Time for a musical interlude…

With another exciting FUNHL season now in the books (congratulations to Corey on the dramatic last day victory!!) and the NHL playoffs in full swing, I thought it might be a good time to compile a list of theme songs for our FUNHL franchises. So I delved in to my music collection and came up with the following tracks that I felt reflect each team. The songs were chosen based on lyrical content rather than musical merit, and most of it is heavy metal. So if that is not your cup of tea, my apologies. I hope all the hyperlinks work. Now without further ado and in no particular order…

“Plagues of Babylon” by Iced Earth     Lyrics     YouTube     MP3
This “band” should really just be called the Jon Schaffer Project, as he writes all the music, calls all the shots and everyone else is just a rental player. The count of current and former band members now stands at 32, including 5 different singers, 7 guitarists, 9 bassists and 10 drummers since forming back in 1985. This is the title track from their latest album, and features Canadian Stu Block on vocals.
So if you're asking yourself, "Why?"
Your eyes are blind to the raging storm
Will they cleanse the earth of humanity?
Unleash the plagues of Babylon?

Severed Heads:
“Beheaded” by The Offspring     Lyrics     YouTube     MP3
This song comes from the self-titled debut album by this SoCal punk band, long before they became famous with songs like “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)” or “Why Don’t You Get A Job”. However, it still displays a lot of their trademark wit and is perfect for Cam’s team.
Mommy doesn't have her head anymore
Keep it underneath my bed on the floor
That's alright though
That's ok
She never really used her head anyway

“It All Ends Here” by Star One     Lyrics     YouTube     MP3
Star One is just one of the myriad projects of Dutch musician/composer Arjen Anthony Lucassen. All of the Star One songs are based on his favorite science fiction movies and television series. This song, clocking in at almost 10 minutes, is of course based on Ridley Scott’s classic film, Bladerunner, and its source material, “Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep” by Philip K. Dick.
Living a life with nothing left to gain
moments are lost, like tears in the rain
watching my dreams break down and decay
I can't give up, there must be a way
facing death with nothing to lose
no way out, no matter what we try to do
is this real or this is a lie?
will I dream, or will I just die?

“Of Wolf And Man” by Metallica     Lyrics     YouTube     MP3
Technically, this song is about werewolves not wolves, but it is one of my all-time favorite Metallica songs so it gets the nod. It is taken from one of the best-selling albums in history. “The Black Album” is certified 16x platinum in the US, has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide and spent more than 282 weeks on the Billboard 200 list, making it the ninth longest charting album of all time. Canadian connection: the album was recorded at Little Mountain Sound Studios in Vancouver and produced by Bob Rock (of Payolas fame).
Off through the new day's mist I run
Out from the new day's mist I have come
I hunt
Therefore I am
Harvest the land
Taking of the fallen lamb

Knights Templar:
“The Accolade” by Symphony X     Lyrics     YouTube     MP3
Honourable mention here to “Templars Of Steel” by Hammerfall, which also would have made a fine selection for Mike’s team, but I love this song by American progressive metal band Symphony X. Singer, Russell Allen, is one of my favorites and really gets around. You have already heard him performing with Star One on the Bladerunners track. He can also be found singing with Ayreon, Avantasia, Adrenaline Mob, Allen/Lande, Level 10 and more. Interesting fact: on any Arjen Anthony Lucassen project, he is always credited as Sir Russell Allen. This is not because he has been knighted by the queen, but rather because before Russell starting earning enough money to live as a professional singer, he worked as a jouster at Medieval Times restaurant.
Across the seas through sands of time
Knight of the Templar
A charging steed through lands unkind
A legend forever

A heart of gold pumps within his metal skin
A noble line he carries on

“War For Sale” by Shadow Gallery     Lyrics     YouTube     MP3
It is quite convenient that both the song and the band name apply to Bob’s Shadowmen. The FUNHLs most prolific trader is no stranger to cutting deals and is usually more than willing to sacrifice the future for the war effort. Mmmm pie… get your fingers out of there. Mine!!
How long till we realize the truth?
The bottom line of defense and world security
The bankers and the ministry of arms
Just cut the deal and the war is on
The village burned, the desert set ablaze
Who are these men with their fingers in everybody's pie?
Big rockets and their profits all the rage
Their business plan calls for war for sale

