There are two seasons in every sport. First, each team participates in the regular season. The regular season is often long and drawn out, and teams gain and lose momentum faster than a Welcome Week relationship falls apart. But, unlike most ACU matches, it’s not the squad fastest out of the gate that wins the championship. The best teams aren’t looking for a ring by spring. These teams wait until the second season – playoff season – to elevate their game to the next level.
Men’s Champs League
Tuesday night saw the first two playoff match-ups take place. First-ranked MACC Attack battled eighth-ranked Trojans, while two-seed Sub T-16 played seven-seed Tri Bi Delt.
The games were not completed at time of print, but don’t expect either match to have been an easy walk in the park for the top seeds. Walks in the park can be dangerous, especially late at night with minimal lighting, and these playoff games had all the indications of being similar to a nighttime walk in the park, rather than a daytime stroll.
Earlier this season, MACC Attack snuck past Trojans by a single touchdown. Chipper Bridges guaranteed he’d pass Peyton Manning for most career touchdown passes in this game alone, so it will be interesting to see the result.
In the second contest, Tri Bi Delt should have had more confidence than Sub T coming into the game, having handed the Subbers their only loss of the season earlier this year. The regular season matchup got a bit heated, so if this one was a tight contest, or even a blowout for that matter, fireworks may have gone off.
On Thursday, the final two first-round games will be played. No. 3 Galaxy takes on No. 6 Squirtle Squad at 9 p.m., immediately followed by fourth-ranked Thunder Ducks playing fifth-ranked GSP.
Galaxy won the regular season matchup handily, but don’t tell Squirtle Squad captain, Caleb Carr.
“We’re a lot different than we were when we played Galaxy the first time,” Carr said. “We have the Ray Gun now. … If we can utilize the Ray Gun and make a couple crawlers on their offensive line then I think we should have a big game.”
Carr knows it will take more than advanced weapons to fight Galaxy, though. Certain players need to lock in for playoffs.
“We really need Casper to step up his game,” Carr said. “I’m starting to wonder what he’s doing on defense. I mean guys are blowing right by him and it’s almost like he’s not even there! He told me in the offseason that he had 99 SPD and 99 AGI but I just haven’t seen it yet. We’re expecting big things from him this week.”
Carr had a few inflammatory words for Squirtle Squad’s playoff opponents.
“Just keeping it real with ya, Galaxy,” Carr said. “None of y’all wanna come see us in Super Smash on the N64. Nothing will bring me greater joy than to execute a perfectly timed ‘Up-B’ with Kirby to send lifeless corpses down to an early grave.”
In Carr’s world, Super Smash Bros. and flag football are clearly one and the same.
Women’s Champs League
With only six teams in the league, the women’s Champs League playoff bracket is significantly more complicated than the men’s. No surprise there.
No. 1 Eta Pi and No. 2 Sigma Theta Chi received byes to the semifinals. They anxiously await results, much like we do, from last night’s games.
Fourth-ranked Ko Jo Kai battled fifth-ranked Alpha Kai Omega. Alpha Kai shocked the Kojies earlier this season to earn its only win of the season, 7-6. Both teams faltered as they neared the end of the regular season, though. The Kojies lost their last two matches, each by one point, while Alpha Kai managed to sneak a tie between two more losses. If the Kojies learned how to convert a touchdown, they had a chance to win this game. But does either team really want to win, when it means taking on the mighty Eta Pi on Monday at 10 p.m.?
Third-seed The Heat was scheduled to take on sixth-seed GATA at 9 p.m. Tuesday, so results weren’t available by press time. But the Heat won the regular season matchup 12-7, in what was GATA’s highest offensive output of the season. Coming off an emotional win over Eta Pi, The Heat are on fire and may be the hottest team in the league at the moment. GATA may have had its hands full with this one. The winner advances to take on the Siggies on Thursday at 9 p.m.
Betsy Smith, a star player for the Siggies, helped turn a slow start to the season into three consecutive wins, the last of which came over rival Ko Jo Kai.
“Our turning point was after Eboni (Ellerson) gave us a Rocky Balboa pump up speech,” Smith said. ” ‘It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!'”
Although Sigma Theta Chi does not yet know its opponent for Thursday’s semifinal, Smith already knows how the team will prepare.
“(We) eat Sharky’s before the game,” Smith said. “Spicy ranch always motivates us to win.”
It’s a good thing intramural players aren’t required to undergo drug testing, because rumor has it there is some type of performance-enhancing drug in the spicy ranch sauce. Smith did not comment on the issue.