Feb 022012

Yay! Nelonen Pro (a pay per view channel) will broadcast Superbowl on Sunday.

With both finnish and english commentary (since it will be available on two channels simultaneously).

Too bad the most expensive commercials will be replaced by breaks.

And obviously, too bad that both ‘niners and Saints got knocked out in the playoffs.

Jan 022012

Utah Utes logoUtes rolled to yet another bowl victory.

Their first season in Pac-12 was by no means a success, but at 8-5 they were bowl-eligible once again.

And beat Georgia Tech in the overtime in the Hyundai Sun Bowl.

This was a welcome bounceback after the loss to Boise State last year. Nevertheless, the Utes are 13-4 in bowl games – currently the highest percentage of teams with more than ten appearances.

Dec 312011

Nöykkiö ‘niners is the champion!

The bowl game was again an eighteen point victory, and the second ever for a team fielded by me (the first one happened in 2007).

Key to the game was quarterbacking, on both ends of the gridiron. While Drew Brees produced once again (and dismantled the 27 year old Dan Marino yardage record in the meanwhile), the opponent’s playmaker, Tony Romo, netted a zero against the Eagles.

As in the semifinal, I was losing bad, before the last game of the week. In Monday Night Football Saints dismantled the Falcons, and the duo of Brees & Colston netted me 40+ points, and Matt Bryant, Atlanta’s kicker, added twelve. Apart from a suspiciously quiet Greg Olsen (a fat zero from a game where Panthers scored 48 points), the whole team delivered.

The draft, where I picked last went much better than I originally thought. Out of top 15 players, Nöykkiö ‘niners fielded three (Brees, Jones-Drew and Welker) and the top defense (SF). Two players were hurt by long injuries and would probably been higher in the standings (Austin and Forte). Then again, a lot of players went down this season, so I was lucky to retain the top guns in healthy form.

Bring on the next season.

And in the real world: Niners and Saints both in the playoffs.

Dec 302011

The semifinal game was against the #2 seed, again a longish shot at success.

Apart from Drew Brees (35 points), no-one really exceeded expectations. Wes Welker had a quiet night, and Marques Colston had no touchdowns. San Francisco’s defense shone again – another 18 points, this time off a susrprisingly well-dominated Steelers (a convincing 20-3 victory).

The game was tight, and at one point during Sunday (after the first set of games and the ones played on weeknights) I was something like 45 points behind. Slowly but surely the ‘niners fought back, and in the end clawed an eighteen point margin to come out with a ticket to the bowl.

Dec 302011

The last regular season game had a lot going for it. On account of the four game skid midway of the season, the Nöykkiö Niners were far from being guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. I had to win, and I had to win a team who was ahead of me in the standings and had whipped the niners earlier in the season.

The game was a high-scoring thriller.

And the victory rests on the shoulders of one man only – Maurice Jones-Drew scored four times and netted the niners a neat 37 points. When Marques Colston caught two touchdowns (of four Brees threw), and Marion Barber filled Matt Forte’s boots with a very respectable performance, the ‘niners came out ahead.

The bad news of the week was the confirmation of Matt Forte’s injury, the good news the return of Miles Austin (in the hope that I would never have to rely on the spectacularly unreliable Tebow->Decker connection).

Dec 302011

Regular weekly reports were amongst the casualties of the blog falling silent.

Even if the season is done already, I’ll still do the updates, albeit in a brief form, unaccompanied by peripherally appropriate imagery.

The game was significantly tightened by the heroics of the opponent’s quarterback. Cam Newton scored 38 points, a formidable tally, even on top of his elevated expectations. Drew Brees answered with 25 points of his own, and the game was finally settled by ‘niners shutout of St. Louis (netting a gain of 19 points from D/ST – as the opponent’s choice of Cincinnati proved to be sub-optimal.

