The 2013 Hemcher Cup XXI Preview Guide
As we are just days away from the start of Hemcher Cup XXI, it seems hard to believe that we are moving into our third decade. Though it seems like this contest was started just yesterday, here are a few things that happened back in 1992 – 1993 to remind you of what twenty years feels like:
- Ross Perot runs for President
- Bill Clinton is elected President
- South Africa ends Apartheid
- 1st World Trade Center bombing
- Toronto Blue Jays win World Series
- Miley Cyrus is born
- Jay Leno takes over the Tonight Show
- Growing Pains, Who’s The Boss, MacGyver, The Cosby Show , Night Court, Doogie Howser, MD, Perfect Strangers, The Wonder Years, Saved by the Bell and Cheers all end
- Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera join the cast of The New Mickey Mouse Club
- Notable NBA players and Hemcher Cup alums Harrison Barnes, Kyrie Irving, Terrence Jones, Jeremy Lamb, Quincy Miller, Jared Sullinger, Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Bradley Beal and Marquis Teague are all born.
Oh, and if you really want to feel old, Team Lampazzi won the 1st ever Hemcher Cup Championship. I’m not sure what feels older, Team Lampazzi winning or Cheers going off the air. Over the 1st twenty years, the league has certainly turned into a league of “haves” and “have nots”. With twenty titles in the books, the championships are dominated by Knight (8) and Gannon (5), though they split the title in 1998. Tons sits alone with 3 Titles. Zucker and Lampazzi have 2 each and Team Poli brings up the rear with just 1 championship. We will have to wait and see if decade #3 brings parity to the league or just more of the same two team dominance.
As usual before we look ahead, let’s take a quick look back at Hemcher Cup XX. Team Knight took their 8th title last year with Team Poli finishing as the runner up for the 3rd consecutive year. Team Knight essentially lead last year’s contest wire to wire as he was only 14 points out of 1st place in Round #1 and then took the lead in Round #2 and never looked back. Team Knight scored more points in Round #2 with 11 players, than three other franchises did in Round #1 with their full complement of 14 players. Team Knight hitched his wagon to the Kentucky Wildcats last year and it paid off big time as both Knight and Kentucky won their 8th Championships. Unfortunately for Team Knight, as of right now it looks like UK won’t be in the tournament this year to go for a shot at back to back titles, but can Team Knight do it on his own? Back to back titles are a rarity in the Hemcher Cup, as it has only happened once and coincidently it was done by Team Knight all the way back in 1994 & 1995. Can he do it again? If you want to find out, keep reading……
“I play for the Indians.
Here in Cleveland? I didn’t know they still had a team.
Yup, we’ve got uniforms and everything, it’s really great” – Jake Taylor, “Major League”
Sixth Place: Team Lampazzi 475pts
Much like the Cleveland Indians of the 1980’s, Team Lampazzi is quickly becoming irrelevant in the world of Hemcher Cup. They have the longest active championship drought of any franchise at 12 years. Though they have drafted 1st overall in two of the last four years, both of those times they squandered that top pick and finished in last place. Much like another woeful Ohio team, Team Lampazzi misses on more #1 picks than the Cincinnati Bengals. When you consider their putrid performance over the last decade, it’s no wonder why none of the other franchises view them as a serious threat anymore. In the most recent years when Lampazzi drafted #1, the eventual champion came from the #2 and #3 draft spots which makes sense since the consensus #1 pick is usually passed by Team Lampazzi so he can reach for a player in Round #1 that he could have gotten in a later round. This team should seriously consider changing their team motto to “better luck next year”.
“I’m telling you, baby, you always double down on an eleven.
Yeah? Well obviously not always.
I’m just saying, not in this particular case.
But I lost! How can you say always?!?” – Trent & Mike, “Swingers”
Fifth Place: Team Gannon 500pts
What a strange year 2012 was for Team Gannon. They finished in 4th place even though they had three of the top four scorers in the tournament and the only 100pt scorer. It seems unfathomable to have 60% of the All Hemcher Team come from one franchise and yet that franchise wasn’t even in contention. How can that be? Here’s how, only one player drafted after the third round played more than two games. They went from 14 to 7 to 4 players in the first three rounds. His top three picks were All Hemcher, his next eleven were absolute train wrecks as Team Gannon doubled down twice on Michigan and San Diego State. Both went down in the opening round and with them so did Team Gannon. This was a very risky strategy for Team Gannon to go for the multiple double downs, and with SDSU and Michigan, he certainly wasn’t sitting on an “11”, maybe more like a “10” against a dealer’s “2” or something. On a positive note, with the exception of the one split championship, the other four titles all came in the year immediately following a Team Knight victory so history says this should be their year but this is also their 3rd straight year drafting in the #5 spot which has not been kind to them over that period as they haven’t finished higher than 3rd. Enjoy the complimentary all you can eat buffet as thanks for getting wrecked at the tables, because there won’t be a sixth Hemcher Cup in the cards for you this year.
“It’s a problem of motivation, all right? Now if I work my ass off and Initech ships a few extra units, I don’t see another dime, so where’s the motivation? And here’s something else, Bob: I have eight different bosses right now.
I beg your pardon?
