Ray Bentley, Vincent Poohsberry
Banner image by J.R. Lawless

Nine weeks of simulated football have been etched into the history books, and as the SFL’s 13th season draws to a close, the race for the playoff spots is heating up. The Pump Fake crew has been working tirelessly around the clock, desperately hoping to find a pot of gold or winning lottery ticket so we can just get out of this dump already. Meanwhile, Vincent “Vinnie the Pooh” Poohsberry, our resident live-in chef and exterminator, was working on a much more useful endeavor: finding out how the teams that are currently hovering around the final playoff spots can increase their chances to play past Week 13. Please note that while we appreciate Vincent’s excellent culinary skills, he is in no way an expert or definitive word on how the postseason picture will shake out – he is just a simple live-in chef and exterminator, after all. Vinnie has looked at the remaining schedule for the following five teams and has, to the best of his food-and-rat-infused mind, charted a path to victory for all involved. EDITORS NOTE: Bolded games are difficult, but still winnable, games upcoming for our bubble teams.

SIOUX FALLS SPARROWS

Record: 4 – 4 (.500)
Remaining Games: @ Aztecs | Corsairs | @ Storm | @ Wildcats

The Sparrows are currently sorted 10th on website standings, with a break even win-loss ratio, and would most likely be the final seed if the SFL threw their hands in the air and held playoffs RIGHT NOW RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND. Their upcoming schedule, however, is one Herculean task after the next: they will fly to Mexico City for a rematch against an Aztecs team that beat them by 3 at home, followed by hosting Queen City in Sioux Falls for the final home game of the Sparrows’ season. Afterwards, they finish out on the road with a brutal 1-2 punch against the Storm and the Wildcats. All four teams are highly likely to make the postseason, but if Sioux Falls is able to pull out at least two wins, perhaps an even season will be good enough for the 10th seed. Ultimately, I just kill the roaches in the Pump Fake offices though, so what do I know?

LONDON KNIGHTS

Record: 4-5 (0.444)
Remaining Games: Bye | @ Nightwings | Gladiators | Legion

London’s got a bit of an interesting case, and not just because they call fries “chips!” And chips “crisps!” Absolutely crazy to me, the live-in personal chef for the Support Staff, because those words are wrong. Anyways! London’s standing can’t improve this upcoming week as they have a bye. Normally, it’d be nice to get your players rested for the end of the season, but in the case of the Knights, they’re gonna need all the wins they can get to secure a postseason seed. While Reggie Streeter has been running his absolute brains out, the rest of the offense has been a mixed bag, and will need to get things quickly sorted out in Denver in Week 11. If the Knights can pull off a win against the current first seeded Nightwings, you can consider them Vinnie’s Postseason Lock to Probably Make the Postseason – just as long as they don’t rest on their laurels against the Gladiators and Legion.

LAS VEGAS FURY

Record: 4 – 5 (0.444)
Remaining Games: @ Nightwings | @ Pharaohs | Bye | Nightwings

Tom Ramen’s Fury has the same problem as the Knights, but compounded with the difficult schedule issue of the Sparrows: two games against the top-seeded Nightwings, one game against a struggling New Orleans, and a bye. Fortunately for Sin City, their last game is at home among the garish neon lights, which should help to scare and confuse the notoriously-easy scaring Denver in what could very well be a win-or-go-home matchup. If Vegas is serious about getting back into the dance, they’ll need at least two wins to reach a break even point – and with only two more teams left to face, pulling one off over Denver is nothing to thumb their noses at. Something to note: if both Vegas and London break even, London ate their first loss of their season to Las Vegas, making the Fury a dark horse candidate to prevent the Queen’s team from playoff contention yet again. Oh, wait! I forgot to reference my jobs as chef and exterminator in this writeup! Dang it!

TULSA DESPERADOS

Record: 3 – 5 (0.375)
Remaining Games: @ Renegades | Tyrants | @ Predators | Renegades

Our second team with no byes left in their schedule, the Desperados have a shot to make history if they can run the table. Two inter-state matchups and a game against another playoff hopeful (Charleston) lean towards possible for Tulsa at the moment, but the biggest factor in their schedule is their Week 11 home game against Seattle. Ashley Jackson and company will have to play their hearts out against the Tyrants again, as without four wins, the postseason window will likely be shut, since Sioux Falls holds a win over Tulsa from Week 3. However, the Desperados are like the opossum that lives in the bathroom ceiling of the Support Staff offices: tenacious, toothy, and able to fake-out even the best pest control chefs. Expect an exciting fight to close out the season from them.

CHARLESTON PREDATORS

Record: 3 – 5 (0.375)
Remaining Games: @ Tyrants | Swarm | Desperados | @ Skyhawks

Like a dessert made out of killer whales, we close out our article with the Charleston Predators. Their path is a little rockier, and the likely death knell for their postseason campaign would be a loss to, and in, Seattle. However, with some black magic and a lot of luck, the Predators might be able to still squeeze a break-even season out of the last three games. Unfortunately for Charleston, as they had previously fallen to the Fury and Queen City, without taking the W in all four of their final games will most likely not be enough to keep their playoff hopes alive – just like the amount of rat poison I’ve been using on the enormous rodent infestation under the building isn’t NEARLY enough to halt the crushing presence of the rats. Speaking of which! I’ve really gotta get back to that, so thank you for allowing me to prognosticate and matriculate about what I think these teams need to do! I hope you all have a great afternoon! Hey, Ray, how do I end these things? Like a letter?

Sincerely and with love,

Vincent Poohsberry

Thank you, Vincent! Your services in both keeping us full of food and bereft of insects are much appreciated! Until next time, loyal Pump Fake reader(s)!

DISCLAIMER: Pump Fake are a series of articles taking a lighter-side look at the Simulation Football League, and are barely anchored to reality as is. Any names, teams, and real life situations contained herein are purely hypothetical, including the author himself. Wait a seco-