I better write this up before I forget. Woke up late and left Naptown about 10:30 AM (EST). Got into Chicago about 1:00 PM (CST). Got to meet some of the guys I see online all of the time: Rico, Knobbe, Odell, and Toph. I also saw Louis, Mort, Josh, Chet, Bailey, the Elkart brothers, and averagetsbplayer. Bar set up was pretty cool. Games were played on nice flat screens throughout. I was set up for the 3:30 time slot. I was in Pool I. It consisted of Kevin Miller, myself, Ryan Daniels, and Paul Leffler. We were seeded in that order.
My first game was with Ryan Daniels and the Tecmo gods. He won the flip and picked a Dallas-Cleveland match up. I absolutely despise Dallas on TSB so I went Browns. Figured I could throw short completions and run with Mack and Metcalf. Yeah right. For one, this dude called at least 40% of my plays. Out of 4 downs, I swear there was 2 picked plays nearly every time. QB Browns was throwing on his heels the entire game. Mr. PC ended with a 38% completion rate and 1 INT. The 2 fumbles which resulted in Dallas TDs didn't help either. The Dallas drone DLs were possessed sacking me on 4th and long from what seemed like 5 yards away every time. Final score was Dallas 24 and Cleveland 7. Yuck... And what is frustrating is I know I can out play that guy. He was the better team that game. He did play pretty good defense and did pick my play nearly every time, but I know I am a better overall player... this would turn out to be the game to screw me.
My second game was against Paul Leffler. He wins the toss and picks a Chiefs-Bengals match up. I chose the Chiefs on the sole basis that Derrick Thomas could eff up FGs (4th man down WAS allowed). The first half was slow. Just 3 total possessions. He had 2 and I had 1. Halftime score was 7-7. In the second half, Deberg was patient and found the open receivers. I steadily pulled away and won 21-7.
My third game was against the number 1 seed Kevin Miller. All day I was being told how solid he was. I was told he had mad tapping skills. I also watched 2 of his games. He is a master of the arrow trick as well. I knew I would have to play my best to win. I finally won a toss and picked a Lions-Chargers match up. He chose the Lions. This game was a shoot out. Both teams went to the air more than expected. The end of the game proved to be a Butts-Sanders war. The score was tied at 21 with about 10 seconds left so I elect to go for a FG at the 25 yard line on 4th and 3. The kick is up, online, and BLOCKED. OVERTIME. Of course I lose the toss. Barry eats up about 3 minutes and 40 seconds of quarter number 5 and punches it into the end zone. Very disappointed. No 4th man down and that game is over. I felt like I matched him in every facet of the game. This also put me at 1-2 in the pool and a very unlikely chance to make the field of 32. Kevin finished 3-0, Ryan went 2-1, and Paul was 0-3. All were good game except my game with Ryan. Good players and good games.
The top 2 from every pool made the single elimination tournament. There were 6 wild card spots for teams that did not make top two in their pool. People with the best point differential made those 6 spots. I was -9. When they drew out the bracket I was pulled as #32! This meant I was to play the #1 overall seed Josh Holzbauer. We started our game. He won the toss and deferred the match up to me. I chose a Chargers-Redskins match up and he took the Chargers. Defensive battle. Josh canned a FG early in the first quarter. I missed a FG late in the first. The half time score was 0-3. I got an INT about a minute or so into the 3rd. Started driving with Byner. About half way through the 3rd our game was stopped. There was a mathematical error on the differential for another player. This meant that I was not supposed to be in the 32 man field. Odell asked the other player if he would play a play-in game to see who would face Josh. He said no. Can't blame him. I would have said the same thing. So my tournament ride ended before it really got started. I decided not to stay. The 3 1/2 hour trip up was cake compared to the 5 1/4 home. WTF. Had fun. Can't wait until March.