Welcome back to the SML season in what could be the best collection of talent in the Wall Ball Arena ever. This league is stacked top to bottom and we almost had the defending champion shut out given the popularity of the league. In one calendar year (three seasons), I have turned this league into the premiere destination for CAC’s top talent. I’ve worked hard and spent countless hours organizing the league, producing quality content, even providing the players with a trophy and following through with an all-star game. Needless to say I feel real good about what I’ve done so in true Darrelle Revis fashion, I felt it was time for me to get paid!!!
So I refused to head to CAC training camp until my contract needs were met and such the standoff began with CAC management. Sure CAC’s training camp reality show was focused on how well they could do without me, and anyone can run that Sunday Morning League, but I stood my ground. I’m a diva and I will get what I want. Although things were looking bleak for me and I was resorting to drunken texts to management about what kind of mistake they were making, a fond farewell to a beloved CAC employee turned out to be just the leverage I needed. For those of you who don’t know, JZuk (who even filled in admirably in the SML a few times) is leaving the CAC family and heading to North Carolina to pursue higher education so as the saying goes,” I hate that you’re going, but I love to watch you leave”. Sure, JZuk sports an appealing behind, but with his departure, CAC had suffered a serious blow to their employee roster and I came in for the kill. Well not me….my entourage of agents and PR & Marketing people worked the CAC management over and got the deal I was looking for.
So with my holdout over, I’m glad to be back on my terms and I plan on providing you another great season. As I mentioned this appears to be the best collection of talent Wall Ball Arena has ever seen which is why these rankings have been so hard. I feel like I can go back and change these around in several different ways, but I decided to stick with my gut feelings so here we go.
#8 East Second Street Ballers
This league is stacked and unfortunately, someone had to go here. The Chops make their return to the league, bringing back stud, and I mean STUD TJ Jensen and hopefully he brought some help. They do have some new additions and they’re going to need them if they want to compete each week. TJ will keep them in plenty of games and if Paul N and Angel play well they’ll have a shot. Glad to have these guys back and I think they’ll surprise teams if they decide to overlook the 8th seeded ranking.
Again, this seems kind of low given they have the reigning MVP and a former DPOY. But they’re always battling attendance and can their bench continue to provide a spark to ease the burden off Mo and Drew. Word on the street is they’re working on bringing back Big Mark which would make their lives a hell of a lot easier and let’s not forget Jamsey running the point for this group. Basically, here is what I expect out of this group…start off slow, make a second half charge into the playoffs propelling themselves as the “hot” favorite, but then come the semi’s they are short guys and fall short….yet again.
#6 No Love
I wouldn’t be surprised if this team finishes higher in the standings at year’s end but without really knowing who’s on the final roster I just can’t tell. I’m sure DRuff and B-Money are coming back but will they be able to get consistent guys around them. They spent most of last season playing with 4 and I am sure they will do better if they can count on a sub or two. Until I know more, and DRuff has refused to answer my emails, I’m going to leave them here and see what happens.
#5 Worcester IceCats
You have no idea how excited I am to see this team back, even if I can’t stand Jimmy D. Sure Jimmy D plays some sick D and has expanded his offensive game, but given that he’s ducked me for some time now, I’ve lost some respect. Mr. I’ve won MVP and DPOY is just afraid to face my squads. Thankfully the rest of his team, in particularly Matt Foley & JFurg will be bringing their stifling defense and rugged tough offense back. I guess my only real question with them is will they be able to produce enough offense to run with some of the offensive juggernauts?
#4 Sunday Morning Legends
How in god’s name did they allow this team to in our league? Oh wait, I know….The playa prez is on this team and gave himself cart-blanch. Here’s what I expect from this team, they will shoot a lot of 3’s, play no defense and will probably argue on average 4 times a game. The egos on this team are incredible dominant and I’m not sure there are enough balls to go around for everyone to get their touches. Believe it or not, the team’s success doesn’t lie with Majic, Kaplan, Tibbs or Vladi, but with Z. The man will find ways to score without having the offense come through him and he’s the team’s best defender. He will anchor this squad although the other four will get all the press…..and make ALL the noise on the message boards.
