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Thunder and Lightning

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Joined: 2018-01-13/S28
Posts: 94
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posted: 2018-11-10 22:55:27 (ID: 100134357) Report Abuse
MonsterT95 wrote:
New season, new episode of Blowing Smoke !

We thought that the beginning of S32 was a good time to get a new series of Blowing Smoke started, so here we are dear comrades

So Jonny, as you are still an Elite manager, maybe you could give us a hint about what an external opinion of our beloved Dragons 1.1 is

Thanks Monster, my honest view is there's a good number of teams that i believe are at Elite level in the D1. It's often hard getting to Elite because luck can be a big factor in any knockout tournament, teams like Pumas and Rebels are solid, maybe just need the dice to.role their way at the right times.

Unfortunately there are some managers that don't have a high opinion of us Dragons as we tend not do so well in the Supercup, or have won the Elite Bowl. I don't see that as a representation of our teams though and it's up to all of us to changes those opinions

So how's your schedule looking Monster? Both the Torpedos and Shocks look really good on paper (no disrespect to Sfniner08, could potentially have a great season), might be a brutal battle for the division!

Monster : Well, first I wanna support what you said about Dragons. Contrary to many other regions, we are about density, not rarity when it comes to top teams. I mean ,as you said we do not shine as much as we want in the Cups and Elite, but in terms of ELO avg. (a factor of long-term success IMO) we are among the best !

About my division, I've been lucky enough to hit the hat trick recently, but changes may come, as last season started really bad for me and the Torpedos were in the driver's seat most of the time, plus they were really impressive previous Saturday against the Shocks.

Jonny: What a game that was, 28 2nd quarter points and up 31-0 at halftime. Gutsy defence playing a good amount of 5-3 and 4-4 paid off well there, stopping the Shocks run game and forcing long throws with 3 picks. I don't think the Shocks were that bad in their planning though, just a bad one off game?

Monster: We can't count these Danish out just yet, they always have excellent good team ratings (plus an excellent QB in the making, I won't forgot him flimss ) so they can prevail over any overconfident opponent.
Then comes sfniner08, can't wait to fight against one of the most antique manager of RZA.

Now maybe you could light up our lantern (just a literal translation of a French expression, no worries guys ) about Werewolves which you were fighting against last year, and how this season in the AC North bodes for them ?

Jonny: Ah, the Werewolves, brilliant team and were so close to remaining in Elite, if only some idiot had managed to beat the Steamrollers on the last day
It looks like they've had a bit of turnover on offence but I expect them to be strong, and they might need to be in that division.

Panthers look great, they know how to get to the Bowl and their team has been built up well over the last couple of seasons.

Monster: Yeah the Panthers have been pretty good contenders for the last several season, going back to their NC West days about 5 seasons ago. What more?

Jonny : Outlaws look to have sorted their finances out and are building well, I'm not sure it's their season for the playoffs yet, tough division and looking at the other divisions it's going to be a battle for the wildcard spots.

I'm not so sure about Quack Attack, a lot of turnover on the offence, youth could be the way forward, but I think they've got a couple more seasons before they can contend.

Is there a true "top" division this year though? NC North has been number 1 for a while, but this year it looks like we have clear divide between the Eagles and Muscles, looking to get back to the Elite, then the Orc Boyz and Knights embarking upon their first campaigns in the 1.1.
I remember my first 1.1 season, started 0-10! Can be a hard time making the jump.

Monster: I remember mine too; a 4-12 season which ended in a relegation matchup loss against the Maringua Green City...

With Artifice going bot, an opening has been made in the NC North for 2.x teams. I'd say the AC West is now at the same level with Gardians and the Copenhagen Pumas as the top teams of this division.

Both of them have been fighting to get (back) to Elite for several seasons, are among the best in the AC and had really strong rushing offenses last season, so really a good recipe for a Conference Crown I think (not overlooking the Rebels here )

Jonny: OK, Panthers, Werewolves and now Linstock, three straight years where a team has made it to Elite who's not been there before, I'm liking the Saints to be that team this year.
People might disagree with me based on the strength of other teams, but this team had the number 1 pass offence last season and they're looking a lot better this year.
Am I crazy? Is there someone else I should be looking at?

