Okay, I went a little far afield in this post’s monologue. If you just want to find out what happened in Week 2 of the PGF, you can scroll down to “PGF WEEK 2 MATCHUPS(predictions with UPDATES/comments on actual results):” below. But, you might be interested in the monologue.
I lost my best friend in January 2017. He was a bear of a man, but the most brotherly brother you could have. His life stories were the stuff of legend; many of us said we should put them together and print a best seller. He was my wife’s favorite of all my friends. He would do anything for you. He was my pledge son, my roommate, my fellow Saints fan, my friend who served as my sounding board for so many things and would just listen when I needed to vent. He’s the guy who anyone could count on to help them move (which says a lot). He was always there when you needed him. Amongst my closest friends, I think we all acknowledge him as the best of us. In one of his very brotherly moves, almost a dozen years ago, he created a fantasy football league for our group of friends who had attended the local university (local to where we mostly grew up). He based it in part off the television show “The League.” He wanted to have something that kept us connected as we grew further apart. Now, you may be asking yourself, why is Egghead going down memory lane here? First, because I can never say enough about that man and talking about a lost brother keeps them alive. Second, I would never have ever messed with fantasy anything if it hadn’t been for Brad. But there’s more…there’s been a disturbance in the PGF force. There’s been:
I’m going to have to pull a RUXIN (here’s how The League ties in) and call COLLUSION! on some actions during week 2 of the PGF.
Here’s a little hint as to whose performance we shouldn’t take on face value:
What am I talking about? I’m talking about Stephen “Gentlemen’s Agreement/Shoeless Joe” Eakin GIVING Sam Barbosa the submission during their match. Sure, Sam may have finished Stephen, but there was less than one minute left and as Eakin has said “[he’s] a bad man.” But behind the scenes, Eakin continued to immediately admit he let Sam get the submission:
At around the pic above, Eakin said “that was another…draw,” “they don’t know today, but they will know when it’s over” or words to that effect, then he made that smile.
He went on later to describe the talk amongst Sam and the Blue team about securing team points and the idea of letting someone get the submission to help everyone get a point. Specifically, Eakin went on to describe his mindset when he gave the submission to Barbosa:
Sam went on to admit Eakin gave him the submission. If you look at the live chat for week 2 at about 43:43, you’ll see:
BUT, let’s see how this COLLUSION/Shoeless Joe betrayal has affected the fantasy rankings. Let’s look at the top five or so…
Imagine that McWhorter is on top…but who did he pick for week 2? Let’s look:
You might notice. McWhorter had Sam Barbosa on his roster. If Sam didn’t get his COLLUSION win, I would be in the lead by 3 points.
We can look at the guy in second place. Look who’s on his week 2 roster:
That’s right. Sam Barbosa is on his roster as well. So, I’d be ahead of the guy in second place as well had Eakin not provided the “gimme” to Sam.
Finally, let’s look at the guy tied for third place:
Oh look! He has Sam Barbosa as well. Again, take six points off the total.
Yeah, Shenanigans were afoot in week 2. BMAC tried to warn us. He said the team stuff led to some “Chicanery and underhandedness” when Walo and I interviewed him on The McDojo Show Episode #43 at around 12:57.
For fairness, here’s my roster, which was picked 100% in conjunction with my fantasy analysis as depicted in my blog:
So, I call SHENANIGANS! I’m not concerned about the $1,000. For me, this fantasy league is an extension of the gift my friend Brad gave me combined with my love of jiu jitsu (especially since my club has been ordered again to not roll any more). I’m bummed I have to worry about handicapping fights, but also worrying about “Chicanery” amongst the competitors. Allegedly things work themselves out. Eakin essentially said in his live show that it looked like others weren’t going with the program, to his detriment. Also, I should say, I understand why he did it. Eakin went on to discuss on his Dream Show live that he was there to win “the game” and finish in the money. If gaming “the game” meant giving up a submission to a teammate so the entire team could get a point, it is rational to get one point rather than to get zero points for the draw. As it turns out, his chicanery did not get the blue team any points.
