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This IS the Year! San Francisco Ends 21 Year Championship Drought.
Fantasy Bowl XXII was set. Would Anchorage become the first team to win 4 titles or would San Francisco finally end the longest championship drought in league history of 21 years? The answer is: the Rattlesnakes won their first title since the league’s inception in 1997. A lot has changed since those early days of the league. Team names didn’t exist so Team Mark won the first championship. Stats were manually calculated from a newspaper the next day because the website was not created yet. The trophy wouldn’t exist for another 4 years. All the owners in the league were still in high school. Times have changed, but San Francisco can finally say that this IS the year. The game itself was a foregone conclusion after the 1 o’clock games. San Francisco had already established a huge lead and Anchorage had conceded before halftime of the 4 o’clock games. The end results would show that the Rattlesnakes would beat the Ice Knights, 139-52. The 87-point win was the largest win for this year’s post season and 3rd highest for the year. Anchorage set the low score of the year and it was the second lowest point total in a fantasy bowl. This comes in the same year where they set the all-time record for most points scored in a regular season. Only two players managed to crack into double digits for Anchorage, Philip Rivers had 10 points and Travis Kelce had 11 points. It’s not like any of the Ice Knights played limited time due to rest, they all just laid eggs on Sunday. Anchorage had more turnovers (3) than touchdowns (1). The Rattlesnakes on the other hand had good performances across the board. Only Dan Bailey and the Pittsburgh Steelers defense failed to reach double digits. Julio Jones had the best day as he won the Fantasy Bowl MVP with 29 points. 4 different players recorded touchdowns, 3 different players received yardage bonuses, and all but Joe Mixon had a bonus. It all added up to a long awaited championship for the Rattlesnakes. They finally add their second championship in their 6th trip to the finals, meanwhile Anchorage dropped their career Fantasy Bowl to 3-3. This was the 3rd edition of a championship rematch, and every time, the loser won the second time around.
The Bronze Bowl was an instant classic between San Diego and Sterling Heights. The Hooligans held off the Surge 135-131 in the highest scoring (266 points) and closest (4 points) Bronze Bowl ever. Matt Ryan outplayed the Offensive Player of the Year in Patrick Mahomes by 20 points. San Diego replaced the MVP Todd Gurley with C.J. Anderson and didn't miss a beat when he finished the day with 31 points. After Kittle scored a 43 yard TD with 2:30 to go, San Diego just needed one more catch from either Kittle or Nelson. Neither player got the opportunity and was one bonus short of victory. Had the Hooligans defeated the Rattlesnakes in the semifinals, they would have been crowned champions. They would have the been second #8 seed with a losing record win it all. The 2012 Anchorage Ice Knights are the only team to accomplish that feat. San Diego picked up another juicy award, winning the Coach of the Year for their second time ever ending a 20 year drought from 1998.
The Root Beer Bowl featured two original 6 teams facing each other in a bowl game for the first time since the 1999 Fantasy Bowl. Detroit prevailed then and Detroit prevailed again now. They defeated Chicago 102-67. The Triumph were a shell of their actual team especially at running back. Alvin Kamara did not play due to rest and Christian McCaffrey played the first series of the game and that was it. It didn't help their cause when Aaron Rodgers left the game for a concussion which affected Jamaal Williams' performance netting 1 point. But Detroit overcame their week 17 woes too with Zeke not playing due to rest. Stafford managed to have a decent 25 point day at Lambeau but the real winner for the Devils was Chris Carson. He was the player of the week scoring 28 points. Both teams could have claimed a championship if either would have survived the first round. However, if both teams had won in week 15, then Detroit would have won that contest and be back-to-back champions.
The Overrated Bowl showcased two teams who made the playoffs and failed to win a post season game. Both teams proved that the game was false advertisement as North Dakota defeated Atlanta 134-132. It went down as the second highest scoring Overated Bowl and closest one ever. The Nimrods had another stellar performance turned in by DeAndre Hopkins who scored 29 points and finished the post season with 93 points. Thanks to a trick play, Matt Prater thew for a TD for his first career passing touchdown. The Jesters finished the post season with their first winless post season. After starting 13-2 in bowl games, Atlanta has now dropped 3 of their 4 bowl games.
The Garbage Bowl seemed like the perfect setting for Los Angeles and Fort Wayne to square off. The Bombers were a product of going all-in for a strategy that backfired. The Pistons were a product of another failed season of not making the playoffs. This one ended with Los Angeles defeating Fort Wayne 78-55. The quarterbacks accounted for 42% of the game's scoring. Only two other players, Tevin Coleman and Calvin Ridley managed to score in double digits for LA. Ka'imi Fairbairn had a decent day and won the Special Teams Award even though he went undrafted. The Pistons took a zero after Antonio Brown was benched for the last game of the season in a must-win game. Fort Wayne had their lowest scoring day of the season with 55 points, which is their lowest total since 2014.
The Toilet Bowl pitted the league's two worst teams but it proved to be an exciting, high scoring affair. Tampa Bay defeated Denver 148-122 to win their first Toilet Bowl ever. Consequently, they handed Denver their first Toilet Bowl loss ever in 4 games. The Blizzard finished their season win their best performance of the year and the Diamonds finished their season with the league's longest losing streak to end a season, 10 games. Tamap Bay had 8 TD's with Brady accounting for half of them. Denver matched the same touchdown total with Winston accounting for half of them too. The Diamonds finish the season as the only to team to have their opponents score more than 2200 points against them.