Monster: Well, I used to be one of the managers that didn't count the Trnava Saints, and I'm not sure I will escape from this group this seasons, sorry dear Slovakians

They surprised me with a Divisional Round win over the Brasilia Muscles (though the Saints were the #2 seed last season) and also are 3-times in a row NC South champs.
So you're definitely NOT crazy, but I still won't bet on them this year, time will tell!

You could also look at the Wu Tang Clan, I think most of us remember their strange season last year, and with Lilywhites going bot recently, the Clan has a more than fair shot at the division crown and at least one home playoff game, so there's definitely something worth watching here

Jonny: Lilywhites going bot is a shock and definitely helps Wu Tang, but I'm not sure I'm sold yet, even at 2-0 with a win over the Pumas! Neither win was convincing in my eyes based on their amount of yards, especially the run game. I'm not trying to be harsh here, they definitely are a good team, and two games isn't enough to judge yet.
I'm now really looking forward to the 18th of December, Clan vs Saints, penultimate regular season game, possible implications

Monster: Maybe we could look at the AC, and more specifically at the Bandits and Thunder and Lightning, which also surprised a lot of people in the last post season, as we said in Episode #2

Jonny: Lightning were great in the playoffs, went toe to toe with Linstock, the two interceptions were the big difference, making the score look a lot more one-sided that it really was. Now into a new season and they were shockingly good against Southshore (you get two puns in one there ) with their air-raid offence racking up 536 yards, defence getting 3 sacks, 3 interceptions and 2 recovered fumbles, all to the tune of 55 points!

I think I'm gonna go Panthers for the AC though, Lightning are gonna have to shout a bit louder before I see them as number 1

Bandits could be a dark horse, i think the AC is loaded with solid teams at the top, but I wouldn't bet against them, or more specifically i would bet against a team with Maayan Skrivan at LB. Just said about turnovers being difference makers, this guy already has 2 interceptions and 2 recovered fumbles, a player like that changes games.

Monster : Yeah the AC is already loaded with clear favourites to each division title (Rebels, Pumas, Gardians, Panthers, Werewolves, Walruses, Thunder&L), but in the NC, the Trnava Saints, the Madrid Vikings and the Wu tang Clan could all pretty well establish themselves as big fishes in the playoffs, joining the Eagles and Muscles in this role, and make the NC an also stacked Conference. If the NC East could do it on its own too, that would be great too

Jonny : Any thoughts on MVP's this season? Which players should we be looking out for?

Monster: Interesting question, I rarely paid attention with regularity to specific players during the season. But just 2 games in S32, I'll try to answer that with on judgement more based on S31 play instead of this season plays.

On offense, we should keep an eye on Khaliq Abbas, QB of the QUACK ATTACK, his worst seasons since joining 1.1 was a 4000yards, 80+ QBR season, I don't think we can count him out of the MVP race until his retirement

On defence, with all these Linstocks's LBs gone, the competition is finally wide open

I'd say it's an even more of an unknown here. Let's try to say some names
Lote Shifflett - Tillburg Torpedos; Luíz Siqueira - Brasília Muscles; Nickolas Schulte - Panthers. All three of them has, to my mind, proved regularity when it comes to intercepting the ball, so I don't see why they should stop this year.

Did you have any specific names in mind?

Jonny: Abbas might be a good call for QB's, if he does have a down year it'll be due to his team mates, if he's carrying them it'll show just what a difference maker he is. They really need to protect him though, he's been getting hit far too often already.
Stanley Henson for Thunder and Lightning has started strong though, was ranked 2nd behind Abbas last year but has the team and weapons around him this time to put up some big numbers.

You're right on Linstock, the numbers they put up last year were staggering! I'll add one name with Thomas Brunson, the British Blu LB who puts up good numbers, sacks and interceptions. But I'm also not sure on an obvious front runner yet, the field's wide open (i'll pick the horse who's got the biggest heart)!

Good luck this weekend against Thunder and Lightning what shall we look at in the next show?

Monster : There's still so much to talk about, I think we didn't study all the 1.1 Divisions in this episode, and no Dragons 2.1/2.2 at all yet ! Maybe we should think about that.
And thanks ! Looks like it's gonna be tough, but France vs South Africa might be even tougher aha (and I'll be in St-Denis to watch it live )

And to our reader, we wish you good luck too for this weekend and see ya for the next episode of Blowing Smoke

great job, thank you very much for these thread
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Thunder and Lightning

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posted: 2018-11-10 22:57:19 (ID: 100134358) Report Abuse
MonsterT95 wrote:
What a great night of sports

nobody can beat the panthers in this form - great, fantastic, wonderful....
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London Lions

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posted: 2018-11-10 23:21:50 (ID: 100134359)  Edits found: 1 Report Abuse
Even though i dropped to Dragons 2, i still enjoy reading this. Trnava Saints were big rivals of mine in Dragons 2.2 before. it's bitter sweet to see them doing so well haha

Obviously I'd love you guys to report on Dragons 2, but i'm sure most people want to read about Dragons 1.

