Again I have travelled the empire, and found a story worth telling you all. Mean was in a good mood, but also had some very exciting details to tell us all. Take a peak inside the the team with biggest TW 2 seasons running. I bring you the Bucs!
Robbert Graaf is about to meet Mean Andugl (Bucs
owner and headcoach) at Brionne Bay Stadium, home field and headquarter of the Brionne Buccaneers. A fierce looking guard marshals Graaf from the entrance to the team's spacious lounge where the interview will take place. Shortly after the guard has knocked on the door it is opened by a stunning beauty that welcomes Graaf with a restrained yet warm smile. The beauty introduces herself as Anna, escorts Graaf to an area with cosy chairs and lounge furniture, asks him to make himself comfortable, which Graaf does, and elegantly floats away to inform Andugl about Graaf's arrival. Graaf uses the opportunity to have a look around. This is without a doubt the home of the Buccaneers, and a place where Bucs history comes alive again. The walls are decorated with pictures of the current roster and heroes of the past, like "Zeke" Anderson, Bishop Sankey and of course Eric Ebron. Graaf discovers the bloodstained jersey that Ebron wore when he died on the pitch, Anderson's massive helmet rests on a column, and Sean Lee's infamous boots are on display in a vitrine. The Bucs logos, the red Jolly Roger flag and the pirate ship, are all over the place, as well as the logo of Bucs main sponsor Bucweiser. One side of the room is dominated by an impressive and apparently very well equipped bar.
Mean Andugl enters the room, accompanied by Anna.
Mean: "Pleased to meet you Robbert, welcome to Hell's Pit, home of the Bucs. I am glad you arrived here in one piece and healthy. Too many bandits, sluggers and marauders out there these days, hahaha. But no worries, this is Buccaneers territory, you are our guest and safe here. May I offer you a drink? You must be thirsty. I recommend to start with a refreshing Bucweiser. Anna, will you please be so kind? I take one too.
Well, why don't we start, Robbert?"
RG: How did the team and fans cope with last season ending 4/6/6? What happened?
MEAN: "Last season? It was a nightmare, especially the first half of the season, disappointing beyond anything we possibly could have imagined. We started the season with a TV of 1720 and a pretty good team, or so we thought. We had high flying hopes and were widely regarded as top favourites to win SHC South division. But our hopes went down fast right from the start, when we lost against the Manticores, who outbashed and declassed us although playing more than 500k uphill. Hard to believe, but that's how it was. Next games things only got worse. We played awful and on top of that lost several accomplished players, among them Sankey, Blanda, Franck and Ebron, to name only some of them. With hindsight it was more or less all over after the loss of Ebron in the game against the Wreckers, in round 3. We had lost the ball, Eric wanted to recover it, like he had done so often before, wants to sack Wreckers ballcarrying player, tries hard to go the extra mile and win back the ball, fails and stumbles but doesn't let go and tries again, fails again and crashes to the ground with a fatal injury. Brionne Bay Stadium holds its breath at the horrible sight, Wreckers fans included, but it can't all be lost, the apo surely can help and rushes in, but then the bloody idiot totally messes it up and fails too - Eric Ebron, "The Captain", is dead. ....... (Mean falls silent for a moment) Bah, awful memories, sorry Robbert, I got carried away, guess you were not asking for that many details. Anyway, that was a defining moment. Morale suffered and Nuffle seemed to have deserted the Bucs, we lost more important players and more games, and after round 6 Bucs TV had dropped to 1160. You don't come back from such a downfall easily. Bucs achieved a surprise win in round 7 against the White Wolves, but afterwards didn't win a game for 6 consecutive games. Our fans however, especially those in Brionne, just gritted their teeth and never let us down, which helped a lot to restore morale and confidence towards the end of the season."
RG: This year you start with the highest TW of all teams. How did you manage to bring your TW up that high with so many lost players last season(7 dead, 6 statdrops)?
MEAN: "A couple of factors matter here. First of all I'd like to emphasize that TV doesn't tell the whole story of a team's true strength. Take for example the stat losses you mentioned. Those stat losses weaken us significantly, but they don't reduce Bucs TV. Plus we have a couple of specialists who are undoubtly very cool players, but who are nevertheless rarely on the pitch. Cotchery for example. Anyway, recovery of TV can be explained to some extend by additional skills gained in the second half of last season, including Coleman's increased agility. Plus we had a pretty good portfolio of picks, including two 1st rounders and spent a large part of that to acquire Brad "J-Man" Johnson, a 150k player, and two late round picks carry a pretty high TV too. The fact that these players were available late tells you a bit how others value them. I guess there are quite some people out there who would tell you that Bucs team is bloated. But hey, this is Brionne, we are the Bucs, this was never meant to be a streamlined +ST/MB/guard spam team.
RG: Since you lost Ebron, who is your new Captain? Pirates must have a captain.
MEAN: "Ebron played 46 games for the Bucs, 37 thereof as the team's captain. And a true captain he was. After his death nobody, not even the most ambitious or self confident players were willing, let alone able, to rise to the challenge and pick up the Captain's Armband. Team and management thus unanimously decided not to appoint a new captain at least until the end of season 4. But season 4 is behind us now, and you are right, our team needs a captain. As it happens the new captain has been apppointed just a couple of days ago, after the round 2 game. Do you want to guess who? Well, it's Friedrich, the "Gentle", as we call him. With 35 games Friedrich alongside Jericho Cotchery played more games for the Bucs than any other active player, and he is 2nd in Bucs all-time rankings. Only Ebron played more games. Of course Friedrich is a very different type of player. It still happens from time to time that he loses his focus. But he's always out there on the pitch with the other guys, always in the thick of the action, he never backs down or shies away from a fight. He's like a rock, and it's almost impossible not to look up to him."
RG: What is your expectations to for the season after a smashing 2/0/0 start?
MEAN: "I have not forgotten what happened to us last season, and we have a damn tough schedule. Guess you have to listen to similar excuses too often, but how about this: Rangers, Greenskins, Legion, Manticores, Universe, Unicorns, Cardinals, Foxes plus of course our divisional rivals 2 times each, none of them being a pushover. Last season Bucs got 2 measly points out of 6 games against our SHC South rivals. Sure 2/0/0 is a nice start, but just that, a start, plus Heath and Hill both got injuries that permanently reduced their agility. We are focussing on the games one at a time and refrain from any forecasts for the time being.
RG: Final question, Mean. Do you have a special gameplan for Manticores, who caused all this destruction on your team last season?
MEAN (slightly puzzled): "Err, are we talking about the same teams here, Muckenhof Manticores? It's true, we fell to them in round 1 of last season and they outbashed us, but fortunately all casualties in that game were badly hurts only. Anyway, their team has improved massively, the game won't be easy. You won't be too surprised that I can't reveal our gameplan in detail here. But it is well known that the Mantis scratch, scream, bite - and foul. Chances to survive are much better if you meet this type of players standing up. Apart from that the main challenge when facing those bashy types is to keep calm in the heat of the fight. Outrun them, outplay them, keep them at a distance, and if they dare to come too close give them what they asked for - it won't be the ball."
RG takes a last sip of his Bucweiser(A remarkably good beer), and he takes his goodbye with meanandugl. As Graaf leaves he thinks to himself. Keeping an ogre alive for 35 games? How do they do that?
And "streamlined +ST/MB/guard spam team", what teams were Mean thinking of when saying this? A slap on the cheek for someone? A challenge issued?