division. Beating the Crush would be a start towards becoming the sleeper in the Central Division.
OUTLOOK: Expect a somewhat sloppy, defensive-minded game. Menomonie is far from polished at this stage on offense, while the Crush lack dynamic playmakers to put up points on a tough defense.
SO ALL THAT MEANS...On paper, Menomonie would get ahead early in this one and not have to worry too much until the second half, where they infamously struggle to put away teams. The Thunderhawks possess a good deal of talent as well. Coaches and players are clearly picking one of two ways--they see the history and see the Crush winning this one close, or they see the names on paper and see the Thunderhawks winning by quite a bit. I think this game falls in the middle, and that the Thunderhawks edge the Crush in an upset special for week one--lead early, then struggle to build on that lead late in the game when the Crush are at their best.
WHAT HAPPENED: The Crush took advantage of turnovers and field position, played great defense down the stretch, and earned a 20-6 victory that wasn't too pretty, but gets them to 3-0. Eau Claire plays the Gladiators next, while the Thunderhawks look to fix their offense before taking on the Rage.
RECORD: 0-1. See, I told you I suck at predictions.

St Paul Pioneers at Central Wisconsin Spartans
Power Rankings: Pioneers 1, Spartans 11
Coaches' Poll: Pioneers 1, Spartans NR
IMPORTANCE: First league game of the year for both teams looking to start out 1-0.
UPSET WATCH: The Spartans, despite having never won a league opener, have also never lost their league opener by more than 16 in ten seasons of football. If it stays within two scores, and they give themselves a chance to play for a win in the fourth quarter, it might not matter if they beat the Pioneers. It would be a huge confidence boost for a program with two wins in two years.
OUTLOOK: Expect a moderately-high number of points scored by the Pioneers. The Spartans always find a way to put up at least a score or two, and if the Pioneers struggle on offense, the score could be closer than what you'd think by looking at the team histories.
SO ALL THAT MEANS...The Pioneers will win this game. It has the potential to not be as dominant as you'd expect given the histories, since travel is going to be a factor for the Pioneers, but it will be a solid win to start the year, whether it's by a few scores or a few more scores.

Green Bay Gladiators at Kimberly Storm
Power Rankings: Gladiators 7, Storm 10
Coaches' Poll: neither team ranked
IMPORTANCE: A divisional game and a geographic rivalry, just like Crush-Thunderhawks.
USPET WATCH: Kimberly's defense looked pretty solid in shutting down the Arctic Blast in the exhibition season, while the Gladiators offense returns some great players and solid line play on both sides of the ball. If Kimberly can put up some points, they could win their opener over the Gladiators for the second year in a row.
OUTLOOK: This has the best chance of being a shootout. First team to 30 wins?
SO ALL THAT MEANS... The Gladiators are very talented, but Kimberly can't be overlooked in that division. It's more likely than not the East Division is sending two teams to the playoffs, but who will the team not named the Force be? This game will be the start of determining that, and I'm offering up another upset special--Kimberly out-guns the Gladiators with key contributions from their defense for another opening-day win.

Lake Superior Rage at River City Rough Riders
Power Rankings: Rage 5, Rough Riders 12
Coaches' Poll: Rage 5, Rough Riders NR
IMPORTANCE: Game 1 is a big one as the Rage look to get back to the playoffs while the Rough Riders want to return to their winning ways.
UPSET WATCH: River City has a problem with turnovers. If they can avoid turning the ball over as frequently as they are prone to, they are capable of sticking around with any team in the league. However, their offense needs to match their special teams and defense this year, since they face a difficult road to the postseason.
OUTLOOK: The Rough Riders turn the ball over--a lot. The Rage force turnovers--a lot. It's a pretty dangerous situation if you're a River City fan--Lake Superior is very opportunistic and operates extremely well on a short field.
SO ALL THAT MEANS... This has the best blowout potential because of the matchup. The Rage have a great inside-the-40 offense, which they've added to in the offseason with some QB competition and some speed at WR. It was already the best scoring team in the league last year, and this game will be ripe for scoring opportunities if River City gives up the ball four times, which was roughly their average last year. The Rough Riders simply lack that playmaking offense to hang with the Rage, who will score plenty even without gift turnovers. Should be a fairly clean Rage victory.

*GAME OF THE WEEK* as voted by the fans on NEFL's Facebook Page
Minnesota Dragons at Fox Valley Force
Power Rankings: Dragons 2, Force 4
Coaches' Poll: Force 2, Dragons 4
IMPORTANCE: Bragging Rights. Inside track on a division race. Huge statement game. Oh, and it's the league opener.
UPSET WATCH: Not applicable--both teams even in power rankings/coaches poll.
OUTLOOK: I wish I had infinite funds and time, because I'd love to be on the sidelines for this one. Someone send me film? Please? It will be a hard-hitting affair. It will be a tight contest, and the scoring will be almost average (think a combined 4-5 touchdowns in this one) despite two great defenses. Both teams can make the big play, it's just the matter of which team makes more of them.
SO ALL THAT MEANS... It's nearly a push, honestly. Both teams are healthy, tested and hungry to get to the title game. It's a big statement game. Yet, the Force have an easier path to the playoffs, while the Dragons will still have two Trophy Games awaiting them later in the year. Fox Valley also plays the Predators next week, so they get two difficult games to kick off the season. I think the Force will win this game in exciting fashion, as the home team, in what will be a treat of an opening-week game for fans of the league.