Last edited on 2018-11-10 23:22:05 by noodle

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Joined: 2016-03-30/S20
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posted: 2018-11-15 08:57:51 (ID: 100134435) Report Abuse
MonsterT95 wrote:

Jonny: Ah, the Werewolves, brilliant team and were so close to remaining in Elite, if only some idiot had managed to beat the Steamrollers on the last day
It looks like they've had a bit of turnover on offence but I expect them to be strong, and they might need to be in that division.

Ahahah so true!
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Jonny Utah
Chelt Nam Bobbers

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Joined: 2015-02-18/S15
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posted: 2019-01-10 13:36:19 (ID: 100135869) Report Abuse
Welcome back everyone, apologies it’s been a while, Monster has a lot of worth-while things to concentrate on in real life and I’m just old and lazy

There’s so much to talk about in the 1.1 this season, some great teams emerging and power houses re-building, but we’re going to look at the 2.x leagues to start this time around, remember, these are the guys that could be kicking 1.1 butt in the near future
THE team in the 2.1, and probably across the whole 2nd division, has to be Noodle’s Lions. Was a shock to see them relegated last year, but there’s a team built to challenge the 1.1 with a good average age and a true speedster at WR taken number 7 in last year’s draft. Even if they do get unlucky in the playoffs, anything can happen in a one-off game, they have a high chance of being bot-flushed up anyway, that’s how I got there!
The rest of their division is made up of teams that only started in the last few weeks’, it might seem like a cop-out but we’ll be glossing over teams like this, it’s very difficult to get a read on them at the moment. Sorry Seacrows, jdksl and Gladiators, good luck and please stick around

In the 2.1 AC North the Superiors could make a push this year, whether they make it or not I don’t think matters too much, they’re building well, a young team with an average age of 22.9 and fairly low wages bodes well for their future, definitely a team to watch once their players get great, let’s just see how well they control that spending.

One of the oldest Dragons teams, starting Season 8, is the Louisiana State Wildcats. 15-0 with the best PD makes me think they’re going up this year no matter what, 4 bot teams in the 1.1 means the bot-flush could be kind to them. How well they’ll do in the 1.1 is another matter, 15-0 is great, but with 3 bot teams in their division they’ve not been tested and their players look tired, keeping the physical condition around the high 90’s could be key to 1.1 success.

Now, the Bradley Stoke Collective is a team that stands out for me simply because they’ve kept their wages very low, are spending nothing on coaches yet, they’re 13-2 and have an average player age of just 20.6! The future looks great with those players, but they could be maximising their income a lot more by building that stadium…
…Like Porto Bonanza have Again, low wages but with the adage of a 144300 stadium, these guys are going to be financially solid by the time they’re ready to challenge the 1.1. With the Wildcats, Superiors and Lions standing between them and The Bowl it’s difficult to see them challenging and going up this season, but there’s nothing wrong with that, a couple of playoff games will give them some nice experience and another big pile of cash for the account.

Monster: Yeah, lot of things to say about this AC.

The NC should bring (back) the MH City Hawks to 1.1. They were very unlucky to get relegated last time around as they were a competitive team but they got in what was for sure the toughest division to play in.
They look like a sure bet for the promotion and, at worst, should benefit from the bot flush.

It looks like they used this season to retool they roster, as they had a big salary roll in the past.

The Semilasteros are the only other team to have invested in some players, so they could be in for a NC championship and therefore a frontrunner for the bot flush promotion, we'll soon know.

I have to admit it's tough to comment about the other teams as they all joined during either S31 or S32, so it's tough to try to make any kind of prediction of analysis.

If the reunion of the 2.1 & 2.2 Leagues would happen today, who would be your favourite former 2.1 teams?
Jonny: I know it's too easy to say, but's got to be the Lions, I just don't see any other teams being at their level, am I missing something?

What do you think of the 2.2? PIT Steelers looking good!

