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2020 Long Island EFL Week#3 Chicago Bears (1-1) vs. Atlanta Falcons (2-0)

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August 28, 2020. Atlanta, Georgia. If you like reading about league's and electric football history, we have some history of our own in the Long Island Electric Football League. Today's Long Island Electric Football League match-up between the Chicago Bears (1-1) and the undefeated Atlanta Falcons (2-0), is enormous! It's a way to make a statement as to who is on the rise in the NFC. Both teams have the potential to make the playoffs this season and much has been written on the historic "Dirty Birds" in these forums. There is an important analytical exchange buzzing around in the league which has coaches using the data we collect to plan for the games they play in. Sometimes the coaches miscalculate build false confidence, especially with some of the great coaches who play electric football around the world. In 2017, The Buffalo Bills romp of the #1 defense in our LIEFL , the Cleveland Browns 42-14, is a prime example, but Buffalo wiped away everyone's perception of statistics in 2017 when the Bills won our Super Bowl in dramatic fashion. They were the underdog as a Wild Card team!

The Chicago Bears two years ago worked very hard to revive their organization and Coach Paddy Brannigan has done a terrific job Drafting talent and working with his Bears to change the level of competition in this ever-changing league. Chicago's Don Hampton, along with Wally Chambers and Richard Dent, have become the warriors of the battlefield, and Willie Gault has carried the ball 8 times for 485 yards with three touchdowns, is quickly becoming a star in the NFC North as he sets up running back Walter Payton to succeed in the field-position game. More importantly, for the Bears is they're playing more like a team and distributing some of the offensive firepower in the direction of the receivers and special teams’ players. Maybe in some league’s statistics don't matter, however we have seen a growing trend of numbers that support coaches in determining how they will compete against each other. Coach Brannigan said, "In this game sometimes you have to believe in your guys. My guys are really close to cutting-edge, but we are not there yet. We will become a powerhouse again in the North. Don't forget my Bears have won two LIEFL Championships with me as their coach.  This team is better than the 2000 team that beat Miami 45-38 in LIEFL Super Bowl XI."

Speaking of Chicago Bears, we learned how important statistics were in 1995, when our League competed against the “Miggle Toys” World Electric Football qualifier from Long Island, beating the World qualifier 21-7.  It was all about statistics for us and we followed the numbers to compete. Here's the backstory:

"Long Island EFL's Brush with National Electric Football History" The Long Island Bowl of Champions!

In 1995, there was a big article written in NEWSDAY--the 11th largest newspaper in the United States--about two Long Islanders who received a Free-Pass to Chicago to compete in the World Championship of Electric Football by Miggle Toys. One of our LIEFL members decided to contact both of the Miggle recipients to include them in our league. We ended up successfully contacting only one of the Miggle Champions from the article with a challenge to play him and he agreed. No false bravado here, just competitiveness for us.

The game was set-up to be played in the popular beach community on the South Shore of Islip, NY, on Long Island.

In this highly anticipated game, the star-studded Miggle Champ started with the pre-game hype bragging about his playstyle as legendary. He cautioned us to be prepared for his mean and lean Chicago Bears, as if we never played the game. LIEFL Commissioner Billy O'C said, "That's all just Psych-hype. Our motto is, 'We don't talk, we play to win, PERIOD!' We are athletes, what our competition was selling, we were not buying into the psychology because we are all serious planners!"

We embrace all competition to learn to be part of a very special hobby with great, talented people who play the hobby. We won't always agree with you, but we respect all hobbyists of electric football.

Statistics can make a difference in electric football, just as they might in the NFL. For our title match against the Miggle Champ, we decided to randomly put a very feisty and testy LIEFL #8 Ranked Dallas Cowboys (81-68 All-Time), team on the field with a proven track-record in the Long Island EFL, for whatever that is worth.

In that 1995 season for us, the Dallas Cowboys finished a hard-fought 3rd Place at (8-6) in the LIEFL NFC East, but they made the LIEFL playoffs as a Wild Card Team. They had a major upset over the tough #10 LIEFL Ranked New Orleans Saints (10-4 and 76-72), 16-13 in OT in the Wild Card Game! Then Dallas lost in the LIEFL NFC Divisional Game against a ferocious #2 LIEFL Ranked Washington Redskins (11-3 and 105-68) team, 35-17. The Cowboys had 106 Points and were Ranked #6 in the LIEFL NFC on offense, and they Ranked #3 on defense in the LIEFL NFC that season. 

Running Back Emmitt Smith ranked #21 in our LIEFL with 119 carries with 1238 all-purpose yards, and only 6 touchdowns compared to the LIEFL #1 all-purpose player that season, Kieth Woodside for the #6 LIEFL Ranked Green Bay Packers (10-4 and 86-76) who had an LIEFL leading 122 carries for 2174 all-purpose yards in 1995 with 21 touchdowns for the Pack who lost to the #23 LIEFL Ranked Wild Card Philadelphia Eagles (9-5 and 63-78) in the LIEFL-NFC Divisional Championship Game 38-30, that season. Regardless of our challenge, we knew the consistency of our Cowboys as a tough LIEFL-Tier II team climbing to the elite Tier I-Top-Five Ranks in the LIEFL behind teir one's #1 Ranked Miami Dolphins (166-34), dominant winners of LIEFL Super Bowl's I, III, IV, V, VI, and IX, the LIEFL Super Bowl VII Champion, # 2 Ranked Washington Redskins (105-68), #3 Ranked Denver Broncos (102-60-1), #4 Ranked Chicago Bears (94-66), winner of 1976 LIEFL Super Bowl II, and 2000 LIEFL Super Bowl XI, and LIEFL #5 Ranked Pittsburgh Steelers (90-68). On paper, the Cowboys have played almost 150 games in our league, and we feel all leagues are unproven obviously until we all compete. We also recognize that one team is not a complete representation of a league.

The Cowboy Romp!

By kick-off our LIEFL battle-hardened Cowboys were ready to get it on and play against the champ. Our opponent Chicago Bears looked intimidating in those dark jerseys, and "America's Team" dressed in white jerseys for the Long Island Bowl of Champions, which we had hoped to make an annual tradition. We thought that our annual Super Bowl Champ could play our opponent's SB Champion, making for a great friendship. 

Even if we were destroyed, we would have handled the game with dignity, respect, and a handshake after the game. We don't do would-have, should-have, could-have scenarios in our league, we just compete! We agreed to the rules and he won the passing rules with stick set-ups and managed formations, but we won on defense and in our running attack, which turned out to be relentless.

Good nature trash-talking by the Miggle Champion sadly went on before the game, during the game, and after the game.

As we predicted in our pre-game prep against our unknown opponent, he came out passing on first down. We somehow stopped his Bears cold on their first passing drive by shutting down his outside game with our linebackers, and in the trenches LIEFL Cowboys Ed "TooTall" Jones, Harvey Martin, Randy White, Leon Lett, and Larry Allen stuffed his run, pushing his line back 20 yards in two plays forcing our opponent to punt on fourth down. On the ensuing punt, speedy Emmitt Smith returned the ball 78 yards with a blazing sideline run to the scorched Chicago Bears 22 yard-line. One play later, Smith, led by big Larry Allen, dominated the running game as Smith bullied his way right up the center and in for the Cowboys first score! Smith had his way the entire game rushing for over 100 yards on the ground in the Long Island Bowl of Champions. The Cowboys consumed the clock and our LIEFL pre-game strategy worked perfect for this game!

With our opponent losing 21-0 at the half against the Cowboys, the trash-talk was ignited for the rest of the game when the Miggle Champs team wasn't winning. As athletes we tend to handle our wins and losses with class rather than whine about losing. When we lose we just accept a tough defeat and come back strong for the next game. We let our team just play the game the way it was meant to be played by letting our team do the talking on the scoreboard.The Dallas defense came up huge against his Bears passing game, shutting this Bear team down with silence, strategic precision. The best of the opponents Bears was a 22-yard pass touchdown play to their tight end with seconds left which ended the memorable game with the Long Island EFL Cowboys winning 21-7!

In the end our Dallas Cowboys defense shut down the Chicago Bears, holding them to zero yards on the ground in rushing, and 55 yards in the passing game. Leon Lett had three tackles and Larry Allen had three tackles for the Cowboys as they celebrated a proud moment in LIEFL history for us!

THE GAME:After a 53-yard kick return by the Long Island Electric Football League superstar Gerald Riggs, the Atlanta Falcon front-line did its job and opened up on running lane for Riggs  with gains of 2, 23, 1, and finally a 21-yard touchdown run by Riggs with 8:44 to go in a half as the Falcons take the lead, 7-0!

The other star of the game came up HUGE for Chicago. Willie Gault made a statement today about Coach Brannigan's Bears. They are no joke! Gault came blazing downfield with a stunning hundred-yard kick return for the score to tie the game 7-7 with 7:15 left to go in the half on an amazing run! And the first half came to a close after Atlanta had one first down and then being stopped twice, forcing a third-down pass to start the second half.
Slawson's corner predicted a great game and this one exceeded that! The excitement could be felt growing as the fast-flowing game had such an exciting feeling to it. After a Julio Jones 18 yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan for the Falcons, Atlanta needed to get on the defensive.
Every time Riggs or Gault touched the ball people were on their feet as Gault took this one back 53-yards at the Atlanta 47-yard line. With 13:01 left to go in the half the Bears ran the ball up until third down where they were forced to pass. Bears quarterback Jim McMahon, threw a spiral for 12 yards to Payton to earn the first down at the Atlanta 34-yard line with 7:44 left to go in the game! The Bears continued to drive down field with a beautiful 38-yard pass to Willie Gault who took it to the 4-yard-line of Atlanta, and on the next play Walter Payton turned around for the pop-pass to tie the game, 14-14 with literally 30 seconds left in the game.
Atlanta's Gerald Riggs returned it 42-yards as the game ran out of regulation time as Atlanta Coach Johnny the "Freeport-Chucker" showed his dismay! The game was forced into overtime! Brannigan's Chicago Bears won the coin toss! Holy Cow!  An upset in the making!
In an amazing turn of events the Chicago Bears proved something very important in this game. They can win on the road in this league, and if they don't win, they are playing the competition relentlessly to the second! 
The Bears wasted no time in overtime and on the very first play Bears tight end Mike Ditka broke free of the Chucker's coverage as Ditka took home a thrilling 62-yard touchdown pass to win the game in such dramatic fashion, 20-14 in 2:13 of overtime!  What a spectacular finish! The astonishing Bears (2-1), are on the rise in the NFC as they play the tough Indianapolis Colts (2-0) at Soldier Field next week. The Falcons need to go back to the drawing board and figure out how to overcome this huge loss which could very well have playoff implications for the emotional Freeport-Chucker in the end. Atlanta plays the Green Bay Packers (2-0) next week in a war! WOW!
To beat Atlanta at home says it all for these hard-working Bears!

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