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Loser League Second Half Report

At Football Outsiders, we do not focus only on the All-Pros and fantasy studs. We pride ourselves in pointing out incompetence at all levels. In that spirit, the Loser League strives to highlight the very worst regular players and allow those poor souls who struggle at regular fantasy football an opportunity to be successful.

The second half of this year's contest came down to the final week with Ready to Crumble overtaking The Shiznitzs to claim a copy of Pro Football Prospectus 2006. The Shiznits were undone by strong performances by Gus Frerotte, Kevan Barlow (via penalty), and Corey Bradford in Week 17 and fell all the way to fourth. Ready to Crumble survived the late-season benching of Kyle Orton thanks to the continued poor play of Alex Smith. In second place, Very Superman Team put his faith in the offensive genius of Brian Billick, riding Jamal Lewis and Kyle Boller to a strong finish. The final standings for the whole season can be seen here.

What do all three of these championship-caliber teams have in common? They all wisely chose second-half Loser League MVP Antowain Smith. While Oakland kicker Sebastian Jankikowski had the lowest point total, six kickers scored within 20 points of him. Smith, on the other hand, had only one running back within 23 points of him. Congratulations to the former leading rusher of two Super Bowl winning teams for a level of incompetence that would make Kevan Barlow proud.

The Second-Half Loser League All-Pro Team features many expected names, but it also includes one of the best wide receivers in football as well as the first running back taken in the real NFL draft in each of the past three seasons. Also, a year after Marshall Faulk claimed a spot on the second team, another future Hall of Famer in the twilight of his career makes an appearance.

First Team

QB: Kyle Orton -- 44 points
RB: Antowain Smith -- 34 points
RB: Willis McGahee -- 50 points
WR: Shaun McDonald -- 31 points
WR: Keyshawn Johnson -- 40 points
K: Sebastian Janikowski -- 21 points

Second Team:

QB: Brett Favre -- 66 points
RB: Ronnie Brown -- 57 points
RB: Stephen Jackson -- 69 points
WR: Nate Burleson -- 42 points
WR: Deion Branch -- 48 points
K: Rob Bironas -- 32 points

To begin, Keyshawn, if you are reading, you are neither one of the best wide receivers in football nor a future Hall of Famer. The top-shelf wide receiver is Deion Branch and the future Hall of Famer is Favre. Both of these players had the rare combination of helping both Loser League teams and their actual teams, as Aaron detailed in this week's Quick Reads column. Nate Burleson was theoretically a capable replacement for Randy Moss, but I think this is the only All-anything team he is going to make this year.

Second-half MVP Antowain Smith was only in the lineup thanks to an injury to Deuce McAllister. It takes a special talent to perform as a Loser League All-Star and stay in the lineup for the entire season. With that in mind, here is the season-long All-Loser team.

First Team

QB: Kyle Orton -- 94 Points
RB: Jamal Lewis -- 126 Points
RB: Reuben Droughns -- 145 Points
WR: Bryant Johnson -- 106 Points
WR: Jerry Porter -- 107 Points
K: Ryan Longwell -- 70 Points

Second Team

QB: Alex Smith -- 142 Points
RB: Willis McGahee -- 146 Points
RB: Ronnie Brown -- 150 Points
WR: Antwaan Randle El -- 111 Points
WR: Laveranues Coles -- 112 Points
K: Sebastian Janikowsi -- 76 Points

The presence of rookies Orton and Smith on the All-Loser squads is no surprise and a reminder of just how impressive Ben Roethlisberger's season was a year ago. Special props to Bryant Johnson, who showed he was no Brandon Stokley while playing alongside the talented wide receivers in Arizona. For the season, Johnson caught exactly two passes in six of 16 games and scored only one touchdown. Remember, a receiver needs two catches to avoid a penalty.

Only one player made the full-season All-Loser team two consecutive seasons. Congratulations to Laveranues Coles! As Santana Moss proved, it was really the offensive scheme in Washington that was causing the problems.

The season-long MVP goes in a unanimous vote to Kyle Orton, the efficient game-manager for the Bears. Injuries to Alex Smith made what should have been a tight race a runaway, with Orton posting a score 48 points lower than his nearest competitor. Imagine how low Orton's score could have been if he did not receive the penalty in Week 16!

