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The 2023 League Championship (and Anthem Bowl) Preview

At long last we have reached the end of the line. The gauntlet has thinned the herd to two, and before the year is out a new Champion will be crowned. More than that, an Anthem singer will be determined: either a new name will seize the mic or an old name will perform an encore. Who will triumph in the rivalry Championship matchup and claim his first title in over a decade (at least)? Who will sing our nation’s anthem next August/September (pending League negotiations with Frank’s travel agent)? Lets break it down.

The 2024 League Championship Game

It has been an incredibly long journey for BJC to get to this point. It has been well documented that his last and only championship occurred way back in 2004, but he also hasn’t even appeared in a League title game since that point, falling in the League Semis a total 5 times in the ensuing years. A triumphant win over the no-show Commish last week, exorcising the demons of his historic 2014 playoff loss, has brought him back to the precipice of ending The League’s second-longest championship drought (trailing only fellow original League member Maven who has never claimed a title).

The Central Division champ Brainbusters made it to this point behind The League’s second-highest scoring average, powered by QB1 overall Josh Allen. Allen will be sure to force feed his top two targets in Mike Evans and DJ Moore, both of whom have been outstanding this year, in particular Evans who’s monster game last week helped propel Brian past The Commish. The ground game is driven by a couple of big bruising backs in Derrick “The King” Henry and Gus Edwards, who have both feasted on the goal line this year.

On the other side of the Championship aisle is Brainbuster’s longtime rival Ryan Olsen and his Outatime squad. Though not quite wandering the desert for 20 years like BJC, Olsen is going through an 11 year title drought himself, last raising the trophy in 2012. Olsen last reached the big game in 2015, where he was bum rushed by Vaf and Jamal Charles’ infamous 5 TD performance. To get here, Olsen had to take down a pair of his West Division foes in Vaf and then 12-win Jacky G, bringing back memories of Olsen’s 2006 title where he bumped off the then-undefeated Commish in the Semis en route to his first of two League Championships. Outatime has now won 7 of their last 8, scoring over 113 in each of the last 6.

Olsen’s team is powered by his surprise elite RB pairing of waiver pickup Kyren Williams and mid round pick Rachad White. The WR trio of Chase-Olave-Ridley seemed more potent coming out of the draft than they have been this season, but they still provide plenty of firepower for a team that has put up points in bunches over the past month and a half. Isaiah Likely has been a revelation at TE and it appears Stafford will get the nod at QB as Outatime hopes his recent hot streak will continue in the big dance.

The oddsmakers have Olsen has a large favorite here, opening up as a 13+ point favorite. But as we all know, the game ain’t played on paper. Well, our game is technically I guess but fuck off you know what I mean. BJC has proven time and again this year that he has a team that can score and score big. There’s a couple of big injuries on both sides that the managers will need to navigate, as Brian will be without Josh Jacobs and potentially Cole Kmet, and Jamar Chase is banged up for Olsen. The Stafford/Fields decision Olsen makes could prove critical. The stakes are high, and the pressure around the managers is at a fever pitch. No matter how it shakes out, one drought will end. Who will drink from the Championship waters, and who will have to continue on, thirst unquenched for at least another year? Today, we will have our answer.

The Anthem Bowl

While the Championship game has the chance to define legacies, the Anthem Bowl will do so without a doubt. Meade has spent most of the season in the cellar, finishing with the 12 overall seed. He has The League’s second-worst career winning percentage, but has won multiple championships and has never sung an Anthem, insulating from true historical criticism. That could all end with a loss today, which would put the punctuation mark on a season to forget.

On the other side, of course, is Cody Daily and his So Much Honey squad. The hive has run dry over recent years, and while the honey used to overflow it now just seems to feebly pump out dust. Diesel has sung the Anthem in 2 of the last 3 seasons, including last year, and is himself trying to avoid history. With a loss he would become just the second back to back Anthem singer in history, earning him a t-shirt commemorating the feat, and would also become The League’s first 3-time Anthem singer. In fact, it would mark 3 of the last 4 Anthems, and give Cody the League’s first ever Anthem dynasty.

These two teams don’t deserve the long dissertation. They deserve only our derision. And we deserve the Anthem drama to go down to the bitter end. So here’s hoping for a close game that’s decided by JJ and Doubs on Sunday night. And when its done, we can hand one of these turds the mic and finally flush them down the toilet.

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