Week 13: A Rebranding Effort We Can Finally Get Behind

A couple weeks ago, the “88 Train’s” PR department contacted us asking for a little lighter treatment in the media. They had a point. With our obligation of mentioning their misguided rebranding effort this season, as well as our chronicling of their loud mouthed manager’s media antics, we have been tough on this struggling team. That being said, this week it’s going to be hard to comply with those requests in light of their disastrous loss to “Mac’s Smelly Sox.” Their 99 point loss doesn’t even begin to show how poorly this team played this week. Take Saturday for example when the team was shutout despite playing their best hand. Mind you, this comes a week after their upset win over the Mikey bombers. After that win, their manager, Will Ferraro, boldly told reporters that his team would win the championship. Based on this one fluke victory, he claimed that they would miraculously go from second to worst to first. While seemingly just overconfidence at the time, it’s clear now that this was just sheer arrogance, born from a delusional self awareness detached from reality. After one big win, the 88 train didn’t even show up to the station.

This is a huge win for “Mac’s Smelly Sox” though. This team has seen their star rise quickly in recent weeks after getting off to a dismal start. Through week nine they were 2-7 and found themselves in company with some of the league’s worst. But with this win, they have found themselves on a four game win streak, and while there is still a lot of ground for them to make up, they’re one game away from being .500 for the first time since week two this season.

Apparently another team has followed the example of the “88-Train” this week with a rebranding effort. The horrendous Relieving Myself changed their name this week to Spider-Man Buttslap. While this probably will not do any wonders for team in the standings, it’s pretty obvious that this is a breath of fresh air from a stagnant team. The name is fresh. The name is lively. It is proof that rebranding efforts can give new looks to tired and old traditions and can make even the worst of teams, a team on an 11 game losing streak, seem exciting. This didn’t change their fortunes in the scorebook, as they suffered another defeat at the hands of “Arod’s Girlfriends”, but it did make a perennial loser semi interesting.

This was a must win game for the “Girlfriends.” They’ve hovered around .500 most of the season, rarely getting to the positive side of the mark. With this win, they do and actually put themselves in a tie for second place in the West at 7-6. They’ll have a tough matchup next week against “Meat is Murder,” which doesn’t bode well based on the inconsistency of their performances, but who knows. Putting together a little win streak and this point in the season could pay dividends for them later on.

In his poem “High Windows,” Philip Larkin celebrates the growing secularization of England, along with the cultural distancing of empire ideals. He writes, “No God anymore, or sweating in the dark/ About hell and that, and having to hide/ What you think of the priest. He/ And his lot will all go down the long slide.” One might wonder if Matt Atwell’s, “Green Day’s Mookie” may be included in that lot, sliding down the long slide to obsolescence. After this week’s loss to “The D-Train,” they find themselves on a four game skid, and in a tied with “A-Rod’s Girlfriends” in the division. This is quite a fall off for a team that held first not so long ago. While they are still only one game out of first place, continuous poor performances could be contagious.

“Meat is Murder” again fell into a tie with “The Credible Hulk” after losing to a resurgent “Mikey Bombers.” But a loss is not always indicative of performance and this week that was certainly the case for “Meat is Murder.” The “Bombers” threw up a whopping 440 points, while murder posted a score of 401. Had these vegetarian crusaders played any other team in the league they would have won. This is a tough loss for ”Murder,” especially in light of “The Credible Hulk’s” rout of the ”Benny Bombers.”

The “Benny Bombers” were on an incredible run. Hot on an a 5 game win streak, the team hadn’t lost since May. They seemed to be closing in on the “Mikey Bombers” who have in recent weeks posted some weak performances. But that all came to a halt this week at the giant green hands of the “Credible Hulk.” Week 13 was the weak we finally saw the “Hulk” get angry and smash the competition. He destroyed the “Benny Bombers” winning by over 100 points. This win puts him at 7-6 and tied with “Meat is Murder for third in the division. There shouldn’t be much concern for the “Bombers” though. This is just one loss in six, and the team still holds sole possession of second in the division. They go up against “Green Day’s Mookie” this week, and while “Mookie” is one of the league’s stronger teams, their recent slip should make it easy for the “Bombers” to pounce.

Team to Watch Out For: A-Rod’s Girlfriends– Here they are again. After last week’s win over “Spiderman Buttslap,” they find themselves tied for second in their division. Let’s see if this is a fluke, or whether or not this oh so frustrating team is finally on the upswing.

Matchup of the Week: Spiderman Buttslap vs. The 88 Train– On Whatever and Ever Amen, Ben Folds titled a track “Battle of Who Could Care Less.” That would be an apt title for the game between the league’s two worst teams. That being said, dumpster fires can be fun to watch sometimes, and if the “Buttslaps” have any chance of getting that second win, this matchup might be it.

East:

  1. Mikey Bombers (10-3)
  2. Benny Bombers (8-5)
  3. Meat is Murder (7-6)
  4. The Credible Hulk (7-6)
  5. The 88 Train (4-9)

West:

  1. The D-Train (8-5)
  2. Green Day’s Mookie (7-6)
  3. A-Rod’s Girlfriends (7-6)
  4. Mac’s Smelly Sox (6-7)
  5. Spiderman Buttslap (1-12)

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