Thanks to everyone who played in another successful season of Loser League. In all, 215 people participated in the second-half contest. These teams featured a wide variety of names from nostalgic, The Christian Okoye Coalition, to hopeful, Go Browns (Even though it will screw my team), to a slight confusion over what sport we are writing about, Kill Neifi Perez.

And now the big announcement ... combining the first-half and second-half contests, the overall winner of this year's Loser League, and winner of a Ryan Leaf replica San Diego Chargers jersey, is Christ Punchers, who finished third in the first half and sixth in the second half.

We look forward to another exciting season a year from now in the only game around where Charlie Frye will be a coveted commodity.


by VarlosZ (not verified) :: Tue, 01/03/2006 - 5:30pm

Heheh . . . 'Christ Punchers.'

"I don't think you understand the nature of my objection. . ."

by Bassett (not verified) :: Tue, 01/03/2006 - 6:32pm

I do want to state that the Motorboating SOBs were built to lose the losers league, and in that, didn't even succeed... well done, Bengals2005

by BillT (Kill Neifi Perez) (not verified) :: Tue, 01/03/2006 - 6:34pm

Actually, I think I was the one being hopeful...

by Sid (not verified) :: Tue, 01/03/2006 - 8:26pm

Crud. I must've come close to winning the overall thing. I finished pretty well in the first and second halves.
I was undone in the 2nd half by Shipp, Barlow, and WRs who continually incurred penalties. Clarett's Folly was the team name.

by DavidH (not verified) :: Tue, 01/03/2006 - 9:15pm

Sid, I beat you in both halves. Neener neener. I think I may have finished 2nd for the year. I beat CP by 20 in the first half, and was 29 behind him in the second.

OK, I just added it up. I beat you by 66, which means CP beat you by 75. Who knows, that could be 3rd.

Of course, I finished next to last in our real FF league on Yahoo.

(Vote For Pedro)

By the way, the link to the first half results is in my name.

by Sid (not verified) :: Tue, 01/03/2006 - 9:34pm

David, I guess you're just better than me at picking bad football players (on both FO and Yahoo!). :P

by Sid (not verified) :: Tue, 01/03/2006 - 9:37pm

Oh yeah, the last week of Loser League absolutely killed my team. I took a ton of penalties, and fell in the standings from 9th to 28th (IIRC). I ranked 199th in Week 17 with 62 points. Longwell and Nugent both had great games, and I took penalties from Kevan Barlow, Troy Brown, and Antwaan Randle El

by emcee fleshy (not verified) :: Tue, 01/03/2006 - 10:17pm

Christ Punchers?

I am neither easy to offend nor christian. Nonetheless, I am offended.

And a little impressed.

by NF (not verified) :: Tue, 01/03/2006 - 10:29pm

The Guys Get Shirts!, a horrible team at QB and RB was undone by a trio of WRs who either sucked too much or did not suck enough.

Coincidentally, poor WR selection also kept my real FF team out of the playoffs.

by mactbone (not verified) :: Wed, 01/04/2006 - 11:45am

I knew Rueben Droughns was a solid pick.

I don't think I would have won anything, but my first half team and second half team had different names. I didn't realize the whole season was being accounted for.

Of course, I thought my names were somewhat clever and had to share them.
Quinn and Krenzel's Quarterback Kamp
Like Giant Radioactive Rubber Pants!

by Polish Wonder (not verified) :: Wed, 01/04/2006 - 1:58pm

I want to thank you guys for putting together the loser league - although it was hard to explain to my friends why I was cheering for guys like Orton & Harrington. I had a great 8 week run in the first half & lost it on the ninth week. Then just when I thought I'd gotten into the year long race, the penalties in the last 2 weeks killed me. I hate Kevan Barlow!!

by Jason (not verified) :: Wed, 01/04/2006 - 2:50pm

People should realize that the name Christ Punchers is a Simpsons reference

by Potomac Drainage Basin Indigenous Person (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 2:39am

One of the funniest columns of the year!

by Catfish (not verified) :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 1:16am

Wow, 2nd place. I haven't really followed my team all year and wasn't expecting to do this well. In case any of you are wondering, I got the name "Very Superman Team" off of a shopping bag in Tianamen Square. I have no idea what it is or what it means, and all the results in a google search for "Very Superman Team" point to FO. Can anyone enlighten me as to the origin of my teams name?