Friday, June 08, 2012

Division Friday, Power Travels to Cleveland

Due to the league and players shooting themselves in the foot, aka labor disputes, no game will be aired on the NFL Network tonight.

Friday is upon us once again, and it's time for some prime time Power football.

Or, at least it was until the AFL decided to use the flex schedule option to air the Soul/Mustangs match-up to the NFL Network tonight instead of our rivalry match-up with the Gladiators. It's just another black mark on a season that had looked so good on paper before week one. I can't really blame the NFL Network or the AFL - the Soul/Mustangs game should be really entertaining, especially after the new life breathed into Milwaukee last week after beating the top-flight Sabercats. However, that doesn't mean that I have to be happy about it.

Another reason it is rumored that the game was flexed was because sources say that another strike is "highly likely" tonight. Here's were things get confusing. On one hand, they're saying that the Power is going to sit this one out, having already been "put through the wringer" as they put it. However, on the other hand, the article says "at three games tonight." Well...there only are three games. Maybe this means the Gladiators will strike, the Power won't and we'll be the team without scabs. I don't know.

Continuing this line of thought, one of the other games is San Jose hosting the Orlando Predators. If we aren't going to be asked by the union to strike again, I really don't see them asking the Preds, but it's possible. The Power is on shaky ground and would be wiped out in every sense of the term with another strike. The Preds have nothing to lose in the season, and have a long, strong history - so they could probably weather it. The Sabercats I wonder about. They're one game back in the toughest division in the league. Do they really want to throw a game tonight when everything is on the line? I guess it depends on if the players have more of a commitment to the cause (and their wallets) than they do the standings.

Finally, there's Philly/Milwaukee. If the league moved this game to the NFL Network out of fear of a strike, I think they done eff'd up. Of the three games tonight, this is the one I think is most likely to make a statement. Philly actually doesn't need this game much. They could safely throw it and not worry about their division lead. Sure, there's still a lot of football left, but they're 3 games up on their closest challenger. The playoffs are almost assured. Milwaukee is in a more precarious position. With a strong finish to the season and some help from Cleveland, they could make a wild-card berth. I guess we'll have to wait and see, but if there's a strike, I think it will be this game. Highest-profile game of the night, even without being on the NFL Network, means the biggest chance to get the league's attention.

I hate, hate, hate the fact that I've dedicated this entire column so far to talking about a strike that may or may not happen and not about the game itself. However, the fact is, that's the more important story. All we have going into this game is a measure of pride. It's a road game against a division rival who beat us once already this season and kept us from the post-season last year.

The same problems will remain from the last match-up, and that is that we don't have an answer for Dutton at QB, and guys like Redd and Goodman can run all over us. It's cheap, but frankly playing against some scabs tonight might be a good thing. So, I'm just crossing my fingers and hoping that there's actually some football tonight, and if there is, we can bring home a moral victory on the road.

Tune in at 8pm...just not on the NFL Network.

Elsewhere in the League

Okay, here's the deal: My look at the league is going to be predicated on the fact that there won't be a strike. Any picks are subject to change should there be one, but in the mean time, I'm going to pretend that there's nothing afoot at the Circle K and everything's going to work out fine.
  • First up (on the flippin' NFL network) is the Soul at Milwaukee. The Mustangs are coming off a huge win against San Jose this week, and get to stay home and host the division leader. Philly is without a doubt the better team, and more than half of their wins have been on the road. I don't see the Mustangs repeating a shock-performance this week, and the Soul will probably get the W.
  • The Sabercats will host the Preds in the late game, and this should be the "get back on the horse" game for San Jose. It was a tough loss to swallow in Milwaukee, and a cream puff team at home should be just what the doctor ordered.
  • Saturday night, the Sharks travel to ATL to face the division rival Force. After a solid win against Tampa last week, they're looking to solidify their place at the top of the division where, by virtue of well-placed bye weeks, they are at 6-5 and the Force is at 6-6. My gut says the Sharks win this one based on their performance last week and what I've seen out of the Force this year...however, they're 50/50 on the road, and something in the back of my head says the Force will come out on top. So, given that I'm an overweight diabetic, I will continue tradition and listen to my gut over my head and take the Sharks.
  • I've really liked what I've seen out of the Voodoo so far this season, and they're doing better than they have in a while. However, home games are still a shaky proposition for them, and the Talons have been pulling off the important wins this season because of the capable skills in Aaron Garcia and a solid set of receivers. Talons over Voodoo Saturday at 8.
  • At 9, the Utah Blaze hosts the Chicago Rush. With virtually identical records, it's a tough one to call. Well, not really, I just don't want to say it. The Rush have some great players and veteran leadership. They're in the hunt for their division and have a strong 7-4 record. However, as I've mentioned in past weeks, they have a habit of defeating themselves and have seen OT too many times this year. Russ Michna is still a great QB, but I think he's starting to show his mileage. Tommy Grady has one yard shy of a thousand yards more than Russ this season, and 30+ more touchdowns. He's already be penciled in as one of the all-time greats, and I think it's going to carry the day for Utah.
  • For any team that isn't the Power or the Preds, I'm looking at the KC Command as a bye week. As such, Spokane should have no problem getting another W.
  • Earlier in the season when Iowa hosted the Rattlers, they won by just two points. Other than that, they've beaten the Shock and Gladiators on the respectable side, and KC and Pittsburgh on the "meh" side. Now, they need to travel to the Snakepit for the rematch, and I don't think that they'll like the results. Ratts should win this one, but it should also be a solid game to watch.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice :-) good reasoning.
    I am from the Czech Republic and my English is not very good.
    Currently I live in Rio de Janeiro favela in and meet the local culture.