By far the worst news of the week was the loss of Matt Forte to a knee injury. Its seriousness was downplayed at first, but it soon devolved into season-ending – capping the Bears’ monopoly on bad luck this year.

Dec 042011

Back in 1982, the world cup in Spain was the first big football event that I have more than a fleeting memory.

And I was a Brazil-supporter from the very beginning. Their samba-football was nothing short of enthralling. And the twin maestros of the midfield – Zico and Sócrates were the playmakers of the team. Sadly, the team got outplayed in Paolo Rossi’s most dominant display of opportunistic offense, and probably the finest Brazilian team since 1970 was thus knocked off.

Today the news from Brazil spread a sad message: Sócrates has succumbed to blood poisoning.

Even though he never got to lift the cup, the sublime heel tricks and no-look passes will be cherished evermore.

Dec 032011

Finally won again, the progress was getting desperate to say the least.

The game was a shootout – both teams put up 100+ points.

In the end it was the huge effort by Drew Brees (four thrown and one run TD) on Monday Night Football that settled the result. Slotted in Eric Decker (off a zero-catch game last week) since every other WR was hurt. And the Tebow-Decker connection rewarded – a touchdown and some decent yardage. Wes Welker had a monster game once again, but Matt Forte continued to be quiet on the offense. San Francisco’s defense was outplayed by the home team in Baltimore, and they netted just a single point.

The bench is on the depleted side due to Austin’s persistent injury, Beanie Wells put up close to 27 points against St. Louis, and was the most effective RB of the week (and probably leads to selection headaches this week).

Green Bay continues their perfect season, and the ‘niners suffered their second loss, the Saints looked awesome in a victory over Giants. And the poor Colts are still winless, making the case for Peyton Manning’s past MVP awards ever so much stronger.

Bring on week 13!

Nov 242011
rowing by pshab

rowing by pshab (CC)

Lost the fourth game in a row.

Lost so bad that the game was the blowout of the week in the league.

This being the Saints’ bye week, I knew it was going to be a hard game.

One of the guys picked up on account of Brees and Colston being absent from the crew was successful, the other wasn’t. Alex Smith once again led the niners to victory – with his low-key style (which doesn’t net that big points in the fantasy leagues). Denarius Moore suffered, like the whole Raiders’ aerial attack, and netted me a measly 1.40 points.

The game began really awkward, Eric Decker brought in a flat zero from the Broncos’ Thursday game, and the low scoring persisted. Even the usually reliable Matt Forte was held to single digits. The San Francisco defense brought in 16 points – without a returned TD, by squeezing the Cardinals something fierce.

Both of the opponent’s starting RBs went down with injuries before the halftime, but that didn’t help – got neatly outscored. And, adding insult to injury, his running backs off the bench would have opened an official can of whupass on the ‘niners.

Bring on week 12!

Nov 152011

Lost the tenth game of the season by the narrowest margin thus far – 0.56 points: 94.28 vs. 94.84.

Three players off the bench would have won me the game. But that’s no consolation, as the opponent kept the Chicago defense off the field – the Bears D took home a massive 37 points.

The ‘niners is now at .500 after three consecutive losses. And with the Saints’ bye rolling in, time to get two new guys on the field (I don’t trust Jay Cutler, and I need one more receiver since Miles Austin remains hamstring-hurt) – let’s see what the waiver-wire brings in.

In the league the Packers won for the ninth game, and ‘niners held back Giants for their eighth win.

Bring on week 11!

Nov 142011

This start of the season, I’ve been mostly sucking.

One draw, four losses.

The only thing where Nöykkiö Freeze excels is penalty minutes. Those, for some curious reason, are a positive thing in the virtual NHL. My 62 minutes on week 1 remain unbroken thus far.

Of the scoring I take quite a bit of blame, since I haven’t been the most diligent of coaches.