#3 Yatch Rock
We got a new team here gracing us in the SML, but there are several familiar faces. I actually know this team very well, considering I played with them on Thursday nights last season, but without me, this team is remarkably better. Why you ask, well they get the return of Ed Finn, one of CAC’s all-time greatest guards. I filled in for Eddy last season after he broke his finger early on, and I promise you, he’s an upgrade over me. But this CAC great is not alone, as he has a couple of big men (who play like guards) in Mazz and Press which will carry the offensive load for them. I expect both to average well over 25+, mainly because they never pass, but if I shot that well, I wouldn’t either. Needless to say this team is automatically a contender with the firepower they have.
#2 Cold Blooded
After winning the first two SML titles, CB came up just short from CAC’s first ever 3peat despite my presence on the team. Well they’re coming back (yes they even allowed me to hang around for another season) and are hoping that attendance won’t slow them down again come playoff time. With Wachtel and Sheehen on the wings, and plenty of role players around them, they’ll be making another run at the title and bringing the Golden 40oz back where it rightfully belongs, in spite of my presence.
#1 The Situation
Up until a few weeks ago, Situation was outside looking in for this season as they were slow on the trigger in committing, but the powers that be just couldn’t justify not having the defending champions back to defend their title. As I have for all past seasons, the defending champs automatically gets this spot and despite rumblings of losing a guy or two, the core is back and that’s all that matters. They finally got over the hump and beat CB in a game but now they’ve become the hunted and will have everyone gunning for them. Can Bobby C motivate his boys to keep it going now that they finally have the title? I guess we shall see.
And now something CAC has never seen before. As you know I’m always trying to give you guys something new so aside from just the previews so I figured I would do something that has never been done before in all of the CAC leagues.
We all know how much we love the awards posted as the season ends, but why not, like they do in college hoops, come up with some PRE-SEASON awards as well. Of course this doesn’t mean much given no one has actually played a game except for the fact that you can now boast all season that you were pre-season…….
So here we go:
Pre Season MVP – Chris Maciejczak(Sunday Morning Legends)
Hard to ignore how he turned around Prime Time last season and with an even worse collection of stiffs, he’s going to have to do more and I fully expect him to.
Pre-Season DPOY – Jim Daigneault (Worcester IceCats)
He won it a few seasons ago and now that he’s back from a sore knee, he will own the paint and anchor the Cats overwhelming defense.
Pre-Season OPOY – Jon Mazzone (Yatch Rock)
A soon to be CAC HOF’er, this big man will drain shots from outside, drive with his head down (he’s going right people) to the hoop and has no real post up moves around the basket but at the end of the season will be averaging close to 30, shooting 40%+ from 3 and might, and I stress might, even average 5 assists a game.
Pre-Season ROY – John Press (Yatch Rock)
Not many brand new guys to CAC this season (that I know) so I’m going to limit it to people who have never played in the SML before, even as a fill-in. Well Press is going to be the guy at the end of the year holding this award. This bald guy can play!!!
Pre-Season 5th Man of the Year – Zarmon McCray (Sunday Morning Legends)
Somehow with all the garbage talent on this squad, Z’s going to come off the bench which is an absolute travesty. The ego’s on this team is just ridiculous and they should all check themselves at the door. But if Z’s their first guy off the bench, that’s as good as it gets.
Pre-Season GM of the year – Matt Kaplan (Sunday Morning Legends)
I truly pain’s me to give any award to the troll, but I got to hand it to him, he put CAC’s greatest guard ever on his squad in Vladi. Anyone that can pull that feat off is worthy of this award. We’ll see how the egos play together come the end of the season.
Pre-Season Tommy Award – Damian Ruff (No Love)
The man started his campaigning for this award last season, so he’s already have a leg up on people. It’s going to be tough to pry this award away from him, but I have a feeling they’re a few guys in this league that will try. But I fully expect DRuff to put his best effort forward….but it may require him to answer an email or two of mine….
Pre-Season First Team:
Chris Maciejczak – Sunday Morning Legends
Josh Wachtel – Cold Blooded
Jon Mazzone – Yatch Rock
Drew Legare – Hungover
Pre-Season Second Team:
Bobby Colantonio – The Situation
TJ Jensen – East Second Street Ballers
John Press – Yatch Rock
Jim Daigneault – Worcester IceCats
Pre-Season Third Team:
Morgan O’Loughlin – Hungover
Joe Sheheen –Cold Blooded
Matt Foley – Worcester IceCats
Jim Bayley – The Situation
Pre-Season All-Defensive Team:
Jim Daigneault – Worcester IceCats
Morgan O’Loughlin – Hungover
Josh Wachtel – Cold Blooded
Michael Boucher – The Situation