Neely and the Hooligans are fresh off a beatdown of the number-one ranked draft class, after finishing in last place in 2018. The schedule doesn't get easier this week, as they face two-time AFC champion Zerger and his Redlegs. Regardless of whether Antonio Brown plays for the Redlegs this week, I am picking Neely to notch his second win of the season (half of his 2018 total).
This may seem odd that the two worst teams in the NFC qualify as the game of the week. But these two are perennial contenders in danger of falling to 0-2. Historically, less than 25% of 0-2 teams have made the playoffs. DominationStation just lost TE Hunter Henry, but I'm counting on Jessen to fill that position and doom the Hippies to an 0-2 start.
The two-time champion against the newcomer. The Havoc joined the league last season and drafted their own team for the first time this season. I'm picking Stanley to knock off the two-time champ Brawlers.
Fourteen years have passed since we first sat at Snow Hall and learned that the 1st Battalion of the 158th Field Artillery regiment was being called up for service in Iraq. A lot has changed during that time, so let's take some time to catch up, this time with Dirty Hippies manager Christopher Trovillo.
What is your military background?
TROVILLO: Unlike the rest of the OIL, I was never in the 158. I was an active-duty guy that met Cliburn out in the civilian world just after he got back from that 2006 mission. I ended up hanging out at Cliburn's house quite a bit, and he invited me into the second season of the OIL. I got out of the Army in 2007.
What did you do after that?
TROVILLO: I moved back home.
Where are your from and how did you make it to Cliburn's house?
TROVILLO: I am originally from Tullahoma, Tennessee. I got to Fort Sill via the regular army. I met Cliburn's brother at a bar, and he invited me to Cliburn's house for the after-party.
Where do you live now?
TROVILLO: I now live in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, which is a suburb of Chattanooga, Tennessee.
What are your hobbies outside of FF?
TROVILLO: I like to spend time with my kids, going to the Discovery Science Museum and rock climbing. [Editor's Note: I hope his toddlers are not rock climbing with him.] I also like to play video games.
What is your fantasy background?
TROVILLO: I've been playing fantasy since 2006. I've been a part of four different leagues, but I am currently active in two.
How many championships have you won?
TROVILLO: I've won two OIL championships, but none in my other leagues.
What is your general strategy in FF?
TROVILLO: I like to pick a sure thing in the first couple of rounds, usually going RB-WR or WR-RB in the first two rounds. I generally take best available after that.
How much preparation do you do before each season?
TROVILLO: Most seasons I do quite a bit. This last season I didn't do any, and it showed. I was working so much and spending time with my family and just didn't have the time to prepare like I normally do.
Do you find you draft better at the cabin with the guys or at home online?
TROVILLO: Definitely better at home. When I am at the cabin, I find that I am focused on . . . other things.
Will you be at the draft cabin next year?
What is the best move you've made in FF?
TROVILLO: I can't remember anything past this current year. This year wasn't my best year making moves. [Editor's Note: Trovillo added rookie WR Odell Beckham, Jr. as a free agent early in 2014. Beckham became the OIL's highest-scoring WR over the last 12 weeks of the season, and Trovillo won his first championship.]
What is your favorite FF memory?
TROVILLO: My favorite memory is probably draft related. I really enjoyed spending time at the cabin and blowing up Brick's cooler. The pinnacle of my fantasy football career would have to be the first round of the 2016 playoffs. I was down 42 points against Cliburn with Le'Veon Bell as the only guy that I had left to play. He scored over 50 points, and I won my second championship two weeks later.
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.
2016 champion Christopher Trovillo finally got around to showing off his championships jersey(s) and trophies. His helmet is below.
By OIL Commissioner Justin C. Cliburn
They're here! They're here! Actually, I'm not sure why I'm so excited, since my third 'Mericans jersey somehow hasn't arrived yet. But I'm always excited to see our fake football designs turned into real jerseys. As always, these jerseys are brought to you by HopcoSports.com. Previous years' championship jerseys are here. First, your AFC champion Redlegs:
Since it is his first championship, Zerger went with the home red jersey. The numbers and lettering on this one are sewn-on tackle twill. Next up, the NFC champion Dirty Hippies:
This is Trovillo's second championship, so he ordered a white away jersey. Because of the tie-dyed elements of the lettering and numbers, those are ironed-on. Finally, the worst-to-first PFC champion Dirty Dogs:
Buehre's home black jersey represents his first championship. Like Zerger's, Buehre's lettering and numbers are sewn-on like the real thing. Each of these jerseys has been shipped to its rightful owner. Congratulations, guys.
By OIL Commissioner Justin C. Cliburn
Congratulations to Christopher Trovillo, whose Dirty Hippies won the 2016 Liberty Bowl. He will hold the Tenequer Memorial Trophy in trust until a new champion is crowned. He also earned a custom mini-helmet with the win, and the Commissioner awaits his instructions regarding said helmet.
As far as Lance Zerger goes, his Redlegs fell short in their quest to win their first week 17 championship. But the season was a monstrous success regardless. The Redlegs set a record for most points in single season, won 12 games, and won the AFC's Thunder Bowl. He will have his name engraved on the Killman Memorial Trophy and his custom jersey has been ordered.
Well, that's it for the 2016 OIL season. Congratulations to the three conference champions: Buehre, Trovillo, and Zerger. The 2017 draft order will be posted soon, and I'll get started on the 2016 edition of the Book of OIL. Be prepared for lots of emails soliciting your feedback on the 2016 draft party, trades, rivalry week, season, and playoffs.
Zerger has plans to coordinate an OIL March Madness pool, and we'll be finding ways to raise money for the 2017 draft weekend, which will again occur at the Roberts Retreat Lodge north of Ada. Our deposit has been paid, and we need to pay $3,100 by August to keep the rental (and not lose the $780 deposit). Anyone who was at the 2016 draft can vouch for how amazing the venue is: 5,000 square-foot cabin; private lake; ATV trails; shooting range; ping pong table; big screen TVs; huge wrap-around porch; and the company of your SECFOR brothers.
If you'd like to make your donation now, the link is here. You can view photos, videos, and audio clips of the 2016 draft weekend here. If you encounter a password prompt, the password is oklahoma*** with the *** being the number of our military unit.
Happy New Year, brothers. Something tells me we'll keep in touch all offseason using the GroupMe chat (thanks to Zerger for suggesting that). For all of those who didn't win a championship in 2016 (including me), the new year provides new hope. In the meantime, check out the championship banners hung at the top of each champion's manager page:
The two highest-scoring champions in week 16 were the NFC's Dirty Hippies and the AFC's Redlegs. They'll now play for the right to the Tenequer Memorial Trophy and a custom team mini-helmet. Each squad is dealing with several starters resting in week 17, so these lineups are subject to change and are not final until the noon games kickoff on Sunday.
We're finally here. 42 teams have been whittled down to six. Those six are: Zerger; Green; Cobb; Trovillo; Buehre; and Brake. Game-by-game analysis after the jump.
After a long, grueling tournament, the Dirty Hippies have been declared the OIL's best uniforms. Congratulations to Trovillo and the Hippies, who also won the 2014 OIL Bowl and Liberty Bowl.