Monster: Don't forget about eh MH City Hawks

It will be really interesting to see how the Louisiana State Wildcats fare up, as they're another serious contender to my mind.

As for the 2.2, yeah these Steelers look like they're on the good way, since their 16-0 record took place in a division counting 3 humans managers, all of them having played the full season.

It may have been a boring season for the Patoruzes, but they still put up a perfect record that is a very good sign for their return to 1.1.

I've seen that my hypothetical question about the reunification of 2.1 & 2.2 leagues will become reality ! This level is gonna be a lot funnier next season!

It also means that 1.1 relegates will be playing in the same league. How do you think next season will be for the SuperNovas (formerly known & surely more famous as Xenos) ? Luckily they did stay on RZA

Jonny: Well first of all I'm glad they're still here As for how well they'll do; i think the important thing is more that Xeno is able to take step back and enjoy the game again, once that happens i think we're going to see a stronger team coming back to the 1.1.

You're right to remind us about the Hawks, they put up a great fight against the Guinness Drinkers in the cup, less than two minutes away from a big upset and forced Pete to go full-on shotgun spread to salvage a win, hats off to that

I'll admit the thing i really like about the merging of the level 2 divisions is it's going to make writing this a lot easier
So who's going to win the bowls? And maybe more importantly... who don't you want in your division next year?!

The 2.1 Bowl will not be as much of a one-sided contest as the previous playoffs games this league has seen this year I think. That should be an entertaining game.

Then, for the 2.2 Bowl, I'd bet on the PIT Steelers. Interesting to see how these Hawaiian guys are getting to 1.1 in their second season!

Ultimately, I'd like to avoid... The Hawks ! Yes I am, again, talking about them, but I'm not forgetting their victories against the Shocks, Walruses & Jackalopes (that went 11-5 in EL) last season, and had solid games in their losses so...
I'm really confident they are coming more prepared this time around.
Hopefully they will prove me right, contrary to my prediction of the 1.1 season 32

Jonny: You are loving these Hawks! I'm gonna have to go Lions in that one then and ignore the golden rule of (American) football; "never bet on the Lions"

I want to say Honolulu win the 2.2 but I just can't see how they beat the Steelers in this one, great win over Coyotes to get there, but this is something else entirely.

I think we've got a bit of time now to talk about the 1.1, what a season it's been Monster!

Monster: Oh dear, yes, indeed, what a season, I didn't see that much of a change coming

In the AC, the Muppets, Thunder & Lightning & the Tampa Bay Bandits all won their divisions finishing with better win ratio than the likes of New England Coyotes, Kolin Walruses, Gardians & Copenhagen Pumas !

Even though T&L already won last season in a convincing manner, I wouldn't have bet on this 15-1 record.

The AC West was, IMO, the biggest surprise of the year. Did you see this coming ?

Jonny: I'd like to say yes but we already released an episode showing I'd be a liar

Tampa Bay have been amazing, the thing I love about them is it's not just that their players have taken a step up in skills, they've made the most, more than anyone else I've seen, of the new QB rushing feature, very well played.

At the other end of the division is now the Pumas, I didn't see this coming, a difficult financial situation means we're seeing a very different team to the one we saw go to the Conference Championship a season ago. Might take a season or two to get back, but their play last season makes me believe once their finances are sorted they'll be a challenger again.

I really don't want to make a big deal of people's difficult seasons, but the Shocks are now playing a relegation game, I thought they'd be fighting your guys for the division!

Monster : Yeah, sadly the Shocks aren't having back their results from S26-S28. They got just what was needed to get me out of the playoffs
My 1-3 finish to the season was an opportunity the Torpedoes coudn't miss. As a result, they got their division crown back and kicked my ass all the way back to the 7th seed
Looking at the sfniners08, it seems they got here too early. A short return to 2.x level should help them rebound the same way the Virginia Bigfoots did.

Speaking of the Bigfoots, they were in contention for the NC West title all season long thanks to the shakier start of the season by the Wu Tang Clan (compared to S31), only to lose it due to "Goal Average".
This time around, the Clan finished the regular season, got the division AND a Wild Card win against no other team than the Brasilia Muscles!!

Another call that would have been quite a gamble at season's start right ?

Jonny: You said they were worth a watch in the last episode, good call and my money would've definitely been on the Muscles in that game! Showed some real fight in the divisional round too, 12 points down going into the 4th and lost by just 1 point in the end to the Armadillos...

