Monday, November 23, 2015

Super Fool V Recap

PITTSBURGH—With intermittent flurries and temperatures in the 30s, Super Fool V, the fifth annual Pittsburgh comedians' football game, was the coldest ever. "This is not fucking worth it," said Collin Chamberlin, "I should be at home." Holly Price said she couldn't feel her hands, but Sean Collier said "The rest of us are dealing with the cold by being fat."

The comedians came prepared with water, Gatorade, a case of beer, and a box of wine. They were also decked out in their finest athletic gear. Brandon Schell appropriately wore a Matt Jones Jaguars jersey (a white wide receiver with multiple drug arrests). Mike Sasson wore sweatpants with cargo pockets, which Aaron Kleiber called "The Steel Valley white trash uniform. If you went to Co-Go's right now you'd see three guys in those sweatpants buying tea."
The night before the game
The pregame injury report indicated that several players were suffering from hangovers, including T-Robe, who was hanging out with Terrelle Pryor on the South Side (Pryor was ineligible for the game due to lack of comedy experience, but reportedly would've played in exchange for free tattoos). Brad Ryan said he had no feeling in his thumb as a result of a previous chainsaw accident. Aaron Kleiber wore three knee braces and said his shoulder was sore because he fell asleep on his arm Friday night while watching Jessica Jones on Netflix.

Zawodni & Sons, the two-time defending champions, would be going for a three-peat. The rosters:

Brad Ryan (Captain)
Ed Bailey
Mike Sasson
Aaron Kleiber
Ryan Garasich
Sean Collier
Harry Gilliland
Amanda Averell
Matt Wohlfarth
Dustin Dowling (traded from Zawodni & Sons in the first quarter due to injury on STDs)

Ray Zawodni (Captain)
Matt Light
Jeff Konkle
Day Bracey
Derrick Knopsnyder
Collin Chamberlin
Will Ness
PJ Williams
Holly Price
Brandon Schell
Aaron Kleiber smoking a cig before the game while wearing
a badass jacket he got on sale for only $12 (90% off) #GrownDadBusiness

Super Fool V got off to an unfortunate start. On the second play of the game, STDs' captain Brad Ryan suffered a dislocated shoulder when he hit the ground lunging for an underthrown Aaron Kleiber pass while being closely defended by Matt Light. Ryan left the game and called his girlfriend to take him to the hospital, where he spent four hours in the emergency room. Sources say he took his bag of wine with him. After his second serious injury in three Super Fool appearances, Ryan said he would never play football again. Sean Collier said Ryan "is made out of dried twigs like a scarecrow." Derrick Knopsnyder said Ryan "just fell down. Old people do that."

Forced to continue without their fearless leader, the STDs marched down the field until Matt Light intercepted Aaron Kleiber's pass at the goal line and took it all the way for a touchdown. The STDs struck back quickly though, with Kleiber hitting Mike Sasson with a long bomb for a score on the first play of the next drive. A frustrated Matt Light broke his inhaler on the sideline and had to go to his backup inhaler.
After forcing Zawodni & Sons to turn the ball over on downs, the STDs retook possession. However, quarterback Aaron Kleiber wasn't aware of the change in possession and did not sub back in, and T-Robe took over for the only play of the game in which Kleiber was not the STDs' quarterback. Unfortunately, T-Robe's pass intended for Collier was picked off by Jeff Konkle and returned for a touchdown.

Defensive stops forced a turnover on downs on each team's next drive and Dustin Dowling switched teams from Zawodni & Sons to the STDs because Brad Ryan's team was shorthanded due to his injury. After Harry Gilliland converted on fourth down for the STDs by deftly keeping his toes in bounds while making a first down catch, Kleiber connected with Sasson for another touchdown, evening the score at 2-2.
On Zawodni & Sons' next drive, quarterback Ray Zawodni spread the ball around before hooking up with Day Bracey for a touchdown. The STDs responded with a touchdown pass from Kleiber to Ed Bailey. The teams were permitted to rush the quarterback after counting 5 Mississippi, but were not doing so. Kleiber said if the other team was going to give him unlimited time, he would simply wait for a receiver to get open rather than forcing a throw and risking an interception.

Zawodni & Sons got the ball back with time winding down in the first half. Jeff Konkle took over at quarterback and completed two passes to Derrick Knopsnyder and two to Will Ness. However, despite using all three of their timeouts, Zawodni & Sons was unable to get into the end zone before time ran out when Ryan Garasich stopped Knopsnyder short of the goalline.

Halftime Score
Zawodni & Sons 3
STDs 3
The game was taking its toll on those unaccustomed to prolonged physical activity. "My legs are like jello," said Matt Light. The comedians took advantage of halftime to rest, refuel, and feed their addictions. Sean Collier said "halftime is brought to you by American Spirit, the official cigarette of delusional open mics." Holly Price, who received an MVP vote because she brought a case of beer, was also handing out protein bars. "I'll take a fucking breakfast sandwich or something," said Ray Zawodni.

With the low-scoring first half ending in a tie, it was still anybody's game. Zawodni & Sons was able to score only once on offense in the first half, but made up for it with two defensive touchdowns coming on interceptions. While winning the turnover battle was critical, they would need to jumpstart their offense to have a chance to win.

They did just that on their first possession of the second half. When Zawodni completed a pass to last overall pick Brandon Schell near midfield, many STDs players stopped, thinking Ryan Garasich had got Schell's flag and the play was over. However, Schell's flags remained intact and he was able to make it into the end zone before anyone could stop him. "This is my moment! I want to be in the article!" said Schell. He told quarterback Zawodni "Thanks for having faith in me, bro." Zawodni responded "No problem, there's plenty more where that came from—just kidding, that's the last time you'll touch the ball."