Regardless, I make a motion to the rules committee to modify the team scoring where only team against team matches will go towards the totals when determining team points. Assuming I get a second, I move for acclimation. Of course, the PGF isn’t governed by Robert’s Rules of Order – it really isn’t a democracy, but a benevolent dictatorship. So, I implore you BMAC, you’re our only hope. Change the rules so we don’t get shenanigans such as these in season 3. And as for you Stephen “Gentlemen’s Agreement/Shoeless Joe” Eakin:
PGF WEEK 2 MATCHUPS(predictions with UPDATES/comments on actual results):
Evan “8 Mile” Stapler v Elijah “the Bad Guy” Carlton – DUNK, kill 6 points Red. Elijah saw Hunter Colvin get the kill on 8 Mile. I think Elijah gets his head right and steps up to get the kill as well. There’s an outside chance Elijah feels he has something to prove and gets it done within a minute. Also an outside chance that Elijah has to settle for a break. If 8 Mile can only give up 6, it’ll be a win for him. The schedule makers really fed Stapler to the wolves on the first day.
UPDATE: Elijah kill via RNC. Red team 6 points. Elijah sits, going for that triangle. Evan works the bully pass. They reset and Elijah gets on top. Elijah mounts and pulls Evan to take Evan’s back. Evan’s a warrior. He fights and fights, even yelling “C’mon at one point.” Eventually, Evan has to submit, but he definitely shows heart. Evan is the Noah (NOAH he didn’t) of this season.
Hunter Colvin v James Regina – Kill, 6 points Blue. Colvin is a legit black belt with a serious pedigree of competition. Regina has a warrior’s heart and skill, but Colvin gets it done within regulation. Regina’s length may give Colvin some trouble, but picking against Colvin right now is a bad idea. Regina seems like a really genuine, cool guy.
UPDATE: Colvin by modified RNC, kill for Blue 6 points. Regina sits. Colvin did something I can’t explain but was slick as snot to pass then got to mount. Regina recovers. Colvin goes kimura trap to the back again. Colvin gets the kill via jaw crank. Regina reveled in not allowing Colvin to get the seven points.
Randy “Dumptruck” Roden v Zach “Squidbilly” Edwards – Break, 3 points Red team. Everyone in the league just saw Roden handle all of Matt Elkins’ choke attacks and wrestling. Elkins had a couple of chances at leg locks, but he’s still working on his leg entanglement game. Zack is likely the best leg locker in the league. Zack sits to mitigate the wrestling advantage and gets the leglock on Roden. Zack very well might get it done within a minute, but I’ll just take that as gravy on the biscuit.
UPDATE: Zack heel hook, break for Red, 3 points. Zack sits quickly. Randy is alert for the leg entanglement from the get go. You could see Randy trying to figure out the dilemma of Zack’s guard. After a lot of defense by Roden, Zack got the entry he wanted and the inside heel hook with 51 seconds left.
Kevin “Pete Rose of the PGF” Primeau v Mega Mike Johnson – Kill, 6 points red. It pains me to say it, but after having BMAC and Skaff mention Primeau having COVID recently before the PGF, as well as Primeau in his post-match video talk about his lack of energy, I have to jump off the Liquid Terminator train. Primeau is a helluva guy, but COVID is a helluva virus. The general side effects of COVID (empirically) has been a reduced athletic/cardio performance. Primeau is still a beast, still a bad man. However, Primeau isn’t Mega. Primeau is coming off a six-minute draw. Mega Mike Johnson was breathing hard in his match against Sam Barbosa, but only went five minutes. Mega Mike has some weight on Barbosa. The normally grind-y Primeau is likely to get out ground by Mega Mike. Voting with my brain and not my heart, I have to think Mega Mike gets his chance this week to shine.
UPDATE: DRAW – I violated one of the first rules of the PGF: Don’t bet against Primeau! Kevin goes for a little of the throw he used in the first match, but had to settle for his turtle position. Mega Mike works to get the back. Primeau keeps fighting the hands. Kevin then tries to stack with Mega Mike on his back. Mike is breathing hard. Kevin does a crazy reversal to a toe hold setup (wow!). Mike then gets to a heel hook setup. Mike gets a sweet kimura, but Kevin does a sick defense.
Grayson Webster v Jake “Head” Elkins – Dunk – Kill, 6 points Red team. Grayson showed some athleticism at the combine, but Jake is a stud wrestler. Jake will take Grayson to the ground and punish him until he gets the kill. We saw how Elkins uses all his weight on his opponent in his mount.
UPDATE: HEAD Elkins kill by arm triangle, Red team 7 points. Elkins does a slide by, then gets the takedown, landing in the head and arm triangle setup. Wow, cold blooded, big headed, killer.
