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It's do-or-die time in the final week of the regular season in the Alice in Chains & Friends Fantasy Football Charity League.
No team has clinched a playoff spot and seven teams have a mathematical chance at the four postseason berths.
In the most intriguing matchup, Meat Loaf's Hell In A Hand Basket (8-4) takes on his son-in-law Scott Ian's Fear And Loathing (7-5). So, who will Ian's wife, Pearl Aday, be pulling for this weekend?
"Ha! No, no sides being taken. She could care less about fantasy football," Ian said via e-mail.
Meat Loaf brought years of fantasy football experience to his first season in the Alice in Chains Charity League and helped Ian prepare for his second draft.
"We haven't had much of a chance to talk about the season as we've both been traveling," Ian said.
"As far as trash talking there hasn't been any. Meat told me at the beginning of the season, 'I don't talk, I win.'"
Meat Loaf has all but officially locked up a playoff spot by virtue of being tied with Jerry Cantrell's JC Aroma Of Tacoma (8-4) for the best record and leading the league in scoring with 1,206 points.
Last season's scoring leader, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, is almost in a must-win situation a year after cruising into the postseason. Shepherd's Team Re-Domination (7-4-1) also has the untimely injury to Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who is questionable with a bad ankle.
"Peterson being injured is a huge blow to my team," Shepherd said via e-mail. "I don't really have a good replacement and there's no one worth picking up either. My other concern is the inconsistency of Matt Schaub. This guy has been all over the place and not very predictable or reliable."
Shepherd said that before the Houston Texans quarterback notched 17 fantasy points Thursday in a 34-24 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Although he's not as dominant, Shepherd said year two of the AIC Charity League has also been enjoyable, but the number of injuries across the NFL have been surprising.
"I still think I have a shot, but Meat Loaf and Jerry are certainly looking like the big dogs at this point in the season," Shepherd said.
Last year, Shepherd's team fizzled in the AIC & Friends championship because it was heavy with Colts and Saints stars who didn't have as much to play for late in the regular season. Particularly hurtful was Indianapolis benching quarterback Peyton Manning and wide receiver Reggie Wayne part way through the Colts' second-to-last game of the season.
"That game really hurt. I thought the Colts would try for a perfect season and I got burned," Shepherd said. "I believe if they would have gone for it, the results would have been different and my team might have won the championship.
|Scott Ian's Fear And Loathing are playoff contenders, but apparently his wife, Pearl, couldn't care less.|
"I was motivated this year to try and assemble a similar team and see if I could redeem myself with most of the same players, but the injuries have just been overwhelming this year, and I was really bummed that I missed out on my boy Peyton Manning in the draft. This has been a fun season, and I'm looking forward to next year, but remember … it ain't over 'til it's over."
Besides Meat Loaf, Ian, Shepherd and Cantrell, Duff McKagan's Team Loaded (7-5), Zakk Wylde's Team Doom Crew Inc. (6-5-1) and Vinnie Paul's The Brickwall Brickwall (6-6) are in the playoff chase.
League founder Cantrell's JC Aroma Of Tacoma stopped The Brickwall Brickwall's four-game winning streak with an 85-69 victory last week. Brickwall was trailing by 21 points heading into the Monday night game, but he still had Arizona WRs Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston yet to play.
Maybe Cardinals quarterback Derek Anderson was laughing at five combined points those two put up to leave Brickwall a long shot needing a lot of help to make the playoffs.
Nice turn around, Vinnie, you almost made it.
Re: Hell Of A Run
Posted: Nov 30, 3:05 p.m.
The Brickwall Brickwall
Man, Arizona couldn't have sucked any worse against a terrible team at home!!!! Fitzgerald caught a touchdown that got called back and if the referees hadn't stepped in they might have tore it up. … Congrats.!!!!
Participants in the Alice in Chains & Friends Fantasy Football Charity League will each put one valuable item up for auction by the end of the season. The league champion will get to designate which charity receives the proceeds of the auction. More details on the auction will be announced in the coming weeks.
Weekly updates on the Alice in Chains & Friends Fantasy Football Charity League, trash talk and interviews with the owners will be published in ESPN.com's The Life and Music sections throughout the season. Members of the league also will drop by for occasional chats on SportsNation.
Here is a recap of Week 12 and a look ahead to Week 13's matchups: