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Me vs. PT in the finals

It’s the matchup we’ve all been waiting for.

Okay, so actually it’s the matchup that only Patrick Bryant and I have been waiting for. As we enter week 16 of the National Football League season, Patrick and I are playing in the championship game of our fantasy football league.

This is the third year of the Boone Dogs league and my first appearance in the league title game. It’s Patrick second consecutive championship game appearance.

I was the number one seed in the league the first year it was organized, but was upset in the first round of the playoffs by Heather Lifsey, our senior sports writer here at the News-Herald. I finished fourth after losing to former Composition Manager Lauren Morris in the Consolation Game.

Last year I had good playoff success but it followed a miserable season. I managed to win the Consolation Ladder, but didn’t even qualify for the playoffs.

Patrick on the other hand, made the finals in year one of our league and last year finished in the third spot.

This year we started our league in opposite positions. Patrick drafted number two overall in a 16-team league and I drew the number 15 slot. Needless to say I wasn’t expecting much, but I’ve made a few pickups along the way that have helped and I’ve put together a strong receiving corps.

This year we had eight teams making the playoffs and I entered as the number seven seed after having finished second in my division and losing to the top team in the Green Division (the Windsor Warriors of Jennipher Dickens) heading into the playoffs.

As is my luck, I drew Jennipher in the first round. She was 12-1 and I was 8-5, but her only loss was to me in the second week of the season. She then beat me in the final regular-season matchup. Thanks to Matt Schaub’s return to start at quarterback for the Houston Texans, I was able to defeat Jennipher and hand her just her second loss of the season.

In the semi-final round I drew Gene Motley, our seasoned sports writer here at the newspaper. Gene started slow, but had won four straight heading into our game. This time it was the New York Jets defense that came up big for me and I also got a little help from Indianapolis Colts backup Dominic Rhodes as I edged Gene 127-108.

While I was battling the News-Herald crew, Patrick made the championship via Alabama where he first knocked off The Demopolis Times Publisher Jason Canon 149-97 before squaring off with regular-season champion Jeremy D. Smith, the Sports Editor of the Times. Jeremy was 13-1 and the number one overall seed, but Patrick had an excellent week thanks in large part to Tampa Bay wideout Antonio Bryant and edged Jeremy 99-83.

That leaves Patrick and me – the two founders of this league – battling each other in the finals for the first time. I’ll be starting Shaun Hill at quarterback thanks to injuries to Carson Palmer and Alex Smith. He’ll likely have rookie Matt Ryan in that same spot.

Either way, we’ll have a good time laughing at each other this week. One of us will earn bragging rights and the other will have to wait another year to join Heather and former News-Herald Publisher Jeff Findley (2006 and 2007 respectively) as league champions.

Thadd White is Staff Writer and Sports Editor of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. He can be reached via email at thadd.white@r-cnews.com or by telephone at 332-7211.