Great Whites:
“Megalodon” by Mastodon     Lyrics     Cool Pic     YouTube     MP3
The Megalodon was a prehistoric species of shark that could grow to a size of 60 feet long, weigh 50 tons and have teeth over 7 inches long. How frighteningly awesome is that? Thankfully these monsters went extinct about 2.6 million years ago. It is also a good thing that Mastodon provides the lyrics for their songs, because with their harsh vocal style you would never be able to tell what they were singing without them.
Sensing the blood of prey
Swimming in fear for life
Rolling over
Falling into jaws
Teeth that chatter
It distracts them all
The Fiji mermaid
She will let it know
Time is coming to feed and gnaw

“Quest For Fire” by Iron Maiden     Lyrics     YouTube     MP3
When it comes to songs about cave men, the pickings are slim. In fact, this is all I could find, but it works nicely for Corey’s Ramapithicines. Every year we all embark on the same quest, seeking Predator Cup glory rather than fire. This song is based on the 1911 Belgian novel by J.-H. Rosny and its 1981 film adaption about early mankind’s struggle for control of fire.
So they ploughed through forest and swamps of danger
And they fought the cannibal tribes and beasts
In the search to find another fire
To regain the power of life and heat.

“Stand Up And Fight” by Turisas     Lyrics     YouTube     MP3
For Mike’s horde of unruly Barbarians I chose this song, primarily because the members of this Finnish band like to paint their faces and dress up like Viking warriors as part of their stage show. Also, they are possibly the only heavy metal band with an accordion player and are known to play most of their solos on electric violin, rather than guitar.
What a relief it would be to end this all,
 How easy to fly the white flag and give up,
 But would I run today just to die another day,
 Give up now and every fight has been in vain,
Stand Up and Fight

“The Edge” by Blind Guardian     Lyrics   [Sadly the YouTube videos are blocked]   MP3
This was probably the toughest choice I had to make. My first thought was to pick “Livin’ On the Edge” by Aerosmith for Collin’s team, but everyone knows that song. So I instead opted for this lesser known track by German power metal band Blind Guardian. For you Lord of the Rings fans, I suggest you check out their 1998 album “Nightfall in Middle Earth”, which is based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Silmarillion”.
This is the edge now
It's all we're living for
Rain on me
Love you will rain on me

“Princes of the Universe” by Queen     Lyrics     Meme     YouTube     MP3
Duh! Do I really need to provide an explanation for this choice? There can be only one. The only other possible option would have been to find some bagpipe music, which seems to be a bit lacking in my collection.
And here we are, We're the princes of the universe,
Here we belong, Fighting for survival,
We've come to be the rulers of you all

Personal Vendetta:
“Time Heals Nothing” by Danko Jones     Lyrics     YouTube     MP3
Many options to choose from here. I passed on good candidates like “Vendetta” by Slipknot, “The Grudge” by Tool, “Revenge” by Papa Roach, “Vengeance Is Mine” by Alice Cooper and “Justice In Murder” by Coheed & Cambria in favor of this track from Canadian rocker Danko Jones. These three lines seem to me the very epitome of vengeance.

I know I'm gonna live through this
And when the wound on my back heals
I'm coming to get you, I'm coming to get you



Ok, so here is my long promised, poorly delivered FUNBA recap.

- First off, I wanted to note that if we were using the same format for determining a champion as we do in the FUNHL, it would be the Thunderbay Murderball's title as they scored the highest total number of points, whereas Brian won a series of HTH competitions to take it all.

Which isn't to detract from the fantastic season the Sharpshooters had at all, they were full marks in defeating two excellent teams in the playoffs (the Skywalkers and the Goodfellas). What's more, they didn't just beat these two teams in the last two rounds they crushed them in a pair of week+ long matchups that each ended in lopsided Sharpshooter victories.

Congrats to Brian, the third champion crowned in the FUNBA!

Other notes:

- So far, half the league has gone to their team page and indicated their 'keepers' (Brian, me, Darrell, and Bob). If the rest of you could please go in and input your keepers we can avoid some of the issues we struggled with this year.

- As of yet it won't let me set the date for the next draft. I will however be more dilligent in pre-warning everyone that it is coming up. Note, the NBA season roughly correllates to the NHL season. If you are prepping your draft list for hockey, take two minutes to check your FUNBA stuff as well.

- Bob made a staggering 47 changes (waiver drops/adds) to his roster over the season. Some things, never change.

- There were exactly zero trades this season. I have to believe that is going to be as bad as it gets, because mathematically it couldn't be any worse.