Then again, Corey Perry’s been like the rest of the Ducks – not that swell this year. Jonathan Toews hasn’t been on fire either. And Kris Letang hasn’t been as phenomenally productive as he was on the first weeks. That leaves my sole trade as the lone positive aspect: Joffrey Lupul has been nothing short of great in Toronto this season. Of the goalies Cam Ward’s been mostly disappointing, and Mike Smith suprisingly effective in Phoenix.

Nov 132011

The ‘niners suffered back-to-back losses. First a tiny one ad then a 29 point howler.

Got beaten fair and square – with the exception of Wes Welker and the San Francisco defense every player on the field was outscored by the opponent.

And when Reggie Bush suddenly found his game, and Aaron Rodgers once again torched over 30 points, the loss was certainty.

The two available benchmen, kicker Billy Cundiff and receiver Eric Decker, would have erased twelve points off the deficit – so this was just one of those weeks when no amount of juggling would have improved things.

San Francisco continued their already expectation-defying season, Colts lost once again, and Tom Brady failed to work his comeback magic in a loss to Giants.

Bring on week 10!

Nov 012011

The eighth week brought a 2.5 point loss.

A loss I brought on myself.

With the help of seriously underpowered Saints offense. The New Orleans team lost to the Rams after a strangely depleted offensive effort (after all, this is the team that put 62 points on a far higher-powered Bucs last week). In addition to the Colts duo of Brees & Colston, the rest of the receiving corps were anything but successful – neither Miles Austin nor Wes Welker reached the lofty heights they attained in earlier games. Greg Olsen, on the other hand, continues to impress – the Carolina tight end scored again.

San Francisco’s defense started well the game against Browns, but in the end couldn’t hold on to the shutout, the sacks and picks were plentiful, though.

But every team has its off day, and in the end it was my benching of the guys who scored, and insistence to field players who didn’t. Indeed, I traded for Brandon Jacobs (a whole point) instead of using Beanie Wells (14.3) – and used the recovering Austin instead of Eric Decker (who put up a very respectable 13.2 in Denver’s lopsided loss to Detroit). Then again, the opponent had even worse playmaking issues – sitting Steven Jackson (who lit up the Saints for 31 points) and the Tennessee defense (18 points).

Green Bay continues its march undefeated. San Francisco Fortyniners have reached 6-1 in their best start of a season this side of the millennium – they face surging Steelers next week for yet another test of the team. Patriots lost, they just couldn’t work their magic against said Steelers.

Bring on week 9!

Oct 302011

Seventh week netted the ‘niners a 52 point monster victory.

The key to the victory was the Saints 62-7 whupping of the Colts. Brees threw five TDs, two of them to Colston, and the defense played like a grabby wall.

The New Orleans’ game hid the deficiencies of the rest of the air force – Miles Austin, Nate Burleson and Greg Olsen combined for a total of 3.1 points.

Matt Forte scored well against Tampa Bay, netting 24 points.

Bring on week 8!

Oct 202011

The first week and a half wasn’t the greatest start of the season for Nöykkiö Freeze, as the head-to-head game ended in a 3-7 loss.

Without Kris Letang’s five assists the game would have been an even more severe loss. He’s by far the brightest offensive star of Freeze thus far, the likes of Toews, Richards and Perry were not very productive in the first week.

Only one change in the team, replaced Nikolai Kulemin with unexpectedly undrafted Joffrey Lupul.

Oct 202011

‘niners roll on, with an eight point victory over a rival to the high spots in the standings.

Despite an awkward showing by the Saints’ mainstays (Brees copping three interceptions, the defense ending up with a flat zero in points), there was a bright spot in the New Orleans team: Marques Colston. Now apparently fully headled from a collarbone injury, his 17 points were a nice take for the team. The RBs were steady, though I am starting to worry about the Jags offense creating enough opportunities for MJD. Nate Burleson scored after a drought, but the difference between him on the bench and Miles Austin’s game was only two points – good to have him back, nonetheless, as the bye season is already upon the team.

In the real world NFL the biggest news was Detroit’s loss. To San Francisco, so this was doubly sweet. Nowadays there’s only one unbeaten team – the reigning champions, Green Bay, steamroll along.

Bring on week 7!

Oct 112011

Lost the hegemony game, and fell to third spot in the league.

I’m not denying the power of the opposing team, but the ‘niners sure didn’t fulluy come out and play.

Eric Decker netted a nice -0.4 points (mainly on account of Tim Tebow replacing Jay Cutler as the QB of the Broncos). The low-scoring game in Wisconsin brought just two extra points from Matt Bryant. And I certainly chose the wrong defensive team – San Francisco mangled the Buccaneers 48-3 (for 22 defensive points, including a pick returned for a score), whereas Saints barely edged Panthers without any major defensive heroics.

The usual suspects played well. Drew Brees, Wes Welker, MJD and Matt Forte all brought in double figures. And Greg Olsen scored again, the long shot at the Carolina TE has definitely been reliable lately.

In the NFL the two unbeatens remain so: Green Bay and Detroit. Both Saints and niners won, both are 4-1. For Saints this is business as usual, but for the San Francisco team the best start of a season in ages.

Bring on week 6!

Oct 072011

NHL Draft 2011Drafted this year’s Nöykkiö Freeze team for Yahoo Public 80034 without much preparations.

Scored Corey Perry on the first round (drafted fifth) and Tim Thomas on the second, not bad for such a mediocre position. Jonathan Toews, Brad Richards and Cam Ward ought to prove useful as well. Only one finn, Kimmo Timonen on the twelfth round.

Tim Thomas was the only player picked whom I had shuffled with in the board, I just figured the lead goalie of the reigning champion is worth more than the default position. Downgraded Sidney Crosby slightly – I have a bad feeling about his prolonged absence on account of a concussion.

The first games have already been played (Ducks losing to Sabres in Helsinki), and I figure the first week will actually be a week and a half for scoring purposes.

Oct 042011

The fourth week of the 2011 fantasy football campaign was yet another high-scoring victory.

The scoring was very dualistic. Some guys scored aplenty, some didn’t. And the latter was indeed frightening – with the continuously pleasant exception of Wes Welker the receiving corps were shut down. Devery Henderson totally (zero receptions in the game), Nate Burleson almost (sixteen yards). Fortunately Drew Brees and Matt Forte brought in enough points to ensure victory. And the roles of the kicker (Matt Bryant, with three long distance field goals) or the defense (New Orleans with nine points) cannot be ignored either.

I toyed with the idea of picking up Denver’s Eric Decker before the game. After all, he’s a lone receiver in a throw-happy team, whereas both Henderson and Burleson suffer from being fielded in teams that have plenty of receivers. I didn’t, and he scored twice against the Packers. Needless to say, I went and placed a waiver on him, it ought to go through, since as a low-impact trader I have the first priority on the wire.

In real NFL there’s two undefeated teams. Both from NFC North. One expected, the other highly unexpected. Green Bay has been on a roll, as has Detroit. Quite change from being the league’s official whipping boy for years. Colts lost again, matching the worst start since the arrival of Peyton Manning. Niners won, riding a strong second half, beating the Eagles by one point.

In the fantasy league there’s only one unbeaten – Nöykkiö ‘niners take on Air Troopers next week.

Bring on week five!

Sep 272011

Week three ended in yet another high-scoring victory.

In the absence of Miles Austin (out for at least a week on account of a hamstring injury), the heroes of the ‘niners were familiar names. Drew Brees and Wes Welker. The former continued aerial assault with three TDs and plenty of yardage, while the latter set a Patriots’ team record with 216 receiving yards. Greg Olsen scored his first TD, San Francisco defense picked up a lot of points and Maurice Jones-Drew ran aplenty (without crossing the goal line, unfortunately). The disappointment of the week was Nate Burleson, the Detroit Lions offensive steamroller seems to have little room for him (with Calvin Johnson getting plenty of quarterbacking love).