After the STDs evened the score again with a touchdown pass from Kleiber to Dowling, Matt Light changed jerseys, hoping the switch would revitalize his team like in Mighty Ducks 2. It must've worked, because on the ensuing drive Light made the best play of the game. When Jeff Konkle threw a long pass to Light near the sideline, he reached up to make an acrobatic catch, managed to keep his balance and stay in bounds, then skirted past two defenders into the endzone. Watching from the sideline, Kleiber said "Holy fuck."

Even at this point in the game, players were still shaken by thoughts of Brad Ryan's injury. When Matt Wohlfarth went to the ground on a similar play, there was a second before he got up where another injury was feared. Konkle said "From now on, everyone over 40 has to say 'I'm fine' when they fall down."
After Kleiber threw a touchdown pass to Ed Bailey (Kleiber: "That touchdown is brought to you by Epicast") to make the score 5-5 (#GrownDadBusiness), the game reached its turning point. Zawodni & Sons struck back quickly with a touchdown pass from Konkle to Will Ness to regain the lead, and on the ensuing STDs drive, Zawodni & Sons defensive coordinator Matt Light changed his team's defensive strategy and began to pressure the opposing quarterback by counting 5 Mississippi then blitzing. Light's first blitz forced Kleiber to get rid of the ball and Ness came up with the interception and returned it for a touchdown. Collin Chamberlin mocked Kleiber by throwing a bag of chips at him. On the first play of the next drive, another Light blitz precipitated Kleiber getting intercepted by PJ Williams.

Though the STDs got the ball back when T-Robe intercepted Konkle, they were not able to capitalize on it. Under the pressure of Zawodni & Sons' blitzing defense, Kleiber threw a screen pass to T-Robe which ended in a safety when Zawodni brought him down behind the line of scrimmage (a safety resulted in a change of possession, but no points). Kleiber said his team was "falling apart."

Zawodni & Sons took advantage of the turnover, with Knopsnyder catching a touchdown pass from Konkle. It was noted that Konkle was living up to his status as a second round draft pick. Coincidentally, during the drive home after the game, an old clip of Konkle was played on DVE radio in which he joked about being terrible at sports growing up. Maybe Konkle just didn't hit puberty until he was 18, because he's pretty good now, only narrowly missing out on being named the game's MVP.

Zawodni & Sons soon regained possession again after forcing the STDs to turn the ball over on downs. Despite holding a comfortable 8-5 lead with time winding down, they attempted to keep a play alive with repeated laterals until the ball came loose near their own goal line. Under pressure from Harry Gilliland, Matt Light knocked the ball forward out of his own end zone and it went out of bounds. However, because the offense cannot advance a fumbled ball by knocking it forward, the play was ruled a safety and the STDs took possession.

Another Ed Bailey touchdown from Kleiber brought the STDs to within two scores, but on the first play of the ensuing Zawodni & Sons drive, PJ Williams threw a long touchdown pass to Zawodni, icing the game by making the score 9-6 with just seconds left. With a touchdown on his only pass attempt of the game, Williams turned in a perfect QB rating, tying the record set last year by Ron Renwick, who did the same thing on his only pass attempt. "I feel privileged to be in the company of Ron Renwick," said Williams and no one else ever.

With only enough time left for one play, the STDs attempted to keep the ball alive with laterals, but the game ended when Will Ness came up with the ball carrier's flag.

Final Score
Zawodni & Sons 9
STDs 6
When time expired, Matt Light popped open a bottle of $6 champagne and sprayed it everywhere while jubilantly screaming "Fuck her right in the pussy!" Having just secured his third consecutive Super Fool championship, captain Ray Zawodni said he expected to get the three-peat but complimented Brad Ryan on drafting a good team that put forth a good effort. Both teams played well and the game was neck and neck until the middle of the second half when Zawodni & Sons began to pull away.

The moment Zawodni & Sons secured victory was when Light started to blitz the quarterback. The first time he did so, Will Ness got an interception and scored what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown. Under such intense defensive pressure, the STDs were unable to find their footing and managed to score only one more time, after the game was essentially out of reach.
Captain of Three-peat Champions


Awards are voted on by the Pittsburgh Comedy Intramural Sports Writers Association.

Most Valuable Player
Winner - WILL NESS
A Super Fool rookie who was considered a potential sleeper at the draft, Will Ness exceeded even those high expectations and turned in an MVP performance. On offense, he had four receptions and scored a touchdown that gave Zawodni & Sons a lead they would not relinquish. But it was his dominant defensive performance that stood out most. Not only did he score the game-winning touchdown on an interception return, but he was all over the field, making important defensive stops throughout the game. He turned in a game-high 7 tackles and undoubtedly prevented multiple scores.

As a result of Ness's MVP performance, Matt Light offered him a spot on January's Lights Out show at the Improv (though Light added he would be required to bring 90 people).

Brad Ryan Spirit Award
Winner - BRAD RYAN
Named in honor of Brad Ryan due to the devastating injury he suffered in Super Fool I, the Brad Ryan Spirit Award is given to a player who left it all on the field. Brad Ryan won his own award last year for bravely coming out of retirement to play in Super Fool IV, and this year he wasted no time securing a second consecutive BRSA win by suffering yet another devastating injury on the second play of the game. Afterwards, he said he would never play football again and, for the love of God, let's hope he adheres to that. He needs to stick to less dangerous sports, like skydiving.

James J. Hamilton Award For Excellence In Journalism
James J. Hamilton won a well-deserved second consecutive James J. Hamilton Award For Excellence In Journalism, obviously. Feel free to nominate him for a Pulitzer Prize.