A fat man taco is when you cook a Mexican pizza, add sour cream/guacamole/salsa/whatever, fold it in half... and eat it like a gigantic taco. Yet people wonder why just two years ago I was 130 pounds heavier. It's bad ideas like this one. More Fat Man recipes throughout the season.


Last edited by jimmiekaska on Fri May 11, 2012 11:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: NEFL Week 1 (May 11-12, 2012)   Mon May 07, 2012 11:25 pm

NEFL Weekly - Week 1 Radio Show (click here to play in your default media player)

Ray Roberts, Thunderhawks Head Coach
Fred Hoversholm, Crush Head Coach
Chris Knapp, Force Head Coach
Kevin Blake, Spartans Head Coach

# # # # #

NEFL WEEK 1 RELEASE (Click here to view)

# # # # #

Game Notes (Click on the game you're interested in learning more about)

Green Bay Gladiators @ Kimberly Storm

Minnesota Dragons @ Fox Valley Force

Lake Superior Rage @ River City Rough Riders

St Paul Pioneers @ Central Wisconsin Spartans

Menomonie Thunderhawks @ Eau Claire Crush

# # # # #

NEFL in the Community

Semi-Pro Football Teams are Unsung Heroes (Fox Valley Force and Kimberly Storm)
It is utterly impossible to collect nearly 20,000 TONS of donations in a single day without some serious muscle power behind the scenes. On Saturday, April 14, the 17th annual Sack It to Goodwill donation drive will once again get a huge lift (literally as well as figuratively) thanks to two Fox Valley semi-pro Football teams -- The Fox Valley Force and The Kimberly Storm. The players, coaches and members of their respective dance squads will help haul bags and boxes of community donations during the single-busiest collection drive annually.
"Our players and coaches have said they love the fact that they can be a part of something bigger," says Matt Reyes, Force president. "They enjoy the great feeling of working hard, knowing that the items are going to help families in the Fox Valley Community."
That sentiment is echoed by Jesse Slinger, owner of The Storm.
"Goodwill has been kind enough to allow us to contribute our muscle in the Sack-It program over the last three years. This has helped our organization and our team grow," said Slinger, who also plays strong safety for his own squad. "We use this event as a team building exercise and, of course, our competitive nature kicks in during the work day. It never fails, the process turns into a competition to see who can empty a trailer first."
Despite the competitive nature of both teams, the day is really about both The Storm and The Force putting aside their on-the-field rivalry in a united effort to support a good cause, said Jim Vanden Boom, Goodwill NCW's community engagement leader.
"You hear a lot of talk about selfless sportsmanship," Vanden Boom said, "but on Sack It Saturday, it's genuinely inspiring to see two squads working side-by-side -- the black-and-gold Storm jerseys intermingling with the blue-and-white of the Force. They may be fierce rivals on the field, but on Sack It Saturday, you get the sense they they really enjoy a camaraderie born of mutual respect."
Both teams are part of the Northern Elite Football League (NEFL) the Midwest's premiere Semi-Professional (Amateur) Football league. The NEFL is comprised of 12 teams from Wisconsin and Minnesota. Each team plays an eight-game schedule, and can compete through three rounds of playoff action.
"The talent in this league is phenomenal," says Slinger. "There are ex-pro players down to highly athletic men right out of high school. The action is intense, the games are a blast to watch, and the food in the concession stand is unbeatable."
Reyes noted that seven of the league's current teams "are former champions from other leagues ... making us truly elite!"

[Source: FVForce.com “Semi-Pro Football Teams are Unsung Heroes” listed on homepage as of May 8, 2012]


GAME-DAY EVENTS FOR MAY 11-12, 2012

-The Fox Valley Force game this Saturday against the Minnesota Dragons is the Boys and Girls Club of the Fox Valley game. There will also be a meet-and-greet with photo opportunities for fans with their favorite Star Wars characters.

-The Eau Claire Crush will host a “tip night” at Pizza Ranch in Eau Claire from 4:30 until 8:00p.m. on Thursday, May 10. Crush players will bus tables and give fans a chance to meet their 2012 Crush. 20% of all proceeds will go to the Crush.
-The River City Rough Riders’ TV show, “Rough Riders Live,” will air at 11 a.m. on Fox 25/48 (WLAX/WEUX La Crosse / Eau Claire). This is the second installment of the show, in its first season.


# # # # #

All-time rankings - These are already in the forum and updated weekly.

# # # # #

PRESEASON POWER RANKINGS

1. Pioneers
2. Dragons
3. Predators
4. Force
5. Rage
6. Crush
7. Gladiators
8. Giants
9. Thunderhawks
10. Storm
11. Spartans
12. Rough Riders

# # # # #

PRESEASON COACHES POLL

1. Pioneers (10) - 50
2. Force - 31.5
3. Predators - 26.5
4. Dragons - 19
5. Rage - 17.5

Also receiving votes: Crush - 5, Thunderhawks - 0.5.

Teams participating: Crush, Force, Gladiators, Pioneers, Predators, Rage, Rough Riders, Spartans, Storm, Thunderhawks (10 total)

Poll facts: The Pioneers are unanimously voted #1... Only 3 teams appeared on every ballot: the Pioneers, Force and Rage... every team ranked 2-5 received at least one 2nd-place vote... Only two ties were cast in balloting... 5 teams did not receive a vote, but all of those teams participated in the polling... The Predators and Dragons did not appear on one ballot apiece (not the same ballot)... The Central Division teams all received votes, while two from the West and just one from the East got on ballots... The Pioneers (50 points) out-ranked the entire Central Division combined (49.5 points)... Of the 10 ballots cast, only 2 had the same order of ranked teams.
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