Sam Barbosa v Stephen Eakin – Draw – If Sam gets Stephen’s back, it’s a kill. Sam is too well known for being a gorilla-strength beast and deadly from the back. But, Eakin is a LEGIT black belt from the 10P Freaks in San Diego. Now, Stephen has 15 years on Barbosa and just faced a full six-minute match against Zack Edwards. Barbosa has allegedly only been submitted four times in the last how many years because his defense is super ridiculous. But his super defense could be Sam’s weakness. I’ve seen Sam give up his arm and position against black belts in the past, only to reverse them and win. While it worked in the past, it might have emboldened him to give up bad positions to Stephen Eakin. I don’t think anyone in this world wants to give Stephen Eakin an advantageous position. If Sam is lulled into confidence in his defensive abilities, he could have a harsh wake-up call against Eakin. But, at the same time, in Sam’s post-match interview, he said he wanted to reserve his strength and energy for “those who deserved it” or words to that effect. One can only surmise Sam knew Eakin was coming. Sam is legitimately “the Good Guy” and you really don’t have a soul if you cheer against him. At the same time, I am really a big fan of Eakin’s philosophy and just about everything he’s putting out there in social media. We also need to add that Stephen Eakin put on a promotional tournament in which Sam Barbosa won – which should give Eakin some insight into Barbosa’s game. But does knowing a man’s game mean you can best it? Honestly, I can’t pick a winner in this match. If you choose to put Sam on your roster due to the possible kill against Roden, you better hope for some points in this match to make it worth your while. But you may take a flyer on Eakin, trusting him to kill the COVID-compromised Primeau and hopefully pick a submission here. Sorry, folks…may the odds be ever in your favor in picking this one.
UPDATE: CHICANERY! COLLUSION! SHENANIGANS! Sam Barbosa by Collusion RNC. Blue team 6 points. Both got two on ones, but they kept wrestling. Sam gets a nice takedown. Sam passes the guard to side control and keeps his weight on Eakin. Sam goes around to a twister side control. Sam’s basically sitting on Eakin’s shoulder. Sam just keeps cooking Eakin, going from twister side control to doorstop side control with some quick north-south mixed in there. Sam gets to that kimura entry then uses it to take Stephen’s back. Stephen fights smartly. Sam gets the twister hook on the back. With 47 seconds left, Stephen just gives up and lets Sam get the RNC. Look at Sam’s comment at 43:43- “Stephen gave that up at the end there cause #redteamsucks we still got business Stephen” – SHENANIGANS!
“Judo” Justin Williams v Joshua Gibbs – Kill, 6 points Red. Put simply and nicely, Gibbs is a purple belt and Williams is a baby blue belt. Gibbs should get the kill. Rest assured, I’ll make sure I only wear attire with no real grips around Judo Justin Williams after my commentary for this season.
UPDATE: Gibbs gets the triangle – Kill Red Team 6 points. Justin goes for a leg lock. Justin scrambles out. Gibbs get a single leg. Justin escapes. Gibbs tries a foot sweep, but falls and Justin gets top position. Gibbs puts in knee shield. Gibbs goes to a quick dogfight then gets to side mount. Gibbs ties the Darce, but Justin goes to his back. They go back up. Gibbs does a suplex to a darce. Gibbs tries to setup the darce again, but grabs his own ankle – very interesting. Gibbs put in a triangle choke. Justin tries to defend but with his hand in, he then starts choking himself. Gibbs gets the kill.
Kemoy “the Bully” Anderson v Matt “Maneless” Elkins – Kill, 6 points Red. – I mentioned it above, but it’s worth repeating. This matchup is an indication of the level of competition found in PGF Season 1. The Maneless Elkins finished second in the regular season of the inaugural season of the PGF. He’s a solid wrestler, with serious jiu jitsu, especially some serious chokes off the front headlock. Kemoy has been featured on many a high-profile, streaming competition. Both are former MMA fighters and brown belts. Seriously, I’m a big fan of both. I’ve watched every available online roll from both and some mma fights. This match should be fireworks, but if you put a gun to my head, I’m going Elkins by choke. HOWEVER, it’s hard for me to account for how injured Elkins’ left knee is after the Roden match. He was a little gimpy walking off. Was it an ice it and good to go thing? Did he borrow Eakins’ Normatec compression stuff in between rounds? Who knows? But, Matt Elkins is tough. So this match will be tough to call.