...Who are another great team on the rise! They were 2nd this year in rushing yards behind only the Eagles, i like teams that can run the ball They've also prompted me to read a bit about the Nine-Banded Armadillo did you know armadillos can carry leprosy?!

Monster : All I knew about Armadillos until now is that you could sell their shells for 11$ back in 2011 RedDeadRedemptionDays...

What a great fight between these 'dillos and the Trnava Saints for the NC South, you saw the Saints coming to the playoffs I didn't forget it (please forget that I didn't bet on them though )

All this makes a good competition for playoffs spots for the foreseeable future in the National Conference, and we haven't talked about the North yet !

Jonny: Still my favourite division in all of RZA
The Knights and Orc Boyz had tough seasons, but with young teams (average age of the Orc's only 23.6!) they can keep getting better and battle the Muscles, again though a teams with an average age under 25 suggests they're not even close to their ceiling yet. It'll be interesting to see who takes the extra spot after season rollover.

Seems like it's been a safe bet most seasons that someone from the North will be heading to the Elite, this year it was the Eagles. They've been solid all season and many would've had them to win The Bowl, but what a game that was!

Monster : Well, they've even been solid for several seasons ! Unfortunately the hard, cold reality of the playoffs here is that out of 12 teams, only 2 get a nice trophy and go to Elite. Every season you have to earn and get the max of your opportunity for promotion!

Yeah very solid game, most mind blowing stat for me is a combined 17/21 rate on 3rd downs !! Wow !

Jonny: I hadn't spotted that! Very impressive, or bad third down defence Definitely a pair of really strong teams coming up to Elite next year, looking forward to it

Ok, I think we might have rambled for long enough on this one
One last question for you though Monster; how's your draft looking? Any superstars standing out?

Well, I don't even know yet My draftboard will be made during the weekend

Jonny: Never tip your hand before a draft

Well that's it for another episode of Blowing Smoke, we may have got a bit carried away during that one, but enjoyed doing it

Good luck in the draft everyone and make sure your contracts are sorted
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MH City Seahawks

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posted: 2019-01-10 14:42:29 (ID: 100135870) Report Abuse
Thanks for the Text

I'm really surprised about your research^^ Even spotting my game again Pete^^

I need to say, I wasnt activ last season, so i got relegated.... I'm happy to be back in 1.1. And maybe i have more luck with my Division

With London Lions and Steelers, 2 really good teams join the 1.1 too
so it will be a fun season
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London Lions

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posted: 2019-01-10 18:32:18 (ID: 100135875) Report Abuse
this is awesome guys, and grateful for a positive mention or 2. sadly for me, but well deserved by him, my buddy MH City Seahawks beat me in the bowl.

see you next season!
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PIT Steelers

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posted: 2019-01-11 08:15:15 (ID: 100135883) Report Abuse
Nice work, thank you both very much for your commitment! Its a pleasure and a lot of fun to read your articles.

I´m glad and very happy for the chance to play and evolve in a higher league. It could be very interesting for me to see how i am able to be successful and not relegate directly in my first season
It´s a great adventure for me and my Team and a pleasure to join Dragons 1.1 for the next Season(s*)

*I hope my journey in 1.1 is longer than one season.
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Thunder and Lightning

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posted: 2019-01-11 15:57:49 (ID: 100135890) Report Abuse
K3m4li wrote:
Nice work, thank you both very much for your commitment! Its a pleasure and a lot of fun to read your articles.

I´m glad and very happy for the chance to play and evolve in a higher league. It could be very interesting for me to see how i am able to be successful and not relegate directly in my first season
It´s a great adventure for me and my Team and a pleasure to join Dragons 1.1 for the next Season(s*)

*I hope my journey in 1.1 is longer than one season.

in season 34 we are playing in Dragons 1.1 together....
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LoneStar Armadillos

Joined: 2017-09-14/S27
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posted: 2019-01-13 01:12:39 (ID: 100135904) Report Abuse
Thanks for putting this season review together, nice reading. Thanks for mentioning my team. Hope to be back in playoff mix next season.

One more interesting fact about Armadillos is, they can swim and like to walk the floor of ponds and can hold their breathe for up to 6 minutes.

i totally forgot about those critters being in Red Dead Redemption, that is one fun game indeed.

Looking forward to more of your writings.

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