Who came away from Week 1 in the best and worst positions? We had three players -- Lyle Alzado, Rabid Ferrets, and Alabama Slammers -- start out in about as a good as a position as you could want. Each of them won their opener, and they were the only ones in their respective divisions to do so. Nice way to start!
Conversely, Deesato, Hyena, and Green Bowl Tokers each have their work cut out for them. Each of them started out this campaign with a loss, and now they're looking up at three winning players in their respective divisions.
But while an opening week win is always a nice thing, it's by no means going to be what makes or breaks a season down the road. Plenty of players have hoisted the 1-On-1 Super Bowl trophy after dropping their opener, and we've seen the wheels come crashing off after long early-season winning streaks. So, savor the win, but don't get cocky. Grumble about the loss, but don't let it define your season.
All right, let's see what's in store for the divisional matchups this week. As it happens, we have a perfect eight of them to look at, one from each division:
We'll start things off in the AFC North where I Will Win It All will look to keep things rolling with a win over JPP's Missing Fingers. As fate has it, it was JPP's Missing Fingers who had the stronger performance last week, but the way their opponents were set, he came away with a loss while I Will Win It All grabbed a win to kick things off. Now they take their dead-even 4-4 record against one another into a new season, and the sweetness of going 1-0 in the division on the line.
Down in the AFC South we have The Garoppolo Islands getting off to a rookie start against a pretty tough schedule. Last week she was able to beat Deesato, a 15-season vet, and this week she's taking on someone who knows what it's like to take this game to the distance -- 1-On-1 Super Bowl IX champion StuB. She put up the best rookie performance in the league last week, while StuB stumbled out the gate. Now it's remains to be seen if these two continue on those paths, or if they'll wind up crossing back over one another.
The division lead in the AFC East is on the line here, as Vlad M looks to protect his place at the top against our defending champ, Mary L. Even though this is their first season sharing a division together, this pair did meet up once before. That was a very important late-season contest last year in which each was fighting for their playoff seeding -- and one which ended in a very frustrating tie. Anything can happen, but the smart money would not be on that happening again here.
Over in the AFC West, we have a long-time rivalry opening up a new chapter. Over the course of five regular seasons, Why Not Zoidberg? is currently 6-4 over Secretly Victorious. They split their series last season, a year after Why Not Zoidberg? knocked Secretly Victorious out of the postseason en-route to a Super Bowl appearance.
In the NFC North, Pigskin Palookas needs to break a long-running pattern. For the past several seasons, he and Bassturds has traded season sweeps back and forth, and if the pattern holds, then this is Bassturds' year to get the first of a pair of wins here. Since he's already coming off of a divisional loss, dropping this one would put Pigskin Palookas into quite the deep hole to start his season.
In the NFC West, we have rookie Green Bowl Tokers looking to bounce back from a season-opening loss by facing off against the always-dangerous Evil Squad of Evil. After a ten-year drought without a playoff win, you know that Evil Squad Of Evil is going to be as hungry as can be for another shot at the postseason, and he can place himself firmly on the road to that goal by taking over the top of the division with a victory here.
Another rookie looking for their first win comes in the NFC South where LV-426 Xenomorphs is looking to bounce back by taking on Beep Bops. While Beep Bops is coming off of a loss himself, he put up a performance that would have beaten most of the league last week -- it was simply the fate of the schedule that put him up against one of the top-performing players to open the year.
Finally, we have another long-rivaled pairing in the NFC East, where Hyena and Bad Mice square off for the 23rd time. These two have been pretty much neck-and-neck throughout pool history, with Hyena maintaining a slight 11-10-1 edge in the win column. Both put up nice nine-pick performances last week, but Bad Mice came out on the good end while Hyena came up short.
Just like last week, we have two different Diverse Picks Match of the Week. The matches between The Garoppolo Islands/StuB and Green Bowl Tokers/Evil Squad of Evil both have nine differences, making another week where it's going to take a lot of upset results to come out on top here.
At the opposite end of the spectrum are Vlad M and Mary L who are facing off in a One-Hit Wonder Match of the Week. This one will be decided early on Sunday, with Vlad M needing a win from the Titans, and Mary L looking to the Texans to give her the victory.
So, check back after the games to see who grabs the early victory -- good luck all!
(Whoops, Ragesters won in the early session as well!)