Hooligans manager Charles Neely was the commander during the 2005-2006 SECFOR mission that gave rise to the OIL. His team has a distinctive Seahawks vibe to it, as he adopted the Seahawks as his favorite team while at Fort Lewis. Legend has it that SGM Venable, a notorious Broncos fan, asked Neely who his favorite team was before the mission really got started. Neely replied that he didn't have. Venable was aghast and said he wasn't going to war with someone who couldn't commit to a favorite team. So Neely adopted the Seahawks.
Fun fact: When coming up with a team identity for Neely, he had me send our designer a photo of the cast of Gangs of New York with a note that said he wanted his logo to be inspired by the hooligans of that film. That decision led to my favorite exchange with a logo designer since we started taking the OIL too seriously. Weeks later, when I emailed the designer to follow up on the design progress, he replied:
"Need a bit more information on the Hooligans. All I have right now is a picture of Daniel Day Lewis."
Maybe I have a very dry sense of humor, but that made me laugh out loud.
The Hooligans have two winning seasons in three years but have had to watch in agony as their rival War Pony won a championship two of those seasons.
Dirty Hippies manager Christopher Trovillo is the only OILer who never wore the 158 patch. Trovillo was an active-duty soldier at Fort Sill in 2007 when he somehow found himself at a party at Cliburn's house. He joined the OIL later that year. He currently holds the record for most consecutive seasons promising he'll be at the draft party and then not showing up. He lives in Tennessee, but that's no excuse.
The Hippies broke through in 2014, riding Le'Veon Bell to their first championship. Two years later, they did it again.
Enforcers manager Bill Straily is a retired soldier and retired police officer, hence the team name. He spent the 2006 SECFOR mission at Camp Delta, Iraq (near the Iranian border).
Straily took the OIL by storm in 2015, when he won nine regular season games en route to a first-round bye. But he missed the 2016 draft due to the birth of his grandson, and his autodraft was not kind. He limped to a 3-10 finish and has something to prove in 2017.
Doughboys manager Nick Green ranks fourth in the OIL in average points per season, and he averages a fourth-place finish over three OIL seasons. That's pretty impressive for someone who saves all year to go to the annual Street Fighter II convention. Fun fact: Although Green is a combat veteran and security professional, he's most proud of his cosplay as Guile. Sonic boom!
Dogs of War manager Aaron Cobb likes to market himself as the "tough guy" of the league, but, by my count, he's the only OILer to ever be knocked out on national TV. Cobb joined the league in 2007, although he was on the 2006 mission with the rest of the guys. In 2013, he rode Peyton Manning and the seven dwarves to an OIL championship, beating the Commish's Arrogant Americans in a travesty of justice the league has yet to recover from.
Fun fact: Cobb was unwittingly a part of "Straight Dave's Man-Slammin' Maxout" in the Oscar-nominated film Bruno.
Negligent Discharges manager Adam Schuster was on the 2006 SECFOR mission but only joined the OIL in 2014. He started his OIL career 6-1 and looked poised to reign supreme over the rest of the AFC . . . but looks can be deceiving. Since that 6-1 start, Schuster is 11-21, good for a 34.3% winning percentage. This team is the ultimate tease, and they have exactly zero playoff appearances to prove it.
You'd think someone with such a dismal record would keep quiet out of sheer shame, but not Schuster! No, he mouths off every year and thinks he can get away with it just because he got shot that one time in Ramadi. Listen here, Snowflake: whether you almost died or not, no one is going to take it easy on you here. The OIL is not a safe space: win or get made fun of.
Brewmasters manager Joshua Lynn decided he was too good for the rest of us grunts after the 2006 SECFOR mission and proceeded to go officer. He then moved to New York before accepting a job in Fort Worth. He now lives in North Dakota. Why do you hate your SECFOR brothers and why do you hate Oklahoma, Lynn?
On the field, Lynn began his OIL career with two-straight winning seasons and playoff appearances. But, in 2016, he drafted 20 RBs in the first five rounds and fell to 5-8.
Yancy Baldwin joined the OIL in 2011, when his Reapers franchise moved over from the now-defunct Man's Game League (MGL). His OIL career started with two playoff appearances and a 19-10 record, but it's been all downhill from there, going 20-32 over the next four seasons. However, in terms of points scored, the past four seasons have been even better than Baldwin's first two, when he averaged 1,700.85 points per season. For example, Baldwin scored 1,766.35 points in 2012 and finished 10-3. But, in 2016, even though he scored more points (1,783.00) than in 2012, he went a mirror image 3-10.
The difference? Besides changing his name from Reapers to Roughnecks, his opponents averaged just 120.94 points per game in 2012. In 2016? 147.15. That'll do it.
Blue Falcons manager Derek Baldwin has been in the OIL for two seasons, but already ranks in the top 11 for average points per game (142.84). Baldwin had the misfortune of 1. being born after Yancy Baldwin; 2. having the last name Baldwin; 3. being physically smaller than Yancy Baldwin; and 4. joining the same Army National Guard unit as Yancy Baldwin. Thus, he'll forever be referred to as "Little Baldwin."
Lil B finished one game away from a winning season in 2015 before making the playoffs at 7-6 in 2016. Can he make the jump and win a playoff game in 2017?
Vultures manager Stephen Brosh will do anything for a pair of Oakleys, used to walk through pad 14 pretending to be a raptor, and, most importantly for OIL purposes, was Cliburn's roommate in Baghdad (as well as going to basic training and AIT with Cliburn). Really, after that much time together, it's a wonder Brosh even joined the league when Cliburn invited him in 2014.
Brosh has three-straight winning seasons to begin his OIL career, as well as two semifinals appearances. Sadly, though, his title chances have been vultured from him two years in a row.