UPDATE: Matt sits. Kemoy with a quick pass. Seems like Matt’s knee is still messed up. Kemoy goes for that kimura he loves, but Matt able to defend. Matt back to half guard. Kemoy gets to mount, but Matt gets back to half guard. Kemoy gets back then tries his favorite flying triangle play against a seated Matt – nothing doing. Kemoy gets to North South. Matt leg pummels back to guard. Elkins did an imanari attempt. Matt goes from a pseudo butterfly to a collar-tie to a pass by rotating around Kemoy to top position. Matt gets to ¾ mount. Kemoy lets go of the foot, letting Matt get to mount, but Kemoy gets the guard recovery. Elkins gets the arm-in guillotine with less than one minute left.
TEAM WINNER OF BLOCK 2: I think RED takes it this time. I have a good feeling Colvin gets the kill, but other than him, I don’t have super confidence in any other Blue team submission in block 2. Why does this matter? As we saw in Block 1, the team who has the most points, earns an additional point for each member. Team Winner projections should only be used in a tie breaker scenario between two possible competitors for a roster spot. A Team Winner point is a nice to have, not a game changer.
UPDATE: Red team is the winner, despite the COLLUSION on the blue side.
Of note, block 2 ended at right about one hour into the episode.
Loved the Lonnie Jones piece. “Control the controllables; do the doables.” I really enjoy his podcast. I really enjoyed his interview on Matt Skaff’s Grappling Discourse Podcast. To be fair, I also picked up his book when he sponsored season 1. Lonnie Jones’ book: “Grappling with Life: Controlling Your Inside Space” is a really good read. Look into it.
Joshua Gibbs v Grayson Webster – Kill, 6 points Red. Purple belt vs athletic blue belt. Purple belt wins via kill. It’s the best week we’ll see for Gibbs. Believe me, I believe #bluebeltsarepeopletoo, but I’m playing the odds here. Gibbs is not just a purple belt, but an instructor at a BJJ gym. The best way to learn something is to teach, so Gibbs should be mastering his art.
UPDATE: Grayson gets the surprise kimura; Blue team gets the break, 4 points. Grayson pulls guard then gets that kimura grip. He sweeps Gibbs, then worked that kimura until he got it with two seconds left to get that bonus point.
Stephen “the Dream” Eakin v Kevin “Liquid Terminator” Primeau – Kill, 6 points Blue. It was already going to be an uphill battle for Primeau to face Eakin. Eakin actually said he didn’t look forward to the match against Primeau; Eakin was a fan of season 1 and knows how tough Primeau can be. But Primeau contracted the Rona and it messed him up as so many others. It’s a testament to his character, to his grit, Primeau continued with the tournament and has performed so well thus far. I’m a big fan of the Pete Rose of the PGF and Stephen Eakin. Here, the more extensive experience, the greater size, and the lack of COVID in the recent past, has Eakin getting the kill in the match.
UPDATE: Eakin gets the kill. 6 points Blue. Primeau gave Eakin his back on the top and went to the ground that way. Primeau kept going back to the turtle well, looking for his sneaky arm bar, but Eakin knows that game. Stephen goes to the mount, setting up the head and arm triangle. Stephen gets that arm and triangle with the mount still intact. Stephen has said he’s not looking to go against a fully healthy Primeau in competition.
James Regina v Evan “8 Mile” Stapler – Draw – Both are long guys. Both lost more than 100 lbs, I believe, in their bjj journey. Regina is a mma athlete, so should have some serious cardio. According to Matt Skaff (10P Decatur black belt, PGF commentator, and Grappling Discourse Podcast host), Stapler has some serious cardio as well. Regina could get Stapler in a leg lock, but 10P Decatur is stingy with its belts. To get a Blue Belt, they need to be able to defend the legs. This match is a serious opportunity for Stapler to get a submission.
UPDATE: Stapler gets the kill. Red team 6 points. Matt Skaff – I’m coming for that prophet title. I thought this match was an opportunity for 8-Mile to make a mark and HE DID! Evan gets the front headlock, using it for a takedown, but to be fair Regina might have been trying to pull guard to get out of it. Evan gets to side control and starts putting on that pressure. Regina takes/attacks the back. Evans tripods. Regina almost got the arm bar. Evan baited the triangle, then bully passed. Evan gets to back. Evan keeps getting that bully pass. Evan gets a kind of modified von flue choke, focusing on that wicked shoulder pressure. Wow! A LOT!
Matt “Maneless” Elkins v Hunter Colvin – Break, 3 points Blue. Matt Elkins is a great wrestler. If you look a Colvin’s ears and know he’s from Oklahoma, you should believe he’s a solid wrestler as well. Colvin has the best pedigree on the roster. He has high level leg locks so I have to give him the break. Of course, it doesn’t help Maneless tweaked his left knee. Elkins may be more hesitant or less explosive due to his first-round injury.
UPDATE: Colvin gets the quick RNC, Blue gets 7 points. Elkins sits guard…looks like his play to spare his knee. Hunter went rolling kimura. He used it to take the back. This move seems to be this season’s “Elijah triangle setup” – the move that takes down everyone. We’ll see if someone catches on. Elkins taps to the RNC with 5:20 left on the clock.
Sam “the Good Guy” Barbosa v Randy “Dumptruck” Roden – Kill, 6 points Blue. In the intro, Sam looks to lock up a guillotine after Roden tries a duck under. Getting a guillotine on a wrestler may be a bit on the nose, but still very believable. Roden powered out of Matt Elkins front headlocks and setups for chokes, so maybe Roden can’t be choked. It really does look like Sam has it locked in, so I have to go for him.
UPDATE: Sam kill via guillotine. Blue kill 7 points. It’s the Randy duck under leading to the Sam guillotine we saw in the intro for sure.
“Mega” Mike Johnson v “Judo” Justin Williams – Kill, 6 points Red. Mega Mike gets a dunk here as long as he doesn’t let Judo get a random arm bar. Ultimately, I think Mega Mikes’ size and strength secure the kill. Now that we know Mega Mike won the IBJJF Atlanta Open Purple Belt double gold, how can we not pick him? (dang sandbaggers).
UPDATE: DRAW. Mega gets the blast double, but goes into Justin’s guard. Justin puts in the lockdown but then Mega passes to mount. Justin used the telephone defense to survive a DEEP head and arm choke. Mega goes to mount again. Mega goes for the mounted triangle. Justin defends again. Justin gets the win by forcing the draw. It reminds me of Data in Star Trek the Next Generation where Data wins a match of a game by going for the draw instead of trying to win. (#nerdsrule).
Elijah “the Bad Guy” Carlton v Jake “Head” Elkins – Break, 3 points Red. Elijah doesn’t want any of Jake “Head” Elkins’ wrestling. Elijah might do some wrestling off his butt (ala Nilo Burgener), but you have to think Elijah is going to be smart and go for the leg lock. Elijah has that Sean Applegate, 10P Atlanta, deadly leg lock action going. But here’s the fun part, Elijah is awesome from bottom for both leg locks and triangles. Head Elkins has reputed black-belt level top game. This match could be really good. Still, I have learned not to bet against Elijah (dang final week of season 1; dang you McWhorter!).
UPDATE: Elijah triangle. Kill Red Team 6 points. Elijah tries some low wrestling, then just sits. Jake passes Elijah’s guard. I’m probably not able to adequately talk through this match, but it’s awesome. Strangely enough Jake almost seems to shimmy his way into Elijah’s triangle setup. Elijah has now taken out both Elkins with that triangle.
Zach “Squidbilly” Edwards v Kemoy “the Bully” Anderson – Break, 3 points Red. As mentioned previously, Squidbilly is one of the most serious leg lockers in this season. Kemoy has great, grindy top pressure and some good wrestling. They both compete a lot. My gut says Edwards gets the leg lock. Kemoy was really grinding on Regina almost the entire first match, but he allowed himself to end up on bottom. Then Kemoy allowed Regina to get him in a 411. Edwards is a better leglocker than Regina. Edwards is a little less long than Regina which should help him have a little more strength behind his levers to elevate or otherwise manipulate Kemoy into Edwards’ desired leg lock entry.
UPDATE: DRAW. Zach pulls guard. Kemoy passes Zack’s guard and gives that bully pressure. He goes to the mount. Kemoy goes from the gangsta lean to the mounted triangle attempt. Zack escapes. Kemoy goes back into Zack’s guard. So another strong performance by Kemoy, but no finish.
TEAM WINNER OF BLOCK 3: This one is close. If all my prognostication is correct, Red will win this block by 3 points. That’s not a lot of margin, only one break or three matches where submissions occur in the first minute. Again, this estimation should only be used as a possible tiebreaker when trying to figure out a roster spot…better than flipping a coin?
UPDATE: Blue team got it.