Eight, Bob. So that means that when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That’s my only real motivation is not to be hassled, that and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired” – Peter Gibbons & Bob Slydell, “Office Space”
Fourth Place: Team Knight 521pts
It’s hard to believe that someone could have eight bosses and it’s even harder to believe that someone could have eight Hemcher Cup titles, but alas, both are true. “Eight is Enough” may have suited Dick Van Patten just fine back in the day but we are pretty sure that eight isn’t enough for Team Knight as they hope to win #9 this year, but as Lee Corso likes to say “not so fast my friend”. As stated earlier in this preview, repeating in this league is very hard, it’s only happened once in twenty years, and even though Team Knight is the team that repeated, that was almost twenty years ago. He has won six championships since the B2B in ’94 and ’95. Three times he followed those titles up with 2nd place finishes, three other times lower than that, so we think he may get close but we don’t see him making history yet again. It’s also worth noting that besides the record 8th championship, Team Knight also broke uncharted ground in 2012 by going with the first ever double triple down by grabbing three guys each from UNC and Kentucky. Now that Pandora’s box has been opened, how soon will it be before a triple lindy triple down is done or even an unbelievable quadruple triple down which for extra credit should include a double down from some other school so that a team has 4 schools representing it’s 14 players. If that happens they need to change the name from March Madness to March….oh wait, Madness pretty much covers it.
“Where am I? I’m in Boise, Idaho; no, no, no, wait a minute: I’m in Anchorage, Alaska. No, no, wait: I’m in Casper, Wyoming; I’m in the lobby of a Howard Johnson’s and I’m wearing a pink carnation.” – Jack Walsh, “Midnight Run”
Third Place: Team Tons 587pts
I feel like I need a “Where’s Waldo” book or a GPS system to figure out where Team Tonsmeire is drafting from these days. I think he has officially eclipsed Team Poli for Carpetbagger Champion. Over the last 20 years, he has drafted from Conshohoken, at least two of the NYC boroughs, and with this year his 3rd continent. Even Al Davis thinks this team moves too much, and he’s dead. In 2012 Team Tons went from 1st to worst as he put up a very weak defense of his 2011 Hemcher Cup. We know Tons is the godfather of the double down but he put himself out on a limb in 2012 by tripling down on Michigan State. It was a risky strategy that didn’t pay off. The rest of his team was low to mid-level scorers who were all eliminated by the Final Four. Perhaps last year’s poor showing would motivate him for 2013, but here’s the thing, not only is Team Tons drafting abroad this year, but he has roped in three other franchises to draft from his flat in London. There will be too much insider trading and bad fake English accents going on for anyone in that room to take this draft seriously and so I think all members of the London War Room are destined to come up short this year. It is worth noting that in 2011 Team Tonsmeire drafted in the 2nd spot right after Team Lampazzi (oddly enough, the 2013 draft order is identical to 2011). History could repeat itself but we don’t think it’s likely to happen.
“Hey, leave the mothers out of this. It’s unnecessary. Besides, I’m sure Wes here is just upset about finishing second in the ratings again.
That’s completely uncalled for, Burgundy. You know those rating systems are flawed. They don’t take in account houses that have, uh, more than two television sets, and other things of that nature.
I guess I have to take you at your word, No. 2. You have a great day, fellas, we’ll see you around the bend” – Ron Burgandy & Wes Mantooth, “Anchorman”
Second Place: Team Poli 699pts
If the success of this league was determined by finishing in 2nd place then Team Poli would be the best team in the league. Though he was not an original member he has managed to finish in 2nd place more times than anyone else. During his tenure in the league, Team Poli has finished as the runner up six times. That’s two more than the next closest team, Team Knight. To frustrate Team Poli even more, half of those 2nd place finishes have come over the last three years. That’s three straight runner up’s for Matt and if you are reading this closely, this year will be his 4th in a row. The Buffalo Bills are waiting with great anticipation to see if their record for coming up just short of the finish line will be met. Just like the Bills, Team Poli could have been one of the greatest franchises in the league if a few more breaks went his way but unfortunately for him they haven’t and he will have to always wonder about what could have been. Number two isn’t so bad, I mean everyone remembers the name of the 2nd man to walk on the moon, right?
“I have a question, say we get into the cage, and through the security doors there and down the elevator we can’t move, and past the guards with the guns, and into the vault we can’t open…
Without being seen by the cameras.
Oh yeah, sorry, I forgot to mention that.
Yeah well, say we do all that… uh… we’re just supposed to walk out of there with $150,000,000 in cash on us, without getting stopped?
Oh. Okay” – Danny Ocean, Rusty Ryan, Saul Bloom, “Ocean’s 11”
First Place: Team Zucker 747pts (new all time scoring record)
Picking Team Zucker to win the Hemcher Cup seems more unrealistic than trying to rob three Las Vegas casinos in one night. But, we see the start of the third decade of the Hemcher Cup to be a renaissance for Team Zucker. The years of futility will fade into oblivion. HC XXI is the beginning of a new Dynasty in the Hemcher Cup. It may be the year of the snake in the Chinese calendar but for the Hemcher Cup, it will be the year of the Zuck. Why do we think this way? There are a few reasons. First, Team Zucker wins one title every decade (1999 & 2008), so he is due for one at some point over the next 10 years. Second, he is drafting in the 3rd spot and as has been stated already, Team Lampazzi will miss on the top pick, which means the 2nd and 3rd draft spots gain an edge. Third, the London 4 will either be either too jet lagged or too drunk to pick a decent team, so that means by default Team Zucker is the obvious favorite. Lastly, it’s always more exciting to pick teams that never win than to pick the ones that always win. Remember at the start of this preview, we spoke of the “haves” and “have nots”, HC XXI will be the year of the “Have Nots”. Bring it home Team Zucker or else Knight will probably win again….no pressure.
As always this is written for entertainment purposes only, please no wagering.
-The Assistant to the Commissioner