Unless Austin recovers, it’s time to go WR-shopping, the receiving corps is getting more and more shorthanded by the week.

The biggest news in the real NFL continue to be the two surging teams: Bills and Lions are both 3-0. The former at the expense of New England, Tom Brady’s uncharacteristic four picks doomed the team. ‘niners and Saints are both 2-1, the Colts 0-3 (with no sign of Peyton returning).

Bring on week 4!

Sep 262011

The second week’s result (reported massively late here) was a huge shootout that ended up in a disturbing loss. After all, usually 120 points and change is a safe bet for a nice victory. This week, it wasn’t enough – the opponent’s team scored no less than 135 points.

The hero of the week was Miles Austin, who unfortunately was injured in Dallas’ takedown of the ‘niners. Drew Brees and Matt Forte continued their high-scoring campaigns, and New Orleans Saints’ defense proved their worth against the visiting Bears. No grave disappointments – though I did expect a little more from Wes Welker following the explosive display in the first week.

Again, no need to resort to second-guessing about benchings – no substitute would have netted enough points to close out the victory margin.

In the league the biggest news was Detroit’s utterly dominant 45 point victory over Kansas City. The Lions are following up on their great pre-season with corresponding results. Pyton-less Indianapolis Colts lost again, this time to lowly Cleveland Browns.

Bring on week 3 (whatever’s left of it).

Sep 182011

Marques Colston, whose whole career has been plagued with injuries, is out for a month with a broken collarbone.

In the real world this leads to Drew Brees spreading his passes to a wider crowd, in my team this leads to Nate Burleson coming in from the bench.

Sep 182011

Utah Utes logoThis year’s installment of Holy War, the Utah-BYU football rivalry, ended up in a lopsided victory for the Utes.

Even though the two teams are no longer division mates (Utes joined Pac-12, BYU joined Notre Dame as a religiously-themed independent), they have agreed to meet on the field every year. Those four hours are probably the least productive in the whole state of Utah.

Sep 132011

The first week in the Yahoo 766281 ended up in a high-scoring victory. 154 – 111 is quite a tally in a game.

The team played well. Drew Brees’ 29 points in the Saints’ loss to Packers on opening day were an impressive foundation, and the rest of the offense piled on the points. Highlights included Wes Welker’s 160 yards / 2 TDs, Matt Forte’s 158 / 1 TD and Miles Austin’s high output despite an injury.

But the top honours in tuesday morning quarterbacking go to San Francisco defense. I mistrusted the Saints in the hands of the reigning champions and opted to pick a second defensive team from the waivers. The ’49ers were nothing short of awesome – they shut down the Seahawks on the first half, and despite allowing touchdowns on the second half managed to round up five sacks and a couple of picks and fumbles. Too bad punt / kickoff returns do not count for D/ST as Ted Ginn’s back-to-back returns for touchdowns would have increased the punishment even more.

I toyed with the idea of benching Austin in favour of Nate Burleson, but decided against it, and was thus rewarded by the Cowboy.

The opponent’s RBs put up scary numbers. Both Ray Rice and LeSean McCoy scored 25+ points, and the rest of the BORDER BANDITS scored admirably well. Apart from the defense. Usually reliable Steelers were demolished by Ravens (hence Ray Rice’s massive output), and that netted a sad -3. Adding insult to injury was the alternate on the bench: Chicago, who also picked up an amazing 24 points.

In the actual league the biggest news was Indianapolis loss in the hands of Houston Texans. Even if Kerry Collins didn’t play horribly at all, the absence of Peyton Manning was clearly visible in the Colts’ 27 point defeat. The othet big surprise was Buffalo’s huge margin victory in Kansas City.

In other news my survival football team lost on the very first week, who knew Kansas City would play so bad home.

Bring on week two!