IM Flag Football Update and Playoff Preview

Max Troper & Paul Kasabian

Colgate football isn’t the only gridiron team in town that has offseason workouts and two-a-days. The teams that compose this year’s intramural flag football league have been working almost as hard to obtain the moniker of intramural champions, which will get them free T-shirts and a picture on the Hungtington gymnasium billboard near the water fountain. Football is always the most competitive intramural sport, as many students who pass Whitnall Field in the fall can see teams practicing and training for the season. So who will have the bragging rights this year? After winning last year’s Division One championship as Just Forfeit, the Real Deal looks to reclaim its title. To get there they will have to face strong teams from both the A and B Leagues, as well as League C champs Derrty Byrdz. The A league, which is considered the toughest division on campus, consists of Beta Theta Pi, Angry Jeffs (Men’s Lax), Sigma Chi, Phi Tau A and Phi Delta Theta. The Angry Jeffs are undefeated and have all but sealed the top seed in the Division I playoffs after defeating the Real Deal, 38-30. Many have said that the game was “intense”, but the Real Deal played with only five players so the result may not be indicative of what may come. The Real Deal’s victories came against Phi Delt(33-28), Sigma Chi(46-14) and Beta(46-20). The first game was arguably one of the year’s greatest, as Phi Delt was a 21-point Las Vegas underdog heading into the game. However, Phi Delt senior quarterback Matt Lambert had an amazing game and threw for four touchdowns. Unfortunately, the Phi Delt offense sputtered at midfield in the waning seconds.

Although the four frat teams in League A have had trouble stopping the men’s lacrosse players and ex-football players, all four squads are athletic enough and have the capability to steal a playoff win by capitalizing on mistakes.

In the B league, the Blazers, Clifford the Big Red Dawgz, Tau Delta, Team 5A and Tach are duking it out. Using the alias of Tach, the fraternity Theta Chi looks to defend last year’s overall Intramural Cup by starting the 2007-08 year with a championship. Unfortunately, it fell in a nailbiter to Clifford, losing 18-15. A late field goal by sophomore John Williams proved to be the winning score. The third place team a year ago, Clifford looks to build on their freshman year campaign.

“With another year of experience, and with the talent we have, there is no reason why we can’t realistically set our eyes on the championship trophy,” sophomore wide-out Matthew Usdin said.

They followed up their victory over Tach with a blowout of Team 5A 44-19. Junior Sam Osborn ran and threw for a touchdown in a losing effort. Elsewhere, Team 5A fell to Tau Delta, with senior Mike Nanna scoring two touchdowns and an interception for the victors. Tau Delta followed up that performance with a convincing win over the Blazers.This set up a showdown between Tau Delta and Clifford. Wanting revenge after losing to Clifford in the first round of last year’s tournament as member of Yo Mets, the men of Parker 102 proved to be too much for Clifford and defeated the talented sophomore squad 35-21, behind 3 more Nanna TD’s. Tau Delta has secured the Division B title.

Team 5A and Theta Chi are evenly matched. Both teams have solid offenses led by good quarterback play, but the key for both these teams will be to cut down on turnovers and penalties. If they do that, either squad can make a run. The Blazers need junior Daniel Waddy to make the playoff games in order to have a shot at running the table.

The Derrty Byrdz, undefeated in league C play, will be bumped up to the Division I playoff tournament by virtue of winning the division. The team is solid on offense and defense. No Division I team should sleep on them in the playoffs. The Croc Hunters, many of whom played for the 2007 Softball champion Warrior Poets, are deceptively quick and agile, especially Brien Puff. They will be one of the favorite heading into the Division II tournament. Superbad (runs the option to perfection), LNA(quarterback is Vince Young-esque) and the Brothers(most athletic and experienced team in Division II) round out League C.

The D league has been a race between three first-year teams all season, but the Shake N’Bakes have the best chance to win the Division II title. Led by some misguided Redskins fan named Justin and Maroon-News scribe Mike McMaster, the Shake N’Bakes are a well-oiled offensive machine. They took the undefeated Derrty Byrdz to overtime before losing late. Their only loss this season came against Crab Cakes and Football. In a game that featured a ten minute delay, a hailstorm, countless penalties, blinding rain and a controversial ending, Crab Cakes and Football won 20-18 after knocking down a fourth and goal pass with seconds left. Crab Cakes and Football is extremly athletic, which will help them make a run. Andrews 100 lost momentum heading into the playoffs after a tough loss to the previously winless Sack Lunch. Sack Lunch, previously a League D joke, has abruptly stopped that negative talk heading into the postseason.

Look out for the E League. The E League Champs Transfertites, led by the wicked quick Cristov Churchward, can outrun any Division II team. 2-1 Killer Tofu is arguably the most intellectual team in IM Football, as they run a brilliant offense known as the Reptar Formation. Led by unstoppable sophomore quarterback Raipher Pellegrino, Rennaisance Man Sophomore Scott Konicki and President Millard Fillmore, this team is a Division II dark horse. Remember people, 80% of the game is half mental. Hence, look for Tofu to make some noise down the road. 1-2 Blue Diamond Society is versatile and has speed at the quarterback position. The 1-3 Frostbitten Flamingoes have squeaked into the playoffs after defeating The Experience(who isn’t really part of any league due to technacalities) by five points. Banana Bingo leader and senior Emily Good resembled Randy Moss by getting many yards after the catch.

Although it is now questionable as to whether the Experience will make the playoffs since they have not won a game, they win first place for the easiest and nicest team for a ref to officiate. They do have skills, but untimely injuries and poor defensive play led to their downfall.

So who has the best chance to win it all? Expect Men’s Lax to take Division I and the Dark Horse Shake N’Bakes to win Division II. Men’s Lax wants revenge from last season and has offensive firepower reminiscent of the University of Florida. Tau Delta is the third best team in Division I Football. Nanna, Whit Tits, Simo, Mully, Jewce and the gang have the heart and desire to win it all this year, but it will be difficult for them to take down both the Real Deal and Men’s Lax. Also, it is questionable as to whether Tau Delta will pass league mandated steroid testing before the playoffs, implemented due to the recent steroid bust in China. However, it is a definite possibility that Tau Delta will make the finals.

The Shake N’Bakes will be tested by the League C teams, but they remind these writers of last year’s Clifford squads, who finished third in Division I football, first in Division II basketball and first in Division I hockey, beating many seniors along the way.

If you find yourself free of any work, do not hesitate to check out the action down on Whitnall Field this fall. The playoffs start next Monday at 4:30 p.m.