by Ray Bentley, Mexico City RB
The Mexico City Aztecs are World Champions. These were the words Joey Lynn was hoping to hear four seasons previous when he led his then-named Santa Fe Gorillas to within a single point of winning the championship. While the defeat was narrow, it was also crushing, and Lynn vowed to return to avenge his team. Season 6 was a letdown in many ways, with a final record that wasn’t good enough to enter the postseason. In the seasons that followed, two first-round exits awaited the hard work of the newly re-christened Mexico City Aztecs. The ninth season of the Simulation Football League, however, brought an unstoppable running back in Ray Bentley and the return of Matt “The Bronze Bomber” Willson under center. With those pieces, they were able to put on a record-breaking performance, winning a decisive 38-24 victory over the Chicago Wildcats. Even as the confetti fell around him onstage at Estadio Azteca, owner Lynn knew that while his previous trip to the championship had been vindicated, the hard work was only just beginning.
THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN
Of all the veteran teams to take the field for the Simulation Football League’s 10th season, the Aztecs are one that has changed the least, retaining all but two of their Season 9 roster. Gone are Ryan Moxon and Malcom A. Smith. King Wallis, Pablo Zamora, Jack Brown and Devin Cabrera are all returning to rebuild “The Wall” from last season with help from newcomers Landin Mack and Fran Ogawa. Offensively, as Lynn put it, “why change a good thing?” Fans can expect to see K.L. Barret, Dijon Swann and Richard Montague forming a handsome receiving corps on the field, while the dynamic duo of Matt Willson and Ray Bentley have re-signed with the Aztecs as well. Star kicker Kole Varner, now-homeless son of Wildcats owner Shann Varner, will be returning to reliably boot it through the uprights – but can he win back his father’s love?
With that amount of talent from last season already inked in, should the Eastern Conference be quaking in their boots at the idea of taking on such a ragtag group of champions? Player Progression says “not so fast!” While some teams have gone for broke investing in their running game, Mexico City has taken their stud MVP and locked him in at a somewhat surprising Bronze level contract. In fact, other than kicker Kole Varner, all other team members were signed to Bronze level contracts. Lynn is hoping that by building a steady foundation early on, by the end of the season his team will be confidently trucking forward, ready to take on all comers in the postseason. While the Aztecs host the Queen City Corsairs to open the Simulation Football League’s Season 10, look to their Week 4 contest against London to be the first true test of the Mexico City squad’s abilities.
ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
Last season was dominated by Ray Bentley’s running game. From his ability to shake off tackle after tackle, to him leaving the Commissioner and an Alaskan Storm defender gobsmacked on his way to a touchdown, people saw there was something special developing at halfback. This is obvious when looking at the signings board, with most running backs being inked to high level silver contracts and Queen City and San Francisco going all out with theirs at max level values. Here is also where I disclose that my player character is Ray Bentley and that while I am absolutely humbled that so many teams are looking to replicate the success that Mexico City enjoyed last season, without the minds of Joey Lynn and Matt Willson guiding the way, I can only wish those teams the best of luck. Lynn and Willson were the masterminds behind the Altered Beast, as well as the Montague Miracle, and they brought Mexico City both a championship and an MVP title. With them guiding the way through the Player Progression system, expect Mexico to emerge as a threat deep in the season.
CONQUERING THE CONQUISTADORS[event_list title=”” team=”217″ league=”0″ season=”145″ venue=”0″ status=”default” date=”default” day=”” number=”15″ order=”default” columns=”event,teams,time,league,season,venue,article” show_all_events_link=”0″ align=”none”]
I play for Mexico City. I’m proud of Mexico City, all my teammates, and the work we put into our on-field performance. That being said, I also respect the intelligence of my readers and myself, so you won’t see any cockamamie 12-0 malarkey here. To be completely honest, looking at the base level contracts of Queen City, Carolina, and Chicago, I personally would give Mexico a 1-2 record coming out of the first quarter of the season. When the Aztecs host London, however, is when the picture of the complete Aztec squad should begin to form. While the Eastern Conference is stacked, I think some competitors will run out of gas early on, while others might find an extra few gallons in the tank near the end. What does that spell for the Aztecs when all is said and done?
FINAL SEASON PREDICTION: 8-4 / Playoff Berth
THAT’S ALL FOLKS
Mexico City walked into Season 9 with a plan, and out with a ring. When I asked owner Joey Lynn what he wanted to do for Season 10, his response: “Why change a good thing? Hopefully we can do it all over again.” With him and Matt Willson behind the wheel and a group of veterans taking the field after a wild championship run, who knows? It might actually be possible. The Mexico City Aztecs host the Queen City Corsairs on January 4th at Estadio Azteca to kick off the Simulation Football League’s 10th season on the front page of Twitch – BE THERE!