10 votes, rating 5.9
She knew this restaurant well. A cozy little place overlooking the river. Unfortunately, it wasn’t built for the bulk of such personages as the new Vice-Captain of the Crimson Cascade. As the rickety stairs and walking bridges creaked dangerously, Inga crossed her fingers and hoped for the best. Would it not be ironic for someone who had survived four seasons of the most dangerous sport in the world only to die as a wooden stair collapsed?
They finally made it out onto the second level balcony, where the owner sent her, or rather Friedrich, a look of despair and went searching for something for the big ogre to sit on. He finally returned with a solid stool.
Hertha: “Sorry about the choice of place, Inga. We didn’t know you were bringing him.”
Inga: “No problem. But you know, we could have been happy to entertain you at The Pool!”
Günther was about to say something but a nasty glance from Hertha pacified him. Then she smiled her most blending smile. “You were so gracious at the end of last draft. We felt we couldn’t impose on you once more, so we will pay the bill this time.” Inga and her bulky friend sat down.
Hertha: “So, Inga. What about we start with you telling us what you think about the team’s performance in season 7.”
Inga: (smiles broadly) “I’ll be happy to. I think everyone did a fabulous job. Surpassing the coach’s prediction is not something players usually do. In this case, though, ending up with 2 more points than predicted did so and more besides. That’s the best gift a team can give it’s coach!” (she almost beams) “And then we have so many individuals that do great jobs. Lexer surpassed herself this season. 57 fouls puts her to the top of the list, and she is third on the list of active players when it comes to total number of fouls, after Enemkpali and Vegas, and she is the only player in DLE history to get the Von Kassel Medal with crossed swords. Goode is continuing to do well. Only 17 cas this season was not lie last season, but a total of 44 cas in two seasons still gives a respectable average and he will likely become legendary if he stays alive this season. Biryukov got second place in the Ironman rankings, and Nadja is now on par with Jimmie Ward as the DLE league catcher with most casualties caused. One more, and she reigns supreme, and that will happen quickly, mark my words! And I could go on. There are so many that deserves mentioning for their hard work…”
Hertha: “That’s good to hear. What about great moments? Any you want to tell us about?”
Inga: “Lots of them, but I think the victory over the Legion was the best performance we did last season. Granted, Legion were down two of their excellent blitzers, but still. They are a top notch play-off team with an excellent coach, so beating them felt really good. Also, beating an Eagles team that was 400tv higher tasted good as well.”
Günther: “And the worst moment?”
Inga: “Definitely midway in the second half of the second match against Vikings, when we were down 1-0 but had the ball, and Eaton stumbled when he tried to block Geathers. He went crashing down (doubleskull) and left Kippenberger exposed with the ball and Goode vulnerable to a foul, both of which the Vikings expertly took advantage of. We should have had a draw there.”
Günther: “And then the draft, Inga. You had only two spots to fill and four picks. What did you think about that?”
Inga: “Clearly, that is a good position to be in. And we almost used all four picks, actually. Cacciatelli, the Tilean Amazone, has the right qualities we need as an agile receiver. Ehinger has sidestepping skills to replace those lost when Tatiyana could not be saved by the apo, and the other two were both toss-ups. In the end, we preferred draftee Bluhm to Gudrødsson because of her sidestepping abilities, and Eaton to draftee Ainsley because he knows how to divetackle. Both those decisions could have gone either way, though. The only thing I’m sorry for is that we could not find a team to take on Gudrødsson and Ainsley. So right now, before a season of attrition, we have the team I want. If we can keep most of them and develop them as individuals and together as a team, I feel very confident that we will be a play-off candidate next season. Attrition rates are high, though, so it sometimes feels like a task with no end to it. You develop players, and then they die or retire and you have to start all over again.”
Hertha: “And then you got this gift from the Buccaneers at the end of the draft?” She points to Friedrich.
Inga: (laughs again) “Indeed. We got alerted to the possibility when we saw that the Buccaneers had traded for Andre Asdoria of the Rangers. That told us they had plans to let Friedrich retire and use the Franchise player clause in the DLE contract. Immediately, I was contacting Brionne to hear what they wanted. Obviously more than a late third, but we finally agreed to something that created value for both teams, and we could bring Friedrich back home.”
Hertha: “And what do you have to say to that, big man?”
Friedrich: “Uh. Only that it’s good to be back. Ah wanna play, and CCC let’s me continue my career on the field, instead of being bashing coordinator in Brionne.”
Günther: “And then Inga, please explain to the listeners what they can expect from next season!”
Inga: (grins) “I knew you would ask that question, so I come prepared. And the answer is sixteen. We are going to get 16 points this season, give or take one. “
Günther: “Well. That’s pretty precise. How do you figure that?”
Inga: “Easy. We get 2 points from the SoS-games, 6 from playing my own division, 3 from playing the KFC West and 5 from playing SHC West. That’s 16…”
Günther: (laughing) “OK. So not enough for the play-offs then. And you likely end up exactly just like in the newly published ARC rating. At 16th place.”
Inga: (shrugs) “it is what it is. But it means we are improving faster than our competitors. Season 6 I said 12, and we got 12. Season 7 I said 12 again, but we got 14. Now I say 16, and maybe we can get 18… who knows.” She draws her breath. “It will be exciting, though, I can promise you that. With the lineup we have, every game will be an attraction in itself. And then when the regular season ends we can add up the points and see where we are.”
Hertha: “Then we say thank you for your time, and to all the Painters out there, the season starts tomorrow night in Grenzburg. Be there as the crimson shirts take on the highest valued team in the league!”
Brought to you by Hertha Wendlinger and Günther Schiele, Carroburg Tageszeitung
As they cross the town back towards the CCC complex, Inga nods to herself, then turns to the massive bulk beside her that is Friedrich. “You know, old chum, I think we should start you training on tossing halflings. We may need it if DLE opens for Halfling players.” Friedrich seems perplex. “What? I never heard anything about that in Brionne. No siree, uh… missus!” Inga grins. “So we may steal a march on them this time, then!” Friedrich got that deep crease in his forehead that indicated thinking. “Yeah. But Inga, we do not have any Halfling players I can train with.” Inga grins fiercely. “I think that can be arranged. I will find you one. One in particular, actually!”