- As I expected, the changes I made to scoring for blocks was all but invisible over the course of the season. Perhaps the biggest beneficiary though was super sophmore Anthony Davis who would seemingly threaten to hit double digits in blocks nearly every game.

- Here are my favourite 8 players of the year, and why;

#8 Blake Griffin - PF LAC / Murderball

What you don't see is that Griffin has evolved into much more than just a one-dimmensional dunk machine (that would be DeAndre Jordan, his front-court partner in crime), and added some veteran moves to defense, footwork, passing, and shooting from deep. When Paul was out, Griffin carried the mail.

Fun fact, the Thunderbay Murderball had the highest scoring team in the league, but had exactly zero players in the top 10 in scoring. Griffin was the closest.

#7 Anthony Davis - C NO / Flatlanders

Make no mistake, Davis is much, much, much more than a big dunking machine. He has the superior size, length (his arms are seemingly 5x as long as the comparatively short-limbed Griffin), he's an elite defensive player at his position, a bona-fide rim-protector, and shot-blocking dynamo.

He's a true 'C' in a league with fewer and fewer of them. At some point he's going to start destroying the league offensively as much as he already does with his rebounds and blocks. Future MVP.

#6 LeBron James SF Cle / Skywalkers

IMO, still easily the best basketball player alive. He can not only play all five positions at an All-Star level, what is more, he can GUARD all five positions at an All-Star level. He has point guard skills in a power forwards body. The love child of Magic Johnson and Charles Barkley, he has the best combination of size, speed, efficiency, defensce, and...well everything. If not for a two week 'rest' in the beginning of the season, and a ton of chemistry issues with hs new team mates, LeBron would be league MVP. Again. He'll be the playoffs MVP though, so he's got that going for him.

Take note in the highlights of how many of them are thread-the-needle-no-look assists, or chase down blocks. He can do whatever wants.

#5 John Wall - PG Wsh / Goodfellas

The former 1st overall pick has matured into the all-round offensive force he was envisioned to be on draft day. Big (for a PG), strong, fast, and posssessing an arsenal of offensive skills, Wall is the quick strike PG all teams crave to have to run their offense.

#4 Russell Westbrook - PG OKC / Pirates

Westbrook has long been the poster child for a kind of warp-speed point guard who is even better at scoring than at creating assists. Always considered to be the 'second banana' to Kevin Durant, an injury to Durant put Westbrook in the spotlight as he tried to will his team to remain in playoff contention despite missing a league MVP caliber running mate. All he did was EXPLODE and for a month and a half put up numbers that were simply staggering, averaging over 30pts, 10rebs, and 10assists to single-handedly keep his team with the best in the loaded Western conference.

Above are the highlights from his 54pt game, but it is worth noting that Indiana has one of the best rim protectors in the league in the giant 7'2" Roy Hibbert, but Westbrook simply gets to the rim at will against him (and everyone else).

#3 Chris Paul - PG LAC / BallBearings

I love Chris Paul. He's not the best offensive PG (Westbrook), nor the best passing PG (Rondo), but he is without a doubt the most complete PG in the league.

One way that his greatness can be assessed outside of his 'counting' stats, is to look at the work Kirk Goldsberry has done on assessing how players perform defensively

The chart on Paul is mind-blowing (especially when you compare him to James 'the Matador' Harden). Injuries and bad teams have allowed Paul's greatness to go overlooked but the facts are the facts, he was the 2nd highest scoring player in the FUNBA.

#2 Steph Curry - PG/SG GS / Chumfeeders

Here's the thing, if a Golden State game is on TV, watch it. You'll be viewing the greatest shooter in NBA history (by a wide margin) in his prime. He's utterly unique, and watching him is watching sports history get written.

#1 James Harden - SG Hou / Sharpshooters

Fear. The. Beard.

Harden's game is tailor made for the modern NBA. He has two fantastic skills, he can reliably gun from anywhere - but especially for 3, and he gets to the rim at will where he draws a ton of fouls whenever he doesn't outright score. In the 'real world' Harden wouldn't be in my top 5 (see the chart comparing his defense to Chris Paul again), because guys who are that casual on defense (bordering on comatose) don't make for the greatest champions.

But man, can Harden ever score.


Thanks to everyone for participating again this year, I hope to have everything ironed out for the league's mechanics in the next few days. If you have adjustments you would like me to consider, just drop me a line and let me know.

And somebody buy Brian a drink. Dude sweated out this season like a sunbaked wolly mammoth with malaria. He should get some alcoholic love from the rest of us.

Standings after round 2